Comments about birding on the Rockfish Valley Trail

Rockfish Valley Trail is a superb birding location with lots of varied habitat and great scenery. I have only recently discovered this birding gem and in just a few visits [this] Fall have found some great birds including Olive-sided Flycatcher, Merlin, Lincoln Sparrows, Dickcissel, and Bobolink. William Leigh, Bridgewater, Virginia

We have been walking and birding the Rockfish Valley Trails since you first brought them to our attention with your article in Birding Magazine, two or three years ago. It is a jewel of an area and well worth the 40 minute drive from our home in Charlottesville. We are frequent visitors and appreciate the beauty of this sanctuary as well as the great diversity of year-round bird life. I can't think of another local area that is as productive. Sher and Dave Sedgwick, Charlottesville, Virginia

Connie Arness and I really enjoyed birding at the Rockfish Valley Trail. We will definitely be planning on visiting it again. The various habitats make it a special place to see numerous species of birds. Thanks so much to you and Walt for making it a memorable and fun trip. Jerry Therrien, Esmont, Virginia

Thanks for a great day of birding on RV trail yesterday. Your Bobolink pic is superb, especially because I got to see the bird in person! After Judy and I got lunch, we returned to the trail and found a few additions, some that Diane reported. We also had an empidonax sp (prob Willow) and a Raven flew overhead. Keep up the great work, the Natural History center is gem too. Teri Holland, Berryville, Virginia

Patty Elton and I visited the trail for the first time last week as we had heard so much about it. It's a great spot. We didn't do as well as some of you on the sparrows, we did get a Blue-headed Vireo (life bird for Patty). We were very impressed with the signage and info boards, they are a great resource for birders. Wendy Ealding, VARCOM [Virginia Avian Records Committee] Secretary, South-Central Regional Editor, Virginia Birds, Powhatan County, Virginia

I live in Raleigh, N.C. but we have a place in Wintergreen. I have birded the Rockfish Valley Trail probably 5-6 times now. I plan to use it much more frequently now that I am familiar with it. Mark Thompson, Raleigh, North Carolina

I've been very impressed by the great variety of birds at this place, plus the well-maintained trails and the beautiful views. The combination of water, fields, and woods so close to the Blue Ridge must be very attractive to migrant birds. I live in Albemarle and there's nothing like it here. I appreciate all who have worked to make this special place available to the public. Peter Brask, Albemarle County, Virginia

Though I live in Albemarle County, the drive to the Rockfish Valley Trail is always worthwhile. I always see a great diversity of bird species including a few reliables that I don't see elsewhere. As a relative beginning birder, I even see a life bird or two occasionally. The trails are very well maintained and I feel safe there even at the height of the summer when the chiggers and ticks are biting. The frequent online birding reports for the trails by Marshall Faintich allow me to know what I should be reasonably looking for at any particular time. When I run into him on the trails he often tells me just where to look for various birds. For a beginner such as me, this is invaluable. I have never gone to the Rockfish Valley Trail and not had a successful time birding. This is why I recently organized a bird walk on the Rockfish Valley Trail for the Monticello Bird Club. We had a great turnout and a great morning of birding! John Davis, Albemarle County, Virginia

I visit the Rockfish Valley Trail often after reading the reports from Marshall Faintich's personal blog. This trail ranks as one of the best in central Virginia for bird abundance and diversity. It is an important area for both resident and migratory bird species and often hosts rare and unusual species. It is certainly worth the drive out from Charlottesville for a day visit. Chris Murray, Charlottesville, Virginia

The Rockfish Valley Trail is one of the region's gems for birds and for birders. The diversity of habitats and close proximity to the migratory corridor of the mountain provides sanctuary for a large number of resident birds as well as species who are passing through on Spring and Fall migrations. Kudos to the volunteers who developed and maintain this wonderfully serene place. Thanks to all of you. Janet Paisley, Charlottesville, Virginia