To celebrate the importance of bird migration the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy, in partnership with three other groups, is sponsoring 12 bird walks between May 7 and May 15.
Migration is one of the most important and spectacular events in the life of a bird ─ its journey between it summer and winter homes. Without healthy habitat, many of these of these birds would not be able to survive their incredibly long journey.
Join us at few of these great places.
We also hold a Birdathon to raise money for the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy’s bird conservation efforts ─ if you think might be interested in participating or sponsoring one of the teams, visit www.loudounwildlife.org/IMBD_Birdathon.htm. [donations of $50 or more receive a free Go Wild, Go Birding t-shirt or LWC t-shirt, your choice]
All of the following walks, in order by date, begin at 8:00 a.m. unless indicated. Registration required: Sign Up Online or contact Joe Coleman at firstname.lastname@example.org or 540-554-2542.
Algonkian Regional Park — Saturday, May 7, 8:00 a.m. Co-sponsored with the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia. Join Bill Brown and Jay Hadlock for a visit to the varied habitats in this regional park which borders the Potomac River in eastern Loudoun County and includes extensive bottomland forest.
Bles Park & the Great Blue Heron Rookery along Broad Run — Saturday, May 7, 8:00 a.m. Join Robert and Cathey Daugherty as they explore this delightful park along the Potomac River and then pay a visit to the close-by Great Blue Heron Rookery along Broad Run where there are more than 60 Great Blue Heron nests. While Bles is small, its many fields and wetlands host a surprisingly large and diverse population of birds.
Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship — Saturday, May 7, 8:00 a.m. Join Joe Coleman and Mary Ann Good as they explore this beautiful 900-acre preserve in northwestern Loudoun County. The meadows in the valley, the rich wetlands, healthy streams, and heavily forested slopes on the Blue Ridge, are home to a wide variety of wildlife, including many different species of birds.
Birding Waterford’s Phillips Farm — Saturday, May 7, 8:00 a.m. Join Dale Ball and Bruce Johnson as they bird this wonderful 144-acre farm on the edge of historic Waterford. Visitors will pass through some of the 1500 trees and shrubs that the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy and the Waterford Foundation have planted on the walk to the old 18th century dam on the Catoctin. These trees and shrubs and the Catoctin Creek that they border are home to several swallow species, Belted Kingfishers, Barred Owls, Red-shouldered Hawks, and more.
Dulles Greenway Wetlands Mitigation Project — Sunday, May 8, 8:00 a.m. Join Bruce Hill and Cheri Conca for a bird walk at the Dulles Greenway Wetlands. Built in the early 1990’s to replace the wetlands lost when the Dulles Greenway was built, this wetlands along the Goose Creek near Oatlands, is a great place to observe a wide variety of birds varying from small sparrows and shorebirds with their cryptic plumage to the magnificent pair of Bald Eagles who have successfully nested there for the last five years. Waterproof footgear, long pants, and insect repellent are advised.
Morven Park — Monday, May 9, 8:00 a.m. While many people know Morven Park for its beautiful and historic setting and buildings, few people realize that the 1000-acre National Register Historic Property includes hundreds of acres of mature forest along the Catoctin Ridge. Join Sharon Kearns and Joe Coleman for a bird walk on this beautiful and historically rich property.
Along the Goose Creek at the Goodstone Inn — Wednesday, May 11, 8:00 – 11:00 a.m. Join Christine Perdue and Joe Coleman for a bird walk along the Goose Creek and surrounding fields just a couple of miles north of Middleburg. Meet at lower parking lot of the Inn. For anyone interested in staying the inn opens for lunch at 11:30 a.m.
Birding the Beagle Institute — Friday, May 13, 8 a.m. Join Linda Millington and Emily Southgate, who is very familiar with the institute, on a bird walk in the rich habitat that comprises the privately-owned 500-acre National Beagle Club Institute Farm Property. This delightful western Loudoun County property near Aldie is on the National Register of Historic Properties and was one of the locations where American Woodcocks were viewed earlier this spring.
Birding the Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve ― Saturday, May 14, 8:00 a.m. Join Dori Rhodes and Del Sargent of the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy and the Friends of Banshee Reeks for a bird walk at the 725-acre Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve. Because of its rich and varied habitat, this part of the county is a birding hot spot.
Birding the Horsepen Preserve ― Saturday, May 14, 8:00 a.m. Join Andy Rabin and Linda Sieh as they search for birds at the privately-owned and heavily-forested Horsepen Preserve, a large, natural area that borders the Potomac River immediately to the west of Algonkian Park. The rich bottomland and extensive wetlands that comprise this 400-acre preserve are home to numerous species of birds.
Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge ― Saturday, May 14, 8:00 a.m. Co-sponsored with the Northern Virginia Bird Club. Join Peter and Molly Ross of the Northern Virginia Bird Club as they search for birds at this wonderful national wildlife refuge at the confluence of the Potomac and Occoquan River which happens to be immediately across from the Mason Neck State Park and National Wildlife Refuge in Fairfax County. While this refuge in northern Prince William County is a long way from Loudoun County it is well worth the drive due to the numerous species that can be found there especially in spring during the height of migration.
International Migratory Bird Day Walk for Children, at the Rust Nature Sanctuary in Leesburg ― Saturday, May 14, 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. This walk, designed for children, ages 8 – 12, who are interested in learning about birds and how to identify them, will visit the many different habitats on this 68-acre nature sanctuary on the edge of Leesburg. Dress for the weather and wear comfortable walking/hiking shoes. Registration required: Sign Up Online or contact Phil Daley at email@example.com or 540-338-6528.