Archive for November, 2012

This past Saturday, Joe Coleman led our monthly bird walk at the Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship. Here is his report:

The wind not only made it feel cold, it kept a lot of the birds down except in the well-sheltered stream valleys where we had great views of numerous Hermit Thrushes, a dozen Golden-crowned Kinglets (but not a single Ruby-crowned), Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, and several Brown Creepers.

When we were out in the open we also saw a number of raptors as well as a group of Common Ravens playing.

As during our previous recent walks, the 18 birders on the walk included a lot of beginners making the long views of some of the birds very rewarding.

For a complete list of the birds observed see below. Information on the Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship can be found at  Information on the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy and its many free activities can be found at

Joe Coleman

Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship
Nov 24, 2012 7:30 AM – 11:20 AM
Protocol: Traveling 3.0 mile(s)

35 species: Canada Goose, Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture, Cooper’s Hawk 1, Bald Eagle 2, Red-shouldered Hawk 2, Red-tailed Hawk 3, Mourning Dove 2, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 4, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker 1, Northern Flicker 1, Pileated Woodpecker 1, American Kestrel 1, Blue Jay, American Crow, Common Raven 4, Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, Brown Creeper 4, Carolina Wren 6, Golden-crowned Kinglet 12, Eastern Bluebird, Hermit Thrush 8, American Robin 50, Northern Mockingbird 1, European Starling, Cedar Waxwing 1, Song Sparrow 12, White-throated Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, Northern Cardinal, American Goldfinch 1.

More photos can be seen on our facebook page.


2012 Central Loudoun Christmas Bird Count

Have fun and make a difference at the same time – for over a century thousands of people have participated in the longest citizen science project in the world and counted every wild bird they can find on Christmas Bird Counts. 

The information from the more than 2,000 bird counts is sent to the National Audubon Society (NAS), which works with the Cornell University School of Ornithology to create a database of the sightings from which bird populations can be studied. 

People explore the country’s natural and not-so-natural areas.  Counters share their wonder of the wild beauty of feathered creatures with like-minded people, and sometimes they find truly rare birds. 

Join us for the Sixteenth Annual Central Loudoun Christmas Bird Count on Friday, December 28 as we participate in this annual event.  Our count-circle has a 15-mile diameter and covers 177 square miles of Loudoun’s countryside: north to Waterford, south to Aldie, east to Ashburn, and west to Purcellville.  

The circle includes a number of very special natural areas such as the Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve, the Dulles Greenway Wetlands Mitigation Project, Beaverdam Reservoir, Morven Park, Ball’s Bluff, several private large estates, about five miles of the C&O Canal and Potomac River in the vicinity of White’s Ferry, and much of still-rural western Loudoun County.  Everyone is welcome — beginners are teamed up with experienced birders, and every eye helps!  If you are interested in participating for the whole day or just a portion, Sign Up Online or contact Joe Coleman at 540-554-2542 or

Calmes Neck Christmas Bird Count ― Saturday, January 5, 2013.  There are other Christmas Bird Counts in Loudoun County besides the Central Loudoun CBC which you can find out about by visiting  The Calmes Neck CBC includes much of far-western Loudoun County as well as Clarke County.  Its count area includes a wide variety of habitats ranging from mountain forests to rural subdivisions to old farm fields and meadows, with the Shenandoah River running through it.  If you want to help with the Calmes Neck CBC, contact Margaret Wester at 540-837-2799 or   Also, Joe Coleman (540-554-2542 or and Phil Daley (540-338-6528 or are sector leaders for the Calmes Neck CBC.   Phil’s area includes Round Hill and north, and Joe’s area includes Bluemont south to Bloomfield.  If you are interested in joining either of them, please contact them directly.

To see what has been found on previous Central Loudoun counts visit  ; to find out what has been found on other counts or compare the Central Loudoun to other counts, visit


Children’s  Nature Book Club –Listen to a nature-themed book appropriate for the season; then enjoy activities, games, and a nature walk related to that theme. Age range is children 3 to 6 years old.

Where: Rust Nature Sanctuary, 802 Children’s Center Rd., Leesburg

When: 10:00 A.M. -11:30A.M. Fridays, Nov. 9 and 16;  Dec. 7 and 14 (concludes our fall session)

Reservations required-Email,, or call 540-338-6528 or 703-669-0000×1

Cost: $3.00 /child per class

Co-sponsored by Audubon Naturalist Society and Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy


Wildlife Rescue, Rehabilitation, and Release ― Sunday, November 11, 2:00 p.m. at the Purcellville Library.

Belinda Burwell, Executive Director and Veterinarian at the Blue Ridge Wildlife Center, will describe how the center rescues injured, orphaned and sick native wildlife, and takes care of them before they are released back into the wild.

This free program is co-sponsored by the Purcellville Library.


Join Piedmont Environmental Council and partners for a day-long symposium on invasive plants in Virginia. This event is not to be missed and will include presentations from scientific experts and land managers on a wide range of invasive plants issues. Dr. Doug Tallamy, author of Bringing Nature Home, is the keynote.

Virginia Invasive Plant Symposium
Thursday, November 29th, 8:30-4pm
Middleburg Community Center, Middleburg

General registration is $25 (includes lunch), $15 for Nursery employees, and $10 for students
Registration and agenda at

Tentative Agenda 

  • 8:30-9:00am Coffee and Registration 
  • 9:00-10:00am Keynote: “Bringing Nature Home”, Dr. Doug Tallamy 
  • 10:00-10:30am “State of the State” Kevin Heffenman, Virginia Natural Heritage Program 
  • 10:30-10:45am Coffee Break 

Morning Session: Methodologies for Dealing with Invasive Plants Moderator: Jocelyn Sladen 

  • 10:45-11:15am “Grazing Management and Invasives” Dr.Sue Ellen Johnson, PEC 
  • 11:15-11:45am “Nexus between Deer and Invasive Plants”, Dr. Bill McShea, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute 
  • 11:45-12:15pm “Working with Sensitive Ecologies”, Bryan Lilly, Natural Elements LLC 
  • Lunch: 12:30-1:30pm 

Afternoon Session: Working Farm Case Studies Roundtable Moderator: Lori Udall, Sacharuna Foundation 

  • 1:30-2:00pm Ups Farm in Ohio: Paul Strauss, United Plant Savers 
  • 2:00-2:30pm The Farm at Sunnyside: Sam Quinn, Conservation Director 
  • 2:30-3:00pm Jones Nature Preserve, Bruce Jones, Owner
  • 3:00-3:30pm Oxbow Farm, Beatrice von Gontard, Owner 
  • 3:30-4:00pm Comments from Participants, Closing comments and wrap up James Barnes, Piedmont Environmental Council and Susan Leopold, United Plant Savers 

About the Keynote Presenter: 

As a child, Douglas W. Tallamy spent his summer days exploring the wild places that surrounded him, discovering a small pond filled with pollywogs, and taking great delight in watching their growth. One day, a bulldozer buried the young toads and all the other living treasures within the pond, an act that forever influenced Doug’s way of thinking about nature. 

Tallamy is currently Professor and Chair of the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware, where he has written more than 65 research articles and has taught insect taxonomy, behavioral ecology, and other subjects. Chief among his research goals is to better understand the many ways insects interact with plants and how such interactions determine the diversity of animal communities. 

Doug won the Silver Medal from the Garden Writer’s Association for his book, Bringing Nature Home. 

Cost: $25

For more information, contact James Barnes,


The Piedmont Chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society invites you for a Second Sunday Walk
November 11, from 1 – 3 pm
Bears Den Trail in Loudoun/Clarke Counties

The Piedmont Chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society invites you to join master naturalist Kristin Zimet for a walk around the Bears Den Overlook on the Blue Ridge portion of Loudoun and Clarke counties. Enjoy panoramic views of the Shenandoah Valley and the Blue Ridge Mountains from these unique rock outcroppings while exploring this rich biodiverse area. Dress for the weather, bring water and wear sturdy shoes. This walk is free to attend and everyone is welcome.

Reservations are not required but we would like a RSVP if you plan to come. To RSVP or for more details, please send inquiries to

Directions: Bears Den Trail Center, 18393 Blueridge Mountain Road, Bluemont, VA 20135.