August 14, 2006 [LINK]

Return to North Mountain

Yesterday (Sunday) I hiked the loop trail (3+ miles) on the east slope of North Mountain near Elliott Knob, on the road to Augusta Springs about 15 miles west of Staunton. Jacqueline and I hiked there a couple years ago, and it was every bit as strenuous as I remembered, with a net climb of about 1,200 feet. This weekend the temperature was mild and humidity was low, fortunately, and I really needed the exercise. The last leg of the loop follows the steep, rutted gravel road that leads up to the summit of Elliott Knob, which I climbed two years ago. Here's what I saw this time:

I also heard some Pileated woodpeckers and an accipeter hawk (Cooper's or Sharp-shinned). I was hoping to see a other warblers, or perhaps even a junco, but no such luck.

Last Thursday morning, I stopped at Bell's Lane and saw several good birds: