[va-bird] Sky Meadows SP, Fauquier Co., July 15 and 16

Hello, birders.
 
I birded the west side of Sky Meadows both days this weekend - highlight was a 
singing NORTHERN BOBWHITE near the contact station on Sunday, a calling 
BROAD-WINGED HAWK soaring above the intersection of the North Ridge Trail and 
Gap Run Trail on Saturday, PURPLE MARTINS flying in the vicinity of the contact 
station both days. 
 
Bobwhite is a rare bird at the park.  It's my 3rd summer in a row seeing 
Broad-winged Hawk here.  Strangely, the only month where I've recorded Purple 
Martin there is during June, that is, until this weekend.  I don't see them 
annually at the park.
 
Also, TREE SWALLOWS appear to leave Sky Meadows in mid-July but a check of the 
fishing pond on Saturday found a female Tree Swallow visiting her nest box, 
with calling young inside.  At least one other Tree was in the area.  Barn 
Swallows appear to have a nest (active? or are they just roosting? - I heard no 
young vocalizing) on the Mt. Bleak House.  Other birds still nesting - I found 
a WOOD THRUSH pair with an active nest in a Box Elder tree, an INDIGO BUNTING 
male was very upset at my presence so I guess he had a nest with eggs or young 
close by.
 
Warblers - CERULEAN and KENTUCKY WARBLERS were still singing on both days near 
the South Ridge Trail/North Ridge Trail intersection, YELLOW-BR. CHAT still 
singing on the AT, which I hiked on Sunday, WORM-EATING (in mixed flock), 
OVENBIRD (curious because of the angry bunting calling) and HOODED.  I forgot 
to check Peterson's warbler guide but I saw an adult male Cerulean with what I 
believe was an imm. male.  It looked grayish instead of blue but had wing bars 
and a hint of a line across the breast. 
 
WAXWINGS are scattered about the park.  GRACKLES and STARLINGS are very common 
near the Visitor Center.  Several RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS around - easy to see 
and hear.  And of course families of lots of species are commonplace now.
 
Scott Baron
Fairfax, Va.
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  • » [va-bird] Sky Meadows SP, Fauquier Co., July 15 and 16