Rockingham County, VA, 5/4/15

All photos are Marshall Faintich

There were reports last week of two Virginia Rails and a Sora at the Nazarenne Wetlands in Rockingham County. Although I have seen and photographed both species, I wanted to get better photos of a Virginia Rail. As I approached the small wetlands, it looked like there was a hawk circling over the wetlands. I parked my car, and when I got out to take a look, one large bird was flying away, and I saw an Osprey circling above. The Osprey looked me over very carefully, and then after circling a few times, flew away. I only got a couple of photos of the other large bird, and from a distance, it looked like a Turkey Vulture.


Osprey


Osprey


Osprey


Osprey

After looking at the photos of the other large bird, it doesn't look quite right to me to be a Turkey Vulture, both I don't have any other ideas as to what it might be.


Turkey Vulture(?)

There were some Red-winged Blackbirds, Canada Geese, Mallards, House Sparrows, Eastern Meadowlarks, Common Grackles, and Tree Swallows. I stayed there for almost an hour, but never saw or even heard the Virginia Rails or Sora. One of the female Red-winged Blackbirds had a bright red shoulder patch - only the second time I have seen this feature on a female of that species.


Male Red-winged Blackbird


Female Red-winged Blackbird

A few minutes after the Osprey left, a Common Raven flew over with some food in its bill, and it was being chased by one of the Red-winged Blackbirds. And then a Common Grackle joined in the chase. On one of the photos of the Raven, it appears to have a bi-colored underwing pattern, and I wonder if this was the same bird that I saw a few minutes earlier that I thought might have been a vulture??


Common Raven


Common Raven and Red-winged Blackbird


Common Raven and Red-winged Blackbird


Common Raven and Red-winged Blackbird


Common Raven, Common Grackle, and Red-winged Blackbird

From there, I went over to Paul State Forest, where a fair number of warbler species were reported last week. It really wasn't very "birdy," and the only warbler species I saw there were a few Yellow-rumped, although I did hear what sounded like two other warbler species that I could not locate or identify. I saw a Swamp Sparrow there that had white in the front of its supercillum (eyebrow) - probably an immature bird. The highlight of the day for me was some good looks at a Wood Thrush.


Swamp Sparrow


Swamp Sparrow


Wood Thrush


Wood Thrush


Wood Thrush

I stopped off at Ridegview Park on the way home, and saw only a few birds there, including a few more Yellow-rumped Warblers.


Yellow-rumped Warbler



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