UGH! The hot and hazy dog days of summer are here. I'd go up to the higher Allegheny Mountains to do some birding in cooler weather conditions, but with greater than minimal chance of afternoon thunderstorms almost every day, it's not worth the hour-plus drive each way. I'm only 10 to 15 minutes from the Blue Ridge Parkway, but it's all the same nesting species, and the parkway isn't as high in elevation as the Allegheny Mountains where the tree canopy is less dense.June 27
I hiked here for a bit in the mid-afternoon. The temperature was 92 degrees, so I stayed mostly in shaded trail areas, but didn't see much. As I neared home, a Red-shouldered Hawk was perched for a few good photos.
When I left my house at 9:00, it was already 83 degrees, and there was hazy dust in the air from the Saharan dust cloud that has reached the southeastern US. By 10:30, it was 87 degrees, and I had logged 34 avian species. I heard 3 Common Yellowthroats and 1 Yellow Warbler, but didn't see them in the dense tree canopies. The surprise of the hike was a juvenile male American Redstart.
Juvenile male American Redstart
Great Blue Heron
Barn Swallow in nest