Walt Childs and I did some birding in the Shenandoah Valley today. I'm recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery five days ago, and needed to go to locations where I could either bird from the car, or walk short distances on level ground. On our way out of Stoney Creek, we saw a newly born fawn that was so small that it barely reached above the bottom board of a fence.
Walt and I started off a few miles south of Elkton, Virginia, where we walked a short distance along the river. We saw some good woodland birds, including three woodpecker species: Red-bellied, Downy, and Northern Flicker.
We then drove north along the river where we saw only a few birds. A Red-tailed Hawk sat perched a good distance from the road, and an American Kestrel flew from a power line.
We then headed to Swoope, and stopped along the way at Leonard's Pond. All we saw there were a few Mallards, a single Killdeer, and a few Barn and Tree Swallows.
Mallard and Killdeer
Birding in the Swoope area was much better. We stopped the car along Hewitt Road where a Grasshopper Sparrow didn't mind my taking some photos from the car a few feet away from it.
We saw a few more species at Smith Lake, including a probable Dickcissel, and one of the resident Bald Eagles was soaring far to the south of the lake.
As we drove around the Swoope area, we saw another Kestrel, a Sharp-shinned Hawk, heard a Bobwhite, saw a Bobolink flying, and Eastern Meadowlarks seemed to be everywhere we looked.
We stopped one more time in Swoope when two Barn Swallows were preening on a fence, and didn't mind close-up photos from the car.
We ended the day trip with 35 avian species. It was good to get out and go birding.