It was another hot and humid today, and the only comfortable places to go birding were at higher mountainous areas, so Walt Childs and I decided to try Skyline Drive. We had been there three weeks earlier, and were greatly limited by fog. It was a 25 mile drive to Loft Mountain, and along the way, we spotted a rather large bear on the Skyline Drive, but it scampered up and into the woods by the time I could get a photo through the car's windshield.
At Loft Mountain, we parked near the amphitheater and birded nearby trails, where we saw 19 avian species, including 4 warbler species. We got good looks at the reddish-orange vent area on Gray Catbirds - a feature often hidden in their normal poses.
We saw a very young bird, and it was probably a recently fledged Indigo Bunting, but other ideas are welcomed.
Recently fledged Indigo Bunting?
Our next stop was at the Hightop Mountain parking area just south of Route 33. A Kentucky Warbler was singing on the east side of the road, and I saw it fly twice, but it never stopped in view for a photo. We proceeded on to Pocosin Cabin a few miles north of Route 33. It was fairly dark with all the tree cover, and most of the birds we heard and saw were near to where we could park. We added four more trip species there.
Black and White Warbler
We exited Skyline Drive at Route 33, and took Route 340 back to I-64, and added a few more trip species, bringing our trip total to 32 avian species.