Birding Banshee…Rain or Shine
Three intrepid birders went out on our Birding Banshee walk this past Saturday. Here’s the report from Joe Colemen:
The Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy’s policy is to hold its scheduled bird walks, rain or shine, unless it’s dangerous but we don’t expect a lot of people if the weather is lousy. This past Saturday morning three hardcore & dedicated (some people would describe us as something else) birders showed up for a very wet & not overly productive bird walk.
While it rained, mostly hard, the entire time we were out, we kept telling each other how nice it was to be outside … One of the problems we had in finding birds was that we had a hard time hearing the birds sing due to the rain pelting down on our umbrellas. We did find 23 bird species at Banshee, including an impressive number of Eastern Towhees loudly singing from a variety of perches along with a lot of singing Field Sparrows and Chipping Sparrows.
My most interesting sightings occurred on the way to and from Banshee when I drove by the Dulles Greenway Wetlands Mitigation Project about 7 am & caught a glimpse of a Barred Owl and one of the nesting BALD EAGLES sitting on its nest. When I stopped on the way home I first saw one of the Bald Eagles standing over the nest in the rain with its wings spread out. Its mate flew to a close-by perch – tore up something & then flew down to the nest. After its mate left, it dropped whatever it had torn up in the nest, continuing to stand on the edge of the nest. Since nothing was visible in the nest I can only guess that, for the 4th year in a row, one will soon be able to see an eaglet or two.
Species seen at Banshee Reeks:
Canada Goose, Red-shouldered Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, Mourning Dove, Pileated Woodpecker, Eastern Phoebe, Blue Jay, American Crow, Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, Eastern Bluebird, American Robin, Northern Mockingbird, European Starling, Eastern Towhee, Chipping Sparrow, Field Sparrow, Song Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, Northern Cardinal, Red-winged Blackbird, American Goldfinch
Next month on May 9 the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy has scheduled 12 different bird walksall over Loudoun County in celebration of International Migratory Bird Day. Sign up online to join us for one of these walks.