Golden Eagle over Banshee Reeks
On November 8, we had our monthly bird walk at Bashee Reeks. Mary Ann Good led the walk and the group had some great sightings – especially that of a Golden Eagle! (very cool!) Here is Mary Ann’s field trip report from that day as well as a photo of a kinglet:
About 15 birders enjoyed a picture-perfect morning with unexpected sunshine on brilliant, rain-washed fall foliage Saturday morning at Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve, after which 6 or 7 visited the nearby Dulles Greenway Wetlands Mitigation Project. Certainly a most unexpected highlight was a juvenile GOLDEN EAGLE soaring over the nearby landfill among a kettle of 100–150 vultures (mostly Black), a Raven, and a few hawks; its distinctive markings were well-seen by all (a couple people got distant photos). We enjoyed the sight of 3 Purple Finches and a flock of Cedar Waxwings swarming around us feasting on autumn olive and Virginia creeper berries, and a glimpse of a Fox Sparrow. Bruce Hill, the co-leader, took a group into the Wetlands afterward where they added 5 species of waterfowl to the Wood Ducks we saw at Banshee, as well as a pair of adult Bald Eagles.
The numbers below are for Banshee followed by the Dulles Wetlands, where applicable.
Canada Goose (6), Wood Duck (10), Am. Black Duck (0/6), Mallard (0/75+), No. Pintail (0/2), Green-winged Teal (0/55), Pied-billed Grebe (0/2), Great Blue Heron (0/2), Black Vulture (75+), Turkey Vulture (25), Bald Eagle (0/2), GOLDEN EAGLE (1 imm.), Sharp-shinned Hawk (3), Red-shouldered Hawk (2), Red-tailed Hawk (2/2), Am. Kestrel (1), Rock Pigeon (2), Mourning Dove (20), Barred Owl (1), Red-bellied Woodpecker (10), Downy Woodpecker (1/2), Hairy Woodpecker (1), No. Flicker (15), Pileated Woodpecker (3), Blue Jay (30), Am. Crow (15), Fish Crow (3), C. Raven (1), Car. Chickadee (8), Tufted Titmouse (6), Wh-Breasted Nuthatch (4), Carolina Wren (2), Golden-crowned Kinglet (4), Ruby-crowned Kinglet (4), E. Bluebird (25/6), Am. Robin (20), No. Mockingbird (10), Eur. Starling (10), Cedar Waxwing (25), Yellow-rumped Warbler (4/2), E. Towhee (5), Field Sparrow (6/10), Fox Sparrow (1), Song Sparrow (25), Swamp Sparrow (6), wh-Throated Sparrow (25), Dark-Eyed Junco (5), No. Cardinal (15), Red-winged Blackbird (1/150), Purple Finch (3), Am. Goldfinch (15)