Blue Ridge 9/15/14

All photos are Marshall Faintich

The autumn migration season is a great time for birding here in central Virginia. In addition to all the migrating raptors seen up at the Rockfish Gap Hawk Watch, we sometimes get some great warblers passing through the area.

I started off this morning at the Rockfish Valley Trail. In less than one hour I had 21 species, and probably would have had 25+ had I stayed there longer, but there were only a few interesting birds to see. The loss of avian habitat in adjacent properties has taken a big toll on bird watching there.


American Kestrel


Warbling Vireo


Warbling Vireo


Warbling Vireo


Warbling Vireo


Blue-gray Gnatcatcher


Black and White Warbler


Chestnut-sided Warbler


Red-shouldered Hawk

I then stopped at a few places along the first 14 miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway. To my surprise, it wasn't very "birdy." At the cirque between mm. 7 and mm. 8, I saw a small flock of Tennessee Warblers, and caught a glimpse of what was probably a Golden-winged Warbler that was hiding in the vegetation.


Tennessee Warbler


Tennessee Warbler


Tennessee Warbler


Golden-winged Warbler

Ridgeview Park in Waynesboro was very "birdy" when I was there last week, so I decided to give it a try this morning. There were birds everywhere! I first saw woodland birds, and continued to see woodland species during the entire hike there.


Scarlet Tanager


American Robin


A very gray and unmarked wren - comments on this one?

I was surprised to see an Olive-sided Flycatcher in the middle of the wooded area. It is possible that this flycatcher is an Eastern Wood-Pewee, but if so, I have never seen one with this dark of a vest.


Olive-sided(?) Flycatcher

About half way through my hike there, I started seeing warblers, and then warblers seemed to be everywhere I looked! I saw at least nine warbler species in the park: American Redstart, Black and White, Black-throated Blue, Black-throated Green, Blackburnian, Cape May (adult males and females and first year birds), Chestnut-sided, Magnolia, and Tennessee.


Female American Redstart


Female American Redstart


Black and White Warbler


Black and White Warbler


Female Black-throated Blue Warbler


Female Black-throated Blue Warbler


Black-throated Green Warbler


Black-throated Green Warbler


Black-throated Green Warbler


Black-throated Green Warbler


Blackburnian Warbler


Blackburnian Warbler


Blackburnian Warbler


Blackburnian Warbler


Cape May Warbler


Cape May Warbler


Cape May Warbler


Cape May Warbler


Cape May Warbler


Cape May Warbler


Chestnut-sided Warbler


Magnolia Warbler


Magnolia Warbler


Magnolia Warbler


Magnolia(?) Warbler


Tennessee Warbler


Tennessee Warbler


Tennessee Warbler


Tennessee Warbler

I photographed an unidentified warbler(?). Any comments on this bird would be appreciated.


Unidentified Warbler(?)

Another good birding day!



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