September 12, 2016 [LINK / comment]

Fall bird migration is underway!

Allen Larner led an Augusta Bird Club field trip to the Blue Ridge Parkway on Saturday, but there was surprisingly little bird activity until the very last planned stop: the Humpback Rocks picnic grounds. There we saw several Scarlet Tanagers, various warblers, a Rose-breasted Grosbeak, and others shown in the montage below. Most of the birds were high up in the trees, and we all started to suffer from "warbler neck" straining to see them.

Birds Montage 10 Sep 2016

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Cape May Warbler, Broad-winged Hawk, Scarlet Tanager, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, White-breasted Nuthatch, (prob.) Cape May Warbler, (prob.) Black-throated Green Warbler, (prob.) Bay-breasted Warbler, and in center (prob.) Cape May Warbler.

After the field trip, we stopped at the Rockfish Gap Hawk Watch open house, where several dozen people were gathered. It was there that I photographed the Broad-winged Hawk seen above, as well as the female Ruby-throated Hummingbird and the (probable) Cape May Warbler in the center. I thought it might be a Magnolia Warbler, given the solid gray shading of the head, but the dark line through the eyes indicates otherwise.

Hawk Watch open house 2016

Scenes from the 2016 Hawk Watch open house. Additional photos of the event can be seen at