Central VA 12/8-10/14

All photos are Marshall Faintich

The weather hasn't been very conducive the past few days for birding. Monday was cold and cloudy, and by Monday night, heavy rain had moved into the Rockfish Valley, and freezing rain/snow into the mountains and Shenandoah Valley. Tuesday wasn't much better, and although the rain had moved out of the area by this morning, it was only partly sunny with winds about 25 m.p.h.

Rockfish Valley Trail 12/8/14

Most of the birds were hunkered down, but I managed to see about 15 species on the trail. They were all common winter birds, and the most interesting one was a White-throated Sparrow that must have been partially leucistic/albino, as it was almost totally white on its underside.


White-throated Sparrow


Yellow-bellied Sapsucker


A very crimson Purple Finch

Stoney Creek (Wintergreen) 12/9/14

I started out on a hike to the Allen Creek Nature Preserve, but it started to drizzle after I was about a quarter mile from home. I continued on, hoping that the drizzle would stop, but it didn't, and I did most of my birding from a window looking at and near our bird feeder. I saw 16 species this day.


Red-bellied Woodpecker


Red-bellied Woodpecker


Downy Woodpecker


Downy Woodpecker


Northern Cardinal


Northern Cardinal


House Finch and American Goldfinch


This White-breasted Nuthatch was going up the tree instead of its usual down direction


Blue Jay

Shenandoah Valley 12/10/14

I headed west over the Blue Ridge Mountains, going first to the Stuart's Draft area. I didn't see much. There were lots of Crows and Starlings along Guthrie Road, and a small flock of Ruddy Ducks at the water treatment plant. I headed north after seeing only 11 species in this area.


Crows and Starlings


Ruddy Ducks


White-crowned Sparrow

I made a quick stop along Strickley Road to look for Horned Larks, but there weren't any birds there. I stopped on Rockfish Road on my way to the Sheanandoah Valley Regional Airport when a Kestrel flew in front of my car, and stopped again just before the airport to look at a Red-shouldered Hawk.


Red-shouldered Hawk

There were Starlings, Eastern Meadowlarks, Crows, and a Downy Woodpecker near the airport.


Eastern Meadowlark


Downy Woodpecker

On my return trip, I stopped just after turning back on Rockfish Road when I saw a Red-tailed Hawk perched on a power line. This hawk looked like it had some burrs stuck to one of its tail feathers. It took off when I got out of my car, circled several times as it gained altitude, and was then joined by another Red-tailed Hawk, and they flew out of sight.


Red-tailed Hawk


Red-tailed Hawk


Red-tailed Hawk


Red-tailed Hawk


Red-tailed Hawk


Second Red-tailed Hawk


Second Red-tailed Hawk



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