Date: 12/31/20 12:53 pm
From: Bryan H <bghenson23...>
Subject: [va-bird] 2020 Loudoun Co Highlights
Top birds found in the county:
1. Ruff - The Ruff found by Michael Sciortino at the Middlesex Drive
Pond in July was probably Loudoun County's biggest birding attraction of
the year - 220 pictures logged to eBird! - county first -
2. White-winged Crossbill - Found by Bruce Hill in his yard in November
- country first, but one day wonder -
3. Dunlin - found by Diane Nastase in November at Meadowbrook Farm Ponds
4. Yellow-bellied Flycatcher - found by Allison G in Sept at Algonkian
Park -
5. Buff-breasted Sandpiper - found by Bryan Henson in Sept at Haverford
Square Fields -
6. Least Bittern - found by Colin Little in May at Bles Park -
7. White Ibis - found by Colin Little at Olde Izaak Walton Pond in
August -
8. Connecticut Warbler - found by Michael Sciortino and Michael Mayers
in October at Dulles Greenway Wetlands -

Birds Just Outside the County (technicalities or high interest):

- Evening Grosbeaks - found by Jane Yocom in November at Cool Springs
Battlefield (Clarke Co, VA) - these birds were enjoyed by many folks as one
of the few sightings of Grosbeaks on accessible property in the area -
- Black Scoter - found by Bryan Henson in November on the Potomac River
(Montgomery Co, MD) from Algonkian Park -
- Red-throated Loon - found by Bryan henson in April on the Potomac
River (Montgomery Co, MD) from Algonkian Park -


- In all, Loudoun recorded 5 new bird species to eBird in 2020.
- 229 species (9th in the state) were found during 2020 across 7500+
checklists (4th in the state).
- 229 is a bit less than the banner year we had in 2018 where 236
species were found in the county, but certainly one of our most successful
years for finding species diversity.

Allison had a great year - 214 species in eBird, with a handful of those
technically in Montgomery County (Red-throated Loon, Black Scoter) for 212
county species for the year in Loudoun! That would be one more than any
previous county year that I'm aware of.

Personally, I added 14 new birds to my county list, so I was very happy
with how local birding went this year.

I birded Algonkian Park mostly all year. During the initial pandemic
shutdown, they closed the road into the park. This enabled the possibility
of birding the road without concern of being run over by a car and being
able to hear birds along the road. This led to finding a Hooded Warbler ( ) in a spot that isn't commonly
birded just off the road. When birding Algonkian Park in normal times, we
often drive down to the boat ramp or the waterpark area and start birding
there. With the road closed, we ended up birding some of the paths that we
might normally skip over in the car. It was a great year in the park. In
total, the park recorded 185 species in eBird. With 10 new species being
recorded, moving the lifetime hotspot total in eBird up to 217 species.
Highlights at the park not mentioned above include Kentucky Warbler (first
found in many years), Cerulean Warbler ( ), Golden-winged Warbler ( ), Black-billed Cuckoo, Evening
Grosbeak (heard), and Olive-sided Flycatcher (during a NVBC walk!!).

Unfortunately, one of our birder friends, AR, moved out of the area and is
enjoying different birding scenery in Florida. AR birded Algonkian pretty
much every day (informally at least), so we'll miss running into him and
all the wonderful birds he used to find around here.

*Bird Trends I noticed:*
More commonly found than typical years:

- Connecticut Warbler
- Golden-winged Warbler
- Irruptive species (Pine Siskins, Purple Finches, Red-breasted
Nuthatches, White-breasted Nuthatches, American Goldfinches)
- Black-billed Cuckoo
- Wilson's Warbler
- Shorebirds/Marsh birds - Pectoral Sandpipers, Semipalmated Plovers,
Semipalmated Sandpipers, Ibises, Dulin, Bitterns, etc.
- American Pipits

Less commonly found:

- Red-headed Woodpeckers
- Eastern Screen-Owls

Back to normal-ish numbers?:

- Tufted Titmouse
- Carolina Chickadee

Hope you had a great year birding!

Stay well and Happy New Year,

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