Entries tagged with “Dulles Greenway Wetlands Mitigation”.


Barred Owl, Louisiana Waterthrush, & juvenile Northern Rough-winged Swallows! WOW!

The highlights of this June bird walk, sponsored by Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy and led by Mary Ann Good & Joe Coleman on the privately-owned Dulles Greenway Wetlands Mitigation Project, included a Barred Owl who flew across the wetlands right in front of us about 9 am, a Louisiana Waterthrush perched on a limb within 20 feet of us, and a number of juvenile Rough-winged Swallows perched in a tree, one of which was begging food from an adult.

Mary Ann Good, who manages the Bluebird Trail at the wetlands (and is looking for additional volunteers to help there), scouted on Tuesday & also saw two very vocal and active Yellow-breasted Chats and heard a Warbling Vireo. We also heard Willow and Acadian Flycatchers.

Among the several butterflies we saw were two different Monarch butterflies.

See below for complete eBird list of the birds seen at the Wetlands on Wednesday.

Information on upcoming events, including more bird walks, can be found here online.

Report by Joe Coleman
Edited by Sarah Steadman _____________________________________________________________________________________________

Dulles Greenway Wetlands Mitigation Project, Loudoun, US-VA
Jun 18, 2014 8:00-10:00 AM
Protocol: Traveling
1.0 mile(s)

48 species

  1. Wood Duck  2
  2. Mallard  1
  3. Great Blue Heron  2
  4. Great Egret  4
  5. Green Heron  6
  6. Black Vulture  1
  7. Turkey Vulture  5
  8. Killdeer  1
  9. Mourning Dove  2
  10. Yellow-billed Cuckoo  2
  11. Barred Owl  1
  12. Belted Kingfisher  3
  13. Red-bellied Woodpecker  3
  14. Eastern Wood-Pewee  1
  15. Acadian Flycatcher  2
  16. Willow Flycatcher  3
  17. Great Crested Flycatcher  2
  18. Eastern Kingbird  4
  19. White-eyed Vireo  1
  20. Blue Jay  X
  21. American Crow  X
  22. Fish Crow  X
  23. Northern Rough-winged Swallow  7
  24. Tree Swallow  8
  25. Barn Swallow  1
  26. Carolina Chickadee  2
  27. Tufted Titmouse  1
  28. White-breasted Nuthatch  1
  29. House Wren  2
  30. Carolina Wren  4
  31. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  10
  32. Eastern Bluebird  4
  33. Gray Catbird  5
  34. Northern Mockingbird  2
  35. European Starling  5
  36. Louisiana Waterthrush  1
  37. Common Yellowthroat  8
  38. Northern Parula  1
  39. Prairie Warbler  1
  40. Eastern Towhee  3
  41. Chipping Sparrow  1
  42. Field Sparrow  6
  43. Song Sparrow  2
  44. Northern Cardinal  5
  45. Indigo Bunting  2
  46. Red-winged Blackbird  10
  47. Common Grackle  8
  48. Orchard Oriole  2

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S18828855
This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org)++

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Led by Mary Ann Good and Joe Coleman, 8 people visited the privately owned Dulles Greenway Wetlands Mitigation Project on a chilly, drizzly March 19, 2014 for a Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy bird walk. We found 32 species of birds and a multitude of animal tracks in the mud and lingering snow.

We were thrilled to find a family of beavers has moved in and dammed the spillway for the wetlands. While the dam has probably only raised the water level by 6-12 inches, the area around the wetlands is a flood plain, so the water has really spread out. The beavers have also done a nice job of radically pruning the black willows and Ash leaf maples, so it is a bit more difficult to approach the wetlands without the ducks becoming aware of you.

The highlights of the walk included the Bald Eagles on their nest, a flock (26) of turkeys crossing the road right before the walk, a Woodcock closely seen, and a Northern Harrier, who briefly checked out the area. While only a few people saw the turkeys and the Woodcock, most of the group saw one of the Bald Eagles bring prey in to the nest and leave with it shortly thereafter. The only significant difference from my scout of the wetlands the day before was the absence of a large flock of Widgeons and a single Hermit Thrush that were there previously. It was disappointing not to find a single Rusty Blackbird either day.

See below for complete eBird list of the birds seen on the walk.

While the Dulles Greenway Wetlands Mitigation Project is generally closed to the public, the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy has permission to occasionally lead walks there.  Please check out the schedule on the website (www.loudounwildlife.org) for upcoming bird walks there and elsewhere in the county, in addition to the many other free activities.

Also, Mary Ann Good, who manages the bluebird trail on the wetlands, was thrilled that one of Wednesday’s participants volunteered to help with the trail this summer.

Good birding,
Joe Coleman
(nearby  Bluemont, Loudoun Co)

eBird List

Dulles Greenway Wetlands Mitigation Project, Loudoun, US-VA

  • Mar 19, 2014 7:45 AM – 10:00 AM
  • Protocol: Rusty Blackbird Spring Migration Blitz
  • 1.0 mile

Comments:
Mary Ann Good and Joe Coleman led a walk for the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy on the privately owned Dulles Greenway Wetlands this morning. There was a chilly drizzle during much of the walk and not as many species as were expected; also, no Rusty Blackbirds.

32 species observed:

  • Canada Goose  X
  • Gadwall  15
  • Mallard  30
  • Canvasback  6
  • Ring-necked Duck  20
  • Bufflehead  22
  • Ruddy Duck  2
  • Wild Turkey  26

NOTE: The Wild Turkey flock was seen crossing the road in front of one of the participants and behind another. They were moving from the edge of the wetlands north toward Oatlands.

  • Northern Harrier  1
  • Bald Eagle  2
  • American Coot  6
  • American Woodcock  1
  • Belted Kingfisher  1
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker  1
  • Downy Woodpecker  2
  • Northern Flicker  5
  • Eastern Phoebe  2
  • American Crow  X
  • Fish Crow  X
  • Carolina Chickadee  8
  • Tufted Titmouse  3
  • White-breasted Nuthatch  2
  • Carolina Wren  1
  • Eastern Bluebird  1
  • American Robin  2
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler  8
  • Song Sparrow  4
  • Swamp Sparrow  1
  • White-throated Sparrow  12
  • Dark-eyed Junco  6
  • Northern Cardinal  8
  • Red-winged Blackbird  20
  • Rusty Blackbird  0

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S17506357

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

Reported By Joe Coleman
Edited by Sarah Steadman

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On November 9th, eleven people enjoyed the regular 2nd Sat. of the month Banshee Reeks bird walk on a beautiful fall day that started off in mid-20′s but warmed up quickly & didn’t become windy until a little before 11 am. This walk is sponsored by the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy & the Friends of Banshee Reeks on Sat..

After the Banshee walk six of us spent an hour at the private Dulles Greenway Wetlands Mitigation Project.   Except for seven sparrow species and a few flocks of Red-winged Blackbirds, American Robins, and Fish Crow flying over, Banshee Reeks was quieter than many of us had expected. The highlights of the walk at Banshee Reeks included a group of six Fox Sparrows and a Northern Harrier that flew by twice.

The highlight at the Wetlands were the 19 Wild Turkeys that I saw there as I passed by it on the way to Banshee Reeks about 7:30 am of which there was only one seen when we visited later.  The water level was relatively high and the mud hidden by vegetation so little was visible on or next to the water.

See below for complete eBird list of the birds seen at Banshee Reeks and the Dulles Greenway Wetlands Mitigation Project.   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) and 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, near Bluemont, Loudoun Co

Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve – MFF08, Loudoun, US-VA Nov 9, 2013 8:00 AM – 10:30 AM Protocol: Traveling 1.0 mile(s) 38 species

Canada Goose  4 Mallard  1 Great Blue Heron  1 Black Vulture  5 Turkey Vulture  6 Northern Harrier  1 Sharp-shinned Hawk  1 Red-shouldered Hawk  1 Red-tailed Hawk  2 Rock Pigeon  12 Mourning Dove  2 Red-bellied Woodpecker  3 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker  1 Downy Woodpecker  4 Northern Flicker  5 Blue Jay  X American Crow  X Fish Crow  X Carolina Chickadee  4 Tufted Titmouse  4 White-breasted Nuthatch  2 Carolina Wren  6 Ruby-crowned Kinglet  1 Eastern Bluebird  15 American Robin  125 Northern Mockingbird  10 Yellow-rumped Warbler  5 Eastern Towhee  2 Chipping Sparrow  2 Field Sparrow  3 Fox Sparrow  6 Song Sparrow  10 White-throated Sparrow  35 Dark-eyed Junco  12 Northern Cardinal  8 Red-winged Blackbird  60 Common Grackle  1 American Goldfinch  6

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S15621515

Dulles Greenway Wetlands Mitigation Project, Loudoun, US-VA Nov 9, 2013 10:45 AM – 11:50 AM Protocol: Traveling 1.0 mile(s) 23 species

Canada Goose  X Mallard  8 Green-winged Teal  4 Wild Turkey  1 Black Vulture  15 Turkey Vulture  5 Red-shouldered Hawk  1 Downy Woodpecker  2 Blue Jay  X American Crow  X Fish Crow  50 Carolina Chickadee  3 Tufted Titmouse  2 Carolina Wren  2 Eastern Bluebird  4 American Robin  4 Northern Mockingbird  2 Song Sparrow  4 White-throated Sparrow  6 Dark-eyed Junco  4 Northern Cardinal  2 Red-winged Blackbird  X American Goldfinch  2

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S15621567

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Eighteen people enjoyed the regular 2nd Sat. of the month bird walk sponsored by the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy & the Friends of Banshee Reeks last Saturday. Prior to the Banshee walk four people spent an hour at the private Dulles Greenway Wetlands.

Except for a couple of mixed flocks the activity at Banshee Reeks was quieter than many of us had expected with 42 species there including four warbler species and two vireos, one of which was a very vocal White-eyed.

We did have one active mixed flock of migrants and residents at one spot along the Goose Creek and a couple of intriguing warblers there that managed to escape identification to our frustration.

Twenty-six species were found at the Wetlands for a total of 55 different species for the day.   The highlights at the Wetlands were 21 carefully-counted Great Egrets, a VA Rail, approx. 10 each Wood Ducks and Mallards as well as a single Black Duck, a Northern Harrier, a Pectoral Sandpiper, 2 Lesser Yellowlegs, and a small flock of Least Sandpipers.

Because the wetlands is rapidly drying out and the exposed mud hardening, there were a lot of dead carp visible. Without rain soon the wetlands will prob. lose much of its appeal to a wide variety of birds.

It was a beautiful early fall day and a great day to be outside enjoying the many beauties of nature.

See below for complete eBird list of the birds seen at Banshee Reeks and the Dulles Greenway Wetlands Mitigation Project.

As it warmed it there were 8 Monarchs, mostly females, among the several butterfly species at Banshee.

Good birding, Joe Coleman, near Bluemont, Loudoun Co

Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve: Mallard  2, Black Vulture  32, Turkey Vulture  9, Red-shouldered Hawk  4, Broad-winged Hawk  2, Red-tailed Hawk  1, Rock Pigeon  8, Mourning Dove  8, Chimney Swift  2, Belted Kingfisher  1, Red-bellied Woodpecker  4, Downy Woodpecker  2, Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted)  4, Pileated Woodpecker  3, Eastern Wood-Pewee  6, Empidonax sp.  1, Eastern Phoebe  4, White-eyed Vireo  1, Red-eyed Vireo  1, Blue Jay  8, American Crow  8, Fish Crow, Common Raven  2, Carolina Chickadee  6, Tufted Titmouse  6, White-breasted Nuthatch  6, Carolina Wren  8, Eastern Bluebird  4, Wood Thrush  1, American Robin  6, Gray Catbird  6, Northern Mockingbird  6, European Starling  12, Cedar Waxwing  8, Black-and-white Warbler  3, Common Yellowthroat  3, Magnolia Warbler  2, Black-throated Green Warbler  1, Eastern Towhee  2, Northern Cardinal  8, House Finch  5, American Goldfinch  15.

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S15170785   Dulles Greenway Wetlands Mitigation Project, Loudoun, US-VA Sep 14, 2013 6:30 AM – 7:30 AM Protocol: Traveling 0.5 mile(s) 28 species

Canada Goose  50Wood Duck  12, American Black Duck  1, Mallard  10, Great Blue Heron  2, Great Egret  21,      Green Heron  2, Northern Harrier  1, Red-shouldered Hawk  2, Virginia Rail  1, Killdeer  10, Lesser Yellowlegs  2, Least Sandpiper  8,     Pectoral Sandpiper  1, Belted Kingfisher  1, American Crow, Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, Carolina Wren, Eastern Bluebird  1, Gray Catbird, Northern Mockingbird  1, European Starling  10, Common Yellowthroat  3, Song Sparrow  1, Northern Cardinal, American Goldfinch  6.

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Barred_Owl_Reed_GeorgeThe highlight of the regular monthly bird walk at Banshee Reeks was two flocks (one of 60 birds, the other 30) of Snow Geese flying north as they are uncommon in Northern Virginia’s Piedmont. They were clearly seen, the first flock through a scope, and the second flying directly overhead.

Unfort. Del Sargent, who frequently co-leads the Banshee Reeks walk, could not make this walk but did provided his list of the Birds of Banshee Reeks on the last six March walks there.  As always it is fascinating to compare the current month’s sightings to what was seen during the same month in the six previous years. The list clearly shows what common birds we’ve missed and what was an unusual species for that particular walk that month.

Snow Geese were not on the March list at all, while Eastern Phoebes, which we missed, had been observed on all six of the previous March visits.  Other int’g misses were Tree Swallows, seen on four of the six previous March walks, and Fox Sparrow and Am Goldfinch, both seen on five of the previous March walks.

Of the 17 birders at Banshee Reeks eight went to the Dulles Greenway Wetlands afterwards to check the Bald Eagle nest and to see what else was there. The wetlands was as full as we’d ever seen it; not only was there no mud visible in the wetlands, itself, it was beyond its banks with many areas that are normally dry covered in water.

We did see a Bald Eagle at the nest and in addition to several duck species and a couple of Swamp Sparrows we also found a Chipping Sparrow, still in its basic plumage, the first one any of us had seen for several months.

Barred Owl photo by Reed A. George, creativeobjective.com [Thank you Reed!]

See below for complete eBird list of the birds seen at both locations.

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) and 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, near Bluemont, Loudoun Co

Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve – MFF08, Loudoun, US-VA Mar 9, 2013 8:00 AM – 11:00 AM Protocol: Traveling 2.0 mile(s) 40 species

Snow Goose  90, Canada Goose, Wood Duck  3, Mallard  2, Black Vulture  30, Turkey Vulture  10, Bald Eagle  1,Red-shouldered Hawk  3, Red-tailed Hawk  1, Ring-billed Gull, Mourning Dove, Barred Owl  1, Belted Kingfisher  2, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker  2, Downy Woodpecker  4, Northern Flicker  3, Pileated Woodpecker  2, Blue Jay, American Crow, Fish Crow, Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, Brown Creeper  2, Carolina Wren  4, Eastern Bluebird, American Robin, Northern Mockingbird, European Starling, Yellow-rumped Warbler  2, Eastern Towhee  3, Field Sparrow  5, Song Sparrow  2, White-throated Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, Northern Cardinal  4, Red-winged Blackbird  5, Common Grackle  1, Brown-headed Cowbird  2

Dulles Greenway Wetlands Mitigation Project, Loudoun, US-VA Mar 9, 2013 11:15 AM – 12:15 PM Protocol: Traveling 0.75 mile(s) 33 species

Canada Goose, Wood Duck  2, American Wigeon  7, American Black Duck  2, Mallard  2, Northern Shoveler  8, Northern Pintail  6, Hooded Merganser  1, Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture, Northern Harrier  1, Bald Eagle  1     on nest, Red-shouldered Hawk  2, American Coot  6, Mourning Dove, Belted Kingfisher  1, Downy Woodpecker, Blue Jay, American Crow, Fish Crow, Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, Carolina Wren, Eastern Bluebird, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Chipping Sparrow  1, Field Sparrow  2, Song Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow  2, Dark-eyed Junco, Northern Cardinal, Red-winged Blackbird, American Goldfinch.

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The twelve birders on last Saturday’s morning monthly bird walk at the Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve, sponsored by the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy and the Friends of Banshee Reeks, found 38 species including ten Great Egrets swirling around in the sky in the vicinity of the nearby Dulles Greenway Wetlands Mitigation Project (DGWMP), an adult female Orchard Oriole, and good looks at a variety of different Magnolia Warblers and Redstarts showing the differences between males, females.
 
The group also saw a Fox Squirrel at Banshee – it climbed up a really big snag along the Goose Creek and stretched out in the sun on a branch. It gave all of us great looks and got lots of hooes and aahs in return.

After the walk, five of us headed over to the DGWMP where the highlight was a female Northern Harrier (photo here by Norm Gresley), a dozen Great Egrets, some of which were prob. the same birds seen earlier from Banshee, a dozen Blue-winged Teal, three Least Sandpipers, a Lesser Yellowlegs, and a Palm Warbler.

As for butterflies, some of the highlights included two Viceroys at the Wetlands and several Monarchs at Banshee.

We often visit the privately owned Dulles Greenway Wetlands Mitigation Project prior to or after the Banshee Reeks walk; if you are int’d in joining us pls let us know and we’ll be happy to include you if we are planning a visit.

See below for the complete list of birds seen.

Good birding,
Joe Coleman, near Bluemont, Loudoun Co
 
Banshee Reeks
38 species (+2 other taxa)
Great Egret  10     clearly seen from Banshee Reeks in the vicinity of the Dulles Greenway Wetlands Mitigation Project, Black Vulture  40, Turkey Vulture  12, Red-shouldered Hawk  2, Red-tailed Hawk  1, Rock Pigeon  6, Mourning Dove  10, Belted Kingfisher  1, Red-bellied Woodpecker  6, Downy Woodpecker  3, Northern Flicker  4, Eastern Wood-Pewee  6, Alder/Willow Flycatcher (Traill’s Flycatcher)  1, Empidonax sp.  2, Eastern Phoebe  2, Red-eyed Vireo  2, Blue Jay  X, American Crow  X, Fish Crow  1, Carolina Chickadee  X, Tufted Titmouse  2, White-breasted Nuthatch  4m Carolina Wren  2, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  3, Eastern Bluebird  12, American Robin  1, Gray Catbird  3, Northern Mockingbird  10, European Starling  50, Cedar Waxwing  6, Common Yellowthroat  1, American Redstart  6, Magnolia Warbler  3, Eastern Towhee  1, Field Sparrow  1, Scarlet Tanager  1, Northern Cardinal  X, Orchard Oriole  1     adult female seen in mixed flock, House Finch  2, American Goldfinch  2

Highlights from the Dulles Greenway Wetlands:
Mallard  16, Blue-winged Teal  12, Great Egret  12     well seen & photographed by the five of us, Black Vulture  20, Turkey Vulture  40, Northern Harrier  1, Red-shouldered Hawk  2, Killdeer  X, Lesser Yellowlegs  1, Least Sandpiper  3     small peep with brownish breast and back, small bill slightly curved down; too far away to tell the leg color., Palm Warbler  1

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Our walk at the Dulles Greenway Wetlands Mitigation yesterday yielded some nice encounters.  Below is a listing of the different species and a few notes from the field. 

Birds:
Wood Duck, Mallard, Northern Shoveler – 5 juveniles or females – at the early end of the date range in the Gold Book, Great Blue Heron – 1, Great Egret – 8 perched together, later 2 perched across Goose Creek, Green Heron – 6 or 8, Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture, Red-shouldered Hawk – 1 seen, 2 or 3 heard, Red-tailed Hawk – juvenile, Killdeer – 1, Solitary Sandpiper – 4, Least Sandpiper – 2, Mourning Dove, Yellow-billed Cuckoo – heard, Ruby-throated Hummingbird – 1, Belted Kingfisher – 1, Red-bellied Woodpecker – heard, Downy Woodpecker – 1, No. Flicker – heard, Willow Flycatcher – 1 silent one perched atop a willow where they’ve perennially nested, Red-eyed Vireo – good looks at 1, American Crow, Tree swallow, Carolina Chickadee, Carolina Wren, Gray Catbird, Cedar Waxwing – heard by a few, American Redstart – extended looks at a young male, Common Yellowthroat
Chipping Sparrow – parents feeding young in a nest next to the parking area, Field Sparrow, No. Cardinal, Indigo Bunting, Am. Goldfinch
 
Butterflies:
Spicebush Swallowtail, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Cabbage White, Orange Sulfur, Eastern Tailed Blue, Pearl Crescent, Common Buckeye, Red-spotted Purple, Viceroy, Monarch - approximately 4
 
Noteworthy “bugs” and spiders:
large Praying Mantis munching on a skipper!
a couple large Golden Orb Spiders on beautiful webs
 
Reptiles and Amphibians:
a large water snake swimming across the marsh pool water, 2 or 3 times seen
a Painted Turtle swimming across the clear shallow water of the Goose Creek
a tiny Green frog (thumbnail size) 
 
Mammals:
a White-tailed Deer in the marsh
 
Flowers:
Sneezeweed, Wild Mistflower (Ageratum), New York Ironweed, Swamp Milkweed, Moth Mullein, goldenrod, Wingstem, Birdsfoot Trefoil

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There was a lot of breeding bird behavior and disbursement observed at this morning’s bird walk at the Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve and during an early morning visit to the privately owned Dulles Greenway Wetlands Mitigation Project.

The twelve people at Banshee Reeks found 54 species of which the highlights were 3 Yellow-billed Cuckoos, 3 vocal White-eyed Vireos, Prairie Warblers feeding young, a Louisiana Waterthrush bathing in the Goose Creek, lots & lots of Common Yellowthroats, two Chats, and both oriole species, including a family unit of Orchard Orioles.  It was also fun to stop by the MAPS banding station where we watched an adult male Common Yellowthroat and a recently-fledged Indigo Bunting measured, weighed, and banded.

Prior to the Banshee walk three of us, Mary Ann Good, myself, and Del Sargent spent an hour at the wetlands and found 33 species of which the highlights were a juvenile WHITE IBIS, two Great Egrets, two Blue Grosbeaks, a few shorebirds including one Solitary Sandpiper and 8 Semipalmated Sandpipers, a food-begging Orchard Oriole, and adult Bald Eagle which flew around its nest.  While we did not see any juvenile eagles, we were pls’d to see that the nest did not suffer any apparent damage from the June 29 storm.

We often visit the privately ownerd Dulles Greenway Wetlands Mitigation Project prior to Banshee Reeks walk; if you are int’d in joining us pls contact us ahead of time and we’ll be happy to include you if we are planning a visit.

See below for the complete list of birds seen.

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) and 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, near Bluemont, Loudoun Co

Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve – MFF08, Loudoun, US-VA
54 species: Mallard  6, Great Blue Heron  4, Black Vulture  15, Turkey Vulture  15, Red-shouldered Hawk  1, Red-tailed Hawk  1, American Kestrel  1, Rock Pigeon  4, Mourning Dove  6, Yellow-billed Cuckoo  3, Ruby-throated Hummingbird  1, Belted Kingfisher  1, Red-bellied Woodpecker  1, Pileated Woodpecker  1, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Acadian Flycatcher  2, Great Crested Flycatcher  1, Eastern Kingbird  1, White-eyed Vireo  3, Red-eyed Vireo, Blue Jay, American Crow, Fish Crow, Tree Swallow, Barn Swallow, Carolina Chickadee  2, Tufted Titmouse  2, White-breasted Nuthatch  1, Carolina Wren, House Wren  1, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  2, Eastern Bluebird  X, Wood Thrush, American Robin  1, Gray Catbird, Northern Mockingbird, Brown Thrasher  2, European Starling  10, Cedar Waxwing  5, Ovenbird  1, Louisiana Waterthrush  1, Common Yellowthroat  15, Prairie Warbler  3, Yellow-breasted Chat  2, Eastern Towhee  4, Field Sparrow  12, Song Sparrow, Scarlet Tanager  1, Northern Cardinal, Indigo Bunting, Red-winged Blackbird, Orchard Oriole  5, Baltimore Oriole  2, American Goldfinch.

Dulles Greenway Wetlands Mitigation Project, Loudoun, US-VA
33 species: Wood Duck  16, Mallard  7, Great Blue Heron  3, Great Egret  2, Green Heron  4, White Ibis  1, Bald Eagle  1, Killdeer  8, Solitary Sandpiper  1, Semipalmated Sandpiper  8, Mourning Dove, Yellow-billed Cuckoo  1Great Crested Flycatcher  1, White-eyed Vireo  1, American Crow, Fish Crow, Northern Rough-winged Swallow  3,Tree Swallow, Barn Swallow, Carolina Wren, House Wren  1,Eastern Bluebird, Gray Catbird, Northern Mockingbird  1, Common Yellowthroat  4, Field Sparrow, Song Sparrow  3, Northern Cardinal, Blue Grosbeak  2, Red-winged Blackbird, Common Grackle, Orchard Oriole  3, American Goldfinch.

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Seven of us, including Mary Ann Good & Bill Brown, participated in the regular monthly bird walk at the Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve on Saturday morning. The walk began well with several birds along the hedge row that runs west from the education annex but it then got really quiet and not much else was observed.

The initial flurry along the hedge row included a couple of vireos, one of which we tried to make into a Philadelphia Vireo but finally decided was a Warbling Vireo. We were also delighted to get great looks at a Yellow-billed Cuckoo that perched in front of us long enough for all of us to carefully study it.

After wrapping up at Banshee Reeks four of us went to the close-by Dulles Greenway Wetlands which was pretty quiet, prob. because of the hour and the lack of exposed mud due to this past week’s heavy rains (the contrast between today when the wetlands was full of water and Aug 31 when it looked like the wetlands was going to dry out soon was fascinating).

The highlights of today’s visit were several mixed flocks of swallows, including a couple of Cliff Swallows and several Northern Rough-winged Swallows, swirling around as well as several Chimney swifts and a few high-flying raptors (an immature Bald Eagle and a couple of Ospreys) but not much else. As we had earlier at Banshee Reeks, we got great looks at a Yellow-billed Cuckoo that perched right in front of us.

See below for the lists of birds seen at both places.

Banshee Reeks: 39 species (+1 other taxa): Canada Goose, Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture, Osprey, Bald Eagle, Red-shouldered Hawk, Killdeer, Mourning Dove, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Empidonax sp., Eastern Phoebe, Warbling Vireo, Red-eyed Vireo, Blue Jay, American Crow, Fish Crow, Common Raven, Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, Carolina Wren, House Wren, Eastern Bluebird, American Robin, Gray Catbird, Northern Mockingbird, Brown Thrasher, Cedar Waxwing, Common Yellowthroat, Magnolia Warbler, Eastern Towhee, Field Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Indigo Bunting, American Goldfinc.

Dulles Greenway Wetlands Mitigation: 28 species:Wood Duck, Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture, Osprey, Bald Eagle, Red-shouldered Hawk, Mourning Dove, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Chimney Swift, Eastern Phoebe, Blue Jay, American Crow, Fish Crow, Northern, Rough-winged Swallow, Tree Swallow, Cliff Swallow, Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, Carolina Wren, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Eastern Bluebird, Gray Catbird, Northern Mockingbird, Cedar Waxwing, Common Yellowthroat, Field Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, American Goldfinch.

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Nine people joined Phil Daley and Joe Coleman on a nature walk at the privately-owned Dulles Greenway Wetlands Mitigation Project Wednesday morning, August 31.  Photos were sent over by Sheila Ferguson and Lisa Streckfuss (Thank you!).  We’ve posted them to our facebook gallery here.

While we were surprised by how low the wetlands were in spite of Hurricane Irene’s rains, we did find a lot of wildflowers, some interesting birds, and as the morning warmed up, lots of butterflies.

The only place that had a fair amount of water, and it was much shallower than one would have expected right after a hurricane, was the central pond where we found some Mallards, a half dozen Great Egrets, a Great Blue Heron, two or three Green Herons, a Greater Yellowlegs, and a couple of Solitary Sandpipers.  On the pond’s edges were a couple of singing White-eyed Vireos and a Common Yellowthroat.  Perched on top of a Black Willow was a single Trail’s Flycatcher; while probably a Willow Flycatcher since they nest at the wetlands in decent numbers, we were unable to pin it down as it never vocalized.  Only one Barn Swallow darted over the wetlands while we were there and only a couple of Field Sparrows were vocalizing.

We also spent some time identifying tracks in the mud on the edge of the pond and, in addition to the numerous deer tracks, there were a couple we thought belonged to River Otters and Raccoons.

However, the highlight of the walk was the many different late summer wildflowers.  Phil Daley, with some assistance from the others on the walk, identified Wild Indigo, Daisy Fleabane, Dogbane, Common and Swamp Milkweed, Selfheal, Wild Ageratum, several species of Goldenrod including Swamp, Tickseed, Wingstem, and a couple of species of coreopsis including Lanceleaf.

Not surprisingly, all those wildflowers attracted a lot of butterflies and other pollinators.  While the most seen butterfly was the Common Buckeye, there were also Tiger Swallowtails, Cabbage Whites, lots of Eastern Tailed Blues and Pearly Crescents, a Variegated Fritillary, Red-spotted Purples, a Viceroy, a couple of Monarchs, and several skippers including Least, Peck’s, as well as several Sachems and Zabulon Skippers.  The other pollinators included several Honeybees and solitary wasps and bees.

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