Walt Childs and I headed west into the Shenandoah Valley, stopping first at Swoope. We saw a Belted Kingfisher at its usual tree along Hewitt Road, and then three more of them at Smith Lake.
A bit father down the road we saw three Red-headed Woodpeckers, and then two more later while driving around Swoope, as well as our first of six American Kestrels there.
As we approached the entrance to the PRIVATE property where we have access to Smith Lake, we saw a Bald Eagle foraging on Cattleman Road, but it took off before I could get a good photo of it.
Smith Lake was fairly quiet, but we did see a fair number of species on and around the lake, although few of each species. A Willow Flycatcher was making whit calls in one of the trees along the lake.
We left Smith Lake and drove along some of the roads in Swoope where we saw a few more avian species. The highlight was seeing five Bobolinks in non-breeding plumage along North Mountain Road.
We then drove up Hite Hollow Road, south of Augusta Springs Wetlands, in the Allegheny Mountains. The drive up to the summit was almost completely devoid of birds that could be seen or heard. Just after crossing the summit, we picked up a male Scarlet Tanager that was starting to lose its breeding plumage.
A bit farther down the road, we encountered at least four Eastern Wood-Pewees. Most of them were singing their typical pee-wee song, but at least two of them were singing pur-ree. All of them that we saw, however, had white outer tail feathers. I don't recall ever seeing this feature on this species, and my references don't mention or show this, either. I don't know if they were immature birds or perhaps a different race, but would appreciate opinions.
We ended the day trip with 47 avian species - not bad for early August:
Great Blue Heron