The highlights of this past Saturday’s morning walk, co-sponsored by the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy & the Friends of Banshee Reeks, and attended by 18 birders, was a flyover flock of 7 vocal COMMON RAVENS, a couple of different groups of migrants, including warblers & vireos busily feeding, a couple of SCARLET TANAGERS, and numerous BALTIMORE ORIOLES. A few of us also got to see an adult BALD EAGLE flying low over the Goose Creek.
However, the most int’g part of the morning was the Black Rat Snake that joined us for the tally at the end of the walk on the Visitor Center’s front porch. The four to five foot snake was slithering along the stone wall right above a couple of benches and when some of us decided to go ahead and sit on the benches anyway it lost its grasp on the wall and fell onto the bench. After carefully watching us for a couple of minutes, it did slither away under some steps that Sandy Farkas and Linda Millington were sitting on.
Mary Ann Good and I briefly and separately visited the Dulles Greenway Wetlands Mitigation Project before the walk.
For more information on the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy, including a listing of their future activities, see (www.loudounwildlife.org); for the Friends of Banshee Reeks see www.bansheereeks.org.
Thanks, Joe Coleman
Birds seen at Banshee:
Number of species: 55
Canada Goose, Great Blue Heron(1), Green Heron(1), Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture, Bald Eagle (1), Sharp-shinned Hawk(1), Red-shouldered Hawk(1), Red-tailed Hawk(2), Rock Pigeon(3), Mourning Dove, Yellow-billed Cuckoo(3), Chimney Swift(10), Ruby-throated Hummingbird(2), Belted Kingfisher(1), Red-bellied Woodpecker(12), Downy Woodpecker(8), Northern Flicker(5), Pileated Woodpecker(5), Eastern Wood-Pewee (6), Eastern Phoebe(8), Great Crested Flycatcher(1), White-eyed Vireo(2), Red-eyed Vireo(4), Blue Jay, American Crow, Fish Crow(1), Common Raven(7), Tree Swallow(1), Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch(5), Carolina Wren, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher(2), Eastern Bluebird, Wood Thrush(4), American Robin(2), Gray Catbird, Northern Mockingbird, Brown Thrasher(3), European Starling, Cedar Waxwing(6), Northern Parula(1), Magnolia Warbler(1), American Redstart(4), Ovenbird(1), Common Yellowthroat(3), Scarlet Tanager(2), Eastern Towhee(3), Chipping Sparrow(2), Field Sparrow(10), Song Sparrow(2), Northern Cardinal, Baltimore Oriole(8), American Goldfinch
Observation date: 9/13/08
Notes: Both Mary Ann Good & Joe briefly birded the Dulles Wetlands prior to the Banshee Reeks walk. Mary Ann walked on to the Wetlands while Joe birded the shrubs and trees along Oatlands Mill Rd. This report is a composite of both of our sightings.
Number of species: 34
Canada Goose(100), Mallard(3), Turkey Vulture, Bald Eagle(1), Red-shouldered Hawk(2), Killdeer, Mourning Dove, Ruby-throated Hummingbird(2), Downy Woodpecker(2), Pileated Woodpecker(1), Eastern Wood-Pewee(2), Eastern Phoebe(2), Blue Jay, American Crow, Barn Swallow(3), Carolina Chickadee(5), Tufted Titmouse(2), Carolina Wren(2), Blue-gray Gnatcatcher(1), Eastern Bluebird(1), Gray Catbird, Northern Mockingbird(1), European Starling, Yellow Warbler(1), Palm Warbler(2), Black-and-white Warbler(2), Common Yellowthroat(4), Field Sparrow(2), Song Sparrow(4), Northern Cardinal, Indigo Bunting(1), Baltimore Oriole(1), House Finch(3), American Goldfinch