Birding the Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship
The 15 birders on Saturday morning’s Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy walk at the Blue Ridge Center in northwestern Loudoun Co found a total of 47 species as well as a couple of warblers and flycatchers we couldn’t ID.
We stayed together until about 10:45 am on the Farmstead Loop and the Arnold Rd Trail when we broke into two groups so one group, led by Del Sargent and Gerry Hawkins, could return to the cars via a different route. They returned by Little Turtle and we continued on to Gordon Pond and then returned.
The highlight of the walk were a flock of 24 Bobolinks, all females or juveniles, found by Joe Coleman, Mary Ann Good, and Donna Quinn, in the native meadow between the Visitor Center and the organic farm and great looks at a Yellow-throated Vireo.
While warblers were tough to find (only two Ceruleans and one Parula and two we couldn’t agree on) and there was only one good mixed flock and one so-so mixed flock, (did have a recently fledged Acadian still with downy feathers and a recently fledged Peewee still showing hints of its gape). We also had good looks at a couple of the five Yellow-billed Cuckoos (one with a Katydid in its beak) and several Blue-gray Gnatcatchers.
Because the birds were somewhat sparse we spent a lots of time looking at caterpillars including some really nice looking Spicebush Swallowtail instars and a fair number of butterflies. Many of the caterpillars and butterflies and spiders were photographed by Nicole Hamilton, and Laura and Liam McGranaghan.
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.
Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship – MFF01, Loudoun, US-VA
Aug 25, 2012 7:45 AM – 12:45 PM
47 species (+2 other taxa)
Great Blue Heron 1, Green Heron 3, Black Vulture 4, Turkey Vulture 6, Cooper’s Hawk 1, Bald Eagle 1, Red-shouldered Hawk 1, Red-tailed Hawk 1, Mourning Dove X, Yellow-billed Cuckoo 5, Barred Owl 1, Chimney Swift 3, Ruby-throated Hummingbird 4, Red-bellied Woodpecker 1, Downy Woodpecker 3, Pileated Woodpecker 1, Eastern Wood-Pewee X, Acadian Flycatcher 4, Empidonax sp. 1, Eastern Phoebe 2, White-eyed Vireo 2, Yellow-throated Vireo 1, Red-eyed Vireo 5, Blue Jay X, American Crow X, Common Raven 2, Northern Rough-winged Swallow 9, Tree Swallow 4, Carolina Chickadee X, Tufted Titmouse X, White-breasted Nuthatch X, Carolina Wren X, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 8, Eastern Bluebird 4, Gray Catbird X, Northern Mockingbird 2, European Starling 15, Cedar Waxwing 4, Cerulean Warbler 2, Northern Parula 1, warbler sp. 2, Chipping Sparrow 1, Field Sparrow 1, Scarlet Tanager 1, Northern Cardinal X, Indigo Bunting 6, Bobolink 24, American Goldfinch X, House Sparrow 1