May 12, 2016
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.
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.]
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.