Five of us visited the Dulles Greenway Wetlands Mitigation Project at 6:30 am on Saturday morning prior to the regular monthly bird walk at Banshee Reeks for which 15 people showed up. 55 species were found on both walks with 39 at Banshee and 36 at the wetlands.
After this past week’s rains the wetlands was full of water with some areas inaccessible and while most of the Banshee Reeks trails were accessible, they were very muddy.
At the Wetlands one of the Bald Eagles perched in the large dead tree close to its nest the entire time we were there but we never saw any activity in the nest. Presumably its mate was hidden deep in the bowl of the nest.
The other highlights at the wetlands included the many waterfowl of which there were several drake Wood Ducks, over 50 Ring-necked Ducks, drake Buffleheads fighting over females, a Pied-billed Grebe, a Northern Harrier, nine Wilson’s Snipe darting back & forth in the sky overhead for what seemed like minutes, FOS (for several of us) Tree Swallows which not only darted back & forth over the water but frequently perched and sparkled in the sun, several singing Field Sparrows, at least five Swamp Sparrows, and three Rusty Blackbirds perched and “creaking away” in the sun.
The highlights of our 39 species at Banshee included great views of at least five Fox Sparrows, a couple of which were vigorously singing, a FOS (for many of us) very vocal Eastern Phoebe, hundreds of Ring-billed Gulls streaming to the county landfill, and several very vocal Field Sparrows.
A complete list of the 55 species observed follows this email. 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.
Good birding, Joe Coleman, near Bluemont, Loudoun Co
Location: Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve – MFF08 Observation date: 3/12/11 Number of species: 39:
Canada Goose, Wood Duck, Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture, Red-shouldered Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk (Eastern), Killdeer, Ring-billed Gull, Rock Pigeon, Mourning Dove, Belted Kingfisher, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted), Pileated Woodpecker, Eastern Phoebe, Blue Jay, American Crow, Fish Crow, Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, Carolina Wren, Eastern Bluebird, American Robin, Northern Mockingbird, European Starling, Cedar Waxwing, Eastern Towhee, Field Sparrow, Fox Sparrow (Red), Song Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored), Northern Cardinal, Red-winged Blackbird, Common Grackle, American Goldfinch.
Location: Dulles Greenway Wetlands Mitigation Project Observation date: 3/12/11 Notes: Number of species: 36
Canada Goose, Tundra Swan, Wood Duck, Gadwall, American Wigeon, American Black Duck, Mallard, Green-winged Teal (American), Ring-necked Duck, Bufflehead, Pied-billed Grebe, Turkey Vulture, Bald Eagle, Northern Harrier, Red-shouldered Hawk, American Coot, Wilson’s Snipe, Ring-billed Gull, Mourning Dove, Northern Flicker, Blue Jay, American Crow, Fish Crow,Tree Swallow, Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, Eastern Bluebird, American Robin, Northern Mockingbird, European Starling, Field, Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Red-winged Blackbird, Rusty Blackbird.