Stoney Creek (Wintergreen) 8/11/11

All photos are Marshall Faintich

The good news is that this morning was cool, low humidity, and clear. The bad news is that this morning was cool, low humidity, and clear. People here in Stoney Creek were hiking, walking dogs, playing golf and tennis; workmen were mowing grass and working on homes. I wasn't sure how much I would see with all of this activity.

I started off at Sawmill Creek pond # 3, walked to Lake Monocan, down to the Allen Creek Nature Preserve, up along the Deer Run pine forest and back to my starting point. There were a few Canada Geese, Cardinals, Bluebirds, sparrows, Phoebes, Crows, Titmice, Carolina Chickadees, and a female Scarlet Tanager.

Female Scarlet Tanager

I thought it a bit odd that I did not see a single vulture, or perhaps a hawk, taking advantage of the nice morning. When I got back to Sawmill Creek pond # 3, I checked it again. There was no wind, and the trees on the far side reflected perfectly in the mirror-like surface of the water. Suddenly, I saw the reflection of a hawk in the water through my camera lens. I looked up but could not locate the hawk. And then I realized that I had not seen a reflection, but the actual hawk skimming the water's surface. I looked around and saw a Cooper's Hawk cross the earthen dam and fly just above the ground into some trees.

Cooper's Hawk

Cooper's Hawk

I then headed over to the stables to see if Barn Swallows were still there, as they seem to have left the Rockfish Valley Trail. Sure enough, they were flying in and out of the red barn.

Barn Swallows

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