I'm still trying to photograph a Black-throated Green Warbler for my 2021 list, and know that I have seen them up along Hite Hollow Road in Augusta County. I normally only go up there in the spring and early autumn to look for breding and migrating warblers, but didn't want to wait to photograph my warbler species #33 for this year. So I met up with Huck Hutchens, and we wen't looking for one. As soon as we passed the shooting range, we heard Hooded and Black-throated Green Warblers, but didn't see them. We did get good looks at a Wood Thrush, a quick look at a Worm-eating Warbler, and a very cooperative Ovenbird.
There was dense tree cover until we got close to the summit, and we heard/saw numerous Ovenbirds and more Worm-eating Warblers, but the dense tree cover made photography difficult. I was surprised that the drive up there was not as "birdy" as I remembered it from previous outings there.
When we got to the summit, we decided to hike down the western side for a couple of hundred yards, rather than drive down and make the long trip back along the western side of the ridge. We heard/saw a few American Redstarts, more Worm-eating Warblers, more Ovenbirds, and several non-warbler species. I heard a Black-throated Blue Warbler, but never saw it. A cooperative Blue-headed Vireo showed up, and I saw a very pale Pipevine Swallowtail with very little blue on it. We also saw some attractive wildflowers up there.
We turned around and went back down the same route as the ascent. I hoped that we would see the Black-throated Green Warbler that we heard on the way up. We stopped a short way down, and heard a Pine Warbler in a small cluster of pine trees. Every time I have been at that stop, there has been one or more Pine Warblers there. Ovenbirds continued to be heard all the way down. When we got near the shooting range, we stopped when we heard/saw more avian activity. We heard more Ovenbirds and the same or another Hooded Warbler. A Scarlet Tanager made an apperance, and a Louisiana Waterthrush showed up to see what was going on.
I had pretty much given up on photographing a Black-throated Green Warbler on this trip, but with a little bit of hope remaining, drove slowly with car windows down. About a hundred or so feet later, we heard one, and agreed to wait for it to show. After about 10 minutes of hearing it, we saw it flying about, and then, finally, it stopped out in the open, My photos of it aren't that great, but it's off my 2021 target list now.
Black-throated Green Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
We decided to do a little birding in nearby Swoope on the way back, and soon saw an American Kestrel carrying a mouse, and a distant, juvenile Bald Eagle. A little while later it started to rain, so we headed back with about 30 avian species on out trip list . Note that a section of Hewitt Road is closed, and we had to take a detour to get back to Parkersburg Pike.