Over 110 birders participated in the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy’s Central Loudoun CBC on Friday, Dec. 28.

While a couple of reports are not in yet, species-wise this will the count’s best year (out of 16) with approx. 105 species observed, the first time this count has gone over a 100 species! And at end of the day about 50 birders met at Morven Park for a Tally Rally to celebrate a great day of birding and tell tales of what they’d seen.

Our thanks go to all the birders that made this great day possible, the five people who organized and ran the Tally Rally, and the many landowners who gave us permission to visit their properties.

The preliminary highlights of the birds seen, including a small section in MD at White’s Ford, were:
Cackling Goose – the first for the count
Snow Goose – found on only about half of the counts
Tundra Swans – several of the teams reported flocks flying over; found on less than 1/2 of the counts
Blue-winged Teal – found on only one other count
Red-breasted Merganser – found on only one other count
Merlin – found on only about half of the counts
Virginia Rails – three were found, only found on three previous counts
American Woodcock – found on less than half the counts
Lesser Black-backed Gull – found on only one previous count
Long-eared Owl – 7th time found on this count owls
found all the local owls including one Barn Owl
Seven-woodpecker days – at least five teams had a seven woodpecker day
Red-headed Woodpecker – 29, a new high (most was 20 in 2009), sighted with three teams still to report
Loggerhead Shrike – two, while found on about 1/2 of our counts this is only the 2nd time two have been seen
Horned Lark – found in large numbers, not found on every count
Red-breasted Nuthatches – not surprisingly seen in large than normal numbers
American Pipit – not found on every count & in larger numbers than average this year
Snow Bunting – found on Patton Turf Farm in Md – only 2nd yr found & last year’s was at the County Landfill
Lapland Longspur – found on Patton Turf Farm in Md – found 3 times before but not since 2002
Am Tree Sparrows – seen in small numbers except by the team covering the Rte 15 corridor south which found 23
Chipping sparrows – at least two
Rusty Blackbird – one
Common Redpoll – last found in 1999
Pine Siskin – not found every year and found in larger than average numbers this year

A complete report will be posted to the Loudoun Wildlife website once all the reports are in.

Joe Coleman, Compiler, Central Loudoun CBC