Rockfish Valley Trail 4/4/12

All photos are Marshall Faintich

Warm gulf moisture brought humid and still air to the trail this morning, and lots of flies! But a northwesterly cool front is moving into the area that will bring some rain later today and cooler air tomorrow. I arrived at the trail at 8:30 this morning, and in two hours recorded 33 species. Highlights were my First-of-Year Northern Rough-winged Swallow, and the male and female American Kestrels. I saw the Kestrels on the tree at the end of the fenced field on the upstream trail, but when they flew away, both of the Kestrels headed to the east side of route 151, and continued flying east until I could no longer see them. Maybe they were going to check out the new kestrel box?

I saw a pair of Mallards swimming upstream in the Rockfish River. I have seen Mallards on the small Glenthorne Loop pond before, but never in the river - and going upstrem! - perhaps they thought they were salmon? Also saw a huge tent caterpillar nest - maybe this will bring some Cuckoos to the trail.

American Kestrels

Northern Rough-winged Swallow

A very light-colored Field Sparrow

Swamp Sparrow


Tent caterpillars

When I got back to Stoney Creek, I checked out my neighbor Frits's Wood Duck box, and the Eastern Screech Owl was still there. And the Red-shouldered Hawk was in her nest in my back yard.

Eastern Screech Owl

Red-shouldered Hawk

This morning's list (35 species):

Eastern Bluebird
Tree Swallow
NRW Swallow
Northern Cardinal
Blue Jay
Field Sparrow
Song Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Chipping Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Red-winged Blackbird
Mourning Dove
American Goldfinch
American Crow
American Robin
Rock Pigeon
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
Carolina Wren
Turkey Vulture
Northern Mockingbird
Eastern Meadowlark Cowbird
Eastern Phoebe
American Kestrel
Eastern Screech Owl*
Red-shouldered Hawk*

* Stoney Creek (Wintergreen)

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