May 23, 2005 [LINK]

Cerulean warblers, etc.

Jacqueline and I went for a short hike around the Humpback Rocks area of the Blue Ridge yesterday, and were rewarded with lots of good sightings. I don't think I've ever seen so many Cerulean warblers on a single day; their populations have been declining in recent decades, but they seem to be thriving around here. On the way we stopped at the telephone microwave tower and a few other spots on Rt. 610, but most of what we saw were found on the trail east of the parkway. Here are the highlights:

On the way home we stopped at the entrance to Lake Sherando, and sure enough the female Blue-gray gnatcatcher was brooding in the nest which we saw her building two weeks ago. I expect the eggs to hatch any day.

While heading to the landfill / recycling center on Rt. 648 this morning, I saw a Willow flycatcher and an Eatern kingbird, both firsts of the season for me. At the bridge over Mills Creek I saw a Pewee, Hairy woodpecker, and a Blue-gray gnatcatcher, and heard a White-eyd vireo.