Last year Gerry Hawkins & Joe Coleman had a productive 47 species day visit to Bles Park on Columbus Day (Oct 10, 2011). As a result the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy decided to schedule a Columbus Day walk at Bles this year.
Nineteen people showed up this past Monday morning in spite of rather cool and damp conditions though it didn’t begin to drizzle until the end of the walk. The group included Bruce Hill, Robert Daugherty, Mary Ann Good, Jay Hadlock, Joanne Bradbury, Donna Quinn, and several other skilled birders.
And, in spite of a large group of about 30 high school runners which passed us four different times during our walk, the day was more productive than last year.
In fact, right after two of their passes we found large and active mixed flocks of birds. Their coach, who was really dragging towards the end, suggested we add him to our tally as a Pot-bellied Wobbler.
The highlights of the 53 species included several First of Season species as well as some likely end of species birds: Chimney Swifts, Blue-headed Vireo, Brown Creeper, Winter Wren, both kinglet species, a Hermit Thrush, four warbler species, two Lincoln Sparrows, three Swamp Sparrows, and a 1/2 dozen White-throated Sparrows, several of which were singing. We also had several birds of prey including a Northern Harrier and several accipiters (three of which were Cooper’s and one a Sharpie). One of the participants commented what a great place Bles was for accipiters since there were so many small birds to prey on.
For a complete list of the birds see below. For more information about the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy’s many free activities visit www.loudounwildlife.org.
Bles Park, Loudoun, US-VA
Oct 8, 2012 7:40 AM – 6:20 PM
Canada Goose, Mallard 2, Black Vulture 2, Turkey Vulture 1, Osprey 1, Northern Harrier 1, Sharp-shinned Hawk 1, Cooper’s Hawk 3, Bald Eagle 1, Red-shouldered Hawk 2, Rock Pigeon 3, Mourning Dove 2, Chimney Swift 20, Belted Kingfisher 2, Red-bellied Woodpecker,, Downy Woodpecker 2, Northern Flicker 10, Pileated Woodpecker 1, Eastern Phoebe 4, Blue-headed Vireo 1, Blue Jay 100, American Crow X, Fish Crow 3, Carolina Chickadee 6, Tufted Titmouse 4, White-breasted Nuthatch 3, Brown Creeper 1, Winter Wren 1, Carolina Wren 6, Golden-crowned Kinglet 2, Ruby-crowned Kinglet 8, Eastern Bluebird 12, Hermit Thrush 1, American Robin 15, Gray Catbird 12, Northern Mockingbird 12, European Starling 125, Cedar Waxwing 7, Common Yellowthroat 1, Magnolia Warbler 1, Palm Warbler 3, Yellow-rumped Warbler 2, Eastern Towhee 6, Field Sparrow 5, Song Sparrow 12, Lincoln’s Sparrow 2, Swamp Sparrow 3, White-throated Sparrow 6, Northern Cardinal 20, Indigo Bunting 2, Brown-headed Cowbird 8, American Goldfinch 24, House Sparrow 2