Gerco, one of the leaders for our monthly bird walk last Saturday, sent over a great write-up of all the birds encountered and promises of spring around the corner:
Saturday’s monthly walk at Banshee Reeks hosted by the Friends of Banshee Reeks and the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy was attend by about a dozen people and led by Mary Ann Good and myself.
It was a cold morning but once the sun was shining it was actually very pleasant…well relatively speaking. Early on in the trip we saw a nice Bald Eagle landing near the frozen pond, heard 2 Common Ravens, and saw many woodpeckers, juncos and cardinals at the feeders.
While scouting the fields for more sparrows, a single American Kestrel landed in a nearby tree but took off quickly. We did find a nice large group of Field Sparrows but those little guys were quickly flying away too.
As it got warmer we saw more and more vultures and several Red-tailed Hawks. We managed to startle a group of ducks. Initially it looked like Mallards only, but no, 3 Green-winged Teal were present. Later we saw 2 of them in a small open section in the pond near the visitors center.
Along Goose Creek, which looked very cold with all the ice floating in it, a few of us got brief looks of a small group of 5 Common Mergansers. That was really unexpected.
As we slowly walked back to the parking lot we had a group of stunning Bluebirds flying ahead. Mixed in with the Bluebirds were a few Goldfinches. The latter started to turn a bit more yellowish. Signs that spring is around the corner, maybe?
Altogether we saw 37 species. The full list is presented below.
Canada Goose, Mallard, Green-winged Teal, Common Merganser, Great Blue Heron, Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture, Bald Eagle, Red-shouldered Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, American Kestrel, Ring-billed Gull, Rock Pigeon, Mourning Dove, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Pileated Woodpecker, Blue Jay, American Crow, Fish Crow, Common Raven, Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, Carolina Wren, Eastern Bluebird, American Robin, Northern Mockingbird, European Starling, Eastern Towhee, Field Sparrow, Song Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, Northern Cardinal, American Goldfinch.