Date: 1/5/18 1:26 pm
From: Stephen Johnson via va-bird <va-bird...>
Subject: [Va-bird] Northern Virginia notes 5-January

Hello birders,

Today I checked a recently burned field, and three open bodies of water, in Fairfax and Loudoun counties.

On Wednesday, Fairfax County conducted their regular prescribed burn on a section of Sully Woodlands. Today (Friday), it was amazing to see the variety and number of birds foraging actively in that field, despite air temperature of about 21 deg F and a steady wind. There were many Bluebirds, Juncos, Field and Song Sparrows, one Savannah, many Robins, and Mockingbird. None of them were "hunkered down", it was constant action while I was out there (about 40 minutes at the field).

By contrast, in two large adjacent un-burned fields, I found a total of 2 Song Sparrows and a few Robins.

The reservoir, pond, and lake did not hold anything unusual. Beaverdam Creek Reservoir (Loudoun), UOSA sewage pond (Fairfax), and Burke Lake (Fairfax) were all mostly iced over, with significant remaining open water in each.

Beaverdam Creek Reservoir - about 400 Canada Geese, nothing else.

UOSA (Upper Occoquan Sewage Authority) pond - Bufflehead, Gadwall, Hooded Merganser, and Mallards and many hundreds of Canada Geese and Ring-billed Gulls. I did not hike down to the S end of the pond, so did not ID the many ducks, geese, and gulls at that end. Probably significantly more variety there.

Burke Lake - from the main access and docks along the SW shore, I could see all of the open water. Hundreds of Canada Geese and one Hooded Merg. No gulls or anything else.

Stay warm!!
Steve Johnson
Fairfax, Virginia

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