Dulles Wetlands Field Trip Report
As Joe mentions, I tried to get some photos of the Loggerhead Shrike. It was a nice sunny day and the wind was calm after all. But this bird is smart and was very careful to stay just out of range. I’ll include my best shot here but it’s a little blurry.
With permission six of us visited the Dulles Greenway Wetlands Mitigation Project this morning on a Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy field trip. The highlights were the numerous ducks and two Bald Eagles.
While one of the Bald Eagles perched in a large dead tree in the center of the Wetlands and seemed to be deep in meditation for almost two hours, the other was busy flying in & out of the nest, bringing sticks in to it at least twice.
There was also a nice variety among the couple hundred ducks and while it was hard to determine how many there were because the eagles kept them nervous there were at least 10 Northern Pintails, 40 American Wigeon, several Green-winged Teal, lots of Mallards, a dozen American Black Ducks, one or two Gadwall, and a handful of Wood Ducks.
After we left the Wetlands we went south on Rte 15 and found a hunting Loggerhead Shrike along the highway which we watched for some time. Right after we left, Nicole Hamilton showed up with her camera and her big lens so we’re hoping for some nice photos of the shrike.
It was not only busy hunting it appeared to reluctantly share its fence post with a couple of Mockingbirds – the looks they were giving each other as they sat a foot or two apart were fascinating and made us wonder what was going through the brains.
There was also a juvenile Northern Harrier hunting the fields on Tailrace Rd as well as a couple of Kestrels and several Red-shouldered & Red-tailed Hawks along Rte 15 as well as four Hooded Mergansers and 20 American Black Ducks on a farm pond off of Rte 15.
Here is the full list of birds seen:
Dulles Greenway Wetlands Mitigation Project
Canada Goose, Wood Duck, Gadwall, American Wigeon, American Black Duck,
Mallard, Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal (American), Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture, Bald Eagle, Red-shouldered Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk (Eastern), American Coot, Rock Pigeon, Mourning Dove, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted), Blue Jay, American Crow, Fish Crow, Common Raven, Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, Carolina Wren, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Eastern Bluebird, American Robin, Northern Mockingbird, European Starling, Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle), Song Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored), Northern Cardinal, Red-winged Blackbird, Common Grackle
Along other back roads of Loudoun:
Canada Goose, American Black Duck, Mallard, Hooded Merganser, Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture, Northern Harrier, Red-shouldered Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, American Kestrel, Rock Pigeon, Mourning Dove, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted), Loggerhead Shrike, Blue Jay, American Crow, Fish Crow, Common Raven, Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, Eastern Bluebird, Northern Mockingbird, European Starling, Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle), Song Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored), Northern Cardinal, Red-winged Blackbird, Common Grackle, American Goldfinch