Sightings


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)

EmailShare

Ruby Throated Hummingbird May 4 2008 3The first hint of cooler weather touched Northern Virginia in the overnight hours, suggesting shorter days and the start of fall not too far away.

It brings with it, too, not just the start of school again but awareness of the continuing migration of creatures. Those that came north are heading south again. There are reports of warblers coming through – Black and White, Northern Parula and more.

The Ruby-throated Hummingbirds that give so many of us joy during the late spring and summer months are getting ready for their journey south too. The fewer hours of sunlight trigger hormonal changes that tell the birds it’s time to move.

You may be noticing the usual territorial buzzing getting even more frenetic as the hummers fuel up with nectar from feeders and flowers all day long. The hummers will head for Central America, crossing the Gulf of Mexico.

It’s said the males leave first. Have you noticed that? You can report your sightings at Journey North, where you’ll also be able to watch their progress on a map next year when they come back, some of them looking for the feeders you put out.

 

EmailShare

Why did the turtle cross the road?

She was likely living between two ponds, both man made, one in a golf course, the other in a planned townhouse community, separated by what is now a busy Loudoun County road. At some point, her life was destined to intersect with a mass of metal moving at 50 mph. It didn’t take much to crack her carapace and flip her over. I found her upside down, legs waving frantically, in the middle of the road. Her injury didn’t look too bad (considering) and she was feisty (a good sign). Painted with brilliant red and yellow veins, she was a gorgeous painted turtle in the prime of her life.

2015-09-05 12.30.08

On the way to Blue Ridge Wildlife Center where she would receive treatment and their magical healing abilities.

Painted turtles are the most widely distributed turtles in North America. They spend their lives in and near freshwater habitats with soft bottoms. In Native American folklore, a turtle fell in love with the chief’s daughter but neither the daughter nor her parents would take notice of him. Finally, he painted himself to attract attention and as soon as the chief’s daughter saw him, she fell in love and followed him to the water where she became a soft shelled turtle.

After a week of treatment by the highly skilled angels at Blue Ridge Wildlife Center, she was ready for release. Painted turtles, along with other turtle species, must be released where they are found. Relocating turtles spreads disease and can result in the turtle dying in its attempt to return to its home territory. Nicole Hamilton, Executive Director of Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy, suggested using Google Maps satellite imagery to look for a safer place within a mile of where she was found. Just a bit over a mile away, still within a reasonable range, the Willowsford Grange Community with native wildflower meadows bordered by creeks and wildlife friendly residents and farmers, provided everything this girl needed to spend what would hopefully be an uneventful remainder of her 40 or so years of life.

2015-09-12 13.04.16

After meeting her new neighbors at the Willowsford farm stand, she was ready for her new beginning.

2015-09-12 13.27.51

We walked along the stream bed in a gentle drizzle to where a giant blue lobelia was blooming.

She took her time making her way to the water. Maybe she was resetting her internal compass, or perhaps she was taking a moment to absorb her peaceful surroundings, so different from her previous home.

2015-09-12 13.23.19

…finally, she entered the water. Live long and prosper beautiful painted turtle.

Please drive carefully. Their lives depend on us.

2015-09-12 13.17.28-1

www.loudounwildlife.org
www.willowsford.com/community/conservancy
www.blueridgewildlife.org

 

 

EmailShare

Huge thanks to all the volunteers who planted 9000 native plants for Monarch butterflies! The planting occurred Sept. 29 at the Dale City rest area at mile marker 156 of I-95 heading north – and yes! Monarch butterflies heading south were seen and wished a safe journey.

Way to go, Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy, VDOT and VA Dominion Power for teaming up to keep the magic alive.

We are making a difference!

21650449210_20fee077e9_n

www.flickr.com/photos/vadot/sets/72157656972559703

www.loudountimes.com/news/article/can_9k_plants_bring_back_the_monarchs_loudoun_wildlife_teams_up_with_vdo323

wtop.com/prince-william-county/2015/09/butterfly-habitat-planted-at-dale-city-rest-stop/

 

EmailShare

Rachel Carson said, “If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder without any such gift from the fairies, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.”

This year, Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy is expanding its Youth and Family Programs by adding a host of field trips, nature walks, school programs, and speaker programs designed specifically for Loudoun’s K-12 citizens.  We know our young stewards are the future of conservation and people and wildlife living in harmony. Please check our programs calendar to sign up!

One of the main features to this new effort is the addition of the  “We’re Going Wild” Family Nature Walks, a series of discovery hikes in various natural habitats all over the county, and led by seasoned naturalists.  These walks are special because they are EDU-taining and designed to be hands-on, unstructured to allow for deeper exploration of findings, and FUN for FREE!

They are not just for the kids, but also for their families!  When families go wild together, a special process of shared learning takes place…where adults and children are students together as equals.  This is a significantly powerful paradigm shift that creates a richer learning environment for children learning alongside their adult role models!  This further fosters applying new knowledge together outside of our programs–in your own backyards and communities.

This group WENT WILD at Algonkian Regional Park on May 17, 2015.

This group WENT WILD at Algonkian Regional Park on May 17, 2015. Guide Ed Clark (far left) will see you again in June for the next “We’re Going Wild” Family Nature Walk at  the South Riding Blvd. pond…on Father’s Day, June 21st!

Our first “We’re Going Wild” walk took place Sunday, May 17th at Algonkian Regional Park on The Woodlands trail along the beautiful Potomac River. Local entomologist and naturalist, Ed Clark, led an enthusiastic and inquisitive group of families who seemed to have an EYE for wildlife!  Highlights of the many exciting finds on their 1.5 mile hike were a Broad-headed Skink, North American Millipedes, 6-spotted Tiger beetles, Blue-Black beetles, Skippers, and this season’s Eastern Tent Caterpillars and their tented silk nests. Additionally, hikers studied the difference between a beetle and a true bug, as well as between dragonflies and damselflies.

Broad-headed Skink

Broad-headed Skink

Plant ID included Poison Hemlock, Poison Ivy, Bush Honeysuckle/ Barberry Bush/Autumn Olive (providing the platform for a talk about non-native plants), Multi Floral Rose, Pawpaw trees (host plant for Zebra Swallowtail Butterfly), Wingstem (native aster blooming yellow later in summer), Deer Tongue plant, Morning Glory and Bindweed, Virginia Creeper, Common Milkweed (host plant for Monarch Butterflies), and Sycamore trees.

Our families also found the handiwork of wood-peckers on trees, identified as work of a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker based on the pecking patterns in the tree bark, and they enjoyed learning the distinct songs of the Cedar Waxwing, Warbling Vireo, and Gray Catbird.

What an exciting day spent outdoors on the trail together!

Please join us for next month’s walk:

“We’re Going Wild” Family Nature Walk Series ― Sunday, June 21, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m., South Riding Blvd. Pond, South Riding. Join Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy and local naturalist and USDA entomologist Ed Clark to explore the natural world through the wonder-filled eyes of children! This series of family nature walks invites families to explore the wide world of nature together, led by an expert in nature and fun! This month’s walk will explore a community pond habitat during pollinator week and ON Father’s Day! Space is limited to 12 children, ages 7+, with accompanying adult. Note: Not designed for Scout groups; no strollers or pets. Registration required: Sign Up Online.

 

 

EmailShare

Ten people showed up on a beautiful spring day at the Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve for the regular monthly bird walk led by Del Sargent, Mary Ann Good, & Joe Coleman.

The highlights of the walk were 2 Fox Sparrows, at least 6 Ruby-crowned Kinglets, two of which were singing away, a pair of Common Ravens which flew right overhead giving us great looks of their wedge tails and impressive flight,  and 5 female Common Mergansers and two Wood Ducks on the Goose Creek.

And while we managed to find only two warbler species, we managed to see at least 6 dif. Palm Warblers, few of whom looked the same.

Including the Fox Sparrows we had a total of 8 sparrow species, including at least a dozen Eastern Towhees, numerous Field Sparrows singing, and three beautiful Swamp Sparrows.

While it was a bit windy we were able to do most of the walk in sheltered areas and actually got warm a few times. There were a lot of hawks on the move though some of them were too far away & high for us to identify.

We also saw numerous Spring Azure butterflies, heard a lot of Spring Peepers, one Pickerel Frog, and one Grey Tree Frog.

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

The regular monthly free bird walk (every 2nd Sat) at the Banshee Reeks Nature preserve is sponsored by the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy (www.loudounwildlife.org) & 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 – MFF08, Loudoun, US-VA Apr 11, 2015 8:00 AM – 10:45 AM

Protocol: Traveling

1.3 mile(s)

46 species (+1 other taxa)

Canada Goose  2, Wood Duck  2, Common Merganser  5     We saw five female Common Mergansers together on the Goose Creek where Little River runs into it. Before they flew saw the strong color differentiation between the reddish brown throat & the grayish white breast as well as the white right below the chin. Beak was longer & redder than on a Red-breasted Merganser., Black Vulture  X, Turkey Vulture  X, Osprey  2, Sharp-shinned Hawk  1, Bald Eagle  1, Red-shouldered Hawk  2, Red-tailed Hawk  3, Buteo sp.  3, Mourning Dove  3, Red-bellied Woodpecker  7, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker  2, Downy Woodpecker  2, Northern Flicker  2, Pileated Woodpecker  1, Blue Jay  X, American Crow  X, Fish Crow  X, Common Raven  2, Tree Swallow  6, Carolina Chickadee  5, Tufted Titmouse  4, Carolina Wren  2, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  3, Ruby-crowned Kinglet  6, Eastern Bluebird  X, American Robin  3, Brown Thrasher  2, Northern Mockingbird  3, European Starling  5, Louisiana Waterthrush  1, Palm Warbler  6, Eastern Towhee  12, Chipping Sparrow  2, Field Sparrow  8, Fox Sparrow  2     The group got excellent looks at two dif. Fox Sparrows, one at the pond near the Manor House & the other along the trail that goes down to the Goose Creek. Both were large chunky sparrows with rufous coloring & well-defined rufous spots, and with much shorter tails than Brown Thrashers (which are a similar color)., Song Sparrow  6, Swamp Sparrow  3, White-throated Sparrow  12, Dark-eyed Junco  2, Northern Cardinal  6, Red-winged Blackbird  1, Brown-headed Cowbird  2, House Finch  1, American Goldfinch  X

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S22803267

EmailShare

With the cold, frigid weather (12 degrees when we began, 14 when we ended), only two of us showed up for the regular monthly bird walk at the Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve on January 10th. While there were very few birds at first, and never a lot of species, we did find numerous sparrows and other small birds along the southern & eastern edges of forest where they were sheltered from the wind and warmed by the weak winter sun. Highlights of the walk included an AMERICAN TREE SPARROW, two male Eastern Towhees, a number of Field Sparrows, and six of the seven local woodpeckers which are around here in the winter.

There were no raptors or vultures flying at Banshee Reeks but when I swung by the county landfill, which borders Banshee Reeks, after the walk there were hundreds of crows, several Ring-billed Gulls, a few vultures, three Red-shouldered Hawks, and a Common Raven.

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

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

Good birding!

Joe Coleman & Del Sargent

 

Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve – MFF08, Loudoun, US-VA Jan 10, 2015 8:00 AM – 9:30 AM

Protocol: Traveling

1.0 mile(s)

Comments:     Regular monthly bird walk at the Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve.

25 species

Mourning Dove  1, Red-bellied Woodpecker  1, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker  1, Downy Woodpecker  3, Hairy Woodpecker  2, Northern Flicker  1, Pileated Woodpecker  2, Blue Jay  6, American Crow  6, Fish Crow  75, Carolina Chickadee  5, Tufted Titmouse  5, White-breasted Nuthatch  2, Brown Creeper  1, Carolina Wren  2, Northern Mockingbird  5, Eastern Towhee  2, American Tree Sparrow  1, Field Sparrow  8, Song Sparrow  35, Swamp Sparrow  1, White-throated Sparrow  12, Dark-eyed Junco  20, Northern Cardinal  6, American Goldfinch  3

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S21281877

 

EmailShare

With so many people involved in Loudoun County’s Monarch efforts, it’s a delight to shine a spotlight on some of them, so we thought it would be purposeful to share a few exciting and diverse efforts coming out of Loudoun county.

Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy joined in the extraordinary citizen science and conservation effort for the Monarch butterfly in 2013 by launching the “Bringing Back the Monarch, Keeping the Magic Alive” program consisting of several important goals.  A local information campaign is key to this effort, including public talks, workshops, and hands-on opportunities to learn about raising and releasing Monarchs and restoring and protecting the dwindling habitat along their migratory path between Mexico and Canada.

The campaign has been enthusiastically embraced county-wide and has inspired eagerness among all age groups, resulting in a deeply committed effort across so many levels of involvement.  Dozens of Loudoun’s public and private schools have taught their students by planting and registering Monarch Waystations, and countless residents now know of and understand the importance of Milkweed, the Monarch’s only host plant.

In my own close-knit community, South Riding, it is not so rare to see a neighbor of mine now carefully turning over milkweed leaves in the yard. Such selfless volunteers are looking for Monarch eggs or caterpillars.  They have joined in the effort because the Monarch is a creature we can save just by KNOWING more and adjusting our compass to align with their needs as they journey North and South, crisscrossing Loudoun County in that tell-tale glide as they seek out a nectar source or a tender milkweed plant just right for egg-laying. We are making a difference in that magical journey here in Loudoun County, one garden plot or Monarch talk at a time.

"Tres Amigos" 4th generation caterpillars in Loudoun, so to be adults Monarchs headed to Mexico. Photo Credit: Sarah Steadman

“Tres Amigos” 4th generation caterpillars in Loudoun, soon to be adult Monarchs headed to Mexico.
Photo Credit: Sarah Steadman

From all corners of Loudoun, we are hearing reports of Monarch caterpillar and butterfly sightings (please report your sightings to Journey North), we receive inquiries about how to rear the caterpillars, and we answer requests for native plant and milkweed plant needs with plant sales to foster the development of habitats across our area.  Waystations bursting with these native beauties and with the Monarch’s milkweed are now popping up on apartment balconies, in school courtyards, in park meadows, and in front yard planter beds.  These Waystations are diligently registered with Monarch Watch, too.  And why is that, really…why REGISTER your garden?  Well, among the many incentivizing reasons, my favorite is that a SIGN goes up to communicate the good news of the important work that space is now up to. That sign is powerful because people walking past stop to read it, then they ask questions or visit the website whimsically scripted at the bottom (MonarchWatch.org). Really, a sign like that on a garden means something special is going on, and people want to know more.  That’s the golden ticket! It’s the Salesman’s “grab” convincing you that there is something new to learn today. Remember those neighbors of mine I mentioned…those curious souls staring carefully into the milkweed?  They saw our sign, and then they asked what it was all about.  Sometimes, it’s just that easy. In other ways, the efforts are more gregarious and elbow-greased.

Ed Felker's Waystation proves successful in its first season. Photo Credit: Ed Felker

Ed Felker’s Waystation proves successful in its first season.
Photo Credit: Ed Felker

To start with, our dedicated president, Nicole Hamilton, along with another very active Loudoun Monarch advocate, Caroline Kuhfahl, has been writing letters and hosting meetings with local wineries (like 868 Vineyard and Sunset Hills) to foster event planning initiatives that call attention to the wonderful butterfly habitat opportunities available on the grounds of these vineyards. There are several events in the works, and some already successfully held, so keep your eyes on the events calendar to catch the next “WINGS & WINE” event (to be posted).

Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy works with public libraries, parks, and community centers all over Loudoun County to host Monarch talks aimed at informing our local communities of the plight of the Monarch and to invite citizens to be awed by the Monarch’s unique story.  In addition, a series of “Raising and Releasing Monarchs” workshops have been very popular and have equipped a growing crowd of citizen scientist volunteers with the knowledge, the tools, and the support to collect eggs and caterpillars from the wild that are then reared in captivity to be released as adult butterflies.  This is a fascinating and joyful journey for all involved.  One such Loudouner, Ed Felker, wrote about his first-time experience raising and releasing Monarchs this summer in a stunningly poetic photo-essay.  If you have not read it yet, here is the link; trust me, you’ll feel as though you are watching it all unfold before your own eyes.

A stunning capture of this last life cycle stage. Photo Credit: Ed Felker

A stunning capture of this last life-cycle stage.
Photo Credit: Ed Felker

Loudoun citizens are showing their commitment to habitat restoration, too.  Aside from the countless private Waystations, Monarch Waystations are now registered at public spaces including Ashburn Farms, Brambleton, Loudoun Soccer Park (where Chip Taylor of Monarch Watch himself planted milkweed), and at over 30 Loudoun County Public Schools. This is an extraordinary response! In an effort to learn just how many Monarch releases are occurring in Loudoun County, Loudoun Wildlife has created an online form where citizens can report their release data.  The total count and information will be displayed on Loudoun Wildlife’s website–that portion is still in development to be deployed in the coming days. Click HERE to enter YOUR releases!

The greatest hope of all of these sorts of activities is to spread a little wonder with the education we are sharing.  Wonder leads to that special kind of curiosity that motivates one to seek information. More than a year ago, that marvelous wonder sparked something in a now 9-year old Loudoun student, Carter Steadman.  Carter has been chasing down every bit of current Monarch information available, and he’s been chasing Monarchs through milkweed patches, collecting over 200 eggs and caterpillars this season alone.  It’s a daily exercise in observation and careful caterpillar headcounts as he rears his Monarchs to adults that flit off with whimsy while he watches with that stunning wonder in his smile. He is determined to save this creature, and he takes every opportunity to tell anyone willing to listen, earning him the nickname, “The Monarch Kid.”

 

Child-like wonder is all over Carter Steadman's face as he admires the Monarch caterpillar. Photo Credit: Sarah Steadman

Child-like wonder is all over Carter Steadman’s face as he admires the Monarch caterpillar.
Photo Credit: Sarah Steadman

Brotherly love. Photo Credit:Sarah Steadman

Brotherly love.
Photo Credit:Sarah Steadman

This summer, Carter’s level of passion, along with his natural at-ease disposition, have been at play for Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy and the Monarch.  He has presented with Nicole Hamilton to children and families at local libraries and community centers, and he has created and planted four registered Monarch Waystations, including a very large and already successful garden at his school, Hutchison Farm Elementary School in South Riding. Planting events at his school were held at the end of May to put the plants in place for summer, and Carter tended to the school’s garden twice a week all summer making sure it was weeded, watered, and ready for Monarchs should they arrive.  Well, in his own words, “THEY CAME, I FOUND A MONARCH!”  The first Monarch caterpillar was found in mid July, and since then Carter has found eggs, caterpillars, and butterflies in the garden.  He proudly reared the first caterpillar at home and released it back into the school’s garden as a healthy adult male named “Husky” in honor of the school’s mascot. Carter’s enthusiasm for sharing the magic of the Monarch with the students led the school to rename the hallway leading to the garden “Monarch Hallway,” which Carter thought was pretty cool because it means “…everyone will say ‘MONARCH’ every day, and that means people will be wondering about Monarchs.”  We think he’s on to something there.

The Monarch Waystation Carter planted at his school, Hutchison Farm Elementary School, is active with Monarchs just 2 months after planting. The students who helped plant this garden are learning hands-on that they are "never too young to make a difference." Photo Credit: Sarah Steadman

The Monarch Waystation Carter planted at his school, Hutchison Farm Elementary School, is active with Monarchs just 2 months after planting. The students who helped plant this garden are learning hands-on that they are “never too young to make a difference.”
Photo Credit: Sarah Steadman

Perhaps the most special part of Carter’s efforts is that he truly has a tireless passion for the recovery of the Monarch migration…he believes recovery will happen. This is not a “maybe” or “if” scenario for him, perhaps because he is only 9 and at this young age possibilities are limitless, or perhaps because part of the answer to the problem is so simple:  tell people.  Share what you know.  When people know better, they often do better.  And so, Carter tells people…and some people with rather large audiences have started listening. Louder voices, like local and national newspapers and TV news, are helping Carter share the magic of the Monarch.  This summer, Carter was filmed for “The Meadow Project” http://themeadowproject.com, an independent educational “documentary focused on showing how and why native plants are critical to the survival and vitality of local ecosystems.” Nicole & Carter were also interviewed for a news spot related to the recent pollinator task force appointed by the White House. The piece aired in California where a portion of the annual migration takes place. Such opportunities to share Loudoun’s efforts far and wide have an important role toward inspiring others to become involved, and ultimately impact the Monarch’s chance to bounce back. See the news video HERE.

"On your way Little Lady...enjoy your journey," says Carter, releasing a healthy female. Photo Credit: Sarah Steadman

“On your way Little Lady…enjoy your journey,” says Carter, releasing a healthy female.
Photo Credit: Sarah Steadman

Follow Carter on Facebook, join in any of Loudoun Wildlife’s free events, and participate from the comfort of your home by simply sharing this post with your own networks in a sort of information migration effort.

carter mon on head

 

 

 

 

EmailShare

Thirteen birders came for our monthly (second Saturday) birdwalk at Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve in Loudoun County.  It was a nice (for August) day and the birding was about average for the walks at Banshee in August. Excellent views were seen of three different YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO and several BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHERS.

A total of 36 species were seen as follows:

Turkey Vulture, Red-shouldered Hawk, Rock Pigeon, Mourning Dove, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Ruby Throated Hummingbird, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Eastern Wood-pewee, Eastern Phoebe, Great-crested Flycatcher, White-eyed Vireo, Red-eyed Vireo, Blue Jay, American Crow, Barn Swallow, Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, Carolina Wren, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Eastern Bluebird, American Robin, Gray Catbird, Northern Mockingbird, Brown Thrasher, European Starling, Prairie Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Eastern Towhee, Field Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Blue Grosbeak, Indigo Bunting, House Finch, American Goldfinch.

Del Sargent and Mary Ann Good

EmailShare

The 11 people on this regular bird walk (every 4th Saturday of each month) at the Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship spent most of their time in the forest with only a short walk along Butterfly Alley on the power line. The walk,  led by Joe Coleman and Elliott & Nancy Kirschbaum, followed Arnold Road to the Sweet Run Loop, to Butterfly Alley, and returning by the westernmost segment of the Sweet Run Loop. We also took two jogs, the Old Bridge Trail & Little Turtle Trail, down to Piney Run.

The highlights of this exciting walk included two American Kestrels along the power line a little east of where it crosses Arnold Rd, the same location as last month, and a Yellow-breasted Chat who flew in and perched near us while we tallying at the end of the walk next to the Monarch Butterfly Waystation.

The three Baltimore Orioles who flew in while we were tallying was also nice. In addition to 46 bird species, we found 14 different species of butterflies after the heavy clouds lifted, including one Monarch! The most common butterflies today were Clouded & Orange Sulphurs. The previous day, while checking out the ford on Sweet Run to see if it was easily passable, my wife & I also saw a Monarch along Butterfly Alley as well as several Great Spangled Fritillaries; today’s Monarch was nectaring among the thistle near the Center’s Monarch Waystation.

Don’t forget this Saturday’s Loudoun County Butterfly Count which stretches from Leesburg to the Blue Ridge Center, beginners and experienced butterflies are all welcome.  There will be two teams at the Blue Ridge Center, one of the count’s most productive locations. To register for the Butterfly Count event, go to Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy online.

Reported by Joe Coleman
Edited/Posted by Sarah Steadman

The complete list follows:

Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship – MFF01, Loudoun, US-VA
Jul 26, 2014 8:00 AM – 11:15 AM
Protocol: Traveling
2.5 mile(s)
46 species

  1. Turkey Vulture  5
  2. Red-shouldered Hawk  1
  3. Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)  3
  4. Mourning Dove  10
  5. Red-bellied Woodpecker  5
  6. Downy Woodpecker  7
  7. American Kestrel  2
  8. Eastern Wood-Pewee  12
  9. Acadian Flycatcher  15
  10. Eastern Phoebe  1
  11. Great Crested Flycatcher  1
  12. White-eyed Vireo  2
  13. Yellow-throated Vireo  1
  14. Red-eyed Vireo  15
  15. Blue Jay  2
  16. American Crow  8
  17. Fish Crow  1
  18. Tree Swallow  3
  19. Barn Swallow  27
  20. Carolina Chickadee  4
  21. Tufted Titmouse  6
  22. White-breasted Nuthatch  4
  23. Carolina Wren  3
  24. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  4
  25. Eastern Bluebird  8
  26. Wood Thrush  5
  27. Gray Catbird  2
  28. Brown Thrasher  1
  29. Northern Mockingbird  1
  30. European Starling  1
  31. Cedar Waxwing  3
  32. Common Yellowthroat  3
  33. Yellow-breasted Chat  1
  34. Eastern Towhee  2
  35. Chipping Sparrow  4
  36. Field Sparrow  8
  37. Grasshopper Sparrow  3
  38. Song Sparrow  1
  39. Scarlet Tanager  3
  40. Northern Cardinal  5
  41. Indigo Bunting  9
  42. Common Grackle  1
  43. Baltimore Oriole  3
  44. House Finch  4
  45. American Goldfinch  9
  46. House Sparrow  6

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S19226291
This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org)

EmailShare

Next Page »