Rockfish Valley 2/13/15

All photos are Marshall Faintich

Rockfish Valley Trail

It was bright and sunny this morning, but with temperatures in the teens and a slight breeze, the wind chill must have been in the single digits. Most of the birds were hunkered down trying to stay warm, but I saw eight avian species that braved the cold. Most of them were sparrows, and a Red-tailed Hawk flew over the parking lot as I was getting ready to leave. This hawk was not the same heavily barred, "Northern" race, Red-tailed Hawk that I saw on the trail two days ago.


Fox Sparrow


Song Sparrow


White-throated Sparrow


Red-tailed Hawk


Red-tailed Hawk


"Northern" race, Red-tailed Hawk 2/11/15

Stoney Creek (Wintergreen)

It warmed up to 30 degrees by mid-afternoon, so I hiked here in Stoney Creek. There were lots of usual winter birds - Goldfinches, Nuthatches, Titmice, Kinglets, Canada Geese, Bluebirds, White-throated and Song Sparrows, Mockingbirds, Mourning Doves, Canada Geese, and a few other species. At the end of my street, I spotted a Hermit Thrush.


Hermit Thrush


Carolina Chickadees

As I crossed the dam at the end of Sawmill Creek pond #3 on my way to Lake Monocan, I heard and saw crows throwing a fit, but I couldn't see any hawks that they might have been harrassing. I saw a few more birds on my way down to the Allen Creek Nature Preserve, and then on my way up the south side of the small pine forest, I spotted a high flying Sharp-shinned Hawk.


Sharp-shinned Hawk

As I approached the southeast corner of the pine forest, I saw my second Red-tailed Hawk of the day.


Red-tailed Hawk


Red-tailed Hawk

And then the crows showed up, and I watched them battle with the hawk for a few minutes.


Red-tailed Hawk


Red-tailed Hawk


Red-tailed Hawk


Red-tailed Hawk


Red-tailed Hawk


Red-tailed Hawk

On the southeast corner of Sawmill Creek pond #6, I saw my third hawk species of the afternoon - one of our resident Red-shouldered Hawks, and it let me get fairly close for some photos. It was probably relieved that I was not a crow!


Red-shouldered Hawk



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