Warblers and More at the Blue Ridge Center
On the morning of May 27, 10 people gathered for Loudoun Wildlife’s regular (every 4th Saturday) monthly bird walk at the Blue Ridge Center of Environmental Stewardship in northwestern Loudoun County.
We found 73 species of which the highlights included 11 warbler species, including dynamite looks at both Blue-winged and Kentucky Warblers, glimpses of a Cerulean, and very noisy Yellow-breasted Chats. Except for a Blackburnian and 3 Blackpolls, all the warblers were nesters at the center. Other highlights included two Red-headed Woodpeckers crossing Arnold Rd in an area where they have been seen the past two years, and good looks at a Swainson’s Thrush, probably a 1st year (but heard only a couple of Wood Thrushes).
While it was quite comfortable with temps in the 60’s we did get rained on at about 10 a.m. At that time we took a break to tally adding a few more species, including 3 fly-by Great Egrets, while doing so. Afterwards 7 of us returned to the field at the end of Sawmill Rd at about 11:30 am for about an hour to see what we could find in that habitat that we’d missed earlier. Surprising misses were Red-shouldered and Red-tail Hawks (our only bird of prey was an Osprey), American Robin, and Great Blue Heron. We constantly heard and frequently observed in the right habitat, Acadian Flycatchers, Eastern Wood-Pewees, and Indigo Buntings, both males and females of the latter.
The walk was led by Gerry Hawkins, Mary Ann Good, and Joe Coleman ably assisted by Bryan Henson, Allison Gallo, Jane Yocom and the others. All in all a great morning of birding with wonderful company!