Augusta and Nelson Counties, VA, 5/13/16

All photos are Marshall Faintich

It just keeps raining! We have had measurable rain every day now for more than three weeks. The rain ended about 9:30 this morning, and when I arrived at Ridgeview Park in Waynesboro at 10:00, the skies were still fairly dark. I think that the birds were still spooked, or gone, after the weed-whacking in the wooded area three days ago. I did see a few good birds - a quick glance at the Gray-cheeked Thrush I saw there last time in about the same location, a quick view of a Veery and I heard it singing a few minutes later, and one warbler species: a lone Magnolia Warbler. Although I had seen Magnolia Warblers many times in autumn non-breeding plumage, and a few times in spring breeding plumage in other states, this was the first time I have seen a spring breeding plumage Magnolia Warbler in Virginia. I ended up with about a dozen avian species at the park, including American Robins in the soccer fields.


Magnolia Warbler


Magnolia Warbler


Northern Cardinal


Red-eyed Vireo

I drove up on the Blue Ridge Parkway, and saw and heard American Redstarts and Cerulean Warblers all along the first 12 miles. The best stop was at my favorite site there - Hickory Springs Overlook (mm 12) where I had at least a dozen avian species, including my fourth thrush of the day - a Wood Thrush singing loudly in the woods. A cluster of five Common Ravens did some aerial maneuvers overhead.


Scarlet Tanager


Common Raven


Common Raven


Indigo Bunting


Red-eyed Vireo


Eastern Bluebird


Cedar Waxwing


American Redstart


American Redstart


Cerulean Warbler


Cerulean Warbler


Cerulean Warbler


Cerulean Warbler


Cerulean Warbler

I continued down the parkway to about mm 18, and saw more Redstarts and Cerulean Warblers, and heard a Hooded Warbler near route 814, but could not locate it. I returned to Reids Gap (mm 14) and ended the outing with a short hike on the Rockfish Valley Trail. Common Yellowthroats, Yellow-breasted Chats, and White-eyed Vireos nest there every summer, and I saw at least two of each of these species. I also logged my third vireo of the day - a Warbling Vireo was singing in the trees just south of the first wooden bridge over Reids Creek. Every time I have seen a migrating Warbling Vireo on the Rockfish Valley Trail, it has been in the same tree cluster.


White-eyed Vireo


Common Yellowthroat


Yellow-breasted Chat


Yellow-breasted Chat


Yellow-breasted Chat


Yellow-breasted Chat


Yellow-breasted Chat


Yellow-breasted Chat



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