Five of us birded the Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve on July 10. When we arrived the rain was still coming down pretty heavily but by 8:15 had tapered off considerably and was finished by 8:30 am. Because a lot of the birds were very wet fledglings identification was rather tough for the first hour or so and resulted in some rather int’g discussions over behavior and shape. And of course none of us had a guide with us that showed fledgling plumage well. It was a lot easier after it dried out.
The highlights at Banshee included a lot of Blue Grosbeaks, prob. more than most of us have ever seen before, including some recently fledged youngsters begging as well as beautiful adult males. We also had very healthy numbers of Common Yellowthroats, Yellow-breasted Chats, Eastern Towhees, Field Sparrows, and Orchard Orioles. Many of these were also recently fledged and begging birds.
After wrapping up at Banshee Reeks, Donna Quinn & I drove over to the Dulles Greenway Wetlands Mitigation Project where we spent a little less than an hour and found several shorebird species including four SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHERS.
The regular monthly free bird walk (every 2nd Sat) at the Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve is sponsored by the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy (www.loudounwildlife.org) and the Friends of Banshee Reeks (www.bansheereeks.org); information on both and their upcoming events can be found on their websites. On these Saturdays, depending on the weather & the time of the year, we often visit the Dulles Greenway Wetlands Mitigation Project either before or after the Banshee walk.
Joe Coleman, near Bluemont, Loudoun Co
Location: Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve – MFF08
Observation date: 7/10/10
Number of species: 51
Mallard, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture, Red-shouldered Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk (Eastern), American Kestrel, Killdeer, Mourning Dove, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Chimney Swift, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Downy Woodpecker, Pileated Woodpecker, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Acadian Flycatcher, Eastern Phoebe, Eastern Kingbird, White-eyed Vireo, Red-eyed Vireo, Blue Jay, American Crow, Tree Swallow, Barn Swallow, Carolina Chickadee, White-breasted Nuthatch, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Eastern Bluebird, Wood Thrush, American Robin, Gray Catbird, Northern Mockingbird, Brown Thrasher, European Starling, Cedar Waxwing, Prairie Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow-breasted Chat, Eastern Towhee, Chipping Sparrow, Field Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Scarlet Tanager, Northern Cardinal, Blue Grosbeak, Indigo Bunting, Red-winged Blackbird, Orchard Oriole, Baltimore Oriole, American Goldfinch
Location: Dulles Greenway Wetlands Mitigation Project
Observation date: 7/10/10
Number of species: 26
Mallard, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Green Heron, Killdeer, Spotted Sandpiper, Solitary Sandpiper, Lesser Yellowlegs, Least Sandpiper, Short-billed Dowitcher (Atlantic), Mourning Dove, Tree Swallow, Barn Swallow, House Wren, Eastern Bluebird, American Robin, Gray Catbird, Northern Mockingbird, European Starling, Common Yellowthroat, Field Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Indigo Bunting, Red-winged Blackbird, Common Grackle (Purple), American Goldfinch