Rockfish Valley Trail 10/10/12

All photos are Marshall Faintich

Cooler temperatures and westerly winds have ushered in fall birding to the trail. Walt Childs and I logged 37 species on the trail this morning, and there were a few highlights.

There seemed to be sparrows everywhere, and I commented to Walt that I was surprised that we had not seen any Savannah Sparrows, but when I processed photos from this morning, I found that I had photographed two of them! Also had Field, Song, Chipping, and Swamp Sparrows, and Eastern Towhees. We had two quick flying raptors - the first of which I thought might have been a Merlin, but it was a Sharp-shinned Hawk, and we happened to see it at an angle where it looked like it had pointed wings. The other fast flyer was a juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk. We did get some distant, but good looks at a Kestrel as it kited over a field searching for a meal. We also saw a kettle of 30 to 50 Black Vultures. We only had two warbler species - a single Magnolia and a couple of Common Yellowthroats.

Magnolia Warbler

Common Yellowthroat

Sharp-shinned Hawk

Indigo Bunting

Indigo Bunting

American Kestrel

Black Vultures

Song Sparrow

Field Sparrow

Savannah Sparrow

Savannah Sparrow

Savannah Sparrow

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