Twenty-three people participated in the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy’s nature walk at Bles Park. It was a hot and humid day – as August so often is – but the day featured a diverse set of highlights.
Thirty-six species of birds were found, including a unexpected Northern Waterthrush and a nicely posing Great Egret along the Potomac River.
Twelve species of butterflies graced us with their presence and we really enjoyed the ever friendly Hackberry Emperor. Hackberry Emperors love to drink the sweat to get minerals, so they landed on several people on the walk. A Question Mark punctuated the end of the walk with a close appearance, giving us a great learning opportunity to explain how to differentiate them from the similar looking Eastern Comma.
Dragonflies and damselflies were seen throughout the walk; 10 species were found in total. A lovely Russet-tipped Clubtail was found near the Potomac River along with the tiny but brilliant American Rubyspot.
More walks at Bles Park can be found on the calendar on Sept 15 and Oct 20.
A full list of species found follows:
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) (Columba livia (Feral Pigeon)) 45
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) 2
Yellow-billed Cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus) 2
Chimney Swift (Chaetura pelagica) 2
Great Egret (Ardea alba) 2
Green Heron (Butorides virescens) 2
Black Vulture (Coragyps atratus) 4
Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus) 2
Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon) 1
Downy Woodpecker (Dryobates pubescens) 1
Eastern Wood-Pewee (Contopus virens) 1
Acadian Flycatcher (Empidonax virescens) 1
Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) 3
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) 1
Fish Crow (Corvus ossifragus) 3
Common Raven (Corvus corax) 1
Carolina Chickadee (Poecile carolinensis) 2
Northern Rough-winged Swallow (Stelgidopteryx serripennis) 9
Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) 2
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) 1
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (Polioptila caerulea) 2
Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus) 4
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) 8
Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis) 5
American Robin (Turdus migratorius) 3
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) 3
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis) 4
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia) 1
Northern Waterthrush (Parkesia noveboracensis) 1
Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) 6
Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea) 1
Dragonflies/Damselflies: Eastern Pondhawk, Slaty Skimmer, Great Blue Skimmer, Common Whitetail, Black Saddlebags, Russet-tipped Clubtail, Blue-fronted Dancer, American Rubyspot, Fragile Forktail
Butterflies: Pearl Crescent, Silvery Checkerspot, Question Mark, Red-spotted Purple, Hackberry Emperor, Tiger Swallowtail, Spicebush Swallowtail, Zabulon Skipper, Least Skipper, Cabbage White, Monarch, Red Admiral