Birding Banshee — April sightings
Ten people showed up on a beautiful spring day at the Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve for the regular monthly bird walk led by Del Sargent, Mary Ann Good, & Joe Coleman.
The highlights of the walk were 2 Fox Sparrows, at least 6 Ruby-crowned Kinglets, two of which were singing away, a pair of Common Ravens which flew right overhead giving us great looks of their wedge tails and impressive flight, and 5 female Common Mergansers and two Wood Ducks on the Goose Creek.
And while we managed to find only two warbler species, we managed to see at least 6 dif. Palm Warblers, few of whom looked the same.
Including the Fox Sparrows we had a total of 8 sparrow species, including at least a dozen Eastern Towhees, numerous Field Sparrows singing, and three beautiful Swamp Sparrows.
While it was a bit windy we were able to do most of the walk in sheltered areas and actually got warm a few times. There were a lot of hawks on the move though some of them were too far away & high for us to identify.
We also saw numerous Spring Azure butterflies, heard a lot of Spring Peepers, one Pickerel Frog, and one Grey Tree Frog.
For a complete list of the birds observed at Banshee Reeks see the eBird report below.
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) & the Friends of Banshee Reeks (www.bansheereeks.org ); information on both and their upcoming events can be found on their websites.
Good birding (regardless of the weather)!
Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve – MFF08, Loudoun, US-VA Apr 11, 2015 8:00 AM – 10:45 AM
46 species (+1 other taxa)
Canada Goose 2, Wood Duck 2, Common Merganser 5 We saw five female Common Mergansers together on the Goose Creek where Little River runs into it. Before they flew saw the strong color differentiation between the reddish brown throat & the grayish white breast as well as the white right below the chin. Beak was longer & redder than on a Red-breasted Merganser., Black Vulture X, Turkey Vulture X, Osprey 2, Sharp-shinned Hawk 1, Bald Eagle 1, Red-shouldered Hawk 2, Red-tailed Hawk 3, Buteo sp. 3, Mourning Dove 3, Red-bellied Woodpecker 7, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 2, Downy Woodpecker 2, Northern Flicker 2, Pileated Woodpecker 1, Blue Jay X, American Crow X, Fish Crow X, Common Raven 2, Tree Swallow 6, Carolina Chickadee 5, Tufted Titmouse 4, Carolina Wren 2, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 3, Ruby-crowned Kinglet 6, Eastern Bluebird X, American Robin 3, Brown Thrasher 2, Northern Mockingbird 3, European Starling 5, Louisiana Waterthrush 1, Palm Warbler 6, Eastern Towhee 12, Chipping Sparrow 2, Field Sparrow 8, Fox Sparrow 2 The group got excellent looks at two dif. Fox Sparrows, one at the pond near the Manor House & the other along the trail that goes down to the Goose Creek. Both were large chunky sparrows with rufous coloring & well-defined rufous spots, and with much shorter tails than Brown Thrashers (which are a similar color)., Song Sparrow 6, Swamp Sparrow 3, White-throated Sparrow 12, Dark-eyed Junco 2, Northern Cardinal 6, Red-winged Blackbird 1, Brown-headed Cowbird 2, House Finch 1, American Goldfinch X
View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S22803267