A lot of cloud cover, some light drizzle, and dense tree cover made photography difficult, but it was an interesting two days of birding.August 26
Walt Childs and I started out on the Blue Ridge Parkway and parallel Route 610 between mm.2 and mm.4 of the parkway. It was really quiet, but we got a few good looks at a Hooded Warbler along Route 610, but not long enough for any photos. We decided to turn around at the Humpback Rocks picnic area (mm. 8) and try Ridgeview Park in Waynesboro. Birding was better there. As soon as we started out, we got a quick look at a Canada Warbler. Note its yellow eye-ring.
As we hiked around, we saw three woodpecker species and two more warbler species, as well as another Canada Warbler (note white eye-ring).
Downy Woodpecker (and a very brave or very stupid caterpillar)
We thought we might have seen a Warbling Vireo, but it was a Red-eyed.
From there, we made a quick stop at King Family Vineyard where we added a pair of Wood Ducks and a Great Blue Heron to our day list. We then went to Mint Springs Park, and I hiked part way up the Fire Trail, adding two Black and White Warblers, a Red-bellied Woodpecker, and a Common Raven to bring our day list to 31 avian species. There were a few deer there, and a young buck didn't mind my taking photos. A muskrat was swimming in the lake.
Black and White Warbler
Back at Old Trail, I added Canada Geese and a Red-shouldered Hawk to bring the day total to 33 avian species.
There was intermittent light drizzle, but I had some time this morning to check out a good trail section here in Old Trail where I often find migrating warblers. No warblers today, but I added three more avian species to my two day total. I got a quick look at a Wood Thrush, and saw a pair of Empidonax Flycatchers, as well as a couple of Red-eyed Vireos. A female Cardinal was in the process of molting.
My 36th avian species of the two days was the most interesting. First, I saw a female Ruby-throated Hummingbird. And then I saw an interesting male. It had white streaks in its gorget, and a buff collar. I subsequently learned that the white streaks were sheaths for new feathers coming in, and that the buff collar is unusual, but not a rare feature.