Friday, June 4, 2010

Woods Hole Birding and Nature Walk

On May 13, I went birding with a small group of local birders at Woods Hole, a hostel/bed and breakfast for Appalachian hikers (I know I am way behind on posting!).

Woods Hole is above 3000 feet elevation so you don't see cardinals or goldfinches I was told. We did see and hear plenty of birds including wood thrushes, rose-breasted grosbeaks, red-eyed vireos and others.

Amercian Redstart female on nest

I wasn't good at identifying the birds from their songs like others were but I did spot this little tiny nest in a tree only a few feet from us. That's exciting.

Wood-Betony Pedicularis canadensis

I have seen this flower before at Mountain Lake where it's typically reddish. Of course, I couldn't remember the name at the time. I figured it was in the snapdragon family and so it was easy to look up.

Red Admiral
Vanessa atalanta

I had been seeing this butterfly for a few days at my house before I snapped this picture at Woods Hole. It will probably be flying around all summer according to my field guide.

After we birded for awhile, we enjoyed a good breakfast (home-made biscuits and sausage with country eggs from down the road). From the front porch, I admired the great garden--this area was just one part of it. In the background is the log cabin that the owner's grandfather built for the hikers. We saw several wirey-legged hikers enjoying the owner's coffee which she roasts and grinds there.

Looking toward the front porch where I stood before, you can see the house itself which is a log cabin dating back to the 1880s. The new addition (on the right) was completed last year. It has two bedrooms with shared bath they rent out, breakfast included.

I thought the builders did a great job of integrating the old and new structures. Also, from this view, you see the stone wall and fence which keeps the deer out of the raised beds. I wish I had photographed the great rock wall behind the house. They needed it to protect the house from run-off. The water flows into a pond which is to the right of this photo. The pond, which was flooded out in March, was built again and is now surrounded by blueberry bushes. I admire (and envy) the tremendous energy and hard work of the owners of Woods Hole.


  1. Great photos ... the area is lovely! It sounds like it was a great trip! Thanks for sharing a piece of it with us!

  2. Great shot of the Red Admiral. I've seen lots of them this year - way way way moer than last year. I have NOT seen as many swallowtails as I saw last year. Are you seeing the same.

    Woods Hole looks like a neat spot .... is it in Giles Co?

  3. Little Messy Missy--thanks. I took the photo of the raised beds because I am thinking of doing mine like that--only a little higher so I don't have to bend over! I like the way the beds are surrounded by a good looking fence to keep the deer out.

  4. Small Footprints--thanks, it was a nice trip.

  5. Kerri--on my drive back from Wood's Hole, I saw about 50 tiger swallowtails together on the road. Maybe they were mating. But, I haven't seen as many around my house lately.

    Woods Hole is in Giles where the Appalachian Trail crosses Pearis Mountain.

  6. This is a lovely looking enticing location. I like the bird on the nest photo, what a wonderful photo opportunity. Thank you for your comment left on my blog . Ann

  7. Great photograph of the Redstart. I've tried forever to get a good shot. They are just too fast and I've never found a nest. I also love the garden.

  8. cool you spotted the Redstart's nest!! I'd LOVE to see one in person, but have never had the luck yet. (I'm further behind than you are in posts!!) Looks like a beautiful spot.

  9. me and my camera--yes, that was the first redstart nest I had seen. Woods Hole is certainly an interesting place.

    NCmountainwoman--I feel lucky to see a redstart--never have gotten a shot of one except this one of the nest.

    Kelly--the redstart nest was a special find. I keep thinking I will get better photos of butterflies, etc. and should just post them.

  10. Awesome to see that Redstart nest.
    Wow..they roast their own like hard work goes into that place.

  11. Sounds like a wonderful time! I didn't know about the higher elevation, not seeing certain birds...and I wish I could recognize all the bird calls too! I only know a hand full. Without seeing the bird it's hard to learn!

  12. That looks like a wonderful rest spot for weary hikers. I love watching birds and butterflies too. We were out birding the other week and I saw several Lazuli Buntings which was quite exciting, I love their colours - so beautiful to see flits of blue flying through the shrubs.