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(this month and next)
Feb 9, Mar 9
Generally, the second Monday of each month. For more information, see the Meetings page.
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
Please support and/or spread the word!
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.
Program for the March 9 meeting:
Speaker: Justin Folks,
Virginia Dept. of Games & Inland Fisheries
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.
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.
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.