Reddish Knob, VA 8/30/13

All photos are Marshall Faintich

With high temperature and humidity forecasted for the valleys, Walt Childs and I headed to higher elevations to look for migrating warblers. We made the two hour trip from Nellysford to Reddish Knob (elevation 4,397 feet) in the Allegheny Mountains, and decided to go there first and then stop to look for birds on the way back down.

Just before ascending the steep mountain drive, we made a quick stop to scan Briery Branch Dam and Lake where we saw a Belted Kingfisher and an Osprey.


Osprey

It was sunny and cool when we arrived at the summit, but not very birdy. We saw one Cedar Waxwing and a Tennessee Warbler was hiding in the brush, not allowing a full view, but enough partial views for identification.


Cedar Waxwing


Tennessee Warbler

As we decended from the summit, we saw Black-capped Chickadees, Dark-eyed Juncos, and an unidentifed woodpecker. About 1/4 mile down from the summit, we stopped to scan the trees and brush. Black-throated Blue and Black-throated Green Warblers have been at that location every time we have been there, except during the winter months. Sure enough, we saw both species there. There were three male BTB Warblers in one of the trees. I assume that two of them were immature warblers, as one of them had a white arc under its eyes, and another had white arcs above and below its eyes. The BTG Warbler appeared to be either a female or a juvenile, and was exhibiting heavy molt.


Black-throated Blue Warbler


Immature Black-throated Blue Warbler


Black-throated Blue Warbler


Black-throated Blue Warbler - "Now, where did I leave my gummy candy?"


Black-throated Green Warbler


Black-throated Green Warbler


Black-throated Green Warbler

There were several Blue-headed Vireos and a few Red-eyed Vireos. We saw several Ruby-throated Hummingbirds and a Common Raven. A juvenile male Eastern Towhee was in the brush - it was just starting to get its adult plumage.


Blue-headed Vireo


Blue-headed Vireo


Ruby-throated Hummingbird


Common Raven


Eastern Towhee

We stopped a little farther down the mountain when we heard more Black-capped Chickadees. There were more vireos, and a couple of warblers. One of them was a Blackburnian. The other warbler did not want to pose for good views and photos, and might have been a juvenile Blackburnian, but other juvenile warblers, such as Cape May, are possibilities. A lot of the birds we saw this morning were either in dense foliage or we were looking in the direction of the sun, making identification difficult.


Blackburnian Warbler


Blackburnian Warbler


Blackburnian Warbler


Juvenile Blackburnian(?) Warbler

A short time later, we stopped to see a small flock of Pine Warblers. Most of them were molting, and there wa a drab, first-year female Pine Warbler showing almost no yellow coloring. Then we saw a male BTG Warbler that had just caught a large green worm. There were Eastern Wood-Pewees along the road and a few nuthatches.


Pine Warbler


Pine Warbler


Pine Warbler


Pine Warbler


Pine Warbler


First year female Pine Warbler


First year female Pine Warbler


First year female Pine Warbler


First year female Pine Warbler


Male Black-throated Green Warbler


Male Black-throated Green Warbler


Male Black-throated Green Warbler

We saw another unidentified warbler. My best guess is that it was another Tennessee Warbler.


Tennessee(?) Warbler

On the way home, we made a brief stop in Swoope, saw a few more species bringing our day's total to 30+. A Belted Kingfisher made a few passes in front of me, and both resident Bald Eagles flew from one of the trees. The Bald Eagles are not quite full adults yet, and they still have some white in their wing feathers, with one having more white showing than the other.


Belted Kingfisher


Bald Eagle 1


Bald Eagle 1


Bald Eagle 2



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