Nine Warbler Species Highlight Blue Ridge Bird Walk
On May 25, 27 people gathered on a beautiful late spring morning at the Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship (the future state park in northwestern Loudoun County near Harpers Ferry, WV) for the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy’s regular (every 4th Saturday of the month) bird walk there.
The highlights of the 59 species observed on the walk were 9 warbler species (including 4 Worm-eating, 2 Blue-winged, 1 Kentucky, 5 Redstarts, 2 Ceruleans, and good views of a Canada), a Yellow-breasted Chat, both oriole species, Cedar Waxwings, 14 Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, 2 Yellow-throated Vireos, and 8 Acadian Warblers, most of them nesters at the center.
There was also a very confusing distant raptor that we thought was a Red-shouldered but after seeing a photo it turned out to be a molting juvenile Broad-winged Hawk – what we’d thought were the diagnostic windows in the wings turned out to be missing feathers due to molt. The walk was led by Gerry Hawkins, Mary Ann Good, and Joe Coleman along with numerous other good birders.
A visit, led by Mary Ann Good, after the regular walk to Arnold Road at the powerline added Hairy Woodpecker, American Robin, Gray Catbird, E. Starling and 2 Eastern Meadowlarks as well as additional Grasshopper Sparrows for a total of 64 species.
View the list with photos at https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S56715663
Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy schedules two regular bird walks every month, one at the Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship every 4th Saturday of the month, and one at the Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve every second Saturday of the month. Everyone is welcome at these walks.