July 13, 2004 [LINK / comment]

[ Hiking up to Elliott Knob ] *

Today I hiked to the top of Elliott Knob, the third (I think) tallest mountain in Virginia, located about 14 miles west of Staunton. The 2,350-foot climb was exhausting, but the effort definitely paid off. (Starting elevation was 2,100 feet.) I only got rained on briefly a couple times, and I actually came to prefer the rain to the blistering sun. The following list of birds that I SAW is in rough chronological order, starting from the bottom and ending at the top.

There was also a probable blue-gray gnatcatcher on the way back down. I heard several scarlet tanagers and titmice in the lower elevations but didn't see any. I didn't see any of the expected rose-breasted grosbeaks, either. NO woodpeckers or nuthatches! Nine warbler species in one day may be my record, so I'll have to check. Three of them were the first ones I've seen this season.

* NOTE: This is a "post facto" blog post, taken from the pre-November 2004 archives.