Rockfish Valley Trail 10/6/12

All photos are Marshall Faintich

Walt Childs led a guided bird walk on the trail this morning starting from the Rockfish River trail head at 8:00. I arrived at Glenthorne Loop at 8:30 and met up with the group about 9:00 after I had already seen 23 species. The first bird I saw upon arrival was a Bobolink, and it stayed in the same area so that most of the group could see it 30 minutes later. The total group species count for the morning was 60.

We had a good turn out (17 birders) with visitors to the trail from our own Nelson County, from neighboring Albemarle and Augusta Counties, and from as far away as Harrisonburg (Rockingham County), Bluemont (Loudoun County), and Berryville (Clarke County). [Update: our Rockingham visitors stayed longer, and they had 9 more species for our morning list, bringing the total species seen on the trail this morning to 69! These additional species not shown below are: Osprey, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Gray-cheeked Thrush, Brown Thrasher, Cape May Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Wilson's Warbler, Swamp Sparrow, and Dark-eyed Junco.] [2nd update: the birders from Clarke and Loudoun Counties returned to the trail after lunch, and added a Common Raven and a Willow Flycatcher, bringing the day's total to 71 species!]

Highlights included some good warblers and vireos, several raptor species, and all seven of the local woodpecker species.


Magnolia Warbler

Magnolia Warbler

Palm Warbler

American Kestrel

Blue-head Vireo

Red-eyed Vireo

White-throated Sparrow

Song Sparrow

Scarlet Tanager and Cedar Waxwing

Female Purple Finch

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Swainson's Thrush

Eastern Bluebird

Eastern Wood-Pewee

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker and Starling


I saw a Pileated Woodpecker flying over Reids Creek this morning, but did not get a photo of it. The following is a photo of a Pileated Woodpecker that I took late yesterday afternoon a few miles from the trail.

Pileated Woodpecker

This morning's RV Trail group list (60 species):

Great Blue Heron
Belted Kingisher
Canada Goose
Red-tailed Hawk
Cooper's Hawk

Sharp-shinned Hawk
Bald Eagle
American Kestrel
Turkey Vulture
Black Vulture

Mourning Dove
Rock Pigeon
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Red-headed Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Eastern Wood-Pewee

Eastern Phoebe
Red-eyed Vireo
Blue-headed Vireo
White-eyed Vireo
Philadelphia Vireo

Blue Jay
American Crow
NRW Swallow
Chimney Swift
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Carolina Wren
American Robin
Swainsion's Thrush

Eastern Bluebird
Northern Mockingbird
Cedar Waxwing

Common Yellowthroat
Magnolia Warbler
Blackpoll Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Palm Warbler
Scarlet Tanager
Northern Cardinal
Indigo Bunting
Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Field Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Chipping Sparrow
Grasshopper Sparrow

Eastern Towhee
Eastern Meadowlark
American Goldfinch
Purple Finch

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