Saturday morning’s walk at Banshee Reeks was attended by 13 birders, led by Joe Coleman and Mary Ann Good.
Before the walk, four of us also surveyed the nearby Dulles Wetlands for 2 hours. The increasing exposed mud at the wetlands has attracted numbers of Killdeer but no other shorebirds yet. Large numbers of young Wood Duck of all sizes and fewer Mallards largely ignored the nest-year Bald Eagle who surveyed the scene from the large dead sycamore. Many juvenile Green Herons were testing their wings and hunting skills, and a pair of Willow Flycatchers scolded our passage. The four Great Egret seen there Monday did not put in an appearance today.
At Banshee Reeks, we got several close looks at the resident male Blue Grosbeak and observed Purple Martins beginning to flock. We also spent some time at the MAPS banding station where we watched a Yellow-breasted Chat, a young Indigo Bunting, and a Catbird get weighed, measured, inspected, and banded, then released. A great day for exploring Loudoun’s nature and wildlife.
Following is the combined list of the 62 species observed:
Wood Duck – including many fledglings, Mallard – including fledglings, Great Blue Heron – 4, Green Heron – est 10, mainly fledglings, Turkey Vulture, Bald Eagle – fledgling, Red-shouldered Hawk, American Kestrel – pair (a participant saw the entire family with 3 young earlier in the week), Killdeer – est 15, Rock Pigeon, Mourning Dove, Yellow-billed Cuckoo – 3, Chimney Swift, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Belted Kingfisher – 2, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker – including a very young fledgling, Northern Flicker, Pileated Woodpecker, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Acadian Flycatcher – est 10, Willow Flycatcher – 2, Eastern Phoebe, Great Crested Flycatcher, Eastern Kingbird, Red-eyed Vireo, Blue Jay, American Crow, Fish Crow, Purple Martin – est 10, Tree Swallow, No. Rough-winged Swallow, Barn Swallow, Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, Carolina Wren, House Wren, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Eastern Bluebird, Wood Thrush, American Robin, Gray Catbird, Northern Mockingbird, Brown Thrasher – concerned parent on one side of the path, alarmed young on the other, Eur. Starling, Cedar Waxwing, Yellow Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow-breasted Chat, Scarlet Tanager, Eastern Towhee, Chipping Sparrow, Field Sparrow, Song Sparrow, No. Cardinal, Blue Grosbeak – pair, Indigo Bunting, Red-winged Blackbird, Common Grackle, Orchard Oriole, American Goldfinch