Rockfish Valley Trail 11/6/12

All photos are Marshall Faintich

When I arrived at the trail at 12:40 this afternoon, I didn't expect to see very many birds because of the time of day, but I was wrong.

Within the first two minutes I was greeted by a Great Blue Heron, a Pileated Woodpecker, and two Red-tailed Hawks. Once the hawks left, all the little birds came out, and they were everywhere. Within one hour I had already logged 30 species, including 10 sparrow species.

As I turned the corner from the Glenthorne Loop trail onto the downstream trail as I headed back to my car, I was thinking that at this time of year it's the sparrows that are the headliners. At that moment I looked up, and there was a juvenile Northern Harrier circling 30 to 50 feet above my head trying to figure out what I was! It circled overhead several times, and I was able to get hundreds of photos of it. At times it was so close that the entire bird was larger than the frame on my camera. The hard part was deciding which photos to post on this blog page. When I got to my car by the main kiosk, I saw a Red-shouldered Hawk and a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, bringing this afternoon's total to 33 species.


Great Blue Heron


Pileated Woodpecker


Pileated Woodpecker


Red-tailed Hawk


Red-shouldered Hawk


Ruby-crowned Kinglet


Yellow-bellied Sapsucker


Cedar Waxwings and Red-winged Blackbirds


Savannah Sparrow


Song Sparrow


Field Sparrow


Lincoln's Sparrow


White-crowned Sparrow


Fox Sparrow


Swamp Sparrow


Northern Harrier


Northern Harrier


Northern Harrier


Northern Harrier


Northern Harrier


Northern Harrier


Northern Harrier


Northern Harrier


Northern Harrier


Northern Harrier

Today's RV Trail list (33 species):

Song Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Field Sparrow
Chipping Sparrow
Lincoln's Sparrow
Fox Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Great Blue Heron
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Blue Jay
Northern Harrier
Red-tailed Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk
American Crow
Carolina Chickadee
Carolina Wren
Eastern Bluebird
Palm Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Purple Finch
American Goldfinch
Cedar Waxwing
Red-winged Blackbird
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Turkey Vulture
Black Vulture
Northern Mockingbird
Northern Cardinal


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