18 Birders, Bles Park, Great Blue Heron Rookery & Beyond
Robert & Cathey Daugherty led one of the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy’s walks this past Saturday. Eighteen people, many first-time birders, showed up for the walk which started at Bles Park, moved onto to scoping the Great Blue Heron rookery from the Loudoun County Parkway, and wrapped up at the Broadlands Wetlands Mitigation/Nature preserve off the Dulles Greenway across from the Harris Teeter http://broadlandsnaturally.org/2010/06/05/broadlands-wetland-mitigation-nature-preserve/
Robert Daugherty’s report follows:
Highlights at Bles were the warblers, including Prairie Warbler and American Redstart and the two male Scarlet Tanagers. We were able to get several of the birds in the scope and everyone was amazed at how beautiful the birds were.
Surprisingly low numbers of woodpeckers at Bles, as well as sparrows (saw a White-crowned there last Sunday). A pair of Ravens appear to be nesting somewhere out on the island, as they were spotted carrying food twice. The Bald Eagle was a 2nd or 3rd year bird.
We were at the rookery long enough to answer everyone’s questions and allow plenty of time on the scope. The Broadlands Mitigation Wetlands across from Harris Teeter right off the Greenway turned out to be just as fun as Bles. The birds there don’t pay much attention to people and it offered great opportunities for pictures.
There were several people in the group who had never been birding before and said they had a great time and wanted to do it again. We ran into the Raven Loonatics doing there Birdathon at Bles; they were pretty intense and said that they had picked up over 70 species at Algonkian in a little over two hours!
Canada Goose, Wood Duck, pair, Mallard, Double-crested Cormorant, Great Blue Heron, Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture, Osprey, Bald Eagle, Red-shouldered Hawk, Spotted Sandpiper, Mourning Dove, Ruby-throated Hummingbird (males on territory), Red-bellied Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Great Crested Flycatcher, Blue Jay, American Crow, Common Raven (pair carrying food), Tree Swallow (in nestboxes), Barn Swallow, Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, Blue-grey Gnatcatcher, Eastern Bluebird (in nestbox), American Robin, Grey Catbird (on territory), Northern Mockingbird (defending territory), Brown Thrasher, European Starling, Cedar Waxwing (several pairs, one we saw exchanging food), Yellow Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Prairie Warbler (on territory), American Redstart, Common Yellowthroat, Hooded Warbler, Yellow-breasted Chat (on territory), Scarlet Tanager, Field Sparrow, Northern Cardinal (male and female), Blue Grosbeak, Indigo Bunting, Red-winged Blackbird (male and female), Common Grackle, Orchard Oriole, House Finch, American Goldfinch, House Sparrow.
Great Blue Heron Rookery:
Great Blue Herons (numerous chicks in nests), Mockingbird, Common Grackle, Red-tailed Hawk, American Kestrel
Broadlands Wetland Mitigation near Harris Teeter on the Greenway:
Broad-winged Hawk, American Crow, Red-winged Blackbird (male and female), Orchard Oriole (male and female), Rough-winged Swallow pair, Tree Swallows (in nest boxes), Green Heron, Canada Goose with goslings, Mallard with ducklings, Killdeer, Solitary Sandpiper, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Eastern Bluebird.