In spite of the warm damp humidity and heavy cloud cover we had a wonderful walk at Banshee Reeks last Saturday morning, with 17 people coming out for the walk. There was a lot of bird activity and many families of birds with even more juvenile birds begging for food. It took us almost 30 minutes to get out of the parking lot and we traveled only about a 1/4 mile in the first hour.
While we missed some of the species that are usually seen on our July walks such as Great Blue Herons, Black Vultures, Blue Grosbeak, and Red-winged Blackbirds, the many Purple Martins and all the family units made up for most of the misses. However, the saddest miss for me was American Kestrel which seems to be pretty scarce in Loudoun County this summer.
The family units, with often successful begging young, included at least 15 Purple Martins, a couple of families of Eastern Kingbirds, and some very young Acadian Flycatchers. It was great watching the young birds being fed by their parents and noting how they differ from their parents.
While there weren’t a lot of different butterflies, most likely because of the heavy cloud, cover Del did find a second or third stage instar of a Monarch Butterfly.
It was also nice to have several beginning birders along as well as some experienced birders who were visiting Banshee Reeks for the first time. We hope they enjoyed the walk as much as Del Sargent & I did.
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
Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve – MFF08, Loudoun, US-VA Jul 13, 2013 8:00 AM – 10:45 AM Protocol: Traveling 1.0 mile(s) 53 species
Turkey Vulture, Red-shouldered Hawk 1, Red-tailed Hawk 1, Mourning Dove, Yellow-billed Cuckoo 3, Chimney Swift 1, Ruby-throated Hummingbird 1, Belted Kingfisher 1, Red-bellied Woodpecker 2, Downy Woodpecker 2, Northern Flicker 1, Pileated Woodpecker 2, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Acadian Flycatcher, Eastern Phoebe 4, Great Crested Flycatcher, Eastern Kingbird 7, White-eyed Vireo 1, Red-eyed Vireo, Blue Jay, American Crow, Fish Crow, Purple Martin 15, Tree Swallow 6, Barn Swallow 3, Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch 4, Carolina Wren, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 1, Eastern Bluebird, Wood Thrush, American Robin, Gray Catbird 3, Northern Mockingbird 3, Brown Thrasher 1, European Starling 8, Cedar Waxwing 4, Common Yellowthroat 5, Prairie Warbler 1, Yellow-breasted Chat 4, Eastern Towhee 12, Chipping Sparrow 2, Field Sparrow 12, Song Sparrow 2, Scarlet Tanager 6, Northern Cardinal, Indigo Bunting 15, Common Grackle 3, Brown-headed Cowbird 1, Orchard Oriole 4, House Finch 1, American Goldfinch.