Augusta County, VA 9/25/13

All photos are Marshall Faintich

Walt Childs and I headed west over the Blue Ridge mountains to western Augusta county to try some birding in the Shenandoah Valley and eastern Allegheny Mountains. Our first stop was at Augusta Springs Wetlands. On the drive there we saw Red-shouldered and Red-tailed Hawks.

When we got to Augusta Springs Wetlands, we were told that most of the boardwalk was closed for maintenance. But we saw a Yellow-billed Cuckoo as soon as we started birding, and ended up with 27 species there.


Red-shouldered Hawk


Yellow-billed Cuckoo


Yellow-billed Cuckoo


Male and female Northern Cardinals


Juvenile Cedar Waxwing

We were surprised to see a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker this early in the autumn.


Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

We saw a beautiful Blue-headed Vireo. All of the previous BH Vireos that I have seen had a light yellow-green wash on their flanks. This one had bold, olive-colored flanks.


Blue-headed Vireo


Blue-headed Vireo


Blue-headed Vireo

I got quick glimpses of a female American Redstart and a Chestnut-sided Warbler, and was able to get photos of three other warbler species: Magnolia, Black-throated Green, and Nashville.


Magnolia Warbler


Magnolia Warbler


Black-throated Green Warbler


Nashville Warbler

I saw a Black-throated Green Warbler having a wrestling match with a Crane(?) Fly. Eventually, the warbler either lost the tussle, or decided that the fly didn't taste very good.


Black-throated Green Warbler


Black-throated Green Warbler


Black-throated Green Warbler


Black-throated Green Warbler


Black-throated Green Warbler


Black-throated Green Warbler


Black-throated Green Warbler

From Augusta Springs Wetlands, we headed up Hite Hollow Road to higher elevations. Although it was a bit hazy, the views were still very good, but the road surface wasn't!

We stopped when we heard Chickadees and/or Titmice, and saw more Black-throated Green Warblers, a Pine Warbler, and a couple of Bay-breasted Warblers, although I wasn't able to get any good photos of the Bay-breasted Warblers. By the time we got back top route 42, our total so far for the day was 36 species.


View from Hite Hollow Road


Black-throated Green Warbler


Pine Warbler


Pine Warbler


Pine Warbler


Bay-breasted Warbler


Black-capped Chickadee

Our last stop of the day was in the Swoope area of Augusta County, where we added another 15 species to the day's list, including our 8th and 9th warbler species for the day: Palm and Common Yellowthroat. We saw some interesting lake birds there as well.


Mallards
[Update: (Fred A., Oakton, VA): I think the mallards are green-winged teals.]


Adult and juvenile Pectoral Sandpipers


Killdeers


American Kestrel


Wilson's Snipe


Wilson's Snipe


Northern Shovelers
[Update: (Allen L., Augusta County): There is only one Shoveler in the photos. The rest are Blue-winged Teal.]


Northern Shovelers
[Update: (Allen L., Augusta County): There is only one Shoveler in the photos. The rest are Blue-winged Teal.]


Northern Shovelers
[Update: (Allen L., Augusta County): There is only one Shoveler in the photos. The rest are Blue-winged Teal.]


Northern Shovelers
[Update: (Allen L., Augusta County): There is only one Shoveler in the photos. The rest are Blue-winged Teal.]


Common Yellowthroat


Palm Warbler


A huge flock of Starlings


Honey Bee hive


Beaver? Turtle?

Today's bird list:

Wood Duck
Mallard
Northern Shoveler
Great Blue Heron
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
American Kestrel
Killdeer
Pectoral Sandpiper
Wilson's Snipe
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Eastern Phoebe
Blue-headed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Common Raven
Tree Swallow
Black-capped Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
Eastern Bluebird
Gray Catbird
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
Nashville Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Magnolia Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler Pine Warbler
Palm Warbler
Bay-breasted Warbler
American Redstart
Common Yellowthroat
Eastern Towhee
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal
Indigo Bunting
Eastern Meadowlark
American Goldfinch


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