Now that Alice and I are mostly moved into our new home in the Old Trail subdivision in Crozet, I can return to birding more often. Old Trail has 6+ miles of hiking along the Lindy Bain loop trail with a few off trail paths, and I wanted to start by exploring these trails. In prior years, I had birded a few locations on this trail, but now I want to see where all the paths go. Access to this trail is less than 100 yards from my front door.
I logged 20 avian species in two morning hikes, although I didn't see any warbler species.
It's now a 10 minute drive to Lickinghole Creek and Reservoir, rather than the 40 minute drive I had to make from Stoney Creek. I parked at the end of the cul-de-sac on Fairwinds Lane, and started out on the path along Lickinghole Creek. The first small wooden bridge on the path has been removed, and large rocks have been put there for drainage into the creek. These rocks were difficult to navigate in order to continue on the path, and the wooden bridge was off to the side of the path. I hope that the bridge will be replaced, although it looks like a longer bridge is now needed to go across the rocks. There were very few birds along the creek, and not that many around or in the reservoir, but I did manage to log 21 avian species there including two warbler species, but not including the escaped Black Swan that has been there for months now.
Rockfish Gap (hawk watch, start of the Blue Ridge Parkway, and end of Skyline Drive) is now 10 minutes from my new house, in contrast to the 25 minute drive I had from Stoney Creek. I headed south on the parkway, but saw very few birds there. The best location along the first 12 miles of the parkway was at the south end of the cirque between mm. 7 and mm. 8. Most of the birds at the cirque were at the tree line at the bottom of the sloped terrain from the parkway, so they were fairly far from where I could photograph them.
Cape May Warbler
Cape May Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
I saw a caterpillar on the parkway that reminded me of a very tiny Yorkshire Terrier, and a bear ran across the parkway in front of me, but I was only able to get one quick photo through my car windshield.
It's been very warm this week, and with the high temperatures and the hurricane off the east coast, I think that many migrating avian species are still to the north of us. Perhaps the cooler temperatures forecasted for next week will bring more birds to the area.