Shenandoah Valley, VA, 4/21/16

All photos are Marshall Faintich

Walt Childs and I headed west over the Blue Ridge mountains and did some birding in the Shenandoah Valley. Our first stop was at Ridgeview Park in Waynesboro. This park has a large wooded area and can be quite good for warblers, but the trails are loaded with walkers (and some dogs) on weekends and holidays. It was quite "birdy" this morning, but we only saw one warbler species. There were quite a few Blue-headed Vireos there, and at least one White-eyed Vireo.


Blue-headed Vireo


Blue-headed Vireo


Blue-headed Vireo


White-eyed Vireo


Yellow-rumped Warbler


Yellow-rumped Warbler


Yellow-rumped Warbler

A pair of Yellow-rumped Warblers were foraging together, and I assume that the darker one was a male and the lighter one was a female. But I haven't often seen such light breast markings in breeding plumage as on this female. Perhaps it was a first year bird.


Yellow-rumped Warbler


Yellow-rumped Warbler


Yellow-rumped Warbler


Red-bellied Woodpecker


Downy Woodpecker


Tufted Titmouse


House Wren

We then went to Swoope to check on the Bald Eagles and what else we might see there. We saw a few American Kestrels, two of the four Red-tailed Hawks for this trip, lots of Eastern Meadowlarks, and a good variety of avian species. The Bald Eagles were tending to two eaglets in their nest. I was able to get closer views from Hewitt Road, but got better views of the eaglets from Smith Lake.


Bald Eagles (from Smith Lake)


Bald Eagles (from Hewitt Road)


Blue-gray Gnatcatcher


Northern Rough-winged Swallow about to swallow a meal


Red-tailed Hawk


Spotted Sandpiper

We did some birding at the Augusta Springs wetlands, but birding there was poor, and we ended the day trip with 41 avian species.



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