Blue Ridge Parkway, VA, 5/2/16

All photos are Marshall Faintich

Walt Childs and I did a little birding this morning to look for warblers. We stopped near my house to take a look at a very large snapping turtle.


Snapping Turtle


Snapping Turtle

On our way up to the Blue Ridge Parkway, we took a short hike on the Rockfish Valley Trail where we saw 16 avian species, but no warblers. Of note were three White-eyed Vireos, and a first year male Blue Grosbeak along Reids Creek between the end of the downstream trail and the first wooden bridge. Blue Grosbeaks have nested in that area in previous years.


Blue Grosbeak


Indigo Bunting

We entered the parkway at Reids Gap (mm 14), and only had time to stop at our favorite warbler sites. The first was at Hickory Springs Overlook (mm 12). There were Hooded and Cerulean Warblers, American Redstarts, Eastern Towhees, a Red-tailed Hawk, several Common Ravens, and Turkey Vultures.


Hooded Warbler


Hooded Warbler


Cerulean Warbler


Cerulean Warbler


Cerulean Warbler


Cerulean Warbler going after a meal


American Redstart


Red-tailed Hawk


Common Raven

Our next stop was at the large cirque between mm 7 and mm 8. There were more Cerulean Warblers, American Redstarts, and a pair of Rose-breasted Grosbeaks.


American Redstart


American Redstart

We saw another Hooded Warbler at the mm 3 overlook, and heard Hooded Warblers and American Redstarts at the mm 2 Rockfish Valley Overlook.


Hooded Warbler



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