Rockfish Valley 12/3/14

All photos are Marshall Faintich


The weather yesterday was really poor - near freezing temperatures with rain, freezing rain, sleet, and fog, but there was a fall-out of waterbirds on the other side of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the Shenandoah Valley. Today was only slightly better - temperatures in the low 40s with overcast skies and fairly brisk winds. Low clouds hung around the mountains like cotton. I started out here in Stoney Creek to see if any water birds were on the lake or ponds, but didn't see any, so I went over to the Rockfish Valley Trail.

I logged 23 species in about two hours. The boldly-colored Red-shouldered Hawk was still there, but it didn't let me get as close as I was two days ago. Although a few Red-winged Blackbirds are premanent residents in central Virginia, I hadn't seen one of the trail since last August.

One of the Song Sparrows I saw was very pale tan in color, and reminded me of a Vesper Sparrow, but I didn't see it long enough to be sure what it was.


Cloudy mountains



Red-shouldered Hawk


Red-winged Blackbird


White-throated Sparrow


Song Sparrow


Yellow-bellied Sapsucker


Yellow-rumped Warbler


Palm Warbler


Large flock of Cedar Waxwings


Eastern Bluebird


Female Eastern Towhee


First year male Northrn Cardinal


American Goldfinches

This morning's RV Trail list:

Turkey Vulture
Red-shouldered Hawk
Rock Pigeon
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
American Crow
Tufted Titmouse
Carolina Wren
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Eastern Bluebird
Northern Mockingbird
Cedar Waxwing
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Palm Warbler
Northern Cardinal
Eastern Towhee
Field Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Red-winged Blackbird
American Goldfinch

I did a little more birding here in Stoney Creek, adding 8 more avian species, bringing my Rockfish Valley day list to 31 species: Pileated Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Canada Goose, White-breasted Nuthatch, Carolina Chickadee, Black Vulture, Blue Jay, and Northern Flicker.


Hairy Woodpecker - note its tongue extending from its bill



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