Rockfish Valley Trail; Albemarle County 4/8/15

All photos are Marshall Faintich

It rained during the night, and I had expected to stay home all day, but there was a break in the rain, and thunderstorms weren't expected until late afternoon. I decided to stay close to home, and went to the Rockfish Valley Trail mid-morning. Low clouds filled the valley, and it was fairly dark for photography, but I managed to see 22 avian species in a little more than an hour. Highlights were first-of-season Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher and Brown Thrasher, and a pair of Pileated Woodpeckers in the bog area. My first warbler of the day was a Yellow-rumped.


Yellow-rumped Warbler


Dark-eyed Junco


Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher


Brown Thrasher


Field Sparrow

When I got home, there was a note that Walt Childs had called, and he wanted to see if I would go birding in the afternoon. We met at my house close to 1 p.m., and decided to go to Warren Ferry to see if any Yellow-throated Warblers had arrived. Along the way on Langhorne Road, we stopped to look at a Bald Eagle.


Bald Eagle

As soon as we crossed the railroad tracks at Warren Ferry, we stopped when I heard some birds singing. Sure enough, I heard a Yellow-throated Warbler singing multiple times, but neither of us could locate it high in the trees. There were lots of birds there - woodpeckers, more Blue-Gray Gnatcatchers, Mallards, Wood Ducks, and other woodland birds. A Palm Warbler gave us a quick look, and a pair of ducks flew that were probably Hooded Mergansers.


Palm Warbler


Downy Woodpecker


Ruby-crowned Kinglet


Hooded Merganser(?)

Our last stop was at Totier Creek Park. We saw at least six Blue-Gray Gnatcatchers there, probably even more.


Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher


Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher


Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher


Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher


Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher


Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher


Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher

We were getting ready to head for home when I saw two bluish birds having a bit of an argument in one of the trees. At first I thought they were two Blue-Gray Gnatcatchers, but when I saw green on one of the backs, I knew that it was a male Northern Parula - my fourth warbler species of the day.


Northern Parula


Northern Parula


Northern Parula


Northern Parula


Northern Parula


Northern Parula


Northern Parula


Northern Parula


Northern Parula


Northern Parula


Northern Parula


Northern Parula


Northern Parula


Northern Parula


Northern Parula


Northern Parula

On the way home, we stopped once again on Langhorne Road when we saw a herd of 15 deer.


Deer



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