This morning was my first birding outing since my wife had major surgery in mid-July. For the past five weeks, it was much more important for me to be with her in the hospital (and a day in the emergency room), taking her to multiple doctor visits, and caring for her at home, rather than going out with my camera.
Now that she has progressed to a point in her multi-month recovery where I am comfortable leaving her alone for a few hours, I did a short birding trip up to the Blue Ridge Parkway, and spent 90 minutes (10:00 to 11:30 a.m.) on Route 610 between mm. 2 and mm. 4 of the parkway. Although I logged 19 avian species, warblers were few and far between. Cerulean Warblers, commonly seen there, had already migrated. This species usually is gone by the third week of August, although I did photograph one in this area on September 6th in 2020. The Chestnut-sided Warbler I saw this morning was a migrating bird, as I had only seen them this summer near mm. 12 of the parkway.
There is a lot of flowering jewel weed along Route 610, and it is a favorite of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds. I saw quite a few of them this morning, and believe it or not, it was my first time seeing a hummingbird in 2022.
Route 610 was really dense with lush vegetation, and will be a great location for migrating warblers this year. They should be moving through the area in full swing in another week or two, and I am hoping that Alice will have recovered enough by then for me to do more and longer trips to the parkway and Route 610.