The ten of us covering Sector 10 of the Calmes Neck CBC on Sat., Dec 28 found 65 species including all four of our local owls, an amazing 26 Red-headed Woodpeckers, a Rusty Blackbird, several Red-breasted Nuthatches, a flock of American Pipits, American Tree Sparrows, and watched a dozen Common Mergansers fly overhead.
In addition to two teams owling in the predawn hours, we split into three teams both in the morning and afternoon and as a result of receiving permission from several land owners did a pretty thorough job of covering the entire sector while doing a lot of walking.
The highlights of the count were:
– a flock of Common Mergansers flying overhead
– a male Northern Harrier (Gray Ghost)
– 4 Bald eagles
– 5 Cooper’s Hawks
– 22 Red-shouldered Hawks
– 16 Red-tailed Hawks
– 4 Am Kestrels
– 1 Wilson’s Snipe
– 1 Barn Owl (well-seen by one of the teams)
– 2 Eastern Screech Owls
– 2 Great Horned Owls
– 4 Barred Owls
– all three teams saw all seven of the woodpecker species including 26 Red-headed WPs, 20 Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, 10 Hairy WPs, & 9 Pileated WPs
– 4 Ravens including one chasing a crow all the way across a meadow until the crow finally eluded the raven in a woodlot
– one of the teams found 6 Red-breasted Nuthatches (the other two found none)
– 16 American Pipits
– 4 Am Tree Sparrows
– 4 White-crowned Sparrows
– 1 Rusty Blackbird
– 2 Eastern Meadowlarks
Sector 10 of the Calmes Neck CBC is in western Loudoun County at the foot of the Blue Ridge and stretches from Bluemont in its northwestern corner to Unison & Bloomfield on the south.
Joe Coleman, near Bluemont, Lo Co
Many thanks to Gerco Hoogeweg for th photos of the Red-headed Woodpecker and the Rusty Blackbird shown here.