On Wed., Dec 29 approx. 100 people participated in the Central Loudoun CBC and about 55 joined us for the Tally Rally that evening, both sponsored by the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy.
While a number of team reports are still outstanding, the preliminary highlights of the count’s approximately 90 species included two dif. LOGGERHEAD SHRIKES, one north of Purcellville found by Cliff Fairweather & his team & one on private property along the Goose Creek far south of Purcellville and not far from Philomont, found by Gerry Hawkins & Joe Coleman; the count’s first LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL, found at the county landfill by Bob Abrams, our first probable PINE WARBLER and a gang of over 60 WILD TURKEYS, both south of Purcellville, by Phil Daley’s team.
Of special note too was a blue morph SNOW GOOSE, seen & photographed by Bruce Hill near the Beaverdam Reservoir. Snow Geese are uncommon on the Piedmont; blue morph Snow Geese are uncommon anywhere on the East Coast.
We also had a VIRGINIA RAIL surprised the team headed by Gerco Hoogeweg and Donna Quinn; a BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE, only the 2nd time this species has been found on the count, at a feeder in Philomont along with a lot of Carolina Chickadees.
It was also nice to see that a few of the sectors had 7-woodpecker days and, considering that almost every patch of still, and in many cases, flowing water was frozen, there was a surprisingly decent number of waterfowl species, including COMMON GOLDENEYE and a REDHEAD. The waterfowl were found in the few areas where water was open, like the Potomac River and a small part of Beaverdam Reservoir.
And as Russ Taylor already reported on VA-Bird, he found 7 BROWN CREEPERS altogether near the Potomac. AMERICAN PIPITS, HORNED LARKS, and a wide variety of sparrows including CHIPPING, FIELD, AMERICAN TREE, SAVANNAH, FOX, SWAMP, and WHITE-CROWNED were also found in a wide variety of locations. While there weren’t many blackbirds, there were EASTERN MEADOWLARKS and RUSTY BLACKBIRDS. The more int’g finches included PURPLE FINCH and count-week PINE SISKINS.
We’ll post a more complete & updated report once all the sectors send in their data. If you’d like to look at past years data – we have it posted online our Christmas Bird Count page.