Rockfish Valley Trail 10/11/13

All photos are Marshall Faintich

Even though Walt Childs and I saw 31 species on the trail this morning, it wasn't very "birdy." The remnants of tropical storm Karen are still hanging off the mid-Altlantic coast, stalled by high pressure to the north, and its counter-clockwise motion is pushing clouds and moisture in from the northeast that is getting hung up along the Blue Ridge Mountains.

In the photo to the right, you can see the cloud cover that was over the trail, fog on the Blue Ridge, and clear skies to the west over the Shenandoah Valley. In addition, migrating Sharp-shinned Hawks are peaking now in our area, and the little birds are hunkered down, waiting for the weather and the predators to clear out of the area. The only new bird species we saw was a first-of-season Savannah Sparrow. After an hour and a half on the trail, we drove up to the Blue Ridge Parkway on the west side of the ridge, but it was still in dense fog and light drizzle.

Remnants of tropical storm Karen

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Palm Warbler

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Blue-headed Vireo

Northern Flicker

Belted Kingfisher

Savannah Sparrows and Eastern Bluebird

Sharp-shinned Hawk

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