The weather was great for birding today. Although I knew it was a bit early for warblers at the higher elevations, I have been champing at the bit to try to find some early migrants. I started out at Reid's Gap (mm. 14) on the Blue Ridge Parkway, and did a little birding there. It was fairly quiet, but the views from 3 Ridges Overlook were just super.
The parkway is still closed from Reid's Gap north to Rockfish Gap, so I headed south. It was fairly quiet. I stopped to photograph a circling Red-tailed Hawk, and drove all the way to Bald Mountain Overlook (mm. 22). All I saw there was an American Goldfinch. I turned around, and headed back north. Near the Slacks Overlook (mm. 19), I saw a Pine Warbler.
Just south of The Priest (mm. 17), I stopped when there was a bit of avian activity. I heard my first of year Black and White Warbler, but could not see it, and saw a Blue-headed Vireo, an American Redstart, a Downy Woodpecker, Chipping Sparrows, and a Tufted Titmouse.
I stopped again at Reid's Gap, but it was quiet, and headed down Route 664 into the Rockfish Valley. Along the way, I heard a Louisiana Waterthrush singing by the creek to the north of the road, but did not stop to look for it. I did a little birding at some of my old birding sites in the Rockfish Valley. I was able to get a partial photo of an uncooperative Common Yellowthroat, and saw a Yellow-rumped Warbler, making it six warbler species for the day.
I also got some photos of one of my favorite species - White-eyed Vireo. I had heard one last week in Ridgeview Park, but this one was my first sighting of one this year.
I saw some more woodland species, and a gathering of turtles!
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher gathering nesting material
Today's trip list (35 avian species):
Northern Rough-winged Swallow