Augusta County, VA 5/5/14

All photos are Marshall Faintich

It was cold and cloudy this morning with off and on periods of light drizzle. I headed out to look for more warblers.

Blue Ridge Parkway

There were a few birds out, but most of them stayed hunkered down. I certainly did not get clear views of most of the birds I saw this morning. On the parkway I saw only three warbler species - a couple of Cerulean Warblers, several American Redstarts, and a Black-throated Blue Warbler that did not want his picture taken.


Cerulean Warbler


Female American Redstart


Male American Redstart


Male American Redstart


Black-throated Blue Warbler


Blue-headed Vireo


Red-eyed Vireo

I hiked a short distance into the woods behind the Pionner Farm at the Humpback Rocks visitor center. A thrush flew by me quickly, and from the few poor photos I was able to get, it sure looks like it was a Wood Thrush.


Wood(?) Thrush

A pair of Eastern Towhees were foraging close to where I was standing. The male seemd unconcerned about my being there, but the female was a bit shy.


Male Eastern Towhee


Female Eastern Towhee

Sherando Lake

I headed down route 610 to Sherando Lake. This area has not been a good birding spot for me in the past, but I thought it worth a try. There were very few people there this morning because of the poor weather. There were a couple of Spotted Sandpipers at the edge of the lake, and several Yellow-rumped Warblers in the nearby trees.


Yellow-rumped Warbler

And then the best bird of the morning appeared. I saw a female Black & White Warbler searching on a tree. It went on the far side of the tree and reappeared with a Crane(?) fly in its bill.


Female Black & White Warbler


Female Black & White Warbler


Female Black & White Warbler

A few minutes later, either the same or another female Black & White Warbler was only about 10 feet in front of me on the trail. It looked like she had some nesting material in her bill, and then she spent several minutes working with the material while I took lots of photos. When I got these photos up on my computer screen, I can see that it was some fishing line that she had in her bill. It doesn't look like she was hooked or tangled in it - looks to me like she was just trying to get it under control before she took off with it.


Female Black & White Warbler


Female Black & White Warbler


Female Black & White Warbler


Female Black & White Warbler


Female Black & White Warbler


Female Black & White Warbler


Female Black & White Warbler

I drove over to the dam side of the lake, and on the road out I stopped when I heard birds singing. There were more American Redstarts, a pair of Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, a Red-eyed Vireo, and my sixth warbler species of the day, a Hooded Warbler.


Red-eyed Vireo


Blue-gray Gnatcatcher


Blue-gray Gnatcatcher


Blue-gray Gnatcatcher


Hooded Warbler


Hooded Warbler

I made a stop on Coal Road, saw a couple of Yellow-rumped Warblers, but left as it started to drizzle again. I drove north on Skyline Drive to Sawmill Ridge Overlook, but it started to rain a lot then, so I headed for home.



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