Rockfish Valley Trail 7/5/13

All photos are Marshall Faintich

The weather has been terrible for birding for more than a week now, and the forecast is for the same soupy air to continue for another week or so. An almost stationary clockwise high pressure area over the Atlantic Ocean, combined with an almost stationary counter-clockwise low pressure area over the mid-west, has been funneling hot and humid gulf air up the Atlantic coast, yielding uncomfortable conditions combined with precipitation that has ranged from on and off showers to heavy downpours.

The high pressure area has moved slightly to the west, lowering the chance of rain, but not bringing any relief. When I arrived at the trail this morning at 9:00, it was already 80+/80+ temperature/relative humidity, and the flies in my face were a nuisance, especially every time I stopped to take a photo. But the birds were actively feeding during this break in the rain, and I had 25 species in the first hour, and close to 30 species by the time I left at 10:45.

The highlight of the morning was a Yellow Warbler. I thought that this species was spending the summer on the trail, but I hadn't seen one since the end of May.


Female Orchard Oriole


Female Orchard Oriole


Male Orchard Oriole


Female Indigo Bunting


Song Sparrow


Brown Thrasher


Male and female Eastern Bluebirds


Yellow Warbler


Yellow Warbler


Yellow Warbler


Yellow Warbler

I noticed an unusual tree in the bog area - a large, dead tree branch was protruding from a hole in the tree. I don't know if this branch grew out from the hole, or if the wind somehow blew the dead branch into the hole.


Tree

There were lots of Eastern Kingbirds in the bog area and along the downstream trail.


Eastern Kingbird


Eastern Kingbirds - "Pappa! Over here!"


Eastern Kingbirds - "Hey! What about me!"



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