Joe Coleman sent over this great report from the May 12th IMBD Bird Walk. What great wildlife encounters! From Joe:
We found 68 species during the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy’s International Migratory Bird Day walk at the Blue Ridge Center on Saturday, May 12.
The highlights of the walk included 3 Red-headed Woodpeckers, 14 warbler species including three different Ceruleans (two in the same area as they were on the 5th), a Northern Waterthrush, a Blue-winged, at least 4 Kentucky Warblers, a Cape May, a Worm-eating, two Ovenbirds doing a distraction display, a Swainson’s Thrush, White-eye & Yellow-throated Vireos, several Grasshopper Sparrows, a Blue Grosbeak about a mile away from the one we found on May 5, and two Wild Turkeys.
One of the Red-headed WP landed on a snag next to the Education Annex and the other two were declaring territory around the field at the end of Sawmill (the same place we had one on May 5), about a mile away from the first. While Red-headed WPs are common in southwestern Loudoun County we rarely find them on the Blue Ridge Center.
The distraction display was fascinating as we were walking along a trail when an Ovenbird hopped up from the ground onto a branch on the opposite side of the trail. It was right next to the trail and only feet away from us, its orange crown up raised up & excitedly chipping at us. It was joined by a much duller Ovenbird on also chipped at us. Both of them tried to lead us away from the area. To avoid disturbing what we figured was a nest we followed them down the trail.
At another location two Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, one bluer than any gnatcatcher I have ever seen, came out of nowhere and did the same. One of the other interesting sightings occurred after the walk when I heard two excited crows mobbing something in a large oak. They had found a large Black Snake climbing high in the tree and one was on each side of the snake. Whenever the snake would strike at one of the crows, the one behind it would dart in & peck the snake. At that point the snake would reposition itself and go after the one pecking it. This was still going on when I left.
Information on the Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship can be found at http://www.blueridgecenter.org. Information on the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy and its many free activities can be found at www.loudounwildlife.org.
The complete list of birds follows:
Wild Turkey 2, Black Vulture 1, Turkey Vulture 1, Red-shouldered Hawk 1, Red-tailed Hawk 1, Killdeer 1, Mourning Dove X, Chimney Swift 1, Red-headed Woodpecker 3, Red-bellied Woodpecker X, Downy Woodpecker X Pileated Woodpecker 4, Eastern Wood-Pewee X, Acadian Flycatcher X, Eastern Phoebe 1, Great Crested Flycatcher X, Eastern Kingbird X, White-eyed Vireo 3, Yellow-throated Vireo 1, Red-eyed Vireo X, Blue Jay X, American Crow X, Fish Crow X, Tree Swallow X, Barn Swallow X, Carolina Chickadee X, Tufted Titmouse X, White-breasted Nuthatch X, Carolina Wren X, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 10, Swainson’s Thrush 1, Wood Thrush 4, American Robin X, Gray Catbird X, Northern Mockingbird X, Brown Thrasher X, European Starling X, Cedar Waxwing 23, Ovenbird 3, Worm-eating Warbler 1, Louisiana Waterthrush 3, Northern Waterthrush 1, Blue-winged Warbler 1, Tennessee Warbler 1, Kentucky Warbler 4, Common Yellowthroat X, Cape May Warbler 1, Cerulean Warbler 3 , Northern Parula 7, Blackpoll Warbler 1, Yellow-throated Warbler 1, Yellow-breasted Chat 3, Eastern Towhee 1, Chipping Sparrow X, Field Sparrow X, Grasshopper Sparrow 5, Song Sparrow X, Scarlet Tanager X, Northern Cardinal X, Blue Grosbeak 1, Indigo Bunting X, Red-winged Blackbird X, Eastern Meadowlark X, Common Grackle X, Brown-headed Cowbird X, Orchard Oriole 1,,House Finch X, American Goldfinch X,