Blue Ridge Parkway
South of Asheville, NC
Monday, June 4, 2012
Yes, the predictions were for rain again but as we have learned of late, "carry on regardless"!! We met at the Folk Art Center and headed south towards the Balsams, stopping as we drove south to sample the birds in the different habitats.
Deciduous woodlands produced Scarlet Tanager, Hooded, Black-throated Green and very, very close Black-and-white Warbler that allowed Alan to take the above photo and a pair of Blue-headed Vireos was feeding 2 large well-grown chicks. As we climbed higher into the Northern hardwoods forest we found a very vocal Least Flycatcher as well as a female yellow-bellied Sapsucker that was obviously very close to her nest cavity.
A Veery called from some dense thickets and our first Chestnut-sided Warblers started to appear. A couple of Alder Flycatchers were in their normal place and a male Common Yellowthroat flew to the perfect snag for some photographs. A Ruffed Grouse chick in the middle of the road was a surprise and looked as if it was injured- darn shame as well. We finished the day descending the Parkway towards Balsam Gap and our only Rose-breasted Grosbeak of the trip flew over. We never did get any rain and the Red Crossbills evaded us in the Balsams (what's new?) and an excellent day overall with just under 60 species and some great views as well.