Archive for October, 2011

If you talk to the animals, they will talk with you and you will know each other. If you do not talk to them, you will not know them, and what you do not know you will fear. What one fears, one destroys.
- Chief Dan George


Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird, I would fly about the earth seeking successive autumns!
- George Eliot


We can speak without voice to the trees and the clouds and the waves of the sea. Without words, they respond through the rustling of leaves and the moving of clouds and the murmuring of the sea.
- Paul Tillich


Wednesday, October 12, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. 

The Fascinating World of Bats!

Leslie Sturges of the Save Lucy Campaign will describe the fascinating and enchanting world of bats, our only flying mammal, and how important they are. 

She will also introduce the seven species of bats, some of which are common and some of which are rare, that call Loudoun County home. 

This free adult program is sponsored by Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy and it’s not to be missed!

Location: The Carver Center in Purcellville, located at 200 Willie Palmer Way, Purcellville. 

Questions: contact Joe Coleman at


Yesterday was the monthly bird walk at Banshee by Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy and the Friends of Banshee Reeks. This lovely fall morning was enjoyed by 11 birders, led by Joe Coleman, Laura McGranaghan, and Mary Ann Good. 

We got first-of-fall looks at a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Yellow-rumped Warbler, and Swamp and White-throated Sparrows.

We also spotted a couple of Bald Eagles, a No. Harrier, and a probable migrating family group of 4 Am. Kestrels.  A lingering Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Chimney Swift, Gray Catbird, Palm Warbler, and Brown Thrasher were also seen. We were surprised to watch a begging young Am. Goldfinch being fed by its parent.

It was a beautiful crisp morning with dew covering beautiful spider webs that glistened in the sunlight. As the morning warmed, we were also delighted to see a variety of butterflies that included migrating Monarchs clearly on the move, Common Buckeyes, a Variegated Fritillary, Orange Sulphur and an Eastern-tailed Blue.
The complete list of birds follows:
Canada Goose, Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture, Bald Eagle – 2, No. Harrier, Red-tailed Hawk, Am. Kestrel – 4, Mourning Dove, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Chimney Swift, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Downy Woodpecker, No. Flicker, Pileated Woodpecker, Blue Jay, Am. Crow, Fish Crow, Car. Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, Carolina Wren, E. Bluebird, thrush sp. – 2, Am. Robin – hundreds, Gray Catbird, No. Mockingbird, Brown Thrasher, Eur. Starling, Cedar Waxwing – 2, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Palm Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, E. Towhee – 5, Field Sparrow – 4, Swamp Sparrow – 4, White-throated Sparrow, No. Cardinal, Am. Goldfinch


The Big Sit is coming up! It falls on the second Sunday in October each year. So this year it’s on Sunday October 9.

“A Big Sit? What in the world is she talking about?” (some of you may be asking) It’s another excuse to get outside and enjoy nature and bird, silly! And… while you’re out there, collecting data, you’re contributing to bird population studies, so it’s all good!

The Big Sit was started officially by the New Haven Connecticut Bird Club. Bird Watchers Digest keyed in on it as a great activity and helped promote it nation-wide and now people all over the world are doing it! 

It’s pretty simple….and there are prizes that you can win.

Some have called the Big Sit a tailgate party for birding – and that’s a pretty good characterization.

What you do is first, identify a 17-foot diameter circle that you and your friends and family will bird from.  It can be located anywhere you want – in your yard, on your deck, at a park or sanctuary, wherever – but the key is that you can only could birds that you id from sitting in that count circle.

Then, on Oct 9, get yourself all set up in your circle with a comfortable chair, snacks, binos, beverages, and do your birding.  That’s it.

Once you’re done, send in your data on the Big Sit site. It’s would also be so helpful if you send your data to our Loudoun County  Bird Atlascoordinator, Spring Ligi, and she’ll get it entered into our database as part of that project.

So, let’s sit around and do some birding this weekend! You can visit the Big Sit web page to register your Big Sit, see some video interviews and get more information.


I arise torn between a desire to save the world and a desire to savor the world.
It makes it hard to plan the day.
- E.B. White