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May 12, 2016 [LINK / comment]

Birding in Rockingham County

Once again, I was lured northward to Rockingham County yesterday, hoping to see a Blue-winged Warbler that had been reported in Harrisonburg. On my way there, I stopped at Cook's Creek Arboretum, in Bridgewater, where I had seen several warblers on April 30. There weren't quite as many this time, but I did see at least two species for the first time this year (Black-throated Blue Warbler and Chestnut-sided Warbler), and got some decent photos. Then I went up to Silver Lake in Dayton, and finally over to Hillandale Park, on the northwest side of Harrisonburg. It was my first time to that park, so I wasn't sure exactly where to go, but I did see several good birds, including three first-of-year species: Great Crested Flycatchers, Magnolia Warblers (bingo!), and an Eastern Wood Pewee. No Blue-winged Warblers, however. On my way back to Staunton I stopped at Leonard's Pond. Here is the list of all significant sightings yesterday, with abbreviations of the respective locations.

Also, I may have seen a Gray-cheeked Thrush and a Cuckoo (presumably Yellow-billed) at Cook's Creek, and heard a Common Yellowthroat at Hillandale Park. This montage of photos from yesterday is overcrowded, reflecting what a busy day it was.

Montage 11 May 2016

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Black-throated Blue Warbler, Great Crested Flycatcher, American Redstart, Magnolia Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Least Sandpiper and Solitary Sandpiper, Osprey, and Eastern Towhee. Roll your mouse over the above image to see a closeup of the Magnolia Warbler.

Blue Ridge Parkway

The Augusta Bird Club field trip to the Blue Ridge Parkway was rained out, so I went up there on May 7, on my way to Sweet Briar College. I heard Cerulean Warblers in the trees and lured one into close range (first of year!), but couldn't quite get a photo of it. There were a few good birds at other locations, such as Black-and-white Warblers and American Redstarts (both first of year), but I didn't have much time. [I also saw a Broad-winged Hawk fly past the Ravens' Roost Overlook, another FOY.]

Montage 07 May 2016

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Ovenbird, Blue-headed Vireo, Indigo Bunting, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, seen on the Blue Ridge Parkway on May 7; and Orchard Oriole (1st-year male), seen on Bell's Lane on May 8.

The Orchard Oriole was the first one of the year for me. As always, there are more photos to see on the Wild Birds yearly page, including montages.

Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 12 May 2016, 1: 36 PM

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Blog highlights have been compiled for the years 2010-2012 thus far, and eventually will be compiled for earlier years, back to 2002.


The "home made" blog organization system that I created was instituted on November 1, 2004, followed by several functional enhancements in subsequent years. I make no more than one blog post per day on any one category, so some posts may cover multiple news items or issues. Blog posts appear in the following (reverse alphabetical) order, which may differ from the chronological order in which the posts were originally made:

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