Rockfish Valley Trail 6/3/11

All photos are Marshall Faintich

It was a beautiful morning. The high heat and humidity was replaced with temperatures in the low 80s, much lower humidity, and a light breeze. I was on the trail from 8:30 to 10:00, and although I saw 20 to 25 species, the number of birds out and about was low to medium. Perhaps the earlier June sunrise time got them out before I arrived, or perhaps the previous days' high heat, even in the early morning hours, had altered avian schedules??

The Yellow-breasted Chat was still about half way between the two wooden bridges on Glenthorne Loop, the same area where one resided all of last summer. I also saw a juvenile male Downy Woodpecker that still had its rust-colored crown and was just starting to get its red nape patch. A female Blue Grosbeak made an appearance, and I got one photo of an unusual swallow. There were lots of Tree, Barn, and Northern Rough-winged Swallows on the trail. This one could be juvenile Tree Swallow with an exceptionally dark breast band, but it looks more like a Bank Swallow to me - a bit late in the year for one to be on the trail.

Yellow-breasted Chat

Juvenile male Downy Woodpecker

Female Blue Grosbeak

Bank(?) Swallow

Around 7 p.m. I was sitting on the deck at my house in Stoney Creek, and was treated to a "first for my yard" bird - a very vocal Scarlet Tanager.

Scarlet Tanager

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