Crozet and Stoney Creek (Wintergreen) 3/13/15

All photos are Marshall Faintich

Crozet, Virginia (morning trip)

The forecasted rain was pushed back until this evening, and it was sunny in the morning. Walt Childs and I did some birding in Crozet, mostly along the Lickinghole Creek and reservoir. As soon as we got there, we saw a Fox Sparrow, and then a second Fox Sparrow by the reservoir. Although we ended up with 30 species for the morning outing, there wasn't much that was noteworthy to report. The other highlight was a pair of Red-shouldered Hawks near King Family Vineyards.


Fox Sparrow


Fox Sparrow


Red-shouldered Hawk

Stoney Creek (Wintergreen) (afternoon hike)

It started to cloud over and get a bit windy after lunch, but the rain was still not here, so I decided to hike down to the Allen Creek Nature Preserve. I didn't see very many birds, but on my way back I hiked around the small pine forest at the end of my street. There was quite a bit of activity - sparrows, woodpeckers, and some other woodland birds.


Tufted Titmouse


Yellow-rumped Warbler


White-throated Sparrow


Eastern Bluebird

And then I heard a Pine Warbler singing. It flew down to say hello to me. It perched in a tree less than 10 feet from me.


Pine Warbler


Pine Warbler


Pine Warbler


Pine Warbler

I walked about ten feet, and heard it singing again. I knew that it was close by, but couldn't locate it in the trees.

And then I looked down - it was foraging at my feet! I watched it for about ten minutes, took a lot of photos, and it was three to four feet from me the entire time. Here are just a few of the photos I took.


Pine Warbler


Pine Warbler


Pine Warbler


Pine Warbler


Pine Warbler


Pine Warbler


Pine Warbler


Pine Warbler


Pine Warbler


Pine Warbler


Pine Warbler

I have seen a few Pine Warblers in that same small pine forest every year, and they sometimes come close to me, but never as close as this one today. I wonder if it might be a returning bird that recognized me, and wasn't afraid of me. I know that a few years ago, when I was the birding activity manager of the Rockfish Valley Trail, a White-eyed Vireo got to know me, and would fly down to pose for my camera a few feet from me, almost every time I hiked on the part of the trail where it was nesting. I wish all the birds were this friendly!



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