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Monday, May 22, 2017

Shenandoah National Park - May 2017

          Sharon and I made a quick trip to the Virginia mountains. Here are some photos of our recent trip to Shenandoah National Park. We made the trip on May 1st through May 3rd in hopes of finding the most spring flowers in bloom. I know it's hard to believe that I didn't go there for birding but I did include a few bird photos.
Front Royal - The town at the northern end of the Skyline Drive

Our Cabin at Skyland on the Skyline Drive

          We stopped at the Visitor Center to make an inquiry about the location of some good trails to explore and look for spring flowers. We were told where to find an area that had a patch of Yellow Lady Slippers which are always a treat to see.
Yellow Lady's Slippers

Sessile Bellwort
Sessile Bellwort or Wild Oats



Pussy Toes

Anyone have a guess - we don't know

            On two of our explorations we saw two Black Bears but were not able to get photos. We also saw loads of deer. On this one hiking trail, after leaving Sharon behind on the trail and scampering up a hillside through a lot of thickets,  I was able to find a gorgeous male Cerulean Warbler. The Cerulean was singing very low in a small tree and I had a great view. Alas, no photos because Sharon still had the camera.

White-tailed Deer

Chestnut-sided Warbler

Chipping Sparrow

Area where Cerulean Warbler was seen
           Throughout the park many Trillium were in bloom along with Violets and Ragwort. Most of the Trillium were of the white variety but we managed a few pink ones.
White Trillium

Pink Trillium


               While Sharon was in the visitor center watching a movie about the park, I was walking around the meadows and woods searching for birds. I came across a small group of pine trees and started pishing. I quickly drew in a Blackburnian and Black-throated Green Warbler. Then to my surprise out of the pine trees came a Barred Owl hooting at me like crazy. I tried to get a better angle on the owl for a photo but of course it flew off. We both went back there the next day not expecting to see the owl but sure enough it flushed out again. Once again I missed the picture but later that evening as we were driving down the road I saw a Barred Owl perched on a branch overhanging the road. I did get his/her photo.
Barred Owl over Skyline Drive
             That same evening while riding around we also flushed up a Woodcock from the side of the road. Not a chance in the world of getting his picture. Two of the most prevalent birds along the ridge were Eastern Towhee and Blue-headed Vireo. There were also a large number of Ovenbirds.

Eastern Towhee

Blue-headed Vireo

          We also did a little hiking on the Appalachian Trail while looking for more flora.

          Finally here is a collection of miscellaneous pictures.

Cancer Root

Cancer Root

Approaching the tunnel in the rain.

Tiger Swallowtail on Wild Mustard

Cancer Root

A fungus among us

Hooded Warbler

Have a good evening

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