Rockfish Valley Trail 12/17/12

All photos are Marshall Faintich

In between yesterday's day long misty drizzle, and this evening's forecasted heavy rains, clouds covered the entire Rockfish Valley along with most of Virginia. The gray skies looked like a washboard.

I wanted to look for the adult male Northen Harrier again, so I parked just off route 627 north of the first wooden bridge around 9:30, and walked to the grassy air strip on the east side of Reids Creek. After waiting there for a while, I headed south along route 627, and then crossed the second wooden bridge. By the time I reached the first wooden bridge on the west side of Reids Creek, I had logged 22 species on the trail in 1-1/2 hours. I still hadn't seen the Harrier.

I drove to the main kiosk, and hiked upstream and then downstream, and crossed the first wooden bridge to look for the harrier once again before hiking back to my car. In this last hour I added three more species to the morning list, but no Harrier. On my way home, I made one last drive around to the east side of Reids Creek, searching in vain for the Harrier. Perhaps it has moved on?


Washboard clouds


The best bird of the day was a Great Blue Heron perched high in a large, dead tree. When a Red-tailed Hawk landed in the same tree, albeit a good distance away, the Heron kept a watchful eye on it.


Great Blue Heron


Red-tailed Hawk


Great Blue Heron and Red-tailed Hawk


Eastern Bluebirds


Belted Kingfisher


Song Sparrow

This morning's RV Trail list (25 species):

Song Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Field Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Eastern Towhee
Blue Jay
Eastern Bluebird
Carolina Wren
Tufted Titmouse
Carolina Chickadee
Belted Kingfisher
Great Blue Heron
Northern Cardinal
Northern Mockingbird
American Goldfinch
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Flicker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Red-tailed Hawk
Turkey Vulture
Black Vulture
American Crow
Starling


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