Rockfish Valley Trail 11/6/13

All photos are Marshall Faintich

It was a beautiful morning to be on the trail. I met Walt Childs at the Rockfish River kiosk, and we birded the downstream trail and Glenthorne Loop to the bog area. There were so many sparrows to see that we walked slowly, and in about two hours had 34 avian species, including 9 of the 15 sparrow species that have been recorded on the trail.

As soon as we crossed under the route 151 bridge, we got some good looks at an uncommon Vesper Sparrow that had fresh adult plumage - buffier than any other birds of this species that I had ever seen before. It spent a lot of time puffing up it feathers and preening, and at one point displayed a large opening to its dark body under its breast feathers.

We saw a pair of Red-shouldered Hawks, and a Cooper's Hawk made a low and close fly away from us before I could get my camera on it.


Vesper Sparrow


Vesper Sparrow


Vesper Sparrow - Gas-X needed here :-)


Vesper Sparrow


Vesper Sparrow


Vesper Sparrow


Vesper Sparrow - note the rufous lesser coverts


Vesper Sparrow


Vesper Sparrow


Vesper Sparrow


Chipping and Vesper Sparrows - note the size diffence


Field Sparrow


White-throated Sparrow


Juvenile White-crowned Sparrow


Dark-eyed Junco


Swamp Sparrow


Song Sparrow


Song Sparrow


Yellow-rumped Warbler


Red-shouldered Hawk


Red-shouldered Hawk


Red-shouldered Hawk

Today's RV Trail list:

Great Blue Heron
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Cooper's Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Phoebe
Blue Jay
American Crow
Tufted Titmouse
Carolina Wren
Eastern Bluebird
Tufted Titmouse
Carolina Wren
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Eastern Bluebird
American Robin
Gray Catbird
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Chipping Sparrow
Field Sparrow
Vesper Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal
American Goldfinch



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