Archive for October, 2016

Fox squirrrel

Fox squirrrel

Five people gathered for the regular (every 4th Saturday except December) bird walk at the Blue Ridge Center on a windy and chilly morning last Saturday. While it started out very cloudy, the sun came out and the wind increased dramatically as the morning progressed.  Most of the walk was spent in sheltered locations around the Education Center on the Farmstead Loop though a short visit afterwards to the Arnold Road segment of the center added a couple  more species, including two different Eastern Phoebes busily fly catching in a sheltered spot, and a Fox Squirrel sitting on a fence post in the sun.

 

Field Sparrow.  Photo by Diane Nastase

Field Sparrow.
Photo by Diane Nastase

Song sparrow. Photo by Diane Nastase

Song sparrow.
Photo by Diane Nastase

The highlights of the walk included at least six Ruby-crowned Kinglets in a variety of locations and habitats, a Brown Creeper and a couple of Hermit Thrushes deep in the woods near Piney Run. We also saw and heard several White-throated Sparrows, multiple Field Sparrows, a Catbird and a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. It was also fun watching a flock (one of two) of Cedar Waxwings devouring fox grapes in the top of a tree along piney Run.

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

 

Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship, Loudoun, Virginia, US Oct 22, 2016 7:45 AM – 10:45 AM

Protocol: Traveling

3.0 mile(s)

Comments:     Walked the trails around the Education Center with the bulk of our time spent on the Farmstead Loop. After the walk visited Arnold Rd where found 2 Eastern Phoebes and a Fox Squirrel sitting on a fence post.

32 species

Black Vulture  15

Turkey Vulture  10

Sharp-shinned Hawk  1

Red-shouldered Hawk  2

Red-tailed Hawk  1

Red-bellied Woodpecker  6

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker  1

Downy Woodpecker  4

Hairy Woodpecker  1

Eastern Phoebe  2

Blue Jay  10

American Crow  7

Carolina Chickadee  12

Tufted Titmouse  7

White-breasted Nuthatch  3

Brown Creeper  1

Carolina Wren  2

Ruby-crowned Kinglet  6

Eastern Bluebird  5

Hermit Thrush  2

Gray Catbird  1

Northern Mockingbird  1

European Starling  200

Cedar Waxwing  25

Yellow-rumped Warbler  5

Chipping Sparrow  2

Field Sparrow  4

White-throated Sparrow  8

Song Sparrow  6

Northern Cardinal  8

Red-winged Blackbird  15

American Goldfinch  3

 

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S32154642

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Saturday’s bird walk at the Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve was pretty quiet without a lot of sightings possibly because of the cool, rainy weather. The four birders present took a long loop down to the beaver pond and back to our cars by way of the pond northeast of the model airplaners’ field. And while the birding was slow the rainy weather did result in beautiful muted colors especially where there was a lot of goldenrod. The fungi we found was also quite stunning and vigorous as a result of the recent cool, damp weather.

Fungi at Banshee Reeks

Fungi at Banshee Reeks

The highlights of the walk were actually the birds we didn’t see. During the walk itself we didn’t come across a single sparrow, highly unusual for this time of year and especially so in the model airplaners’ field.  There was a single Song Sparrow seen on the way out and another birder reported seeing both Lincoln’s and White-throated Sparrows. It was fun watching the many Blue Jays flying back & forth with acorns in the beaks and listening to the flickers making their squeak toy sound.

A quiet field in October

A quiet field in October

For a complete list of the birds observed at Banshee Reeks on October 8 see the eBird report below.

The regular monthly free bird walk (every 2nd Saturday) at the Banshee Reeks Nature preserve is sponsored by the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy (www.loudounwildlife.org) and the Friends of Banshee Reeks (www.bansheereeks.org ); information on both and their upcoming events can be found on their websites.

Good birding (regardless of the weather)!

Joe Coleman

 

Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve, Loudoun, Virginia, US Oct 8, 2016 8:00 AM – 9:50 AM

Protocol: Traveling

2.0 mile(s)

21 species (+1 other taxa)

Canada Goose  3

Cooper’s Hawk  1

Red-shouldered Hawk  1

Mourning Dove  1

Red-bellied Woodpecker  3

Northern Flicker  6

Pileated Woodpecker  2

Eastern Phoebe  3

flycatcher sp. (Tyrannidae sp.)  1

Blue Jay  25

American Crow  6

Carolina Chickadee  4

Tufted Titmouse  4

White-breasted Nuthatch  1

House Wren  1

Carolina Wren  2

Eastern Bluebird  6

American Robin  2

Gray Catbird  1

Northern Mockingbird  5

Song Sparrow  1

Northern Cardinal  6

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S31953656

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