Rockfish Valley, Virginia, 9/5-6/15

All photos are Marshall Faintich

Stoney Creek (Wintergreen); September 5

After birding under gray skies this morning at the Rockfish Valley Trail, I did some late afternoon birding under sunny skies close to home in and near the Allen Creek Nature Preserve. I saw a few species, and heard the call of a Willow Flycatcher.


Red-eyed Vireo


Scarlet Tanager


Willow Flycatcher


Willow Flycatcher


Ruby-throated Hummingbird

And then a Magnolia Warbler popped up right in front of me - my second one of the day.


Magnolia Warbler


Magnolia Warbler

September 6

I was eager to see if more warblers had come in during the night, so I did an early (for me) morning hike back to the Allen Creek Nature Preserve. Dew hanging from spider webs sparkled in the early morning sunlight.


Spider web

Carolina Wrens were singing, and other common birds were out and about, but I didn't see any warblers.


Carolina Wren

So I headed back to the Rockfish Valley Trail to see if any other warblers had joined the Magnolia Warbler I had seen there yesterday morning. Most of the birds I saw this morning were common summer birds. A Willow Flycatcher made an appearance as well.


Indigo Bunting


Willow Flycatcher

I met up with a couple of birders from Charlottesville, and as we walked along the downstream trail, a warbler darted out of the dense brush and back in again. I got off a few photos, and in the field thought it was a Nashville Warbler. It then flew from the brush and into the vegetation along the Rockfish River, and we lost sight of it. When I got home later that morning, I started processing photos on my computer, and this warbler didn't look right for a Nashville. It had a short, pale bill, completely yellow underside, and pink legs. Even though the yellow throat made me think Nashville, I now am fairly sure it was a Mourning Warbler - a rare visitor to the Rockfish Valley Trail.


Mourning Warbler?


Mourning Warbler?


Mourning Warbler?


Mourning Warbler?


Mourning Warbler?



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