Central Virginia, VA 5/10-14/18

All photos are © Marshall Faintich

This report covers three birding outings between May 10th and May 14th, but excludes my May 11th Skyline Drive trip which has its own report and photos.

May 10; Old Trail; Crozet, VA

I didn't have a lot of time for birding, but did take a quick hike along the creek near our house.

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Common Yellowthroat

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Common Yellowthroat

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Common Yellowthroat

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Gray Catbird

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White-breasted Nuthatch

May 13; Route 610 along the Blue Ridge Parkway

It was a beautiful, but hot morning, and I wanted to check out the parkway for migrating warblers, but also knew that being a Sunday and Mother's Day, the parkway would be jammed and noisy. And it was, so I did a short birding trip along parallel Route 610 between parkway mm. 2 and mm. 4. I heard Blackpoll Warblers at a few stops, but could not locate any of them. I did see several American Redstarts and Cerulean Warblers, and my First of Season Swainson's Thrush.

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Male American Redstart

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Female American Redstart

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Cerulean Warbler

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Swainson's Thrush

At one point, a warbler-sized bird flew into some vegetation, and started flapping its wings like it was airing them. I couldn't get a good look at this bird, but its bill doesn't look like that of a vireo. If it is a warbler, I can rule out female Black-throated Blue as I don't see a white wing patch, unless it's an unusual first spring female. I can also rule out all of the olive colored warblers that have wing bars, and can see that it has a split eye-ring. That leaves Tennessee and Orange-crowned Warblers as the remaining possible warbler species. Any opinons would be appreciated.

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Unidentified warbler(?)

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Unidentified warbler(?)

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Unidentified warbler(?)

May 14; Route 610 and the Blue Ridge Parkway

With significantly less traffic and noise this morning, I went back to the parkway to try to find a Blackpoll Warbler in addition to other interesting species. I heard American Redstarts, Cerulean Warblers, Ovenbirds, and Hooded Warblers at several locations. The best view I got of a Cerulean Warbler was along Route 610.

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Cerulean Warbler

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Cerulean Warbler

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Cerulean Warbler

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Cerulean Warbler

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Cerulean Warbler

I stopped at the northern (lower) and southern (upper) ends of the cirque around mm 7.5. At the northern end, two female warblers were having a territorial dispute. One was an American Redstart, and the other one was a Cerulean.

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Female Cerulean Warbler

At the southern end, I saw a Hooded Warbler and a Worm-eating Warbler, and then saw a female American Warbler pulling at a tent caterpillar web nest. I don't think that it was going after the larvae, but rather pulling off some of the web strands for nesting material.

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Hooded Warbler

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Worm-eating Warbler

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Female American Redstart

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Female American Redstart

I heard another Blackpoll Warbler, and stayed there for quite a while until I saw it fly, and then could see where it had momentarily perched (my 2018 Virginia warbler photo species #22).

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Blackpoll Warbler

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Blackpoll Warbler

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Blackpoll Warbler

There were more American Redstarts, Cerulean Warblers, and Hooded Warblers at Hickory Springs Overlook (mm. 12).

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Hooded Warbler

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Hooded Warbler

I then re-traced my route, and along Route 610 saw more American Redstarts and Cerulean Warblers. I also got some good looks at Swainson's and Wood Thrushes.

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Male American Redstart

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Swainson's Thrush

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Swainson's Thrush

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Swainson's Thrush

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Wood Thrush

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Wood Thrush

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Wood Thrush

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Wood Thrush

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Wood Thrush


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