Rockfish Valley Trail 10/3/12

All photos are Marshall Faintich


Warmer air, calm winds, and saturated soil from yesterday's rain produced dense fog over the entire area. When I arrived at the trail at 8:45, the fog was only just beginning to clear. A few birds were already out and foraging for breakfast in the soup, and the first bird I saw this morning was a Bobolink - not a bad start. In the first 30 minutes I had logged 23 species, but the fog persisted, and in the second 30 minutes I only added 4 more species. And then the fog lifted and the sun came out. Between 9:45 and 11:45, I added another 25 species, bringing the morning total to 52 species.

Highlights included six warbler species: Magnolia, Common Yellowthroat, Palm, Nashville, probable Pine [First Of Season (FOS)] , and FOS Yellow-rumped. I also saw five woodpeckers: Pileated, Downy, Flicker, Red-bellied, and FOS Yellow-bellied Sapsucker.

But the real highlight of the morning was watching a Merlin fly from tree to tree along the downstream trail, and letting me take lots (300+) of photos of it.


Bobolink


Bobolink


Bobolink


Magnolia Warbler


Common Yellowthroat


Common Yellowthroat


Common Yellowthroat


Common Yellowthroat


Yellow-rumped Warbler


Yellow-rumped Warbler


Yellow-rumped Warbler


Probable Nashville Warbler


Nashville Warbler

The following warbler is probably a Pine Warbler. Notice the bay coloring in the flanks and on the throat. No matter how much I wanted this to be a Bay-breasted Warbler (the last one to complete my photos of the 36 local warblers), the tail is too long, and the undertail coloring is white and not buff. Other opinions are welcomed.


Probable Pine Warbler


Downy Woodpecker


Yellow-bellied Sapsucker


Song Sparrow


Swamp Sparrow


Rose-breasted Grosbeak


Blue Grosbeak


Eastern Phoebe


Purple Finch

A Willow Flycatcher saw me taking pictures of it, and decided to smile for the camera.


Willow Flycatcher


Willow Flycatcher

And finally, a few of the many pictures of the Merlin.


Merlin


Merlin


Merlin


Merlin


Merlin


Merlin


Merlin


Merlin


Merlin


Merlin


Merlin


Merlin


Merlin


Merlin


Merlin



E-mail comments on this report


Return to blog page home