Rockfish Valley Trail 9/4/12

All photos are Marshall Faintich

The remnants of hurricane Isaac continue to bring Gulf moisture along with bands of heavy rain and southerly winds interspersed with still, muggy, hazy air. Last night's heavy rain produced a misty fog this morning. After a few minutes of hiking through wet grass and misty haze, I was soaked, but I was still able to log 33 species on the trail this morning in about 2 hours.

Hazy skies

I hiked most of the Glenthorne Loop, downstream, and upstream trails. Highlights of the hike included an American Kestrel, a pair of Least Flycatchers, a female Baltimore Oriole, and another Oriole that will be discussed later.

American Kestrel

Least Flycatcher

Brown Thrashers


Blue Grosbeaks

Scarlet Tanager

Common Yellowthroat

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Female Baltimore Oriole

An oriole landed at the top of the tree across from the first wooden bridge. I think that it was much too red to be a Baltimore Oriole.


At first I thought perhaps it was a Summer Tanager, but after looking at its bill, I ruled out a Tanager. It could be an Orchard Oriole, but if it were a first summer male molting into its adult chestnut and black plumage, its head and throat should be turning black as well. Compare the photo above to one below that I took last year of a first summer male orchard Oriole getting it adult plumage. All opinions on today's Oriole would be appreciated.

1st summer male Orchard Oriole

This morning's RV Trail list (33 species):

Eastern Bluebird
Carolina Wren
American Goldfinch
Indigo Bunting
Carolina Chickadee
Field Sparrow
Tufted Titmouse
Brown Thrasher
Blue Grosbeak
American Crow
Downy Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker
Red-eyed Vireo
White-eyed Vireo
Blue Jay
Common Yellowthroat
Baltimore Oriole
? Oriole
Cedar Waxwing
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Eastern Phoebe
Least Flycatcher
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Scarlet Tanager
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Rock Pigeon
Belted Kingfisher
Great Blue Heron
Northen Cardinal
American Kestrel

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