The temperatures have dropped a bit, but the humidity has really climbed, and combined with some overcast made for a very hazy morning on the Rockfish Valley Trail. At least I got there this time before 9 a.m. [it was 8:55 : - )].
Lots of bird activity from the usual summer birds on the trail - Cardinals, Bluebirds, swallows, vultures, Chipping/Song/Field Sparrows, Indigo Buntings, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Eastern Meadowlarks, Carolina Wrens, House and American Goldfinches, Rock Pigeon in her nest, heard at least one Bobwhite, etc. A large number of Phoebes were having a field day (pun intended). A Red-winged Blackbird was chasing an American Crow. I saw lots of butterflies, especially Tiger and Black Swallowtails.
Although I have seen them many times on the Rockfish Valley Trail, the highlights of the morning for me were a small flock of Cedar Waxwings that included some juveniles, and a male Common Yellowthroat warbler.
Noticeably absent: our resident Belted Kingfishers, Green and Great Blue Herons. Haven't seen them since before this last round of very hot weather. The Rockfish River along the upstream and downstream trails is very low, and I suspect that these birds have moved farther downstream after the RR is joined by Reids Creek. If you want to see these birds, try along the Spruce Creek Park section of the trail where the RR should have more water in it.
Cedar Waxwing juvenile
Crow and Red-winged Blackbird
Black and Tiger Swallowtails