Rockfish Valley Trail 5/10/13

All photos are Marshall Faintich

Walt Childs and I hiked part of the trail this morning to see if any new migratory birds might have settled down after the heavy rains of the past few days. With an approaching cold front and rain expected tonight and tomorrow, this morning might have been a good time window for migrating birds to make some northerly progress. The temperature was warm when we started at 9:00 and was around 80 degrees two hours later. With all the moisture in the ground, it soon became muggy and uncomfortable.

Although the birding was okay on the trail, it still wasn't great. We didn't take careful count of the species we saw, but it must have been about 35 species. Highlights included three warbler species: Common Yellowthroat, Yellow, and Prairie; White-eyed and Red-eyed Vireos; Indigo Buntings; our first of year Orchard Oriole; and a Blue Grosbeak. The Common Yellowthroats seem to be nesting around the Glenthorne Loop pond and in the bog area. The Prairie Warblers have been there for at least a week, so perhaps they have established a territory on the east side of Reids Creek between the first wooden bridge and the pond, and if we are lucky, will stay here for the summer.

Yellow Warbler

Blue Grosbeak

Eastern Kingbird

White-crowned Sparrow

Orchard Oriole

Near the end of our hike, we saw a Red-tailed Hawk. It was soon engaged in aerial battle with a crow, and during the battle, a second Red-tailed Hawk cruised high above the fray.

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk and American Crow

Red-tailed Hawk and American Crow

Red-tailed Hawk and American Crow

Second Red-tailed Hawk

As we were leaving, a juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk flew from a nearby tree.

Red-shouldered Hawk

I decided to make a stop at Lake Monocan here in Stoney Creek to see if any more coastal birds were there. All I saw were four Spotted Sandpipers.

Spotted Sandpiper

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