Rockfish Valley 9/30/14

All photos are Marshall Faintich

Rockfish Valley Trail

There was dense, patchy fog over the entire area this morning. When I arrived at the trail at 9:30, the tops of the trees were still in the fog. I parked off route 627, and from the first wooden bridge to the downstream picnic table, I saw fewer than five birds, and heard a couple more.

But when I turned to go along the fenced field to the bog area, the large tree near the bog area was filled with a frenzy of birds flying in and out of that tree. The Eastern Bluebirds were especially agitated.


Common Yellowthroat


Northern Flicker


Eastern Phoebe and Chipping Sparrow


Eastern Bluebirds

As I approached the tree, a large brown bird flew out of it - didn't look like a hawk to me - it was a Great Horned Owl, and the Bluebirds were in hot pursuit.


Great Horned Owl


Great Horned Owl


Great Horned Owl


Great Horned Owl

I was able to get a couple of photos of the owl, but as I got closer, it flew away, and I could not re-locate it.


Great Horned Owl

A couple of minutes later I heard a Red-shouldered Hawk calling loudly, and more than a dozen crows harrassing it.


Red-shouldered Hawk and American Crows


Red-shouldered Hawk

And then the trail was quiet again.

Stoney Creek (Wintergreen)

By the time I got back at 11:00, the fog was almost gone, and it cleared by 11:30. I saw lots of woodland birds here in Stoney creek, and the Pine Warblers were still singing high in the pine trees. The best birds for me were a Great Blue Heron and five woodpecker species: Downy, Northern Flicker, Red-bellied, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, and Pileated.


Great Blue Heron


Great Blue Heron


Great Blue Heron


Great Blue Heron


Downy Woodpecker


Pileated Woodpecker


Yellow-bellied Sapsucker


Northern Flicker



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