Rockfish Valley Trail 9/25/12

All photos are Marshall Faintich


I spent most of the morning on the east side of Reids creek, and then a little hike on the bog - picnic table - first wooden bridge corner on the west side of Reids Creek. I logged 35 species including 4 warbler species and a juvenile Black-billed Cuckoo. There were lots of big birds on the trail: Cardinals, Catbirds, Brown Thrashers, and Rose-breasted Grosbeaks. I stopped at the Rockfish River trail head. Brenda Tekin and her two guests from Seattle, Washington (Marissa Benevente and Jim Flynn) were just getting ready to leave. They had been birding elsewhere on the trail this morning, and they had seen at least five species that I had not seen this morning: White-throated and Swamp Sparrows, Philadelphia Vireo, and Cape May and Chestnut-sided Warblers.

Brenda said they had stopped there late yesterday afternoon, and there were at least 10 warbler species in the Rockfish River trail head area: Blackpoll Warbler(2), Pine Warbler(1), Magnolia Warbler(several males and females), Cape May, Tennessee Warbler(several), Palm Warbler (2), American Redstart (female), Nashville (1 male), Yellow-rumped Warbler (4+), Common Yellowthroat(2). On the trail, they also saw Red-eyed Vireo(several), Ruby-crowned Kinglet(3), Eastern Bluebird, Ruby-throated Hummingbird(1 female), Eastern Phoebe(3), Swainson's Thrush(1), Eastern Meadowlark(1), Hairy Woodpecker, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Gray Catbird(1), Indigo Bunting(2), Belted Kingfisher(2), and Bald Eagle(2 imm.).

The Blackpoll Warbler I saw this morning was in the same area where I saw one yesterday, and was probably the same bird. There have been Yellow-billed Cuckoos on the trail for the past two weeks, but the Cuckoo that I saw this morning was most likely a juvenile Black-billed. It had a yellow eye-ring like that of a Yellow-billed, but juvenile Black-billed Cuckoos can also have a yellow eye-ring. The Cuckoo I saw this morning had an all silver bill, which a juvenile Yellow-billed can also have, but the bill was small and there were buffy tones on its throat and undersides, and it plumage was less contrasty than one would expect to see on a Yellow-billed, so I think that it was a Black-billed. Although I did not get any good views of its undertail, there doesn't seem to be any large white spots that can been seen in the photos, and there is little rufous coloring in its primaries - two other indicators that it was a Black-billed Cuckoo.


Juvenile Black-billed Cuckoo


Juvenile Black-billed Cuckoo


Blackpoll Warbler - note the yellow feet


Blackpoll Warbler - note the yellow feet


Blackpoll Warbler - note the yellow feet


Blackpoll Warbler - note the yellow feet


Blackpoll Warbler - note the yellow feet


Blackpoll Warbler - note the yellow feet and the undertail pattern


Magnolia Warbler


Magnolia Warbler


Magnolia Warbler


Magnolia Warbler


Common Yellowthroat


Common Yellowthroat


Palm Warbler


Rose-breasted Grosbeak


Indigo Bunting


Northern Cardinal


Pileated Woodpecker


Catbird


White-eyed Vireo



E-mail comments on this report


Return to blog page home