Birding Banshee and the Dulles Wetlands
The 17 people who showed up for our monthly bird walk at Loudoun County’s Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve found 49 species of birds of which the highlights included singing OVENBIRDS and WOOD THRUSHES along the road as we entered the preserve, an under-birded but rich area due to the healthy understory that still exists in much of that area.
The walk itself started with excellent views of a YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT and an EASTERN KINGBIRD close to the parking lot. It was also a lot of fun to stop by the MAPS banding station and watch them band several birds.
In the woods near the banding station we had great views of both a male & female SCARLET TANAGER and in other places saw a couple of AMERICAN KESTRELS, a small flock of CEDAR WAXWINGS, heard a PRAIRIE WARBLER, and saw several ORCHARD ORIOLES as well as a single BALTIMORE ORIOLE flying over the Goose Creek.
After we wrapped up at Banshee Reeks four of us stopped by the Dulles Greenway Wetlands Mitigation Project where, because of the lateness of the hour and the heat and humidity, there wasn’t that much activity but we did add a few more birds to the list, the nicest being seven GREAT EGRETS and a Great Blue Heron in a dead tree in the middle of the wetlands, the same tree where two adult BALD EAGLES perched during our walk on Wed. morning.
We also saw a large dark shape moving around in the BALD EAGLE nest, heard two dif. YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOOS, and watched several Red-winged Blackbirds harass and COMMON RAVEN who must have come too close to their nests.
Best, Joe Coleman, near Bluemont, Loudoun Co
Location: Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve
Observation date: 6/12/10
Number of species: 49
Canada Goose, Mallard, Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture, American Kestrel, Mourning Dove, Chimney Swift, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Pileated Woodpecker, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Acadian Flycatcher, Eastern Phoebe, Great Crested Flycatcher, Eastern Kingbird, Red-eyed Vireo, Blue Jay, American Crow, Tree Swallow, Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, Carolina Wren, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Eastern Bluebird, Wood Thrush, American Robin, Gray Catbird, Northern Mockingbird, Brown Thrasher, European Starling, Cedar Waxwing, Prairie Warbler, Ovenbird, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow-breasted Chat, Eastern Towhee, Field Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Scarlet Tanager, Northern Cardinal, Indigo Bunting, Red-winged Blackbird, Common Grackle (Purple), Brown-headed Cowbird, Orchard Oriole, Baltimore Oriole,American Goldfinch,
Location: Dulles Greenway Wetlands Mitigation Project
Observation date: 6/12/10
Number of species: 31
Canada Goose, Mallard, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Bald Eagle, Killdeer, Mourning Dove, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Willow Flycatcher, Eastern Kingbird, Common Raven, Tree Swallow, Barn Swallow, House Wren, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Eastern Bluebird, Wood Thrush, American Robin, Gray Catbird, Northern Mockingbird, Brown Thrasher, European Starling, Common Yellowthroat,, Field Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Indigo Bunting, Red-winged Blackbird, Orchard Oriole, American Goldfinch