Rockfish Valley Trail 5/16/12

All photos are Marshall Faintich

I may need to buy a football helmet for when I go birding. This morning a Bluebird was making multiple passes at my head, probably protecting a nearby young juvenile Bluebird. This is uncharacteristic of Bluebirds on the trail. A few minutes later I stopped to take some photos of an Orchard Oriole, and was buzzed by a Tree Swallow that had a nesting box a few feet away.

Most of what I saw on the trail this morning were common species, and I logged 31 avian species in 1-1/2 hours. The highlights were the pair of nesting American Kestrels in their usual upstream trail tree, a White-eyed Vireo near the south end of the Glenthorne Loop trail, and a close encounter with an Eastern Black Ratsnake.

When I got home I checked on the Red-shouldered Hawk's nest, and the two chicks were taking it easy.

Female Eastern Bluebird that buzzed me

Juvenile Eastern Bluebird that was nearby

American Kestrels

White-eyed Vireo

Eastern Black Ratsnake

Red-shouldered Hawk chick

Red-shouldered Hawk chick

This morning's list (31 species):

Eastern Bluebird
Tree Swallow
Barn Swallow
Northern Cardinal
Carolina Wren
American Goldfinch
American Redstart
Red-eyed Vireo
White-eyed Vireo
American Kestrel
Indigo Bunting
Field Sparrow
Chipping Sparrow
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker
Turkey Vulture
Black Vulture
Cedar Waxwing

Red-winged Blackbird
American Crow
Eastern Kingbird
Eastern Wood Pewee
Eastern Phoebe
Eastern Meadowlark
Orchard Oriole
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Brown Thrasher
Rock Pigeon

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