Shenandoah Valley, VA, 6/13/15

All photos are Marshall Faintich

Walt Childs and I did some birding in the Shenandoah Valley today. I'm recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery five days ago, and needed to go to locations where I could either bird from the car, or walk short distances on level ground. On our way out of Stoney Creek, we saw a newly born fawn that was so small that it barely reached above the bottom board of a fence.


Walt and I started off a few miles south of Elkton, Virginia, where we walked a short distance along the river. We saw some good woodland birds, including three woodpecker species: Red-bellied, Downy, and Northern Flicker.

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Northern Flicker

We then drove north along the river where we saw only a few birds. A Red-tailed Hawk sat perched a good distance from the road, and an American Kestrel flew from a power line.

Red-tailed Hawk

American Goldfinch

We then headed to Swoope, and stopped along the way at Leonard's Pond. All we saw there were a few Mallards, a single Killdeer, and a few Barn and Tree Swallows.

Mallard and Killdeer

Tree Swallow

Birding in the Swoope area was much better. We stopped the car along Hewitt Road where a Grasshopper Sparrow didn't mind my taking some photos from the car a few feet away from it.

Grasshopper Sparrow

Grasshopper Sparrow

Grasshopper Sparrow

We saw a few more species at Smith Lake, including a probable Dickcissel, and one of the resident Bald Eagles was soaring far to the south of the lake.

Bald Eagle

As we drove around the Swoope area, we saw another Kestrel, a Sharp-shinned Hawk, heard a Bobwhite, saw a Bobolink flying, and Eastern Meadowlarks seemed to be everywhere we looked.

Eastern Meadowlark


Gray Catbird

Eastern Kingbird

We stopped one more time in Swoope when two Barn Swallows were preening on a fence, and didn't mind close-up photos from the car.

Barn Swallow

Barn Swallow

Barn Swallow

We ended the day trip with 35 avian species. It was good to get out and go birding.

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