Warren Ferry, VA, 4/13/16

All photos are Marshall Faintich

Yellow-throated Warblers are uncommon here, and even when you can hear them singing, they are difficult to see as they prefer to be high up in the tree canopy, and are usually hidden by leaves. However, they are early returnees to the area, and if you can see them before the leaves are fully grown, then sometimes you can get a good view of this beautiful species. The best place to see them around here is at Warren Ferry at the James River. Warren Ferry has been closed for many years, and a small bridge crosses a creek just before the ferry landing. Yellow-throated Warblers can be seen anywhere from the railroad crossing to the James River, but the best place to see them is in a huge sycamore tree immediately past the small bridge. I call this tree the Stauffer Miller tree (a Charlottesville birder) because Stauffer told me four years ago to look in that tree for my life bird Yellow-throated Warbler, and sure enough, one was there. I go there each spring now to look for them, and they are always there. During there spring months, a dozen or so avian species, including other warblers such as Prothonotary and Yellow Warblers, may be there as well. Walt Childs and I went to Warren Ferry on April 2, but it was too early in the season, and we didn't see much other than a distant Bald Eagle's nest south (upstream) along the James River.

Walt and I went back there today, and sure enought, a pair of Yellow-throated Warblers were singing in Stauffer's sycamore tree, and flying back and forth along the creek. We also saw a fair number of other avian species there. The Yellow-throated Warblers were fairly high up in the trees, but I was able to get a few good photos.


Yellow-throated Warbler


Yellow-throated Warbler


Yellow-throated Warbler


Yellow-throated Warbler


Yellow-throated Warbler


Yellow-throated Warbler


Yellow-throated Warbler


Yellow-throated Warbler


Yellow-throated Warbler


Yellow-throated Warbler


Yellow-throated Warbler


Yellow-throated Warbler


Yellow-throated Warbler

We saw 18 avian species there in the morning, and the Bald Eagle was working on its nest.


Blue-gray Gnatcatcher


American Goldfinch


Red-tailed Hawk


Bald Eagle

As we were leaving, we saw a beaver at the mouth of the creek where it emptied into the James River, and then the beaver swam right towards us as we watched from the bridge. The beaver had a mouthful of vegetation.


Beaver


Beaver


Beaver

We went from there to Totier Creek park, but all we saw there were a few Blue-gray Gnatcatchers and White-throated Sparrows, so after a quick lunch, we decided to go back to Warren Ferry and points south of there.

Soon after returning to Warren Ferry, we heard a racket on the James River. An American Crow was chasing the Bald Eagle downstream.


Bald Eagle


Bald Eagle

And to our surprise, both Yellow-throated Warblers were much closer to the ground and moving back and forth between the smaller trees - they were gathering nesting materials.


Yellow-throated Warbler


Yellow-throated Warbler


Yellow-throated Warbler


Yellow-throated Warbler


Yellow-throated Warbler


Yellow-throated Warbler


Yellow-throated Warbler


Yellow-throated Warbler


Yellow-throated Warbler


Yellow-throated Warbler


Yellow-throated Warbler


Yellow-throated Warbler


Yellow-throated Warbler


Yellow-throated Warbler

By the time we left Warren Ferry, we had 27 avian species there that day, plus the beaver!

We made our way south, and then west, back into Nelson County, and stopped along the Rockfish River when we heard a pair of Louisiana Waterthrushes singing.


Louisiana Waterthrush


Louisiana Waterthrush


Louisiana Waterthrush


Louisiana Waterthrush


Louisiana Waterthrush

Our last stop was a very short hike on the Rockfish Valley Trail, where we added two more avian species to bring the trip list to 35.


Great Blue Heron

Trip List:

Warren Ferry

Turkey Vulture
Black Vulture
Red-tailed Hawk
American Crow
American Goldfinch
Bald Eagle
Belted Kingfisher
Blue Jay
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Canada Goose
Carolina Chickadee
Carolina Wren
Chipping Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Double-crested Cormorant
Eastern Phoebe
Field Sparrow
Fish Crow
Hairy Woodpecker
Mourning Dove
Northern Cardinal
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Tree Swallow
Tufted Titmouse
White-throated Sparrow
Yellow-throated Warbler

Other than Warren Ferry

American Robin
Eastern Bluebird
Eastern Towhee
European Starling
Great Blue Heron
Louisiana Waterthrush
Pileated Woodpecker
Pine Warbler



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