East of the Blue Ridge 11/16-20/13; Stoney Creek; Crozet; Rockfish Valley Trail

All photos are Marshall Faintich

Stoney Creek (Wintergreen) 11/16-20/13

During the past few days, I have seen 20 to 25 avian species here in Stoney Creek. There was a House Finch at our feeder early one morning, and the "through-the-window" photos show a partial red crown, so I suspect that this bird may an immature male.

House Finch

House Finch

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker

Golden-crowned Kinglet

Eastern Bluebird

Mallards and Wood Ducks

White-tailed Deer

Crozet, Virginia 11/19/13

Walt Childs and I stopped at various locations in Crozet to look for migrating lake and shore birds, but we only saw a few of them. We started off at Lickinghole Creek and Reservoir where we logged 22 species. Additional stops at Beaver Dam Lake, the wetlands at King Family Vineyards, and the Old Trail golf course pond yielded another 5 species. Some of the Carolina Wrens had fresh, brilliant orange plumage. At the Old Trail pond we saw a Pied-billed Grebe that looked very white, but it's coloring may have been an illumination artifact, and we saw an Accipiter hawk that was either a large Sharp-shinned or a small Cooper's, but the mostly squared-off tail points us to a Sharpie as the most likely.

Carolina Wren

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Northern Cardinals

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Northern Mockingbird

Ruddy Ducks

Pied-billed Grebe

White-throated Sparrow

Juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk

Sharp-shinned Hawk

Sharp-shinned Hawk

Rockfish Valley Trail 11/20/13

The temperatures this morning were in the upper 30s/low 40s, and northerly breezes made it feel quite chilly. I only saw 17 species on the trail, but there were lots of sparrows that were difficult to see. The grasses between the downstream picnic table and the bog area, and on the east side of Reid's Creek, are dense and three to four feet high. Sparrows would pop up for a moment, and then drop down and were hidden from view. Even when a sparrow perched near the top of a grass stalk, the bird's weight bent the grass down to the ground. The dense grasses did offer one surprise: neither a young deer nor I saw each other until we were almost nose-to-nose, and when the deer froze, I got off a few good close-up photos.

Cedar Waxwing

Song Sparrow

Field Sparrow

White-tailed Deer

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