Ten of us went out yesterday morning in search of ducks at the Dulles Wetlands. As it turned out (in the 20 degree chill) the water was frozen so except for a lone goose that is likely recovering from a wound, the ducks had departed to open waters. We had a wonderful walk nonetheless since there was no wind and Phil Daley and Paul Miller led us through the trails. The ice crystals on the grasses made for such a beautiful landscape. We watched a flock of Yellow-Rumped Warblers gobble up Poison Ivy berries, had great views of bluebirds foraging through the sumac and inspected the work of the beaver which has been busy bringing down a few trees. Phil also pointed out small burrows where you could see that the breath of the animals down below had risen and crystallized around the entry. Pretty neat. After our walk at the wetlands, we headed over to Beaverdam Reservoir and found our ducks. As we stood there, a flock of Common Mergansers flew right past us – it was great to see them up close in flight.
Here’s a list of what we saw at the two locations (many thanks to Martha Vandervoort for keeping our list and posting to eBird)! In all, we had 26 species of birds at the Dulles Wetlands and 10 species at the reservoir.
Dulles Wetlands: Canada Goose, Mallard (flew by), Green-winged Teal (several flew by), Bald Eagle, Red-shouldered Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, Belted Kingfisher, Downy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Blue Jay, American Crow, Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, Brown Creeper, Carolina Wren, Eastern Bluebird, Northern Mockingbird, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Fox Sparrow, Song Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, Northern Cardinal, Red-winged Blackbird (may have been common grackles), House Finch, American Goldfinch
Beaverdam Reservoir: Mallard, Green-winged Teal, Lesser Scaup, Hooded Merganser, Common Merganser, Great Blue Heron, Turkey Vulture, Bald Eagle, Ring-billed Gull, American Crow