The Old Trail community in Crozet can be a good birding location, and I have lived here for more than two years now, and have birded here for several years. 183 avian species have been reported here, and I have seen 131 of these species in Old Trail. The community completely surrounds the Albemarle County Western Park, and the Lindy Bain loop trail winds through Western Park and wooded areas, and by a few man-made ponds and retention ponds. The trail is about four miles long, depending which routes are taken. Western Park has a great wetlands area, and is currently undeveloped except for a small community garden and a soccer field, although the county plans to start developing some of this park with playgrounds and other amenities that will reduce the birding opportunities.
It was a frosty morning, but the bright sun made for good birding. I started off behind the lodge, and hiked along Western Park and the plateau loop. I often hike (dotted yellow line) around the soccer field and past the community garden, and then through the wetlands, but the trail through the wetlands has been waterlogged and muddy for a few months now, and I wanted to save my hiking for some other sections of the trail, so I skipped the soccer field. By the time I finished this hike segment, I had logged 19 avian species, and saw three deer that were hunkered down in the brush.
Female Red-winged Blackbird
One of our two resident Red-shouldered Hawks
The next part of my hike was along the golf course pond. As soon as I got there, I saw a Great Blue Heron and a Belted Kingfisher. A male Pileated Woodpecker was on one side of the pond, and the female on the other side. I added nine more avian species to my day's list.
Great Blue Heron
Male Pileated Woodpecker
Female Pileated Woodpecker
The last part of my hike was along Slabtown Branch Creek, where I added four more species to my day's list.
Female Downy Woodpecker
Male Downy Woodpecker
When I got back to my house, there was a Mourning Dove on the ground below my bird feeder, making it 33 avain species for the day, and I missed 4 or 5 of my usually seen winter species.
Great Blue Heron