On this beautiful spring morning 22 people showed up for the regular (every 4th Saturday except December) monthly bird walk at the Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship in northwestern Loudoun County. The first two and a half hours were spent near the Education Center on the Farmstead Loop though a small group did break off to take the Piney Run Spur before they met up with us again. After we finished on the north side of the center about 8 of us visited Arnold Rd and the Old Bridge Trail because of the different habitat there and added a few new species.

Searching for the Louisiana Waterthrush. Photo by J. Coleman

Searching for the Louisiana Waterthrush.
Photo by J. Coleman

The highlights of the walk included a pair of Barred Owls in an area where we see them most springs, FOS Louisiana Waterthrushes, and for most of us, numerous FOS Tree Swallows. Both the Tree Swallows and the Eastern Bluebirds were in large numbers around the next boxes (there are three different trails there) with pairs sitting together on a few boxes. Many of the bluebirds were actively squabbling with each other over both boxes and mates. For the first time in many months Fish Crows were heard at the center; apparently they leave that area for the winter. Eastern Phoebes, Field Sparrows and Golden-crowned Kinglets were seen in healthy numbers with both of the former two in song at locations where they have nested in the past. Male Brown-headed Cowbirds chased females around. And while the only abundant wildflower in bloom was spring beauty, it opened fully in many spots as the morning brightened.

A number of people, Donna Quinn, Del Sargent, Bryan Henson, Allison Gallo, and myself, assisted with the walk. Information on the Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship can be found at http://www.blueridgecenter.org. Information on the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy and its many free activities can be found at www.loudounwildlife.org.

For a complete list of the 41 species see the eBird lists below.

Joe Coleman

 

Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship, Loudoun, Virginia, US Mar 25, 2017 7:45 AM – 10:30 AM

Protocol: Traveling

2.2 mile(s)

Comments:  Regular monthly walk at BRCES; we spent most of our time on the Farmstead Loop though a small group broke off from the main group to also walk the Piney Run Spur.

38 species

Canada Goose  16

Great Blue Heron  1

Black Vulture  1

Turkey Vulture  4

Cooper’s Hawk  1

Red-shouldered Hawk  1

Mourning Dove  2

Barred Owl  2

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker  3

Downy Woodpecker  3

Hairy Woodpecker  1

Northern Flicker  2

Pileated Woodpecker  3

Eastern Phoebe  6

Blue Jay  1

American Crow  6

Fish Crow  6

Tree Swallow  10     Numerous Tree Swallows flying & visiting, in pairs, nest boxes

Carolina Chickadee  10

Tufted Titmouse  4

White-breasted Nuthatch  4

Winter Wren  1

Carolina Wren  5

Golden-crowned Kinglet  6

Eastern Bluebird  20     Numerous pairs visiting nest boxes & males squabbling over females

American Robin  2

Northern Mockingbird  1

Louisiana Waterthrush  2

Field Sparrow  9

Dark-eyed Junco  7

White-throated Sparrow  2

Song Sparrow  4

Eastern Towhee  1

Northern Cardinal  8

Brown-headed Cowbird  8

House Finch  1

American Goldfinch  4

House Sparrow  1

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S35421824

 

BRCES–Arnold Lane, Loudoun, Virginia, US Mar 25, 2017 10:50 AM – 11:50 AM

Protocol: Traveling

0.75 mile(s)

Comments:     After finishing on the north side about 8 of us went to Arnold Rd to visit the dif. habitat there.

27 species

Canada Goose  2

Black Vulture  1

Turkey Vulture  1

Red-bellied Woodpecker  2

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker  1

Downy Woodpecker  1

Hairy Woodpecker  1

Pileated Woodpecker  1

Eastern Phoebe  3

American Crow  4

Fish Crow  2

Tree Swallow  4

Carolina Chickadee  2

Tufted Titmouse  1

White-breasted Nuthatch  2

Carolina Wren  2

Golden-crowned Kinglet  2

Eastern Bluebird  6

Northern Mockingbird  1

European Starling  1

Louisiana Waterthrush  1

Field Sparrow  2

Dark-eyed Junco  2

White-throated Sparrow  2

Song Sparrow  1

Northern Cardinal  2

Red-winged Blackbird  6

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S35422035

These reports were generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org/content/atlasva)

 

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march-for-science-earth-dayMembers and friends of the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy: Join us as we March for Science on Earth Day, April 22.

Everything that Loudoun Wildlife does is based on sound science. We value science and recognize how science serves. What unites us is a love of science, and an insatiable curiosity. We recognize that science is everywhere and affects everyone.

Science is often an arduous process, but it is also thrilling. A universal human curiosity and dogged persistence is the greatest hope for the future. We must not allow the relationship between science and democracy to erode.

We march on April 22 to let our legislators know that we need science-based polices and research to tackle the problems and issues that our environment faces today.

Check back on our website and on our Facebook page for more information. Email contact@loudounwildlife.org or call 703-777-2575 closer to the date for details.

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Four of us showed up for the regular monthly bird walk at the Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve Saturday morning, March 11. In spite of the beginning (25) and ending (32) temps it was a very pleasant morning for a bird walk. While there weren’t a lot of species, we did find a first-of-year (for most of us) Eastern Phoebe. However, except for a few large mixed flocks there weren’t a lot of birds.

After we finished at Banshee Reeks three of us went over to the private (restricted access) Dulles Greenway Wetlands Mitigation Project to see what work the bluebird trail (managed by the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy) might need. It had warmed up to 35 degrees by then but since the Wetlands is largely sheltered from the west winds it wasn’t bad. Because the beavers have been very successful in building a dam at the Dulles Greenway Wetlands spillway there is much more water on the wetlands than there used to be. Not only is there little exposed mud for shorebirds, the ducks can easily hide in the extensive scrub, much of which has its feet in water. The ducks that were there were rather skittish, perhaps because of the active Bald Eagle nest there or for some other reason.  In addition to a Bald Eagle sitting in the nest we saw a  variety of ducks and 2 Am Coots (see below for the complete list) and a number of ducks we were unable to ID as they darted this way and that in the sky and the scrub.

For a complete list of the birds observed at Banshee Reeks and the Dulles Greenway Wetlands pls see the eBird reports below.

Photo by Pidge Troha

Photo by Pidge Troha

The regular monthly free bird walk (every 2nd Saturday) at the Banshee Reeks Nature preserve is sponsored by the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy & the Friends of Banshee Reeks. While there are no regular walks at the private Dulles Greenway Wetlands Mitigation Project, which has restricted access, we do periodically survey the birds there and occasionally lead walks there – check our website calendar.

Good birding (regardless of the weather)!

Joe Coleman for the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy

Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve, Loudoun, Virginia, US Mar 11, 2017 8:00 AM – 10:30 AM

Protocol: Traveling

2.4 mile(s)

Photo by Pidge Troha

Photo by Pidge Troha

34 species

Canada Goose  3

Great Blue Heron  1

Black Vulture  5

Turkey Vulture  3

Red-shouldered Hawk  3

Red-tailed Hawk  1

Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)  35

Mourning Dove  4

Red-bellied Woodpecker  5

Downy Woodpecker  4

Hairy Woodpecker  2

Northern Flicker  1

Pileated Woodpecker  3

Eastern Phoebe  1

Blue Jay  5

American Crow  6

Fish Crow  2

Carolina Chickadee  15

Tufted Titmouse  6

White-breasted Nuthatch  5

Brown Creeper  1

Carolina Wren  2

Eastern Bluebird  4

American Robin  50

Northern Mockingbird  2

European Starling  2

Field Sparrow  4

Dark-eyed Junco  30

White-throated Sparrow  20

Song Sparrow  6

Swamp Sparrow  1

Northern Cardinal  8

House Finch  2

American Goldfinch  2

 

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S35112630

Dulles Greenway Wetlands Mitigation Project, Loudoun, Virginia, US Mar 11, 2017 10:45 AM – 11:45 AM

Protocol: Traveling

0.8 mile(s)

30 species (+1 other taxa)

Canada Goose  X

Wood Duck  2

Gadwall  8

Mallard  2

Green-winged Teal  12

Ring-necked Duck  2

Hooded Merganser  2

duck sp.  30

Wild Turkey  3     seen by one person earlier in the day before the Banshee Reeks walk

Black Vulture  6

Turkey Vulture  6

Cooper’s Hawk  1

Bald Eagle  1     on nest

Red-shouldered Hawk  2

American Coot  2

Red-bellied Woodpecker  1

Downy Woodpecker  11

Pileated Woodpecker  1

Blue Jay  2

American Crow  4

Fish Crow  2

Carolina Chickadee  2

Tufted Titmouse  1

White-breasted Nuthatch  1

Carolina Wren  2

Eastern Bluebird  2

American Robin  2

White-throated Sparrow  2

Song Sparrow  2

Northern Cardinal  1

Red-winged Blackbird  1

 

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S35112908

 

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org)

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Twelve people showed up at the Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship in northwestern Loudon for the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy’s regular (every 4th Saturday of the month) bird walk. After meeting at the Education Center on the north side we drove to the parking area at the end of Sawmill Rd. After walking there for a couple of hours about half of us drove over to where Arnold Rd crosses under the power lines to see if we could add a seventh woodpecker species to the six we’d already found. While we didn’t succeed we did see another American Kestrel, an Eastern Meadowlark, and a Red-tailed Hawk.

The highlights of the walk included two American Kestrels, five Ring-billed Gulls (unusual in western Loudoun County and generally only seen during migration), numerous flocks of between 150 and 200 Canada Geese flying north high in the sky for the first hour or so, and a single Eastern Meadowlark.

American Kestrel

American Kestrel

For a complete list of the birds see the eBird list below.

Information on the Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship can be found at http://www.blueridgecenter.org.  Information on the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy and its many free activities can be found at www.loudounwildlife.org.

Joe Coleman & Del Sargent

Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship, Loudoun, Virginia, US Feb 25, 2017 7:45 AM – 10:45 AM

Protocol: Traveling

1.7 mile(s)

Comments:  Regularly scheduled bird walk at BRCES; met at Education Center & drove down to the parking lot at the end of Sawmill. After walking there about 1/2 of us went over to Arnold Rd where it goes under the power line and had great views of open fields and saw another American Kestrel, an Eastern Meadowlark, a Red-tailed Hawk, and a few more species.

38 species

Canada Goose 800 — for the first hour or so observed several flocks of between a 150 and 200 geese each flock migrating north high in the sky

Black Vulture 10

Turkey Vulture 12

Red-shouldered Hawk 2

Red-tailed Hawk 1

Killdeer 8

Ring-billed Gull 5

Mourning Dove 4

Red-bellied Woodpecker 2

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 2

Downy Woodpecker 4

Hairy Woodpecker 1

Northern Flicker 2

Pileated Woodpecker 2

American Kestrel 2

Blue Jay 3

American Crow 20

Fish Crow 1

Carolina Chickadee 12

Tufted Titmouse 12

White-breasted Nuthatch 2

Carolina Wren 8

Ruby-crowned Kinglet 1

Eastern Bluebird 8

American Robin 2

Northern Mockingbird 1

European Starling 5

Field Sparrow 4

Fox Sparrow 1

White-throated Sparrow 8

Song Sparrow 8

Swamp Sparrow 2

Eastern Towhee 1

Northern Cardinal 5

Red-winged Blackbird 6

Eastern Meadowlark 1

Common Grackle 2

American Goldfinch 2

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S34791563

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org)

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Thank you for helping make the 2016 Central Loudoun Christmas Bird Count a great success! Without your help we wouldn’t have all this great data showing what is happening with birds in Loudoun in early winter.

The following is a brief report on the overall count and what we found (if it doesn’t format correctly in this email, let me know and I’ll send it to you as a Word document). If you’d like to see the results of all of our CBCs go to our website (www.loudounwildlife.org) and drill into the CBC section to see what we’ve found beginning in 1997, our very first year. If you’d like to see a comparison of this year’s 12 sectors let me know and I’ll share my working spreadsheet with you.

Hope to see you next year – it’s not too early to pencil December 28, 2017 in your calendar!

The Central Loudoun Christmas Bird Count, December 28, 2016

Overall, the results from the Central Loudoun CBC on Dec. 28 were on the low average side with 91 species and 28,337 individuals. While it was a great winter day to be outside, almost all of the teams, built from 110 participants, reported that the numbers of species and individuals were somewhat less than normal.

The highlights included finding

  • a Common Yellowthroat (found on only one of our 19 previous counts),
  • two Palm Warblers (found on only three previous counts),
  • a Black-capped Chickadee (found on four of our previous counts), and
  • a Common Goldeneye (five previous counts).

    Common Yellowthroat. Photo by Nicole Hamilton

    Common Yellowthroat.
    Photo by Nicole Hamilton

Also interesting were the birds which reached their highest numbers in the 20-year history of the Central Loudoun CBC

  • 38 Bald Eagles – a heart-warming increase showing the success of the Endangered Species Act as none were found during the first four counts
  • 650 Black Vultures – over the past century this species has steadily increased its range northwards into areas where it was once rare
  • 571 Rock Pigeons.

The increase in both Cooper’s Hawks and Sharp-shinned Hawks over the last few years is also interesting. While both have been abundant in previous years, their combined total this year, 38, was much higher than any previous year.

It was nice to find a Merlin on this count (the 9th time we’ve found one). The nine American Kestrels, while not as low as the last couple of years, reflects the overall decline of this species in the Mid-Atlantic. Though one year doesn’t make a trend, perhaps the slight increase over the past few years reflects the many efforts citizens have begun to preserve this species before it tips over the edge the way Loggerhead Shrikes have, a species whose diet is very similar to that of the American Kestrel. Interestingly enough, while both American Kestrels and Loggerhead Shrikes eat a lot of insects, Merlin diets are almost exclusively limited to small birds – one has to wonder if this might be a factor in the decline of the former two but not Merlins?

Another fascinating trend on this CBC is the increase of Chipping Sparrows, a species that used to migrate out of our area in the winter, and the decline in American Tree Sparrows, a species that used to migrate into our area in winter. While we found a high of 20 Chipping Sparrows this year, this was the second time in three years that we haven’t found any American Tree Sparrows. While it’s too early to tell what the reasons for this are and though Central Loudoun is only one count, it may be that climate change is allowing species to remain further north than they used to.

While we’ve always found some Common Ravens on this count, the 21 Common Ravens found this year continue to show how extensively this species is now utilizing the Piedmont. And lastly, I’m sure the many Bluebird box trails that Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy volunteers maintain are a factor behind the healthy number of Eastern Bluebirds, 593 on this count, which we find every year.

The Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy thanks the many volunteers and staff who support and participate in the count and the many people and businesses that give us special excess to their properties – without them this count wouldn’t be nearly as successful!

Joe Coleman, Compiler, Central Loudoun CBC

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Twenty people showed up this past Saturday on a crisp, sunny morning for the monthly Bird Walk at Banshee Reeks. Joining us for the walk was a group of 4-H youth (with parents) who were working on a Bird Watching Project. It was awesome to see their enthusiasm for spotting birds. We look forward to seeing them at the Loudoun Wildlife Christmas Bird Count Primer program next month.

Fox Sparrow. Photo by Diane Nastase

Fox Sparrow.
Photo by Diane Nastase

It was a great day for Woodpeckers, we saw or heard six of our seven winter species. Sparrows were also in abundance as we noted eight sparrow species, highlighted by great looks at a Fox Sparrow and a number of Savannah Sparrows.

Other highlights include 2 Hermit Thrush and a female Purple Finch.

Dori Rhodes & Jane Yocom

8 Black Vulture
10 Turkey Vulture
1 Sharp-shinned Hawk
2 Red-shouldered Hawk
1 Red-tailed Hawk
4 Red-bellied Woodpecker
1 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
4 Downy Woodpecker
1 Hairy Woodpecker
2 Northern Flicker
1 Pileated Woodpecker
12 Blue Jay
8 American Crow
7 Fish Crow
15 Carolina Chickadee
8 Tufted Titmouse
2 White-breasted Nuthatch
2 Brown Creeper
2 Carolina Wren
2 Golden-crowned Kinglet
7 Eastern Bluebird
2 Hermit Thrush
2 American Robin
6 Northern Mockingbird
14 Cedar Waxwing
4 Field Sparrow
1 Fox Sparrow
25 Dark-eyed Junco
30 White-throated Sparrow
4 Savannah Sparrow
12 Song Sparrow
2 Swamp Sparrow
1 Eastern Towhee
17 Northern Cardinal
1 Purple Finch
10 American Goldfinch

Number of Taxa: 36

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Fox squirrrel

Fox squirrrel

Five people gathered for the regular (every 4th Saturday except December) bird walk at the Blue Ridge Center on a windy and chilly morning last Saturday. While it started out very cloudy, the sun came out and the wind increased dramatically as the morning progressed.  Most of the walk was spent in sheltered locations around the Education Center on the Farmstead Loop though a short visit afterwards to the Arnold Road segment of the center added a couple  more species, including two different Eastern Phoebes busily fly catching in a sheltered spot, and a Fox Squirrel sitting on a fence post in the sun.

 

Field Sparrow.  Photo by Diane Nastase

Field Sparrow.
Photo by Diane Nastase

Song sparrow. Photo by Diane Nastase

Song sparrow.
Photo by Diane Nastase

The highlights of the walk included at least six Ruby-crowned Kinglets in a variety of locations and habitats, a Brown Creeper and a couple of Hermit Thrushes deep in the woods near Piney Run. We also saw and heard several White-throated Sparrows, multiple Field Sparrows, a Catbird and a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. It was also fun watching a flock (one of two) of Cedar Waxwings devouring fox grapes in the top of a tree along piney Run.

For a complete list of the birds see the eBird list below.

Information on the Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship can be found at http://www.blueridgecenter.org.  Information on the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy and its many free activities can be found at www.loudounwildlife.org.

Joe Coleman

 

Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship, Loudoun, Virginia, US Oct 22, 2016 7:45 AM – 10:45 AM

Protocol: Traveling

3.0 mile(s)

Comments:     Walked the trails around the Education Center with the bulk of our time spent on the Farmstead Loop. After the walk visited Arnold Rd where found 2 Eastern Phoebes and a Fox Squirrel sitting on a fence post.

32 species

Black Vulture  15

Turkey Vulture  10

Sharp-shinned Hawk  1

Red-shouldered Hawk  2

Red-tailed Hawk  1

Red-bellied Woodpecker  6

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker  1

Downy Woodpecker  4

Hairy Woodpecker  1

Eastern Phoebe  2

Blue Jay  10

American Crow  7

Carolina Chickadee  12

Tufted Titmouse  7

White-breasted Nuthatch  3

Brown Creeper  1

Carolina Wren  2

Ruby-crowned Kinglet  6

Eastern Bluebird  5

Hermit Thrush  2

Gray Catbird  1

Northern Mockingbird  1

European Starling  200

Cedar Waxwing  25

Yellow-rumped Warbler  5

Chipping Sparrow  2

Field Sparrow  4

White-throated Sparrow  8

Song Sparrow  6

Northern Cardinal  8

Red-winged Blackbird  15

American Goldfinch  3

 

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S32154642

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Saturday’s bird walk at the Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve was pretty quiet without a lot of sightings possibly because of the cool, rainy weather. The four birders present took a long loop down to the beaver pond and back to our cars by way of the pond northeast of the model airplaners’ field. And while the birding was slow the rainy weather did result in beautiful muted colors especially where there was a lot of goldenrod. The fungi we found was also quite stunning and vigorous as a result of the recent cool, damp weather.

Fungi at Banshee Reeks

Fungi at Banshee Reeks

The highlights of the walk were actually the birds we didn’t see. During the walk itself we didn’t come across a single sparrow, highly unusual for this time of year and especially so in the model airplaners’ field.  There was a single Song Sparrow seen on the way out and another birder reported seeing both Lincoln’s and White-throated Sparrows. It was fun watching the many Blue Jays flying back & forth with acorns in the beaks and listening to the flickers making their squeak toy sound.

A quiet field in October

A quiet field in October

For a complete list of the birds observed at Banshee Reeks on October 8 see the eBird report below.

The regular monthly free bird walk (every 2nd Saturday) at the Banshee Reeks Nature preserve is sponsored by the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy (www.loudounwildlife.org) and the Friends of Banshee Reeks (www.bansheereeks.org ); information on both and their upcoming events can be found on their websites.

Good birding (regardless of the weather)!

Joe Coleman

 

Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve, Loudoun, Virginia, US Oct 8, 2016 8:00 AM – 9:50 AM

Protocol: Traveling

2.0 mile(s)

21 species (+1 other taxa)

Canada Goose  3

Cooper’s Hawk  1

Red-shouldered Hawk  1

Mourning Dove  1

Red-bellied Woodpecker  3

Northern Flicker  6

Pileated Woodpecker  2

Eastern Phoebe  3

flycatcher sp. (Tyrannidae sp.)  1

Blue Jay  25

American Crow  6

Carolina Chickadee  4

Tufted Titmouse  4

White-breasted Nuthatch  1

House Wren  1

Carolina Wren  2

Eastern Bluebird  6

American Robin  2

Gray Catbird  1

Northern Mockingbird  5

Song Sparrow  1

Northern Cardinal  6

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S31953656

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Four people enjoyed Saturday morning’s beautiful weather at the regular (every fourth Saturday except for  December) monthly bird walk at the Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship (BRCES). Birding around the parking and garden area we were treated to four Common Ravens flying over the gardens. Flocks of Cedar Waxwings flew from treetop to treetop in the area and were still there when we finished our walk at 11 AM. There was a fairly constant stream of Blue Jays flying overhead the entire walk. Other highlights included decent looks at a Philadelphia Vireo, a Bald Eagle flying high above a kettle of vultures and a Pine Warbler. We also saw quite a few Monarch Butterflies, fueling up for their flight to Mexico. Del Sargent and Jane Yocom

Red-Bellied-Woodpecker-Feb-15-2007-1Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship, Loudoun, Virginia, US
Sep 24, 2016 7:45 AM – 11:16 AM
Protocol: Traveling
2.0 mile(s)
Comments: Nice morning with a few clouds and temps in the low 70′s. With Del Sargent.
Submitted from eBird for iOS, version 1.3.0 Build 86
38 species

Black Vulture (Coragyps atratus) 38
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura) 15
Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) 1
Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus) 2
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) (Columba livia (Feral Pigeon)) 4
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) 3
Chimney Swift (Chaetura pelagica) 2
Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris) 1
Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus) 4
Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) 3
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) 3
Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus) 2
Eastern Wood-Pewee (Contopus virens) 1
Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe) 5
Philadelphia Vireo (Vireo philadelphicus) 1
Red-eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus) 1
Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) 100
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) 6
Fish Crow (Corvus ossifragus) 2
Common Raven (Corvus corax) 5
Carolina Chickadee (Poecile carolinensis) 4
Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor) 5
White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis) 5
House Wren (Troglodytes aedon) 1
Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus) 4
Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis) 24
Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis) 3
Brown Thrasher (Toxostoma rufum) 4
Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum) 45
Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas) 1
Pine Warbler (Setophaga pinus) 1
Chipping Sparrow (Spizella passerina) 4
Field Sparrow (Spizella pusilla) 6
Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) 6
Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus) 1
Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea) 3
Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) 1
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis) 40

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S31758486

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org)

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With the passing of Otto Gutenson last week, Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy and the region as a whole has lost a valued environmentalist and volunteer.

As noted in his obituary, Gutenson, 68, passed away September 20 of complications of Parkinson’s disease.

He was “a very dedicated conservationist and wildlife activist,” said Phil Daley, who worked closely with Gutenson since the inception of Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy’s stream monitoring program in 1996.

“As a long time advisor to Loudoun Wildlife’s Board and stream team, he will be sorely missed. I will miss his wit, knowledge and friendship,” Daley said.

Through Gutenson’s many contacts with federal, state and local officials “he kept our ‘stream team’ abreast of trends in monitoring and data collection requirements,” Daley said. “Otto was key in establishing Loudoun Watershed Watch as a widely recognized advocate for water quality within Loudoun County and the state.”

“He used his professional experience to inform his volunteer participation and inform those of us who didn’t have that background,” recalled Gem Bingol, Clarke and Loudoun County Land Use Officer with the Piedmont Environmental Council.

Daley and Bingol said Gutenson helped Loudoun Wildlife’s stream team adopt the more volunteer-friendly Virginia Modified Save Our Streams system of gathering insects and evaluating the health of Loudoun’s streams.

“He felt that it was important that the process be easy, yet reliable enough for anyone to do. He helped us see how our work fit into the bigger picture,” Bingol said.

But it wasn’t just Gutenson’s expertise that left a mark; his wit and personality shone through as well.

David Ward, who currently heads Loudoun Watershed Watch, and his wife, Carol, began their stream monitoring under Gutenson’s guidance.

“Occasionally joined by other volunteers, we cherished our time with Otto as he entertained us on a myriad of subjects,” Ward said.  “With pipe in hand, Otto never missed the opportunity to share his thoughts and political ramblings. His twinkly-eyed dry humor made collecting and identifying macroinvertebrates an enjoyable event.

“One monitoring event coincided with Otto’s birthday, so we presented him with an oversized magnifying glass and a ‘King of the Bugs’ baseball cap,” Ward said.

“We will miss Otto’s ‘streamside’ manner, uncanny wit – our mentor and our friend.”

Photo by David Ward

Photo by David Ward

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