The highlight of the regular monthly bird walk at Banshee Reeks was two flocks (one of 60 birds, the other 30) of Snow Geese flying north as they are uncommon in Northern Virginia’s Piedmont. They were clearly seen, the first flock through a scope, and the second flying directly overhead.
Unfort. Del Sargent, who frequently co-leads the Banshee Reeks walk, could not make this walk but did provided his list of the Birds of Banshee Reeks on the last six March walks there. As always it is fascinating to compare the current month’s sightings to what was seen during the same month in the six previous years. The list clearly shows what common birds we’ve missed and what was an unusual species for that particular walk that month.
Snow Geese were not on the March list at all, while Eastern Phoebes, which we missed, had been observed on all six of the previous March visits. Other int’g misses were Tree Swallows, seen on four of the six previous March walks, and Fox Sparrow and Am Goldfinch, both seen on five of the previous March walks.
Of the 17 birders at Banshee Reeks eight went to the Dulles Greenway Wetlands afterwards to check the Bald Eagle nest and to see what else was there. The wetlands was as full as we’d ever seen it; not only was there no mud visible in the wetlands, itself, it was beyond its banks with many areas that are normally dry covered in water.
We did see a Bald Eagle at the nest and in addition to several duck species and a couple of Swamp Sparrows we also found a Chipping Sparrow, still in its basic plumage, the first one any of us had seen for several months.
Barred Owl photo by Reed A. George, creativeobjective.com [Thank you Reed!]
See below for complete eBird list of the birds seen at both locations.
The regular monthly free bird walk (every 2nd Sat) at the Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve is sponsored by the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy (www.loudounwildlife.org) and the Friends of Banshee Reeks (www.bansheereeks.org); information on both and their upcoming events can be found on their websites.
Good birding, Joe Coleman, near Bluemont, Loudoun Co
Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve – MFF08, Loudoun, US-VA Mar 9, 2013 8:00 AM – 11:00 AM Protocol: Traveling 2.0 mile(s) 40 species
Snow Goose 90, Canada Goose, Wood Duck 3, Mallard 2, Black Vulture 30, Turkey Vulture 10, Bald Eagle 1,Red-shouldered Hawk 3, Red-tailed Hawk 1, Ring-billed Gull, Mourning Dove, Barred Owl 1, Belted Kingfisher 2, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 2, Downy Woodpecker 4, Northern Flicker 3, Pileated Woodpecker 2, Blue Jay, American Crow, Fish Crow, Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, Brown Creeper 2, Carolina Wren 4, Eastern Bluebird, American Robin, Northern Mockingbird, European Starling, Yellow-rumped Warbler 2, Eastern Towhee 3, Field Sparrow 5, Song Sparrow 2, White-throated Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, Northern Cardinal 4, Red-winged Blackbird 5, Common Grackle 1, Brown-headed Cowbird 2
Dulles Greenway Wetlands Mitigation Project, Loudoun, US-VA Mar 9, 2013 11:15 AM – 12:15 PM Protocol: Traveling 0.75 mile(s) 33 species
Canada Goose, Wood Duck 2, American Wigeon 7, American Black Duck 2, Mallard 2, Northern Shoveler 8, Northern Pintail 6, Hooded Merganser 1, Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture, Northern Harrier 1, Bald Eagle 1 on nest, Red-shouldered Hawk 2, American Coot 6, Mourning Dove, Belted Kingfisher 1, Downy Woodpecker, Blue Jay, American Crow, Fish Crow, Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, Carolina Wren, Eastern Bluebird, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Chipping Sparrow 1, Field Sparrow 2, Song Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow 2, Dark-eyed Junco, Northern Cardinal, Red-winged Blackbird, American Goldfinch.