Great Falls, Virginia

Yesterday, we visited the Maryland side of the Great Falls. Today, we visited the Great Falls Park on the Virginia side. While were there primarily to see the falls along with a bit of possible fall foliage, we ended up spending some time at Overlook #2 watching some birds that were nearby!

We started out at Overlook #1, the one closest to the main parking lot. A bit of an obscured view here.

A nicer view here, just a little bit downstream.

While we heard quite a few birds the moment we left the car and started walking towards the viewpoints, we didn’t see any birds close to us until we were at Overlook #2. This small area was extremely popular with our little feathered friends. We saw this bird, a likely warbler. There are many warblers that pass through during migration season and some of them can be rather confusing to identify.

We noticed a large group of birds up in a tree above us. They were Cedar Waxwings! There were at least a dozen total.

We also saw some small, very fast moving birds. This particular Ruby-Crowned Kinglet was very active! Unfortunately, no red crown was visible on this individual.

This Pileated Woodpecker was very busy examining all the nearby trees!

We also briefly spotted this Red-Bellied Woodpecker.

And we also briefly saw a Northern Flicker!

There were many White-Breasted Nuthatches flying about. There was one tree in particular that we saw them on but didn’t get a photo.

We also got a relatively close look at a Tufted Titmouse that was busy preening its feathers.

Eventually, we turned our attention back to the Potomac and walked over to Overlook #3. The lighting had improved a bit!

Although overall the fall colors weren’t too impressive near us, it did make for a nice scene when looking upstream!

On our way back to the car, we spotted a Pileated Woodpecker at the top of a tree. The same individual as before?

There were a few interesting birds that we failed to get good photos of. We spotted an immature Bald Eagle flying by at relatively high altitude. At first, we though it was an Osprey but it definitely was not upon closer examination. We also heard the distinctive song of White-Throated Sparrows but failed to actually see any. There were likely other smaller birds that we missed, unfortunately it is only really possible to focus on one at a time!

As for extremely common species, we saw both Black and Turkey Vultures perched high up in the trees around Overlook #2. And we heard Northern Cardinals ticking a few times but didn’t see them.

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