Seven of us, including Mary Ann Good & Bill Brown, participated in the regular monthly bird walk at the Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve on Saturday morning. The walk began well with several birds along the hedge row that runs west from the education annex but it then got really quiet and not much else was observed.
The initial flurry along the hedge row included a couple of vireos, one of which we tried to make into a Philadelphia Vireo but finally decided was a Warbling Vireo. We were also delighted to get great looks at a Yellow-billed Cuckoo that perched in front of us long enough for all of us to carefully study it.
After wrapping up at Banshee Reeks four of us went to the close-by Dulles Greenway Wetlands which was pretty quiet, prob. because of the hour and the lack of exposed mud due to this past week’s heavy rains (the contrast between today when the wetlands was full of water and Aug 31 when it looked like the wetlands was going to dry out soon was fascinating).
The highlights of today’s visit were several mixed flocks of swallows, including a couple of Cliff Swallows and several Northern Rough-winged Swallows, swirling around as well as several Chimney swifts and a few high-flying raptors (an immature Bald Eagle and a couple of Ospreys) but not much else. As we had earlier at Banshee Reeks, we got great looks at a Yellow-billed Cuckoo that perched right in front of us.
See below for the lists of birds seen at both places.
Banshee Reeks: 39 species (+1 other taxa): Canada Goose, Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture, Osprey, Bald Eagle, Red-shouldered Hawk, Killdeer, Mourning Dove, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Empidonax sp., Eastern Phoebe, Warbling Vireo, Red-eyed Vireo, Blue Jay, American Crow, Fish Crow, Common Raven, Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, Carolina Wren, House Wren, Eastern Bluebird, American Robin, Gray Catbird, Northern Mockingbird, Brown Thrasher, Cedar Waxwing, Common Yellowthroat, Magnolia Warbler, Eastern Towhee, Field Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Indigo Bunting, American Goldfinc.
Dulles Greenway Wetlands Mitigation: 28 species:Wood Duck, Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture, Osprey, Bald Eagle, Red-shouldered Hawk, Mourning Dove, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Chimney Swift, Eastern Phoebe, Blue Jay, American Crow, Fish Crow, Northern, Rough-winged Swallow, Tree Swallow, Cliff Swallow, Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, Carolina Wren, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Eastern Bluebird, Gray Catbird, Northern Mockingbird, Cedar Waxwing, Common Yellowthroat, Field Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, American Goldfinch.