Monday, June 14, 2010

Babcock Park and a Black-throated Green

Babcock State Park in Clifftop, WV, was my primary destination on day five of the New River Birding and Nature Festival (April 30th).  The Glade Creek Grist Mill greets you near the visitor's entrance, a mill constructed as a reproduction of the old Cooper's Mill that once ground grain on this creek before the park was established.  The Glade mill was assembled from a collection of other historic mills that once dotted the state.
The historic mill and the roaring sound and mist of Glade Creek forms a relaxing center piece for birdwatching and hikes in the park.  And right here at the visitor's center we were greeted by a pair of Black-throated Green Warblers, the male and the female, both busily foraging in a large evergreen near the parking lot.
The male found a worm as we watched.
And got it situated...
and in position for the big swallow.
And just as he was perching for departure, the female (below) popped into view.  Notice that she doesn't have the solid black under her throat, but white with a spattering of black markings on her upper breast.
Here's most of our group, with Connie Toops behind the camera...
pausing just before we took our delicious stroll along the creekside trail.  Plenty of other people were enjoying a day of fishing along the creek's shores.
Below, one of the many Black-and-White warblers we encountered.  This warbler was around us throughout the day and if we didn't see them, we could hear their song, a high- pitched "weesee weesee weesee".
The Black-and-White is known for its creeping like motions while foraging, similar to that of a nuthatch.  This one flew to a trunk beside me, foraged for a moment, then off again to another tree
More often, they hung out over our heads.
Below, two of our leaders for the day, Lynn Pollard (second from right) and Donna Hershberger (right).  Molly Daly is to the left with binoculars raised.  
And below, Connie Toops, one of our bird and botanical experts.

As we boarded the bus before departing this trip, Bill Thompson III stepped inside, "Hey, I want to go on this trip.  You're all chicks in here!  It's a Chick Trip".  I looked around, and yes, we were all females, including our bus driver.

I don't know if this helped account for the laid back nature of the day, or if I should credit the sun warming us to short sleeves, or simply the prevailing mood of field-day five, but our Babcock trip was a relaxing and charmed day of birding.
A patch of Bluets aka Quaker Ladies near the visitor's center.

Female Black-throated Green Warbler with sketch, my first sighting in TN
WV's New River Birding and Nature Festival
Opossum Creek Retreat
National Park Service, New River Gorge 
Babcock State Park
Connie Toops--Lost Cove Farm
Donna Hershberger--The Music of Nature
Molly Daly--The Catbird Seat
Bill Thompson, III- Bill of the Birds

Linked to Bird Photography Weekly #94 at to promote the conservation of our world's birds.


  1. Wonderful post and photography of your trip, Vickie! As I looked at your photos, I see many that you could turn into a watercolor (i.e. the Grist Mill and the waterfall)

  2. I remember being here last year. It was cold and gray the day we visited but still beautiful. However, it rained and we had to eat on the bus! So glad it was nice for you. Love the bluets, one of my favorite wildflowers! I have enver heard them called "Quaker ladies" before!


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