Ten people showed up for Saturday morning’s Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy bird walk at the Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship in the northwestern corner of Loudoun County. While there may have been fewer species of butterflies (17) than there were birds (33), there more a lot more butterfly individuals. During the very humid walk with temps rising from a low of 67 to a high of 82, we visited portions of the Sweet Run Loop and Butterfly Alley on the south side of the center where there was a wide variety of native wildflowers in bloom with lots of butterflies nectaring on them.

The well-seen bird highlights were two White-eyed Vireos, two fledgling Chipping Sparrows, a male American Goldfinch feeding a recently fledged goldfinch, and while not uncommon, a beautiful Great Crested Flycatcher that posed for us in the open. Another poser was a Northern Rough-winged Swallow on a line over the Visitor Center parking lot. We were especially pleased to see a dozen Monarchs as well as two Monarch caterpillars (one a late instar and the other an early instar) on Common Milkweed, which was plentiful in all the different meadows, as well as about the same number of Great Spangled Fritillaries, which were highly fond of the various thistle plants. We also saw two Cicada Killers, one of which was holding a large moth as it flew in front of us.

Butterflies seen included 2 Black Swallowtails, 75 Eastern Tiger Swallowtails, 10 Spicebush Swallowtails, 2 Clouded Sulphur, 2 Orange Sulphur, 12 Eastern Tailed-Blues, 12 Great Spangled Fritillaries, 3 Pearl Crescents, 1 Mourning Cloak, 4 Red-spotted Purple, 2 Hackberry Emperors (both of which were attracted to the salt on various participants),  1 Northern Pearly-eye, 12 Monarchs (& 2 cats), 1 Silver-spotted Skipper, 1 Least Skipper, and a dozen Dun Skippers (10 of which were on one thistle plant).

American Goldfinches

American Goldfinches feeding! Photo by Diane Nastase

For a complete list of the birds see the eBird list below.

Information on the Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship can be found at http://www.blueridgecenter.org.  Information on the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy and its many free activities can be found at www.loudounwildlife.org.

Joe Coleman

BRCES–Sawmill and Butterfly Alley, Loudoun, Virginia, US Aug 27, 2016 8:00 AM – 10:15 AM

Protocol: Traveling

1.7 mile(s)

Comments:     Regular monthly bird walk by Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy at the Blue Ridge Center; led by Joe Coleman & Del Sargent and assisted by Jane Yocom, Pidge Troha and others.

33 species (+1 other taxa)

Black Vulture  1

Turkey Vulture  2

Cooper’s Hawk  1

Red-tailed Hawk  1

Mourning Dove  2

Yellow-billed Cuckoo  2

Ruby-throated Hummingbird  3

Red-bellied Woodpecker  3

Downy Woodpecker  2

Eastern Wood-Pewee  2

Empidonax sp.  1

Great Crested Flycatcher  3

Eastern Kingbird  5

White-eyed Vireo  2

Red-eyed Vireo  2

Blue Jay  1

American Crow  2

Northern Rough-winged Swallow  2

Tree Swallow  3

Carolina Chickadee  2

Tufted Titmouse  1

White-breasted Nuthatch  1

Carolina Wren  2

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  3

Eastern Bluebird  6

American Robin  1

Gray Catbird  1

Brown Thrasher  3

Cedar Waxwing  15

Chipping Sparrow  2

Field Sparrow  2

Northern Cardinal  2

Indigo Bunting  3

American Goldfinch  18

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S31275492

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org/VA)

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