Rockfish Valley Trail 12/18/12

All photos are Marshall Faintich

It was a strange morning on the trail. Warm air from the south was mixing with a cold front coming in from the northwest. The winds varied from totally calm to gusty, and the skies varied from bright sunshine to large dark clouds and deep shadows. It seemed like the birds only came out when it was both calm and sunny, and I only logged 19 species in about 1-1/2 hours.


American Kestrel



White-throated Sparrow


Downy Woodpecker


Red-bellied Woodpecker


Carolina Wren


Yellow-rumped Warbler

When I was walking on the east side of Reids Creek along route 627, I saw five or six American Crows foraging in the tall grass. When the sun came out, one of them looked to be brown, and it had been foraging along side a normal black American Crow. When the brown bird turned around, I saw that it was a juvenile male Northern Harrier! I have seen crows harass hawks many times, but this was the first time I ever saw a crow and a hawk being pals! Both birds continued foraging together, and the American Crow even walked right up to the Harrier as if to ask how it was doing. After a couple of minutes, the Crow flew away, and then the Harrier did the same thing, hiding in the much taller grasses.


Northern Harrier and American Crow


Northern Harrier and American Crow


Northern Harrier and American Crow


Northern Harrier and American Crow


Northern Harrier


Northern Harrier


Northern Harrier


Northern Harrier


Northern Harrier



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