Blue Ridge Parkway 9/9/11

All photos are Marshall Faintich

It was a good morning for watching warblers on the parkway. There was still some fog and lots of clouds when I arrived at 9:30 a.m. at the cirque between mile markers 7 and 8, one of my two favorite warbler spots on the first 14 miles of the parkway. There wasn't any activity there, but I could hear birds just south of where I parked, and I headed uphill a short distance to the next open area. I saw seven species of warblers there. Fall warblers, especially females and immature birds, can be difficult to identify because of plumage similarities between species, and the poor lighting added to the difficulty. Other opinions on the identifications are appreciated.

By 10:00 the fog had cleared, but the warblers had moved on. I then went to my other favorite warbler spot on the north end of the parkway, Hickory Springs overlook, but I did not see any warblers there.

Hooded Warbler (male)

Cape May Warbler (female)

Cape May Warbler (male)

Cape May Warbler (female and first fall female)

Cape May Warbler (first fall female)

Blackburnian Warbler (female)

Blackburnian Warbler (male)

Getting a good photo of a male Blackburnian Warbler has been an elusive goal for me, and as you can see from the photos below, remains as such.

Black-throated Blue Warbler (male)

Black-throated Green Warbler (male)

Tennessee(?) Warbler (female)

Palm(?) Warbler

Not too sure about this one - note the olive upper tail coverts.

Other birds on the parkway

I saw Carolina Chicakadees, Tufted Titmice, American Goldfinches, a Red-eyed Vireo, and a Red-tailed Hawk.

Red-eyed Vireo

Red-tailed Hawk

Unidentified (juvenile Rose-breasted Grosbeak??)

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