Nokesville Christmas Bird Count – Who’s living in your neighborhood?

Now in its 110th year, the Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is the oldest and largest citizen science event in existence. The Nokesville survey area covers a diverse landscape at the edge of the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area and captures the transition from coastal plain to piedmont ecosystems.

The 2009-10 Nokesville CBC on Sunday, December 27 was lots of fun and turned up some interesting birds. Despite morning fog, flooded creeks and frozen ponds, it was a beautiful day. Temperatures rose from the low 20’s to the mid-40’s in the afternoon. Compared to recent weather conditions, it felt almost balmy but most ponds remined frozen; waterfowl sightings were few and far between.

Twenty-two people participated and together recorded 85 species and 36,709 individuals. We saw Red-headed Woodpeckers at four locations – Merrimac Farm WMA, Cedar Run Wetland Bank, Foggy Bottom Wetland Bank and in a narrow tree line along Deepwood Lane.

This year the count benefited from considerably better coverage in the Fauquier portions than previous years, which added three species to the list – Wilson’s Snipe, Purple Finch and Loggerhead Shrike.  Other notable species include a variety of owls – Saw-whet, Screech, Barn, Barred and Great-horned – as well as a Merlin, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Horned Larks, and American Pipit.

The Cedar Run Wetland Bank produced the count’s only Northern Bobwhite and a lone Coot was spotted among a large flock of Mallards in a pond off Wright Lane in Nokesville. Despite the many Wild Turkey tracks in the snow at Merrimac Farm, no actual birds were seen and the only one recorded was near Manassas Airport.

The Nokesville CBC extends from the Prince William County landfill on Route 234 to Nokesville Proper, and from the Lunga Reservoir near I-95 to Catlett in Fauquier County. The count circle includes portions of Prince William Forest Park, Manassas Airport and large areas within MCB Quantico.

Parks and conservation areas include Merrimac Farm, the Cedar Run Wetland Bank, Foggy Bottom Wetland Bank, Nokesville Park, Brentsville Courthouse, Bristoe Battlefield Park and Hellwig Park.

The count circle covers part of Prince William’s Rural Crescent, where 10-acre subdivisions, small farms and private ponds of all sizes are common. In Fauquier, birders survey small hamlets along Elk Run Road and near Bristersburg, as well as most of Catlett, and Calverton. Click here to read more and view the results from the past three years.

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  1. […] here: Nokesville Christmas Bird Count – Who's living in your … Retweet this post Posted in blog post | Tags: cedar, count, large-flock, mallards, merrimac, […]


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