Augusta County, VA, 6/10/16

All photos are Marshall Faintich

Some birding days turn out to be exceptional - today was one of those days. One never knows what might been seen, and finding a life bird or witnessing a new avian behavior can make for a great trip. Walt Childs and I hadn't been up to Hite Hollow Road in the Allegheny Mountains off of Route 42 for at least a year, and it can be a good place to find warblers, especially during migration. But the summer residents are in place, and we didn't know what to expect. We logged a half dozen avian species by the time we arrived and started the ascent up Hite Hollow Road. We saw many more birds on the east side ascent than on the west side going down, and ended up with seven warbler species: at least three pairs of Worm-eating Warblers, eight or more Ovenbirds, a couple of Black and White Warblers, two Black-throated Green Warblers, a quick view of a Pine Warbler, and we heard at least one American Redstart and one Hooded Warbler.


View from the east side of Hite Hollow Road


Ovenbird


Ovenbird


Worm-eating Warbler


Worm-eating Warbler


Black and White Warbler


Black and White Warbler


Black-throated Green Warbler


Black-throated Green Warbler

By the time we finished birding on Hite Hollow Road, we were up to 38 avian species for the day.


Yellow-billed Cuckoo


Red-tailed Hawk


Red-tailed Hawk

But it was the Scarlet Tanagers that stole the show on Hite Hollow Road. It seemed like there was a Scarlet Tanager every time we made a turn on the ascent.


Scarlet Tanager


Scarlet Tanager


Scarlet Tanager


Scarlet Tanager


Scarlet Tanager


Scarlet Tanager

Near the summit, I saw a bird that I couldn't identify, at least, at first. Here are some photos, and see if you know what it is.


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And then Walt and I figured it out. When this mystery bird landed in the tree and was facing me, it started singing and the same song was repeated by another nearby bird that soon appeared.


Female Scarlet Tanager

The mystery bird was a Scarlet Tanager fledgling! The first one either of us had ever seen.

Well, that was really neat. Little did we know that there was more to come. We then headed for Swoope.

Click here to continue to the Swoope part of the day trip


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