With temperatures getting into the mid 80s in the afternoon, I decided to head to higher and cooler elevations to do some birding. It was bright and sunny today, a welcome change, at least for a day, from all the rain we have been having. It also meant that there was a lot of traffic, including loud motorcycles, on the Blue Ridge Parkway. I started out at my favorite site, Hickory Springs Overlook (mm 12) where I logged 19 avian species, a couple of chipmunks, and a large millipede. I saw three warbler species there: Cerulean, Hooded, and American Redstart - presumably all summer breeders. With most of the ground vegetation now cut, many of the birds were high up in the trees, and in the woods south of the overlook.
Eastern Phoebe enjoying a meal
My next stop was at the large cirque between mm 7 and mm 8. There were a few Cerulean Warblers and a couple of American Redstarts. I did locate an Ovenbird and a Worm-eating Warbler in the wooded area just to the south of the cirque, and a Red-tailed Hawk was my 22nd avian species of the outing.
Male and female Scarlet Tanagers
I got off the parkway and onto Route 610 to get away from the traffic, and added five more common avian species to the day's list. I got back onto the parkway around mm 2.5, but did not see or hear any new species.