Before getting into this trip report, I want to share a few photos from the past few days here in Old Trail (Crozet, VA).
Great Blue Heron
We had light rain overnight, and there was considerable cloudiness and occasional light rain most of the day. Walt Childs and I did some birding in Augusta and Rockingham counties in the Shenandoah Valley. Our first stop was along Strickley Road in Augusta County where we saw a small flock of Horned Larks, and a few sparrows, doves, and starlings. We saw a female American Kestrel chasing a pair of Eastern Meadowlarks, and it appears all she wanted them to do was to move away fron her foraging area.
We made our way to the Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport, and saw several avian species along the way, including a very light-colored Red-tailed Hawk that might have had some Krider's sub-species in its genetic makeup.
Female Eastern Towhee
Female Red-bellied Woodpecker
Turkey Vulture drying its wings
Male American Kestrel
We then drove to Leonard's Pond. The only birds there were some Canada Geese, and Nazarene Wetlands was also void of all but a few geese and two Ruddy Ducks. Next stop was Silver Lake in Dayton, where we saw about 15 Northern Shovelers.
We drove along some of the Rockingham and Augusta County farm fields, and added a few more species to bring the day's trip total to 35 avian species.
Female Belted Kingfisher
Juvenile White-crowned Sparrow
The trip highlight for me was a Red-tailed Hawk that was looking for prey from a power line. I got out of the car, and walked slowly to where it was perched. The hawk looked at me a few times, but once it realized that I meant no harm, it let me walk to almost directly underneath it and take as many photos as I wanted. After a few minutes, and many, many, photos, I went back to the car, and the Red-tailed Hawk hadn't moved from its perch.