Bird Atlas Tips August 2013
Loudoun County Atlasers,
Each month, you all continue to inspire me with your dedication and enthusiasm for the atlas. Thanks for the great blockbusting push so far this breeding season. Though the birds are quieter now and harder to find, there are still late nesters and fledged young of many species (even those outside safe dates) just waiting to be documented. You may also find interesting species in post breeding dispersal along with early migrants, such as shorebirds and swallows.
1. Trumpeter Swan adult and juveniles observed in Upperville 2. This is a new species for our atlas list!
2. Dickcissel, Grasshopper Sparrow, and Baltimore Oriole confirmed as breeding in Poolesville 3.
3. Yellow-throated Vireo observed feeding young in Ashby Gap 6. Two Bobwhites were also heard in this block.
4. Yellow-billed Cuckoo and Red-headed Woodpecker confirmed as breeding in Waterford 4, along with reports of Willow Flycatcher, Least Sandpiper, and Scarlet Tanager.
5. Successful family units of Purple Martins, Eastern Kingbirds, and Acadian Flycatchers highlighted the LWC monthly walk at Banshee Reeks.
Block Status Update
An updated Atlas Progress spreadsheet is attached to this email, though there are still some sightings to be entered. A few blocks are designated as “complete” though they don’t meet all the guidelines – these are partial blocks which are significantly smaller and have limited habitat. At this point, don’t worry much about the hours per block, but focus instead on the other criteria. The top priority blocks are those requiring coverage this month. The second priority blocks will shift to top priority in September when the peak of migration is upon us. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. Let’s keep up the fantastic work!
The following 6 blocks are lacking those last few probable and confirmed breeders and need coverage this month. They are listed in order of importance:
- Leesburg 4
- Leesburg 1
- Leesburg 3
- Waterford 6
- Sterling 5
- Ashby Gap 4
Please consider conducting a survey in a block listed above. Maps and current species lists for each block can be found on the atlas website.
Reminders and Tips
1. If you completed an Abundance Miniroute or Owl/Nightjar special survey during the 2013 season please send me your data.
2. Goldfinch young are hatching now and have a strong begging call. Confirming breeding for this species would be an upgrade for almost all 6 of the blocks that still need blockbusting.
3. Blue Grosbeak can fledge young as late as Labor Day. Note the second year male resembles a female.
85 enthusiastic atlasers have spent 5,420 hours in the field documenting 60,655 sightings. Because of your effort and skill we have recorded 252 species, with 102 of these species having a confirmed nesting status. 48 blocks are considered complete (though sightings can still be reported).
Loudoun County Bird Atlas Coordinator