Walt Childs and I hadn't been up on Hite Hollow Road in the Allegheny Mountains of Augusta County since early spring, and we decided to give it a try. We made a quick stop at the Augusta Springs wetlands just before getting there, and I got a photo of a juvenile Eastern Phoebe. Its bill looks really long for a Phoebe, but the yellow is turning black, and I can't think of what else it might be.
Juvenile Eastern Phoebe
Clouds rolled in, and it was rather overcast as we started up Hite Hollow. We started hearing birds once we passed the public shooting range, and the first warbler we encountered was a Hooded, but we only heard it. A bit higher up the road, the birds started to get more numerous, but it still wasn't as "birdy' as I had expected. I got a quick look at a Black and White Warbler, and a juvenile Eastern Towhee was foraging with its papa.
Black and White Warbler
Juvenile Eastern Towhee
We continued up towards the summit, and stopped when there was a bit more avian activity. Scarlet Tanagers were flying about. I saw a Blue-headed Vireo that had dark areas on its face and breast, and I wondered if it was a juvenile. A Rose-breasted Grosbeak appeared, and it was probably a juvenile as it had very light breast streaking for an adult female. I got a quick look at a female American Redstart for our third warbler of the day.
Female American Redstart
Farther up and a little beofre the summit, we heard several more Scarlet Tanagers, and saw a Pine Warbler.
There were qutie a few American Goldfinches and a few Indigo Buntings on Hite Hollow.
Once we reached the summit, we had to decide whether to turn around and go back the way we came, or continue down the west side and around to Old Parkersburg Pike. This latter choice was a considerably longer drive, but we decided to do it. Along the way, we saw some Butterfly Weed and some very orange fungus at the base of a rotting tree stump.
Butterfly Weed and Pipevine Swallowtail
Orange Tree Fungus
We saw almost no birds all the way to Old Parkersburg Pike, but then we started seeing more avian activity once we turned onto that road and started up the mountain. We encountered at least three Ovenbirds, saw a male and female Scarlet Tanager, and a pair of small yellow birds that might have been young Scarlet Tanagers.
We decided to do a short drive around Swoope before heading to the east side of the Blue Ridge Mountains. We did not see any Bobolinks or Dickcissels, but saw a good mix of avian species that brought our day total to 48 species.
Great Blue Herons
Adult and juvenile Savannah Sparrows