I’m posting this really really late (I was away on vacation at the time of this excellent December bird walk) but I wanted to send it it out anyway since it’s such a great bird sighting. Anyway, here’s the report from Joe:
The highlight of an all-day Audubon Naturalist Society/Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy field trip on December 6th in central Loudoun County was a WESTERN KINGBIRD. The bird, well-seen and photographed by the 13 participants in the walk, was seen about 2:45 pm as we were leaving the Dulles Greenway Wetlands Mitigation Project.
While the wetlands is private property, the bird, if it hangs around, was close to the gate (2nd from Rte 15) to the wetlands on Oatland Mills Rd. It was seen in the grove of young trees inside the gate for awhile, flew over the road to Oatlands side, where it perched on top of a tree and then flew back to the other side of the road. It was part of a mixed flock comprised mostly of Eastern Bluebirds.
Finding the bird was a nice highlight to a beautiful day, most notable up to then, for a lot of raptors. The bright yellow on its belly jumped out at us in the grayness of the winter landscape and was a nice contrast to that and the several inches of snow on the ground.
Shortly before seeing the Western Kingbird we enjoyed watching a first-year Northern Harrier hunting over the wetlands as well as the two adult Bald Eagles working on their nest (one added a stick to the nest while we watched).
Other highlights included several WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS on Hibler Rd in the Lucketts area, another juvenile Northern Harrier in the same area, and at least a dozen different Red-tailed Hawks in a number of different locations.
Following is a list of the species seen:
Number of species: 48
Canada Goose, Mallard, Bufflehead, Hooded Merganser, Great Blue Heron, Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture, Bald Eagle, Northern Harrier, Cooper’s Hawk, Red-shouldered Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, American Kestrel, Ring-billed Gull, Rock Pigeon, Mourning Dove, Great Horned Owl, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Downy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Pileated Woodpecker, Western Kingbird, Blue Jay, American Crow, Fish Crow, Carolina Chickadee, Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, Carolina Wren, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Eastern Bluebird, American Robin, Northern Mockingbird, European Starling, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Field Sparrow, Fox Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, Northern Cardinal, Red-winged Blackbird, House Finch, American Goldfinch, House Sparrow