Pinnacle Mountain State Park 5/6/2011

After starting on the east side of town, birding the Witt Stephens Nature Center and Allsopp Park, I wound up at Pinnacle Mountain State Park and walked the Rocky Valley Trail. My target was flycatchers, like the Acadian, which I have not encountered yet this year.  As I walked the trail listening to Summer Tanagers, I realized I didn’t remember what Scarlet Tanagers sounded like so I stopped and listened to playback.  A minute later, two Scarlet Tanagers arrived and played in the trees.  One was a juvenile changing from yellow to red plumage.  Also heard were Black-and-White Warbler, Pine Warbler, and Worm-eating Warbler.  As I completed the loop and was nearing the end, I heard a thrush like sound and stopped to listen.  About 50 feet away was a thrush that might have been a Swainson’s Thrush but the more I looked the more I became convinced it was a Gray-cheeked Thrush (they are similar looking).  Not only that but it wasn’t the thrush I heard, that one was farther back.  I used playback again to confirm they were both Gray-cheeked Thrush.  Although I got no flycatchers, the Scarlet Tanager and Gray-cheeked Thrush were good consolation prizes.

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