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MEETING DATES:
(this month and next)

Feb 9, Mar 9

Generally, the second Monday of each month. For more information, see the Meetings page.


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RECENT BIRD ALERT:

On February 24, an apparent Smith's Longspur was seen near the Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport, along with several Lapland Longspurs and many Horned Larks. Since January, a Trumpeter Swan and one or two Tundra Swans have been seen at or near Silver Lake, near Dayton in Rockingham County.

Last bird alert:

24 Feb 2015

Due to a wave of spam attacks, this Web site feature has been disabled for the time being. Stay tuned for further announcements.

Augusta Bird Club members may submit rare bird sightings by using the Update page. For further information, or to report any unusual sightings, please contact the rare bird alert coordinator, Allen Larner.


Blue Ridge Young Birders
Blue Rridge Young Birders logo
www.blueridgeyoungbirders.org


Gabriel Mapel,
Club President

Please support and/or spread the word!


Birds of Augusta County book cover

Nearly all copies of the third edition of Birds of Augusta County, edited by YuLee Larner have been sold out, and the remainder can be purchased at our meetings for the reduced price of $5.00. You can still find copies at several local public libraries and school libraries.

February 2015
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
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Birding course this spring!

The Wide, Wild and Weird World of Birds and Birding
through UVA's Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.

by John Spahr

Dates: Thursdays, Feb 19, 26, Mar 5, 12
Time: 10:00 am - noon
Location: R.R. Smith Center, Staunton

The course includes a "light" exploration of the biology of birds, liberally illustrated with photos, as well as some basic "how to" of birding. Further exploration of birds will draw on John's personal birding experience in places far (Asia, Africa, South America, Antarctica) and near (USA, Virginia, Augusta Co.). Many fascinating and fancy birds will be highlighted.

For further information, including on-line catalog and registration material, visit www.olliuva.org.

News

Last news update: 24 Feb 2015

Program for the March 9 meeting:
Bobwhite restoration
Speaker: Justin Folks,
Virginia Dept. of Games & Inland Fisheries

Great Backyard Bird Count

This year's Great Backyard Bird Count was held on February 13th-16th. In preparation for the event, Augusta Bird Club members held a public field trip at the Frontier Culture Museum, and an evening session on bird identification at the Staunton Public Library. Eventually we hope to have more information on how many people in our area participated, and the numbers of species counted.

At the February 9 meeting, Calvin Jordan Virginia Dept. of Environmental Quality spoke to the club about the South River mercury project. In the 1970s it was discovered mercury was in the South River and the fish were too contaminated to eat. In 2005 was it discovered that mercury was also in the nearby terrestrial environment, affecting birds and mammals of prey. Continued monitoring will be necessary to assess the long-term effects of the industrial pollution.


Christmas Bird Count 2014

The Augusta Bird Club's first Christmas Bird Count was held on December 14th. Two 'owling' teams set forth in the wee hours of the morning. In addition to garnering a few owls (Barn, Screech and Great Horned), we were treated to an additional wonder of the night, the Geminid meteor shower. It was a beautiful stellar icing to the cake! With sunrise and beautiful clear, blue skies showing themselves, we knew it was too beautiful of a day for great birding!!! Where was some bad weather to bring in more birds!?!? What unfolded for the day gave us 75 species with some interesting sightings and a few records for the day including 3 Cackling Geese, a Merlin, four Barn Owls tied the 2011 and 1971 records, Common Merganser (6), Red-shouldered Hawk (14), American Kestrel (36) and Winter Wren (9). Many, many thanks to the members of the club who participated in the local 48th CBC.

by Penny Warren, President (from the January ABC Newsletter)


Holiday Party fun and food

The club's 2014 holiday party on December 8th featured many pot luck dishes shared by members, as well as punch and door prizes. Many thanks to Linda Matkins for organizing the extensive preparations.

holiday party

Festive members feasting at the holiday party.

Among the many door prizes that were given out, Jo King won a wooden bowl hand-carved by Starke Smith, a club member.


Happy New Year!

Canvasback

Male Canvasback, on the pond near Eagles Nest Airport in Waynesboro, January 1.



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