After the rain stopped, I went for a late morning hike, and saw 23 avian species, and had a very close encounter with two young deer. I was suprised to see my First-of-Season Eastern Kingbird, as the Virginia Goldbook shows April 20 for the first arrival of this species in the Piedmont.
Pied-billed Grebe and Tree Swallow
Blue Ridge Parkway, VA
After lunch, I explored the first five miles of the parkway, but it is still about two weeks early for the vegetation at these elevations, and I only saw a few species there.
Ridgeview Park; Waynesboro, VA
I headed west to lower elevations and did some hiking in Ridgeview Park. I was amazed to see the lush vegetation close to the ground this early in the spring, and some leaves popping out at the treetops. The Viginia bluebells were in full bloom. I got some close-up photos of an Eastern Towhee, and there were numerous Purple Finches in the treetops.