We've had weird spring weather - variable heat, cold, rain, and sunshine. We had a bit of rain overnight again, but with temperatures dropping down into the mid-30's, there was snow in the mountains. Old Trail is in the Virginia Piedmont, just east of the Blue Ridge.
Blue Ridge Mountains seen from Old Trail
I wondered, once again, if the changing weather pattern would bring summer breeding and migrating birds here, and decided to hike here in Old Trail rather than drive elsewhere. I was not disappointed. I ended my morning hike with 43 avian species, and that didn't include a handful of species that I know are here at this time of year. Some of the birds were singing for mates, and others were just happy to take a breather in their journeys. I logged four warbler species, and the most cooperative was a Common Yellowthroat.
There was a lone Bufflehead in the pond along Old Trail Drive.
But the real action was at the pond along the golf course. There were five Buffleheads, a Pied-billed Grebe, and two Blue-winged Teals. Tree, Barn (my first of year), and Northern Rough-winged Swallows were skimming over the pond. My first of year Spotted Sandpiper flew across the pond.
Tree, Barn, and Northern Rough-winged Swallows
Circling above the pond was my first of year Osprey.
We get very few gulls this far from the coast, and a gull was floating in the pond. It looks to me like a Bonaparte's Gull that is molting into its breeding plumage, but flight photos showed reddish-orange rather than pink legs. I don't know what other gull species it could be, so I assume that Bonaparte's is correct.
This morning's bird list:
Great Blue Heron
Northern Rough-winged Swallow