Hi Loudoun County Atlasers!
I hope you are enjoying the beautiful fall foliage and autumn skies. What a wonderful time to be outside and atlasing! The atlas highlights for October were a Merlin and a late Blue-headed Vireo at Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve. The upcoming months will provide a great opportunity to add winter species to your blocks such as Yellow-rumped Warblers, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, White-throated Sparrows, and Dark-eyed Juncos. We can also look forward to the arrival of several species of waterfowl.
1. Continue to be on the lookout for lingering migrants, including raptors, unusual hummingbirds, and out-of-area western flycatchers.
2. A lot of interesting observations are still possible so be sure to atlas your block at least once a month.
3. Familiarize yourself with parts of your block you haven’t had time to atlas yet. Determine who you need to get permissions from.
4. Submit any outstanding Atlas Verification Forms.
Species of the Month – Blue-winged Teal
• Small dabbling duck of shallow ponds and wetlands. Uncommon in Loudoun County in the fall and rare in the winter.
• Highest annual mortality rate (reaching 65%) of all the dabbling ducks, possibly as a result of hunting and long over-ocean migration
• More vocal than most ducks—their high-pitched peeping and nasal quacking is commonly heard in spring and to a lesser extent in fall.
• A group of teal has many collective nouns, including a “coil”, “dopping”, “knob”, “paddling”, and “spring” of teal.
• Among the latest ducks to migrate northward in spring and one of the first to migrate southward in fall.
Information taken from The Cornell Lab of Ornithology (http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Bluewinged_Teal/lifehistory) and www.whatbird.com.
34 enthusiastic atlasers have spent 964 hours in the field documenting 10,944 sightings. You have recorded 182 species, with 91 of these species having a confirmed nesting status. Field cards have been reported for 28 blocks. Upcoming Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy Events Please see the attached flier for a LWC-sponsored program about vultures on November 17th. Live vultures will be present as part of the program.
Loudoun County Bird Atlas Coordinator