The highlights of Saturday morning’s bird walk at the Blue Ridge Center in northwestern Loudoun Co, were five warbler species, 3 Yellow-billed Cuckoos, great looks at three dif. Scarlet Tanagers, a fair amount of fledglings, and lots of butterflies nectaring on summer wildflowers.
The latter is not surprising as we spent abut an hour and a 1/2 on the trail called Butterfly Alley but we also found several species of butterflies in the woods as well. Four of the five warbler species, a rather early fall migrating Black-throated Blue, a late but still singing Louisiana Warbler, a Northern Parula, and two American Redstarts (a male and a female), were all found in the same area, the location where the foot bridge crosses Piney Run & connects the Little Turtle and Farmstead Loop trails.
The habitat there is a rich riparian buffer with a healthy understory and tall mature forest. This is in the same area we have found a family of Louisiana Waterthrushes, two Kentucky Warblers doing a distraction display, and Cerulean Warblers this year. We were rather surprised by the early Black-throated Blue.
The Yellow-billed Cuckoos were heard in a variety of different locations as were the well-seen Scarlet Tanagers. Nesting behavior included several recently fledged birds including an Acadian Flycatcher who was preening after bathing in Sweet Run as well as a number of very young Indigo Buntings and Field Sparrows. It was also fun to watch male Ruby-throated Hummingbirds harassing much larger birds.
See below for a complete list of the 47 species observed by the nine of us. Del Sargent and Elliott and Nancy Kirschbaum helped lead the walk. We also saw numerous different butterflies – see below for the list.
Next weekend is the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy’s Annual Butterfly Count. It does include the Blue Ridge Center as well as a number of other locations. If you think you might be int’d check it out at https://loudounwildlife.org/Butterfly_Count.htm – you don’t need to be an exp’d butterflier.
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. Joe Coleman
Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship – MFF01, Loudoun,
US-VA Jul 28, 2012 7:25 AM – 10:55 AM
Protocol: Traveling 1.5 mile(s) 47 species
Double-crested Cormorant 1, Great Blue Heron 1, Turkey Vulture 3, Mourning Dove 6, Yellow-billed Cuckoo 3, Ruby-throated Hummingbird 3, Red-bellied Woodpecker 1, Downy Woodpecker 1, Pileated Woodpecker 1, Eastern Wood-Pewee 5, Acadian Flycatcher 4, Eastern Phoebe 3, Eastern Kingbird 2, White-eyed Vireo 2, Red-eyed Vireo 3, Blue Jay 2, American Crow X, Fish Crow X, Tree Swallow 1, Barn Swallow 3, Carolina Chickadee X, Tufted Titmouse X, Carolina Wren 2, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 2, Eastern Bluebird 4, Wood Thrush 4, American Robin 1, Gray Catbird 3, Northern Mockingbird 1, Brown Thrasher 1, European Starling 15, Cedar Waxwing 8, Louisiana Waterthrush 1, Common Yellowthroat 1, American Redstart 2, Northern Parula 1, Black-throated Blue Warbler 1, Eastern Towhee 6, Chipping Sparrow 3, Field Sparrow, Song Sparrow 4, Scarlet Tanager 4, Northern Cardinal, Indigo Bunting 20, Orchard Oriole 1, American Goldfinch, House Sparrow 2
The butterflies included Eastern Tiger Swallowtail abundant, Spicebush Swallowtail common, Cabbage White abundant, Clouded Sulphur, Orange Sulphur, Sleepy Orange, Eastern-tailed Blue, Great Spangled Fritillary only one, Silvery Checkerspot – two, Question Mark , American Lady, Red-spotted Purple, Hackberry Emperor, Northern Pearly Eye – two, Monarch – five, Common Sootywing – one