September 2, 2007 [LINK / comment]

Birding on the Blue Ridge

Yesterday I joined ten or so members of the Augusta Bird Club for a field trip along and near the Blue Ridge Parkway south of Rockfish Gap. The change in the weather coincided perfectly with the calendar, leaving no doubt that autumn is nigh. Allen Larner led the group and with his amazing powers of auditory perception, he heard several birds that no one else could. The "hottest spot" was one of the overlooks on the east side of the parkway, where we saw several warblers, flycatchers, and other species. After stops at a few other places, we ended up at the picnic area south of Humpback Rocks, and took a short walk to an overlook I had never seen before, with views toward the west. It was there that we saw a Bald eagle, two Ravens, and a Red-tailed hawk simultaneously -- quite a memorable moment! After the field trip was over, some of us joined Brenda Tekin and others at the Hawk Watch at Afton Inn. It was a very successful outing, and it was a pleasure to get back in touch with fellow birders as fall migration season gets underway. Here is a list of the birds I saw, excluding the abundant species:

Birding in Staunton

Just before noon today, I paid a quick visit to Montgomery Hall Park in hopes of spotting some fall migrants. I got great, closeup views of Yellow-billed cuckoos, including a young one begging for food from its parent. I only saw one warbler, and I couldn't even identify which species it was.