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(this month and next)
Dec 12, Jan 11
Generally, the second Monday of each month. For more information, see the Meetings page.
RECENT BIRD ALERT:
Since September 19, a flock of American Golden Plovers has been foraging in plowed corn fields adjacent to the Shenandoah Valley Produce Auction in Rockingham County. Ever since early June, the two Sandhill Cranes have remained in the area along Kiddsville Rd. north of Fishersville.
Last bird alert:
12 Oct 2016
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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
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Program for the November 14, 2016 meeting:
Migrating and Overwintering Waterfowl in the Shenandoah Valley
by Dr. Dick Rowe,
Virginia Military Institute Our next "Birds & Brews, Wings & Wine" social hour will be on Tuesday, November 29th, 6:00 P.M. at Yelping Dog, 9 East Beverley Street in downtown Staunton.
On Wednesday, November 16, Jo King led a field trip to McCormick's Farm, along with five other members of the Augusta Bird Club. The weather was comfortable for a fall morning with no wind. Although our species count was slim with 28 species, we were rewarded with several unusual observations. Namely, 45-plus Eastern Meadowlarks were found in tree, in the field, and at the edge of the pond, bathing and drinking along with a Wilson's Snipe in all his glory. Other highlights included a small flock of Cedar Waxwings, several American Goldfinches, various Woodpeckers, and a Red-tailed Hawk. After the field trip disbanded, Elaine Carwile and Liz Reed discovered a Barred Owl across the road from McCormick's. Some members later drove to nearby Willow Lake, where four Ruddy Ducks and one Ring-necked Duck were seen, along with 30 or more Canada Geese.
At the Augusta Bird Club meeting on Monday, November 14, Prof. Dick Rowe (who teaches at Virginia Military Institute) talked about migrating and overwintering waterfowl -- ducks, geese, and swans -- in the Shenandoah Valley area. He explained the various habitat preferences of diving ducks and dabbling ducks, and how the range of some species may be shifting as a side-effect of climate change. His presentation featured many of the excellent photos he has taken in Rockbridge County and elsewhere.
One of the more awe-inspiring sights for birders is when a Northern Harrier passes by, just a few feet off the ground as they hunt for their prey. Some of these ominous raptors have been seen around Bell's Lane on the edge of Staunton, and parts of Augusta County recently. They typically stay in our area during the winter months, and then head north again in the spring. Watch out!
Early on Friday, October 21, Allen Larner led a field trip along the Greenway Trail which parallels the South River in Waynesboro. This was a public event, in coordination with the Waynesboro Dept. of Parks and Recreation. A total of 32 species of birds were identified by sight or sound, including the ones in the photo montage below. Later in the morning, club members were invited to inspect the proposed Sunset Park, which will occupy the hill on the east side of town where the landfill was formerly located. This area features a combination of woodlands and open areas that seem to be ideal habitat for various kinds of birds.