Date: 10/1/17 9:54 am From: Scott Priebe via va-bird <va-bird...> Subject: [Va-bird] [va-bird] Barrett House and Equestrian Area - Laurel Hill Park, Fairfax Co. - Merlin and White-crowned Sparrow.
Stopped at the Barrett House before sunrise on my way to the Equestrian Area in Laurel Hill Park.
A Merlin (adult female or immature) was perched at the dead top of the Oak tree directly in front of the house. It was preening and stretching occasionally. At one point a female Kestrel swooped it several times before flying off; no obvious reaction from the Merlin.
Arrived at the Equestrian Area at about sunrise, and spent about an hour birding. At the start, a mixed group of Song Sparrows, a Savannah Sparrow, a couple Indigo Buntings and an early juvenile White-crowned Sparrow were foraging in and around a small clump of sumac bushes along the road. Other highlight was 3 Kildeer flying by low overhead towards the Lorton landfill. Tallied 24 species, 5 species of sparrow. Complete list for the Equestrian Area: http://ebird.org/ebird/va/view/checklist/S39495484