Ho-hum. It's the dog days of summer, and birding is not that exciting. Although the temperatures have cooled a bit, and the humidity is lower and more comfortable, some of the summer residents have already headed south, and only a few of the early migrating species have made it here. There have been a few area reports of mixed flocks of migrating birds, but I haven't seen them. I've did a couple of hikes here in Old Trail, and the birds were few and far apart. I also made a trip up to the first 12 miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway, and saw only one warbler - a Black and White. I didn't even hear any of the summer resident warblers, so I assume that many of them have departed already.
Ground hog thinking that it is hidden from me
Great Blue Heron
Black and White Warbler
I went over to the Lickinghole Creek and Resevoir this morning. The vegetation was so dense that I couldn't see the sand/gravel bar where shorebirds are often present, until I got to the far end of the resevoir near the dam. I did see a few avian species there, but the dragonflies and damselflies were easier targets. I saw a pair of Common Yellowthroats, but they wouldn't stay put, and were flitting about in dense vegetation, so I couldn't get any photos of them. The only other warbler I saw there was a female American Redstart.
Female American Redstart
The best birds there today were three Belted Kingfishers. Two of them were hunting in tandem over the reservoir.
I ended up with 26 avian species at Lickinghole this morning. There were lots of Barn Swallows flying to and from nests in the dam structure. I thought that one of them might have been a Cliff Swallow because of an apparent white mark on its forehead, but its tail was definitely that of a Barn Swallow.
Immature male Northern Cardinal
Recently fledged Northern Cardinal
Orchard Oriole and Indigo Bunting
Bee and wildflower
I made a quick stop at the Beaver Creek Reservoir, but didn't see any birds there, and then another quick stop at King Family Vineyards where I added 4 more avian trip species, bring this morning's list to 30. Not a lot of excitement, but fall migration is only a few weeks away!