I went for a late morning hike here in Old Trail, and wasn't expecting to see many interesting species - just some of the more common woodland species.
Northern Cardinal and Eastern Bluebird
I hadn't hiked very far when I thought I saw a Carolina Wren hopping around in the vegetation along a fence line. When I got my camera focussed on the bird, I saw that it was a Northern Waterthrush! This was only the fourth time I have ever seen this species (in 12+ years of birding), only the third time in Virginia, and it is my Old Trail avian species #137.
About a qurter mile down the same trail, and along a creek, I heard the more common Louisiana Waterthrush singing, and was able to get a few photos of it.
Both waterthrush species are similar in appearance, but there are several differences. The Northern Waterthrush is a little smaller and has a shorter tail than the Louisiana. The Northern Waterthrush has mostly yellowish underparts, whereas the Louisiana is mostly white, but sometimes has buffy flanks. The Northern Waterthrush has a spotted throat, while the Lousiana usually has a clear throat, but sometimes a few throat spots. The supcillium (eyebrow) of the Lousiana is almost entirely white, and may broaden behind the eye, whereas the Northern's supercillium is pale yellowish, and is of even width or may taper behind the eye. Finally, the legs of the Lousiana are brighter pink than those of the Northern Waterthrush. Here are a couple of my photos from previous outings to better illustrate the differences.
Louisiana Waterthrush; Virginia, April 2019
Louisiana Waterthrush; Virginia, April 2018
On my return, I heard my third warbler species of the day - a Common Yellowthroat. I decided to do a little early afternoon birding, and hiked some of the Fire Trail at nearby Mint Springs Park, where I had five warbler species: another Common Yellowthroat (heard only), a male American Redstart, a male Hooded Warbler, a female Cerulean Warbler, and two males and one female Black-throated Blue Warbler.
Male and female Black-throated Blue Warblers
Male Hooded Warbler
Female Cerulean Warbler
Male American Redstart