This past Friday morning, six birders joined Emily Southgate and Linda Millington for a birdwalk in Aldie, Virginia at the Institute Farm – on the National Register of Historic Places, home to the first agricultural school in Virginia, and used for field trials by the National Beagle Club of America since 1916.
A Lincoln’s Sparrow and several Field Sparrows were the first birds that we found in the dense habitat, and from then on, we were treated to great views and high numbers of Common Yellowthroats, Indigo Buntings, Yellow-breasted Chats, Orchard Orioles, Baltimore Orioles, Gray Catbirds, and Eastern Towhees.
In the woods, the songs of Ovenbirds and Wood Thrush rang out, and a Barred Owl called in the distance.
In the late morning, we departed the Farm Institute for a pond on a private property along Oatlands Road where we added Yellow Warblers, a Warbling Vireo, and a Willow Flycatcher.
There were more Baltimore and Orchard Orioles in tree-tops as well as Barn and Tree Swallows swooping over the pond and pairs of Eastern Kingbirds, Great Crested Flycatchers, and Eastern Bluebirds all along the wooden fences. As we circled the pond, we flushed a Green Heron and a Great Blue Heron.
The walk was sponsored by the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy and was one of a series of walks to highlight and celebrate International Migratory Bird Day. A complete schedule may be found at https://loudounwildlife.org .
Our list of 56 species:
Canada Goose, Wood Duck, Great Blue Heron, Green Heron, Turkey Vulture, Red-tailed Hawk, Mourning Dove, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Barred Owl, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Pileated Woodpecker, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Willow Flycatcher, Eastern Phoebe, Great Crested Flycatcher, Eastern Kingbird, Warbling Vireo, Red-eyed Vireo, Blue Jay, American Crow, Fish Crow, Tree Swallow, Barn Swallow, Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, Carolina Wren, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Eastern Bluebird, Wood Thrush, American Robin, Gray Catbird, Northern Mockingbird, Brown Thrasher, European Starling, Cedar Waxwing, Yellow Warbler, American Redstart, Ovenbird, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow-breasted Chat, Scarlet Tanager, Eastern Towhee, Chipping Sparrow, Field Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Lincoln’s Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Indigo Bunting, Red-winged Blackbird, Common Grackle, Brown-headed Cowbird, Orchard Oriole, Baltimore Oriole, AmericanGoldfinch