Archive for March, 2017

On this beautiful spring morning 22 people showed up for the regular (every 4th Saturday except December) monthly bird walk at the Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship in northwestern Loudoun County. The first two and a half hours were spent near the Education Center on the Farmstead Loop though a small group did break off to take the Piney Run Spur before they met up with us again. After we finished on the north side of the center about 8 of us visited Arnold Rd and the Old Bridge Trail because of the different habitat there and added a few new species.

Searching for the Louisiana Waterthrush. Photo by J. Coleman

Searching for the Louisiana Waterthrush.
Photo by J. Coleman

The highlights of the walk included a pair of Barred Owls in an area where we see them most springs, FOS Louisiana Waterthrushes, and for most of us, numerous FOS Tree Swallows. Both the Tree Swallows and the Eastern Bluebirds were in large numbers around the next boxes (there are three different trails there) with pairs sitting together on a few boxes. Many of the bluebirds were actively squabbling with each other over both boxes and mates. For the first time in many months Fish Crows were heard at the center; apparently they leave that area for the winter. Eastern Phoebes, Field Sparrows and Golden-crowned Kinglets were seen in healthy numbers with both of the former two in song at locations where they have nested in the past. Male Brown-headed Cowbirds chased females around. And while the only abundant wildflower in bloom was spring beauty, it opened fully in many spots as the morning brightened.

A number of people, Donna Quinn, Del Sargent, Bryan Henson, Allison Gallo, and myself, assisted with the walk. 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.

For a complete list of the 41 species see the eBird lists below.

Joe Coleman

 

Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship, Loudoun, Virginia, US Mar 25, 2017 7:45 AM – 10:30 AM

Protocol: Traveling

2.2 mile(s)

Comments:  Regular monthly walk at BRCES; we spent most of our time on the Farmstead Loop though a small group broke off from the main group to also walk the Piney Run Spur.

38 species

Canada Goose  16

Great Blue Heron  1

Black Vulture  1

Turkey Vulture  4

Cooper’s Hawk  1

Red-shouldered Hawk  1

Mourning Dove  2

Barred Owl  2

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker  3

Downy Woodpecker  3

Hairy Woodpecker  1

Northern Flicker  2

Pileated Woodpecker  3

Eastern Phoebe  6

Blue Jay  1

American Crow  6

Fish Crow  6

Tree Swallow  10     Numerous Tree Swallows flying & visiting, in pairs, nest boxes

Carolina Chickadee  10

Tufted Titmouse  4

White-breasted Nuthatch  4

Winter Wren  1

Carolina Wren  5

Golden-crowned Kinglet  6

Eastern Bluebird  20     Numerous pairs visiting nest boxes & males squabbling over females

American Robin  2

Northern Mockingbird  1

Louisiana Waterthrush  2

Field Sparrow  9

Dark-eyed Junco  7

White-throated Sparrow  2

Song Sparrow  4

Eastern Towhee  1

Northern Cardinal  8

Brown-headed Cowbird  8

House Finch  1

American Goldfinch  4

House Sparrow  1

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S35421824

 

BRCES–Arnold Lane, Loudoun, Virginia, US Mar 25, 2017 10:50 AM – 11:50 AM

Protocol: Traveling

0.75 mile(s)

Comments:     After finishing on the north side about 8 of us went to Arnold Rd to visit the dif. habitat there.

27 species

Canada Goose  2

Black Vulture  1

Turkey Vulture  1

Red-bellied Woodpecker  2

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker  1

Downy Woodpecker  1

Hairy Woodpecker  1

Pileated Woodpecker  1

Eastern Phoebe  3

American Crow  4

Fish Crow  2

Tree Swallow  4

Carolina Chickadee  2

Tufted Titmouse  1

White-breasted Nuthatch  2

Carolina Wren  2

Golden-crowned Kinglet  2

Eastern Bluebird  6

Northern Mockingbird  1

European Starling  1

Louisiana Waterthrush  1

Field Sparrow  2

Dark-eyed Junco  2

White-throated Sparrow  2

Song Sparrow  1

Northern Cardinal  2

Red-winged Blackbird  6

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S35422035

These reports were generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org/content/atlasva)

 

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march-for-science-earth-dayMembers and friends of the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy: Join us as we March for Science on Earth Day, April 22.

Everything that Loudoun Wildlife does is based on sound science. We value science and recognize how science serves. What unites us is a love of science, and an insatiable curiosity. We recognize that science is everywhere and affects everyone.

Science is often an arduous process, but it is also thrilling. A universal human curiosity and dogged persistence is the greatest hope for the future. We must not allow the relationship between science and democracy to erode.

We march on April 22 to let our legislators know that we need science-based polices and research to tackle the problems and issues that our environment faces today.

Check back on our website and on our Facebook page for more information. Email contact@loudounwildlife.org or call 703-777-2575 closer to the date for details.

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Four of us showed up for the regular monthly bird walk at the Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve Saturday morning, March 11. In spite of the beginning (25) and ending (32) temps it was a very pleasant morning for a bird walk. While there weren’t a lot of species, we did find a first-of-year (for most of us) Eastern Phoebe. However, except for a few large mixed flocks there weren’t a lot of birds.

After we finished at Banshee Reeks three of us went over to the private (restricted access) Dulles Greenway Wetlands Mitigation Project to see what work the bluebird trail (managed by the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy) might need. It had warmed up to 35 degrees by then but since the Wetlands is largely sheltered from the west winds it wasn’t bad. Because the beavers have been very successful in building a dam at the Dulles Greenway Wetlands spillway there is much more water on the wetlands than there used to be. Not only is there little exposed mud for shorebirds, the ducks can easily hide in the extensive scrub, much of which has its feet in water. The ducks that were there were rather skittish, perhaps because of the active Bald Eagle nest there or for some other reason.  In addition to a Bald Eagle sitting in the nest we saw a  variety of ducks and 2 Am Coots (see below for the complete list) and a number of ducks we were unable to ID as they darted this way and that in the sky and the scrub.

For a complete list of the birds observed at Banshee Reeks and the Dulles Greenway Wetlands pls see the eBird reports below.

Photo by Pidge Troha

Photo by Pidge Troha

The regular monthly free bird walk (every 2nd Saturday) at the Banshee Reeks Nature preserve is sponsored by the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy & the Friends of Banshee Reeks. While there are no regular walks at the private Dulles Greenway Wetlands Mitigation Project, which has restricted access, we do periodically survey the birds there and occasionally lead walks there – check our website calendar.

Good birding (regardless of the weather)!

Joe Coleman for the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy

Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve, Loudoun, Virginia, US Mar 11, 2017 8:00 AM – 10:30 AM

Protocol: Traveling

2.4 mile(s)

Photo by Pidge Troha

Photo by Pidge Troha

34 species

Canada Goose  3

Great Blue Heron  1

Black Vulture  5

Turkey Vulture  3

Red-shouldered Hawk  3

Red-tailed Hawk  1

Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)  35

Mourning Dove  4

Red-bellied Woodpecker  5

Downy Woodpecker  4

Hairy Woodpecker  2

Northern Flicker  1

Pileated Woodpecker  3

Eastern Phoebe  1

Blue Jay  5

American Crow  6

Fish Crow  2

Carolina Chickadee  15

Tufted Titmouse  6

White-breasted Nuthatch  5

Brown Creeper  1

Carolina Wren  2

Eastern Bluebird  4

American Robin  50

Northern Mockingbird  2

European Starling  2

Field Sparrow  4

Dark-eyed Junco  30

White-throated Sparrow  20

Song Sparrow  6

Swamp Sparrow  1

Northern Cardinal  8

House Finch  2

American Goldfinch  2

 

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S35112630

Dulles Greenway Wetlands Mitigation Project, Loudoun, Virginia, US Mar 11, 2017 10:45 AM – 11:45 AM

Protocol: Traveling

0.8 mile(s)

30 species (+1 other taxa)

Canada Goose  X

Wood Duck  2

Gadwall  8

Mallard  2

Green-winged Teal  12

Ring-necked Duck  2

Hooded Merganser  2

duck sp.  30

Wild Turkey  3     seen by one person earlier in the day before the Banshee Reeks walk

Black Vulture  6

Turkey Vulture  6

Cooper’s Hawk  1

Bald Eagle  1     on nest

Red-shouldered Hawk  2

American Coot  2

Red-bellied Woodpecker  1

Downy Woodpecker  11

Pileated Woodpecker  1

Blue Jay  2

American Crow  4

Fish Crow  2

Carolina Chickadee  2

Tufted Titmouse  1

White-breasted Nuthatch  1

Carolina Wren  2

Eastern Bluebird  2

American Robin  2

White-throated Sparrow  2

Song Sparrow  2

Northern Cardinal  1

Red-winged Blackbird  1

 

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S35112908

 

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

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