Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy hosted The Virginia Society of Ornithology’s Annual Meeting in Leesburg from April 26 through April 28. The event included field trips, a banquet complete with exibitors, door prizes, awards and a fabulous talk by Julie Zickefoose. It was also a chance for us to not only explore the rich and varied habitats of Loudoun and surrounding areas but also to welcome in well over 150 people from across the region to get a taste of Loudoun county. We expect many will be back to explore our local haunts further!
At the final tally, 140 species of birds were found on a total of 17 different field trips that we organized and led last weekend. The field trips averaged 15 to 20 people on each, and were held over the three-day time period.
All five of the Friday field trips took place in the afternoon while both Saturday’s & Sunday’s field trips were primarily morning trips. One of the 17 trips took place in MD along the C&O Canal while one was at Blandy, one at Silver in Prince William Co, and one piggy-backed on to a Montgomery Co (MD) Chapter of MOS field trip to Occoquan NWR, also in Prince William Co.
On Friday 89 species were found, while 118 were found on Saturday and 101 on Sunday.
The list also includes a couple of birds, Great Horned Owl and Blue Grosbeak, which were not seen during the field trips but by individuals exploring some Loudoun County areas near the hotel on their own.
While some of the highlights have already been mentioned in individual reports by the leaders, they included Common Mergansers checking out cavities along the C&O Canal, two Horned Grebes, an American Bittern and a Black-billed Cuckoo, a recently fledged still downy Barred Owl, Cliff Swallows on one of the Rte 50 bridges over the Shenandoah River, 20 warbler species including several well-seen Cerulean Warblers and Blue-winged Warblers, White-crowned Sparrows and a late Dark-eyed Junco, and a fair amount of nesting behavior. Occoquan NWR was int’g as several species were only seen there or seen in much larger quantities there than elsewhere.
Our thanks go out to the many different leaders of the field trips.
Canada Goose, Wood Duck, Gadwall, American Black Duck, Mallard, Blue-winged Teal, Green-winged Teal, Lesser Scaup, Hooded Merganser, Common Merganser, Ruddy Duck, Northern Bobwhite, Wild Turkey, Pied-billed Grebe, Horned Grebe, Double-crested Cormorant, American Bittern, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Green Heron, Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture, Osprey, Bald Eagle, Northern Harrier, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Cooper’s Hawk, Red-shouldered Hawk, Broad–winged Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, Virginia Rail, American Coot, Killdeer, Spotted Sandpiper, Solitary Sandpiper, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Wilson’s Snipe, Bonaparte’s Gull, Laughing Gull, Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gull, Caspian Tern, Rock Pigeon, Mourning Dove, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Black-billed Cuckoo, Great Horned Owl, Barred Owl, Chimney Swift, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Belted Kingfisher, Red-headed Woodpecker, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Pileated Woodpecker, American Kestrel, Eastern Phoebe, Great Crested Flycatcher, Eastern Kingbird, White-eyed Vireo, Yellow-throated Vireo, Blue-headed Vireo, Warbling vireo, Red-eyed Vireo, Blue Jay, American Crow, Fish Crow, Common Raven, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Purple Martin, Tree Swallow, Barn Swallow, Cliff Swallow, Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, Red-breasted Nuthatch, White-breasted Nuthatch, Carolina Wren, House Wren, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Eastern Bluebird, Hermit Thrush, Wood Thrush, American Robin, Gray Catbird, Northern Mockingbird, Brown Thrasher, European Starling, Cedar Waxwing, Ovenbird, Worm-eating Warbler, Louisiana Warbler, Northern Waterthrush, Blue-winged Warbler, Black-and-winged Warbler, Prothonotary Warbler, Kentucky Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Hooded Warbler, American Redstart, Cerulean Warbler, Northern Parula, Yellow Warbler, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Palm Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Yellow-throated Warbler, Prairie Warbler, Yellow-breasted Chat, Eastern Towhee, Chipping Sparrow, Field Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Grasshopper Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, Scarlet Tanager, Northern Cardinal, Bobolink, Red-winged Blackbird, Rusty Blackbird, Common Grackle, Brown-headed Cowbird, Orchard Oriole, Baltimore Oriole, Purple Finch, House Finch, Pine Siskin, American Goldfinch,House Sparrow
See more photos from the weekend on our facebook page.