It was another mid to upper 90s day, and with little wind, I didn't expect many new birds up on the parkway and Route 610. I spotted a Scarlet Tanager and a Red-tailed Hawk along 610 near mm. 3.
There was a lot of avian activity at the south, upper end of the cirque (mm. 7.5). I logged 15 avian species there, plus I heard a raptor call that was a very loud scream, but I couldn't see the raptor. I've heard this raptor call a few times in the past, but don't remember what species it was (Goshawk?). Most of the birds there were distant and in poor lighting, so I apologize for the quality of the photos.
Red-eyed Vireo and Blackburnian Warbler
Black and White Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Hickory Springs Overlook (mm. 12) was fairly quiet, but I saw a pair of Ravens there, and then saw a Hermit Thrush in the trees. This bold and complete white eye ring rules out Swainson's and Gray-cheeked Thrushes, and this is a very early Hermit Thrush, without even considering the fact that we're still having summer-like weather. The Virginia "Goldbook" has an October 15 arrival date in the mountains and valleys of Virginia for this species, and an extreme early date of October 2. But it is also a rare and very local summer resident in the mountains, so I don't know whether or not it has been here all summer long.
There were very few birds at 3 Ridges Overlook (mm. 13), but I did see a small flock of four Rose-breasted Grosbeaks that flew before I could get any photos. I returned to the cirque where I got my 7th warbler species of the day. A small warbler was foraging in dense vegetation, and I only got a quick look. It was probably a Common Yellowthroat, but Tennessee Warbler was also a possibility as its back looked somewhat greenish-gray, but that could have been the lighting. I got back onto Route 610, and stopped when I saw a Flycatcher that had a very dark vest. My mind went immediately to Olive-sided Flycatcher, but it was an Eastern Wood-Pewee. Nearby, I spotted a Swainson's Thrush.
A cold front is supposed to move in overnight and bring us normal October weather, and I'm hoping for another push of migrating birds.