Rockfish Valley, VA, 4/10/16

All photos are Marshall Faintich

Still chilly, but sunny here in the Rockfish Valley. I drove to the Rockfish Valley Trail, and as I approached the area, I remembered that the yearly kite festival was there today. Well, at least it was on the field on the other side of the Rockfish River. But the trail was really quiet. I could smell charcoal lighter fluid from the bar-b-ques over at the festival. I did see a Great Blue Heron flying away, and most of the birds I saw there this morning were in and near the bog area. However, as I was trying to photograph some birds in the bog area, a group of 15 to 20 bicyclists rode right past me on the trail, and that was it for bog area birding. I did hear a Belted Kingfisher along the Rockfish River, spent about 10 minutes walking slowly over to where I heard it so as not to spook the Kingfisher, and as soon as I got there, half of the cyclists rode their bikes right past me again. Bye-bye, Kingfisher. I saw/heard only 12 avian species on the trail this morning. It's really a shame that the best birding site in central Virginia has been reduced to a poor birding site because of development of adjacent properties and unrestricted use of sensitive wildlife areas on the trail itself.


Ruby-crowned Kinglet


Golden-crowned Kinglet


Field Sparrow

When I got back to Stoney Creek, I did a short hike past Sawmill Creek pond #3 and Lake Monocan, and I added seven new avian species to the morning list. There was also another Great Blue Heron as well as another Belted Kingfisher. I heard some crows making a racket, and when I turned around, I saw a Bald Eagle flying away.


Great Blue Heron


Bald Eagle



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