Birdwatching benefits mind, body and spirit

Bald Eagle (Photo by Beth Morgan)

“More than a decade ago, Cathy Millar began feeling burned out over work and family obligations. Seeking relief from daily stressors, Millar found comfort through nature by joining the Williamsburg Bird Club.

“I grew up in a household where everyone was always interested in nature,” said Millar, who has been a member of the Williamsburg Bird Club for a dozen years and is the club’s secretary. “For me, going on a bird walk is a spiritually renewing experience. I love stopping and watching birds and other creatures. I find it engrossing and soothing. When I go, all the worries of the world take a backseat for a while.”

Williamsburg Bird Club — with roughly 200 members — defines its mission as promoting the study of wild birds….” Read the rest of the story at the Virginia Gazette.

NOTE: At the end of the article, the Gazette says that the WBC “meets the second and fourth Saturdays of every month at 8 a.m., typically at New Quarter Park.” Every fourth Saturday we meet at New Quarter Park. Every second Saturday, we meet at different parks or trails. See the calendar for details.

Virginia Breeding Bird Atlas Training

From President Cheryl Jacobson:
Greetings WBC Members:  I have been talking to many of you about VA Breeding Bird Atlas and the need for more volunteers for our Region 11.  You have expressed interest but the need for more training.  I  promised training and help for everyone who becomes involved.  I am excited to announce the following:
 
Virginia Breeding Bird Atlas Training-Ashley Peele (Project Coordinator who is based at the Conservation Management Institute at Virginia Tech) and Dave Youker (a member of WBC and Region 11 Leader)
 
DateApril 13, 2018…. 9:30-12:30
 
Location:  Freedom Park Training Room
 
Directions: From Interstate 64 take exit 234A to Route 199. From Route 199 take the Longhill Road exit. Turn right onto Longhill Road (Route 612). Follow Longhill Road until it ends at the park gates. Once inside the park gates, follow road to the parking lot.
 
We are exploring many fun ways of surveying in our assigned blocks, including working in mini teams and conducting a monthly first Saturday walk/survey in a  somewhat close priority block.  Don’t miss out on the fun!!  Mark your calendar and Save the date. 
 
If you are unable to attend a weekday training…we are invited to join Hampton Roads Bird Club on Saturday morning April 14th.  I will send more details once the location of that training is determined.   Also, you can explore more by going to:  http://amjv.org/index.php/vabba2/about 
 
If you have questions, please email me at jcheryljoy@aol.com .  I hope to see you at the training.  
 
Best Year of the Bird
Cheryl Jacobson   

 

TAKE NOTE! CHANGES IN MONTHLY BIRD WALKS

By Jim Corliss
For many years we have been conducting two monthly bird walks in New Quarter Park. One walk has been held on the second Saturday of each month at 8:00 am. The other walk has been on the fourth Saturday of each month at 7:00 am. Based on suggestions from WBC members, starting in February, the bird walk schedule will change to include some walks at other local birding spots. In addition, each walk will start at 8:00 am regardless of its location. Please note that our regular field trips, which are on the third Saturday of each month, are not affected by this change.

Our planned schedule of Saturday bird walks for 2018 is posted at the end of this month’s Flyer. For each month, the second-Saturday walk will be held at varying locations, and the fourth-Saturday walk will take place at New Quarter Park. The goal is to provide members with different experiences and the opportunity to explore some of the many birding spots that we are so fortunate to have right here in and around the Williamsburg area. Walks will still be roughly two hours long and open to the public at no cost.

We are looking forward to the first “new” walk on February 10th at the College Creek beach area along the Colonial Parkway. For this walk, please plan to arrive at the College Creek parking lot on the parkway at 8:00 am. The parking lot can be reached by either: a) entering the Colonial Parkway from Route 199 near South Henry Street and traveling towards Jamestown for about 1.75 miles; or b) entering the Colonial Parkway near Jamestown Settlement and traveling towards Yorktown for about 5.25 miles.

We hope that everyone enjoys the new bird walk schedule, and please continue making suggestions to help us all find the best birding here in Williamsburg.

February 17th Field Trip to Dutch Gap Conservation Area

Thankfully for our duck friends, the weather has been warmer and Dutch Gap is no longer frozen over. This will be the location for our February 17th field trip. We plan on meeting at 7:45 am at Colony Square Shopping Center, 1301 Jamestown Road, Williamsburg, to carpool and for a prompt departure at 8 am. The address for Dutch Gap is: 341 Henricus Park Rd., Chester, VA 23836
Eleven species of ducks were seen there in the last week along with Wilson’s Snipe and Rusty Blackbirds so it should be a great day. You can call Geoff Giles with questions at 757-645-8716.

February Meeting: Busch Gardens Birds

February is always our joint meeting with the WBC and the Historic Rivers Chapter of the Virginia Master Naturalists.  Last year we all were so amazed by the wonderful birds from Busch Gardens that we have invited them back.   The representatives of Busch Gardens with be bringing some different, beautiful wild bird visitors.   Be sure to use your parking pass

January meeting CANCELLED

Good Morning:  I have sadly decided to cancel tonight’s meeting due to weather.  As you know, all the area schools are canceled.  The storm is expected to arrive later and end later then first expected, so it will still be snowy at meeting time. I have been told that if William and Mary cancels classes this afternoon, the building will not be available.  I consulted with some of the WBC Board members and past Presidents and they recommend canceling. Safety is important and I know many of you would not come out. 
 
I know people are disappointed in not being able to hear our speaker but he has worked hard on his presentation and I want good attendance when he presents.  We have several months that we do not have speakers scheduled, so if he is able to do so, we will reschedule his presentation. 
 
I look forward to seeing you in February for our joint meeting with Historic Rivers Chapter Master Naturalist.  The Bush Garden birds are always a treat!  In the mean time; see some birds, take some photos, and send them to Melinda for the newsletter.  Remember, this is Year of the Bird. 
Best,
Cheryl Jacobson, WBC President