July 31, 2006 [LINK]

Chimney Hollow revisited

Red-spotted newt On Sunday I hiked along the Chimney Hollow Trail, and climbed to the point at which the trail turns toward the southeast along the ridge line. It is one of the shadiest places I know, so I figured it would be a good way to avoid the summer heat while getting needed exercise. The trail was damp from rain and thus full of colorful mushrooms, of which several photos will be posted soon. The biggest surprise, however, was coming across this Red-spotted newt, which was strangely docile as it basked in the sun. The bright color and small size (3 or 4 inches) indicates that it is a juvenile. Newts are just a particular kind of salamander; see U.S. Geological Survey.

Since breeding season is pretty much over, I didn't expect to see many birds, so I was easily satisfied. I saw several juveniles, with their blotchy, pale plumage, in close proximity to adults. Here's what I saw, in rough chronological order:

I also caught glimpses of other warblers (I think) in the tree tops, and heard an Acadian flycatcher very close by, at the same spot where I saw one while leading an August Bird Club field trip in May. I also heard a Pileated woodpecker.