Highland County, VA, 7/7/15

All photos are Marshall Faintich

Walt Childs and I took advantage of the one-day break in the weather, and headed up to the Blue Grass Valley in Highland County. As we neared Monterey on Route 250, we saw a Sharp-shinned Hawk being chased by two smaller birds. As we drove north from Monterey on Route 220, we spotted a high-flying, juvenile Bald Eagle that was gaining altitude and heading for Blue Grass.

Once we got to Blue Grass, we saw a variety of bird species. As we drove north on Wimer Moubtain Road, we stopped when we saw a perched, juvenile Bald Eagle, perhaps the same one that we saw near Montery. The eagle was being harassed by a Northern Mockingbird, but didn't pay much attention to it, and then took off after a couple of minutes.


Juvenile Bald Eagle


Juvenile Bald Eagle


Juvenile Bald Eagle


Juvenile Bald Eagle


Juvenile Bald Eagle

We contimued north of Wimer Mountain Road. We saw only a few species there, and heard only one warbler - a Common Yellowthroat.


Barn and Cliff Swallows


Field Sparrow

We headed back south and then turned west on Hardscrabble Road. After we drove past Hevener Road, we saw a pair of Red-headed Woodpeckers.


Red-headed Woodpeckers


Red-headed Woodpeckers

We returned to Hevener Road, and headed south where we saw a third Red-headed Woodpecker, and out first Bobolink of the day.


Bobolink

We hadn't been up to the Monongahela National Forest for a few years, so we headed west on Laurel Fork Road. There were a few Red-eyed and Blue-headed Vireos, some Wood Thrushes, and we saw a pair of Magnolia Warblers (my 22nd warbler species in 2015).


Blue-headed Vireo


Magnolia Warbler


Magnolia Warbler

We drove up Allegheny Road to look for Mourning Warblers, but the only warblers we heard there were a couple of Common Yellowthroats. We heard a pair of Veerys singing to each other, and they came close enough to us for a few photos.


Veery


Veery

The last leg of the trip before heading home was on Forest Road 54, where we encountered a few more species, including a juvenile Broad-winged Hawk.


Juvenile Broad-winged Hawk

As we headed for home, a pair of Red-tailed Hawks flew low over the car east of Monterey. Although we didn't see any one area that was exceptionally "birdy," we ended up with 45 avian species. Not too bad for a summer day trip here.



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