Augusta County, VA 9/18/14

All photos are Marshall Faintich

Walt Childs and I headed over to Ridgeview Park in Waynesboro. After yesterday's great birding there, we were looking for a repeat, but it wasn't quite as "birdy" today. We saw 28 species, including 4 warbler species: American Redstart, Bay-breasted, Black-throated Green, and Hooded. The Bay-breasted Warbler species was the 15th warbler species I have seen in Ridgeview Park this week.


Bay-breasted Warbler


Bay-breasted Warbler


Magnolia Warbler


Black-throated Green Warbler


Brown Thrasher


Pileated Woodpecker

We had a bit of excitement when Walt noticed about 50 Broad-winged Hawks in a low kettle over the park. A few minutes later, two more Broad-winged Hawks flew from the trees, giving us some closer looks at this species. This flock may have spent the night in the park before taking off and heading south.


Broad-winged Hawks


Broad-winged Hawk


Broad-winged Hawk

We then drove to Braley Pond in western Augusta County. This seemed like it should have been a good birding location, but it wasn't. However, as we were walking up the hill to the pond, a gull/tern flew right toward us from the pond, saw us, and reversed its direction of flight. We only saw it for a couple of seconds, but we both saw that it had a black bill and a little black area around its eyes, giving it a masked look. I raced up the hill to the pond, but by the time I got there, the bird was at the far end of the pond and flying away. We both thought that its wings and flight looked more like a tern than a gull, and Forster's Tern is the most likely choice for species.


Forster's(?) Tern

We ended the day's birding with about 40 species.



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