Rockfish Valley Trail 4/19/12

All photos are Marshall Faintich

With low fog hanging around the mountains after yesterday's rain, I decided to stay in the valley this morning and headed over to the trail. Although I saw 31 species, there were very few small birds around. Perhaps this was because of three people walking/running with two dogs, four dogs, and three dogs, respectively, and some of the dogs were running loose, but more likely the low number was a result of the habitat loss.

The highlights of the morning came as I was heading back to my car after two hours on the trail. I saw a Red-tailed Hawk being harassed by some crows, and then my eye caught a Bald Eagle flying downstream along the river just on the other side. The hawk didn't seem to mind me, but was more interested in keeping an eye on the crows. I tried an experiment- I talked loudly trying to chase the crows away, and it worked, and the hawk still remained on the branch even after the crows had left, letting me continue taking photos of it. Perhaps it was grateful, or perhaps the hawk had seen me before on the trail and was used to me??

Great Blue Heron

Belted Kingfisher

Eastern Bluebird

Swamp Sparrow

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

Red-tailed Hawk and American Crows

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk

This morning's list (31 species):

Eastern Bluebird
Tree Swallow
NRW Swallow
Barn Swallow
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Field Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
Eastern Towhee
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal
Carolina Wren
American Goldfinch
Red-winged Blackbird
American Crow
Mourning Dove
Eastern Meadowlark
Eastern Phoebe
Tufted Titmouse
Rock Pigeon
Bald Eagle
Red-tailed Hawk
Canada Goose
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Great Blue Heron

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