Dickcissels at Whites Ford Park
The Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy has begun surveying the flora & fauna at the future White’s Ford Park in the Lucketts area of Loudoun County and paid a visit to the property this past Monday and Saturday.
Most of the property is being farmed at this time and there are cattle on part of it and crops on other parts. In an area far back from the road that had recently been hayed there were large weedy patches that had not been cut.
We were excited to find at least four DICKCISSELS. Two of them were a pair who checked out two different possible nesting sites in large patches of thistle that were surrounded by a recently bush-hogged and baled (round) hay.
We also had a number of GRASSHOPPER SPARROWS (8 to 10). In one case we inadvertently got too close to a Grasshopper Sparrow’s nest & it darted out the weeds and led us away with a distraction display.
We also watched a TURKEY VULTURE leaving a small entrance in one of the old farm buildings and two different WILD TURKEYS in the fields of grain along the river. We also saw three different immature BALD EAGLES, two of which were approx. the same age while the other was much younger. Our other highlights included a calling WILLOW FLYCATCHER and both oriole species.