Archive for September, 2016

Four people enjoyed Saturday morning’s beautiful weather at the regular (every fourth Saturday except for  December) monthly bird walk at the Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship (BRCES). Birding around the parking and garden area we were treated to four Common Ravens flying over the gardens. Flocks of Cedar Waxwings flew from treetop to treetop in the area and were still there when we finished our walk at 11 AM. There was a fairly constant stream of Blue Jays flying overhead the entire walk. Other highlights included decent looks at a Philadelphia Vireo, a Bald Eagle flying high above a kettle of vultures and a Pine Warbler. We also saw quite a few Monarch Butterflies, fueling up for their flight to Mexico. Del Sargent and Jane Yocom

Red-Bellied-Woodpecker-Feb-15-2007-1Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship, Loudoun, Virginia, US
Sep 24, 2016 7:45 AM – 11:16 AM
Protocol: Traveling
2.0 mile(s)
Comments: Nice morning with a few clouds and temps in the low 70′s. With Del Sargent.
Submitted from eBird for iOS, version 1.3.0 Build 86
38 species

Black Vulture (Coragyps atratus) 38
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura) 15
Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) 1
Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus) 2
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) (Columba livia (Feral Pigeon)) 4
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) 3
Chimney Swift (Chaetura pelagica) 2
Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris) 1
Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus) 4
Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) 3
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) 3
Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus) 2
Eastern Wood-Pewee (Contopus virens) 1
Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe) 5
Philadelphia Vireo (Vireo philadelphicus) 1
Red-eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus) 1
Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) 100
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) 6
Fish Crow (Corvus ossifragus) 2
Common Raven (Corvus corax) 5
Carolina Chickadee (Poecile carolinensis) 4
Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor) 5
White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis) 5
House Wren (Troglodytes aedon) 1
Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus) 4
Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis) 24
Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis) 3
Brown Thrasher (Toxostoma rufum) 4
Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum) 45
Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas) 1
Pine Warbler (Setophaga pinus) 1
Chipping Sparrow (Spizella passerina) 4
Field Sparrow (Spizella pusilla) 6
Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) 6
Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus) 1
Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea) 3
Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) 1
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis) 40

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S31758486

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

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With the passing of Otto Gutenson last week, Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy and the region as a whole has lost a valued environmentalist and volunteer.

As noted in his obituary, Gutenson, 68, passed away September 20 of complications of Parkinson’s disease.

He was “a very dedicated conservationist and wildlife activist,” said Phil Daley, who worked closely with Gutenson since the inception of Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy’s stream monitoring program in 1996.

“As a long time advisor to Loudoun Wildlife’s Board and stream team, he will be sorely missed. I will miss his wit, knowledge and friendship,” Daley said.

Through Gutenson’s many contacts with federal, state and local officials “he kept our ‘stream team’ abreast of trends in monitoring and data collection requirements,” Daley said. “Otto was key in establishing Loudoun Watershed Watch as a widely recognized advocate for water quality within Loudoun County and the state.”

“He used his professional experience to inform his volunteer participation and inform those of us who didn’t have that background,” recalled Gem Bingol, Clarke and Loudoun County Land Use Officer with the Piedmont Environmental Council.

Daley and Bingol said Gutenson helped Loudoun Wildlife’s stream team adopt the more volunteer-friendly Virginia Modified Save Our Streams system of gathering insects and evaluating the health of Loudoun’s streams.

“He felt that it was important that the process be easy, yet reliable enough for anyone to do. He helped us see how our work fit into the bigger picture,” Bingol said.

But it wasn’t just Gutenson’s expertise that left a mark; his wit and personality shone through as well.

David Ward, who currently heads Loudoun Watershed Watch, and his wife, Carol, began their stream monitoring under Gutenson’s guidance.

“Occasionally joined by other volunteers, we cherished our time with Otto as he entertained us on a myriad of subjects,” Ward said.  “With pipe in hand, Otto never missed the opportunity to share his thoughts and political ramblings. His twinkly-eyed dry humor made collecting and identifying macroinvertebrates an enjoyable event.

“One monitoring event coincided with Otto’s birthday, so we presented him with an oversized magnifying glass and a ‘King of the Bugs’ baseball cap,” Ward said.

“We will miss Otto’s ‘streamside’ manner, uncanny wit – our mentor and our friend.”

Photo by David Ward

Photo by David Ward

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Here’s another chance to help pollinators!

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and several local groups, including Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy, have planned a Habitat Planting for the Park and Ride Lot near the intersection of Rts. 50 and 340 in Clarke County on Thursday, September 22.

There will be 2,500 native plants that need to be put in the ground, including milkweed and at least 15 other species, and we’d be thrilled to have your help for any or all of the time that day. The planting is scheduled to go from 10 a.m. to about 2:30 p.m.

Monarch butterfly

More native plants help more pollinators

Please wear sturdy shoes, bring a trowel if you have one, and pack a lunch if you can stay long. There will be water available and there are several convenience stores nearby.

For more information contact Steve Carroll at sbc3p@eservices.virginia.edu

RAIN DATE: The decision to go ahead or not will be made the day before. In case of cancellation the rain date is Tuesday, September 27, 10 a.m. to about 2:30 p.m.

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