Chilly Morning at BRCES but Still Good Birding
From Saturday, Nov 22….Only four of us showed up for the BRCES walk this rather cold morning (it was 24 when we started and 32 when we finished). The four of us first walked about a mile on the edge of the woods at the end of Sawmill and then did a mile loop in the fields and woods around the Visitor Center. The highlights included a single SNOW GOOSE flying as the last bird in a v of about 25 Canada Geese, a few HERMIT THRUSHES, seven sparrow species including a lingering CHIPPING SPARROW and at least six FOX SPARROWS and 2 SWAMP SPARROWS; several PURPLE FINCHES(9), and nine EASTERN MEADOWLARKS in the Boy Scout meadow at the end of Sawmill. We also briefly heard a CATBIRD but because we never saw it and there was a Northern Mockingbird in the immediate area we decided to not list it. We also greatly enjoyed the playful antics of at least 2 COMMON RAVENS in multiple locations and a very cooperative hatch-year COOPER’S HAWK who perched within 50′ of us twice.
While the trails at BRCES are normally open to the public 7 days a week from dawn to dusk there are controlled deer hunts there this time of year so check the BRCES website for dates and times of when parts of BRCES are closed.
Information on the Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship can be found at http://www.blueridgecenter.org. It’s a beautiful place to visit.
Joe Coleman, near Bluemont, Loudoun Co
Location: Blue Ridge Center
Observation date: 11/22/08
Number of species: 39
Snow Goose(1), Canada Goose(50), Turkey Vulture(3), Cooper’s Hawk(1), Red-tailed Hawk(1), Mourning Dove(1), Red-bellied Woodpecker(6), Yellow-bellied Sapsucker(3), Downy Woodpecker(3), Northern Flicker(3), Pileated Woodpecker(3), Blue Jay(6), American Crow(12), Common Raven(2), Carolina Chickadee(4), Tufted Titmouse(2), White-breasted Nuthatch(5), Carolina Wren(6), Golden-crowned Kinglet(2), Ruby-crowned Kinglet(2), Eastern Bluebird(10), Hermit Thrush(3), American Robin(2), Northern Mockingbird(4), European Starling(15), Cedar Waxwing(20), Yellow-rumped Warbler(2), Chipping Sparrow(1), Field Sparrow(5), Fox Sparrow(6), Song Sparrow(40), Swamp Sparrow(2), White-throated Sparrow(20), Dark-eyed Junco(40), Northern Cardinal(8), Eastern Meadowlark(9), Purple Finch(9), House Finch(2), American Goldfinch(10)