Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Birding in West Virginia 26th May - 2nd June 2017

This part of the trip was very much a laid back approach. We did not venture out in the field until 28th when we made a visit to Pricketts Fort SP, the main reason was to try and see if we could locate the Kentucky Warbler seen/heard here recently, without success but we did pick up a nice pair of Eastern Bluebirds, Eastern Towhee and Baltimore Oriole. A Killdeer nest was located a bit too close to a track.

Killdeer nest.

 Cedar Waxwing

In the afternoon we tried another area where several Kentucky Warblers had been reported at South Bunners Ridge, and at one location we found one singing male, unseen and at least another four, where we did manage to see one male, a new bird again for us. We also had American Redstart, Willow Flycatcher and White-breasted Nuthatch.

On 29th we only wandered as far as West Virginia University's Core Arboretum in Morgantown where we had a brief fly over Pileated Woodpecker and better views of a Swainson's Thrush.

The next day, the 30th we headed back towards Pricketts Fort SP, visiting the nearby Valley Falls SP were Woodpeckers seemed fairly visible, plus a Broad-winged Hawk floated over.

Pileated Woodpecker

Northern Flicker

By the river there was an area attracting butterflies down to salts.

Silvery Checkerspot

Zebra Swallowtail

The next day, the 31st we headed down to the Caves at Smoke Hole Cavern. 

On the way down we had eastern Meadowlark at Maysville, and after a tour of the caves we headed to the nearby Dolly Sods bog within the Monongahela National Forest where we saw Black-billed Cuckoo and Chestnut-sided Warbler. As we made out way back to Morgantown we picked up Bobolink in Laneville.

Dolly Sods

On the 1st just for a change we headed to part of the historic Cass Railroad at Durbin. We stopped off at Huntersville to look around farmland by the state prison and picked up Belted Kingfisher and during the train journey at the turn around saw a Goosander on the Greenbelt River at Hevener. 

Our final day took us to Cranesville Swamp NP and again the SatNav did what seems a WV trait, we ended up down some very narrow unmetalled roads (tracks) that even had County road numbers, the SatNav ignoring the new unmetalled road setting and the journey time was doubled, also partly due to trouble finding the reserve access road. This was another mixed woodland bog reserve which was very quiet during our visit, and the only different bird for the trip was a Brown Creeper.

White-tailed Deer