May 25, 2016
I went hiking on Shenandoah Mountain today, heading south from the Confederate Breastworks, just like I did one year ago (May 30). NOTE: Shenandoah Mountain is NOT part of the Shenandoah National Park. As soon as I got out of my car at the Confederate Breastworks, I heard a veritable symphony of warblers, vireos, and others. Not long after I began hiking I spotted a Blackburnian Warbler up in the trees, but just couldn't get a decent photo. Along the way (about a mile in each direction), I saw a wide variety of birds, including one of my "target species," the Cerulean Warbler, but they were too quick for me to get a satisfactory, well-lit photo. I heard a possible Ruffed Grouse flushing from a short distance away, and heard the loud crash of a breaking branch, which may have been a Black Bear. There was bear scat in more than one location. On the way back, about a couple hundred yards from the end, I saw what I thought was an Eastern Wood-Pewee at the top of a tree. But after looking at the photo later on, I realized, to my surprise and delight, that it was an Olive-sided Flycatcher -- the first one I have seen in years!
Shenandoah Mountain trail, Augusta, Virginia, US
May 25, 2016 9:15 AM - 12:30 PM
* (asterisk): heard but not seen. View this checklist online at ebird.org
More photos can be seen on the Wild Birds yearly page. I also saw a few Periodical Cicadas, which are just emerging. We had a swarm of those in many parts of Augusta County in 2012 (see June 11, 2012 and Other insects photo gallery), but this brood is either in a distinct range or overlaps with different hatch year cycles.