Date: 3/10/18 5:49 pm From: Stephen Johnson via va-bird <va-bird...> Subject: Re: [Va-bird] Fox Sparrow, Hermit Thrush, Raven, lots of Towhees Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve
Speaking of Towhees - Joe, I wasn't planning a VA-Bird report for today, until I read your email here. But now I have to chime in.
I walked about 1/2 mile this morning on the W&O-D trail in downtown Falls Church. That area does not appear very conducive to birds - lots of joggers, dogs, and bicyclists, no woods, narrow green strip between houses, noisy industry, etc. But apparently no one has pointed that out to the birds, or they didn't listen.
Over that 1/2 mile I saw at least 6 prominently perched and singing male Towhees. Also a lot of Song Sparrows singing bravely (so it seemed to me) while perched very close to scores of House Sparrows. I'm used to thinking of HOSP as a threat to most small native birds, but again, no one told the Song Sparrows that.
I wonder if something in the weather or season got all the Towhees going, all over NoVA.
Steve Johnson Fairfax, Virginia
On Mar 10, 2018, at 12:01 PM, Joe Coleman via va-bird wrote:
> While in the mid-20's when the walk began, the 8 participants had a very > pleasant walk at Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve. The group took the Greenway > east to the eastern edge of the preserve and then looped back to the parking > area via the beaver pond. We were greeted almost immediately by a flock of > Cedar Waxwings feeding next to the offices as well as several raptors and > vultures perched in trees that we later saw riding thermals in the sky after > the day warmed up into the upper 30's. After we started east on the Greenway > we found our first of 11 Field Sparrows as well as two Hermit Thrushes. A > little further down the Greenway we had three male Eastern Towhees > counter-singing around a single female. These were the first of astounding > total of 15 towhees which were mostly males. While we did get nice looks at > a couple of female towhees one wonders how many more there were who weren't > visible. At one point a silent Common Raven flew over and shortly afterwards > a Fox Sparrow posed for most of us in some wet scrub on the eastern side of > the preserve. > > > > For a complete list of the birds observed at Banshee Reeks see the eBird > report, submitted by Jane Yocom, below. > > > > The regular monthly free bird walk (every 2nd Sat) at the Banshee Reeks > Nature preserve is sponsored by the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy ( > <http://www.loudounwildlife.org> www.loudounwildlife.org) & the Friends of > Banshee Reeks ( <http://www.bansheereeks.org> www.bansheereeks.org ); > information on both and their upcoming events can be found on their > websites. > > > > Good birding! > > Joe Coleman and Bryan Henson > > > > Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve, Loudoun, Virginia, US Mar 10, 2018 7:58 AM - > 10:22 AM > > Protocol: Traveling > > 1.5 mile(s) > > 35 species (+1 other taxa) > > > > Canada Goose 156 > > duck sp. 2 > > Black Vulture 2 > > Turkey Vulture 15 > > Red-shouldered Hawk 2 > > Red-tailed Hawk 5 > > Ring-billed Gull 125 > > Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) 1 > > Mourning Dove 2 > > Red-bellied Woodpecker 2 > > Downy Woodpecker 1 > > Northern Flicker 1 > > Pileated Woodpecker 2 > > Blue Jay 12 > > American Crow 15 > > Fish Crow 3 > > Common Raven 1 > > Carolina Chickadee 5 > > Tufted Titmouse 2 > > White-breasted Nuthatch 2 > > Carolina Wren 8 > > Eastern Bluebird 12 > > Hermit Thrush 3 > > American Robin 7 > > Northern Mockingbird 5 > > Cedar Waxwing 32 > > Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle) 3 > > Field Sparrow 11 > > Fox Sparrow (Red) 1 > > Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored) 35 > > White-throated Sparrow 24 > > Song Sparrow 6 > > Eastern Towhee 15 Lots of good habitat > > Northern Cardinal 16 > > Brown-headed Cowbird 4 > > American Goldfinch 1 > > > > View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S43527318 > > > > This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org) > > > > *** You are subscribed to va-bird as <stevejohnson2...> If you wish to unsubscribe, or modify your preferences please visit https://mailman.listserve.com/listmanager/listinfo/va-bird ***