Central Virginia, 9/4-5/15

All photos are Marshall Faintich

September 4

Walt Childs and I met up with Huck Hutchens, former local birder and now the birding host for the Estero Llano State Park in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, Texas. Huck still has family in the area, and visits central Virginia. It was a hot day, and the birding wasn't great, but we gave it a shot. We started out at a few spots along the first 14 miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway. We saw at least two warbler species, but they were quick views. One was dark blue - probably a Black-throated Blue Warbler as I had seen two of them at the same location a couple of days earlier. The other warbler was gray and yellow, and could have been one of a few species.

Scarlet Tanager and American Goldfinch

Red-eyed Vireo

We headed over to Swoope, but birding wasn't much better there. Highlights were five American Kestrels and a colorful Red-tailed Hawk that took off when it saw us.

American Kestrel

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk

House Wren

Tree Swallows

Turtles at Smith Lake

We stopped at the Fishersville quarry, but there weren't any birds in the water there. We did see a few Chipping Sparrows.

Juvenile and leucistic adult Chipping Sparrows

The last stop was a quick visit at the Rockfish Gap Hawk Watch where we saw a Ruby-throated Hummingbird. A cool front from the northeast is supposed to come through at night, and perhaps will push some migrating birds our way.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Rockfish Valley Trail; September 5

There were gray skies and considerable fog this morning. It was a bit cooler, but the humidity was still uncomfortable. I went to the trail to see if any migrating warblers had shown up. for the first hour or so, the only warbler I saw was a summer resident Common Yellowthroat, although a Warbling Vireo was mpassing through and was foraging with one of the summer resident White-eyed Vireos. I had 21 species along the Glenthorne Loop and downstream trails.

Scarlet Tanager

Common Yellowthroat

Indigo Bunting

White-eyed Vireo

Warbling Vireo

Pileated Woodpecker

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

American Kestrel

I had parked off of Glenthorne Loop, and decided to drive over and make a quick stop at the upstream trail before heading for home. I added five more species there. The last one was a Magnolia Warbler - I saw it next to the main kiosk parking lot as I was getting ready to leave. Well perhaps, the NE wind had brought a few migrating birds our way!

Cedar Waxwing

Eastern Phoebe


Magnolia Warbler

Magnolia Warbler

Magnolia Warbler

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