Date: 4/5/18 2:23 pm
From: Steve Johnson via VA-bird <va-bird...>
Subject: [VA-bird] Atlasing activities (state-wide) and FOS (Fairfax/Loudoun)
Hello birders (and Atlasers),

First the raptor nests, then the FOS birds. Everything in taxonomic order, I guess it is.

Since Saturday I have looked for possible raptor nests in 4 different Priority blocks around the state - Ladysmith (Caroline county), Bagdad (Hanover), Arcola (Loudoun), and Chantilly (Fairfax). I was only hoping to spot probable stick nests, to follow up in the future, looking for nesting hawks or owls.

I was incredibly lucky to find Red-shouldered Hawks on-nest in 3 of those 4. (And Lynn was too, in one case.) The number of on-nest breeding confirmations per hour spent looking was pretty high here, and honestly it was all down to luck. That, and following good advice from Jon and BJ Little, and Kurt Gaskill, about the likely location and type of nest.

The Breeding Bird Atlas guidelines (for both Coastal Plain and Piedmont) shows RSHA with Breeding season beginning 2nd week of April, Transition running from March 1st through 1st week of April. I think these 3 birds all resting quietly, hunkered down low on their nests, have finished their Transition period!!

In the past couple of days, I have seen Blue-gray Gnatcatcher and Palm Warbler, in western Fairfax county parks, and Pine Warbler, in SE Loudoun county. Finally, I apologize for not contributing an absurdly unbelievable birding report on Sunday 01 April.

Steve Johnson

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