Rockfish Valley Trail 10/8/13

All photos are Marshall Faintich

What a difference in the weather! Rain and a weak cold front ushered in cool, dry air, and it was a great morning to be birding on the trail under bright, sunny skies. Walt Childs led members of the Augusta County Bird Club on a guided bird walk that started early from the main kiosk on route 151. I arrived at the trail at 8:45 this morning, parked just off route 627, and did a quick hike along the east side of Reids Creek.

I had logged 17 avian species, and then crossed over to the west side of the creek on the first wooden bridge, walked south to the Rockfish River, and headed west along the downstream trail to meet up with the group. I had already seen a Magnolia Warbler and a Common Yellowthroat on the west side of Reids Creek, and as I approached the small elevation rise on the trail just to the east of the downstream picnic table, a Connecticut Warbler popped up from the ground and sat on a low branch for about 15 seconds while I got off a few photos. This is only the second time that I have seen this rare warbler species.

A few minutes later I met up with Walt and the Augusta County group, and we all birded for the next couple of hours. We saw two more warbler species: Palm, and a first-of-season Yellow-rumped. The combined list of the birds I saw and those seen by the Augusta County group prior to my meeting up with them totaled 44 species.


Common Yellowthroat


Common Yellowthroat


Common Yellowthroat


Magnolia Warbler


Magnolia Warbler


Connecticut Warbler


Connecticut Warbler


Connecticut Warbler


Connecticut Warbler


Connecticut Warbler


Yellow-rumped Warbler


Yellow-rumped Warbler


Palm Warbler


House Wren

Today's combined RV Trail list:

Great Blue Heron
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
American Kestrel
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Belted Kingfisher
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Phoebe
Blue Jay
American Crow
Common Raven
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
House Wren
Eastern Bluebird
American Robin
Gray Catbird
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
European Starling
Magnolia Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Palm Warbler
Connecticut Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Eastern Towhee
Field Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Indigo Bunting
Red-winged Blackbird
Eastern Meadowlark
American Goldfinch


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