The Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy sponsored a visit to the Dulles Greenway Wetlands Mitigation Project on the morning of Saturday Feb 14 , once at 7 am and once about 10:45 am. In between we co-sponsored a walk with the Friends of Banshee Reeks to the Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve. 22 people were on the various walks.
While we didn’t see any Rusty Blackbirds at the Wetlands, even in the wet woods next to the Goose Creek, we did find hundreds of Red-winged Blackbirds, lots and a wide variety of waterfowl, a Northern Harrier, and a wide variety of other birds, including American Tree Sparrows and Swamp Sparrows both times, and a Purple Finch. The two Bald Eagles were also perching next to but not in the nest there. The ducks included upwards of a thousand Canada Geese, large numbers of American Wigeon, Mallards, Green-winged Teal, at least 20 Northern Pintails, and smaller numbers of Wood Duck, Gadwall, American Black Duck, Northern Shoveler, Ring-necked Ducks, Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, Hooded Mergansers, and Ruddy Ducks. A Barred Owl, seen in the woods before dawn, was also nice.
The highlights of the Banshee Reeks walk were 12 Turkeys on the Goose Creek flood plain, a Fox Sparrow near the pond closest to the Visitor Center, and a male & female American Kestrel. The male Kestrel was observed checking out one of the nesting boxes near the Visitor Center.
The complete lists follow:
Location: Dulles Greenway Wetlands Mitigation Project
Observation date: 2/14/09
Number of species: 45
Canada Goose, Wood Duck, Gadwall, American Wigeon, American Black Duck, Mallard, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, Ring-necked Duck, Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, Hooded Merganser, Ruddy Duck, Bald Eagle, Northern Harrier, Red-shouldered Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, Ring-billed Gull, Mourning Dove, Barred Owl, Belted Kingfisher, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Blue Jay, American Crow, Fish Crow, Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, Carolina Wren, Winter Wren, Eastern Bluebird, Northern Mockingbird, Yellow-rumped Warbler, American Tree Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Red-winged Blackbird, Purple Finch, House Finch, American Goldfinch,
Location: Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve
Observation date: 2/14/09
Number of species: 38
Canada Goose, Mallard, Wild Turkey, Great Blue Heron, Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture, Red-shouldered Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, American Kestrel, Ring-billed Gull, Rock Pigeon, Mourning Dove, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Downy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Pileated Woodpecker, Blue Jay, American Crow, Fish Crow, Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, Carolina Wren, Eastern Bluebird, Northern Mockingbird, European Starling, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Eastern Towhee, Field Sparrow, Fox Sparrow, Song Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, Northern Cardinal, Red-winged Blackbird, House Finch, American Goldfinch