Archive for August, 2015

Banshee_Monarch_20150702-27Monarch Watch is offering free milkweed plugs for large-scale restoration projects in September 2015 and through spring and fall 2016.

Places to think about for these plantings – Anywhere that you have large expanses of grass that is mowed – think BIG: Home Owner Association (HOA) Common areas that are mowed, Business landscaping where you have large areas of grass that is mowed, Church surroundings where the grass is mowed.

Turn mowed areas into diverse habitats that are rich for pollinators and other wildlife and help Bring Back the Monarchs!  We can do it!!  These free milkweed plants make it easy to jump in and get a project started! Plus – you’ll save money by eliminating mowing costs!

Information for applying for these free plugs can be found at:

You’ll want to include other native wildflowers in addition to the milkweed plants (goldenrods, asters, joe pye weed, and more).  Businesses can order these plants at wholesale at a couple of places in our region.  For those in Loudoun/northern VA area – we’re happy to advise on plant sources and species. Contact us if you have questions


Sixteen birders showed up for the monthly birdwalk on August 8th at Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve in Loudoun County, sponsored by The Friends of Banshee Reeks and Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy.  A total of 37 species of birds were seen, which is about average for the August walk.  Two Monarch butterflies were seen as well as numerous varieties of Skippers.  The bird list follows:

Canada Goose

Black Vulture

Turkey Vulture

Mourning Dove

Yellow-billed Cuckoo

Chimney Swift

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

Northern Flicker

Eastern Wood Pewee

Eastern Phoebe

Eastern Kingbird

Blue Jay

American Crow

Fish Crow

Tree Swallow

Barn Swallow

Carolina Chickadee

Tufted Titmouse

Carolina Wren

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Eastern Bluebird

American Robin

Gray Catbird

Northern Mockingbird

Brown Thrasher

European Starling

Cedar Waxwing

Common Yellowthroat

Eastern Towhee

Field Sparrow

Northern Cardinal

Blue Grosbeak

Indigo Bunting

Baltimore Oriole

House Finch

American Goldfinch