Rockfish Valley Trail 10/21/13

All photos are Marshall Faintich

I had a late start this morning, and did not arrive at the trail until 9:30. We had a light frost over night, and the temperature was still in the upper 30s when I arrived. I parked at the Rockfish River kiosk, and saw our resident, juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk perched high up in a tree beyond the fenced upstream trail fields. I headed downstream, and then took the Glenthorne Loop trail to the bog area, and then back to the parking lot. I was surprised to see an Indigo Bunting in Yellow Bird thicket, as I thought that this species had already migrated south for the winter. This hike loop took 30 minutes, and I had 20 species, including a good look at a Vesper Sparrow.


Red-shouldered Hawk


Vesper Sparrow


Vesper Sparrow


Vesper Sparrow


Indigo Bunting

I then headed upstream for the next half hour, and added three more species. By this time, the RS Hawk had dropped down to a fence post.


Red-shouldered Hawk

I drove to the small parking area along route 627, and hiked the east side of Reids Creek, the bog area, and the fields to the north and west of the bog area, adding seven more species for a morning total of 30. The RS Hawk had moved to the east side of the creek, probably wondering why I was following it. There were several Swamp Sparrows in the tall grasses near Yellow Bird Thicket, some with deep coloring and some that were pale.


Red-shouldered Hawk


Blue-headed Vireo


White-throated Sparrow


Swamp Sparrow


Swamp Sparrow


Swamp Sparrow

Today's RV Trail list:

Turkey Vulture
Red-shouldered Hawk
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Belted Kingfisher
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Eastern Phoebe
Blue Jay
American Crow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Eastern Bluebird
Gray Catbird
Northern Mockingbird
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Eastern Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Field Sparrow
Vesper Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Indigo Bunting
Eastern Meadowlark
American Goldfinch


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