Walt Childs and I headed west over the Blue Ridge and then south in the Shenandoah Valley. We started birding on Guthrie Road in Stuart's Draft, and a short distance before Route 340, we saw a boldly colored Red-shouldered Hawk.
We stopped at Willow Lake in Raphine where we saw Canada Geese, Mallards, a Great Blue Heron, Gadwalls, Ruddy Ducks, Lesser Scaups, Ring-necked Ducks, and Pied-billed Grebe. The female Lesser Scaup had a very prominent white patch at its bill. Note that Sibley's field guide states that female Lesser Scaups have usually little or no white there.
Great Blue Heron
Male Lesser Scaup
Female Lesser Scaup
We turned onto New Providence Road to look for hawks. We saw very few avian species, and then found a juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk on Hays Creek Road.
We continued on Dutch Hollow Road. Here we saw several Red-tailed Hawks, including three together, a few American Kestrels, two Belted Kingfishers, and a few other species.
We continued north to Swoope, and found very few birds there. We added another American Kestrel and another Red-tailed Hawk.
We stopped along Hewitt Road where we often find Red-headed Woodpeckers. We had already seen a Downy Woodpecker and a Red-bellied Woodpecker before getting to Swoope. When we stopped to look for a Red-headed Woodpecker, we found one and another Red-bellied Woodpecker, and a Pileated Woodpecker flew overhead.
Although we didn't see a lot of birds on this outing, we ended up with 34 avian species and enjoyed the sunny and mild weather. It was a good birding day.