It was fairly overcast this morning. I went over to the Lickinghole Creek and Reservoir to see if any warblers had moved in. I heard, but could not locate, a Common Yellowthroat soon after starting my hike. The hike was fairly uneventful, and I logged only 20 avian species there. There were at least three Solitary Sandpipers on the gravel bar, and at least one Spotted Sandpiper. When processing my photos, I saw another, but unattributed, sandpiper in one of the photos of the Spotted Sandpiper. All of the other birds were very common.
Spotted and U/A Sandpipers
Belted Kingfisher and breakfast
I started to hike on the adjacent Crozet Connector Trail, and a woman walking her dog (off-leash) approached me. This trail is on Albemarle County park property. The county ordinance requires dogs to be on-leash on county property, there are signs stating this at every entrance to the trail, and the local police department has gotten so many complaints about off-leash dogs that they recently announced that they would be ticketing and fining offenders. This was a medium sized, reddish-brown dog, with very muddy paws. The dog ran right at me, and starting jumping all over me, leaving muddy paw prints all over my jeans. The owner came to collect the dog, and I politely reminded her about the county ordinance and police announcement, and that I would now have to launder my jeans. She replied, "She [her dog] really likes people." I then said, "I don't care, and I still have to do laundry now." She left with her dog and never once apologized. I like most dogs, but I don't like inconsiderate people.
I decided to do a little more birding at Mint Springs Park, where I added nine more species to my morning outing, including several American Redstarts and two Hooded Warblers (heard only), as well as my first of year Gray Catbird.
As I approached my car in the parking lot, a Red-shouldered Hawk landed atop of one of the occupied bluebird boxes. The bluebirds did not invite the hawk in for tea.