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. 
Cheryl Jacobson, WBC President   

Craney Island, August 11, 2017

Fri Aug 11, 2017 8:30 AM
Protocol: Traveling
Party Size: 33
Duration: 3 hour(s), 28 minute(s)
Distance: 4.0 mile(s)

Craney Island 8/11/2017

1Canada Goose
6Northern Shoveler
1American Black Duck
8Ruddy Duck
20Double-crested Cormorant
80Brown Pelican
8Great Blue Heron
12Great Egret
45Snowy Egret
2Green Heron
1Turkey Vulture
50Black-necked Stilt
200American Avocet
8Black-bellied Plover (exact count)
35Semipalmated Plover
2Killdeer (exact count)
20Stilt Sandpiper
45Least Sandpiper
3White-rumped Sandpiper (exact count)
500Semipalmated Sandpiper
1500peep sp.
10Short-billed Dowitcher
10Wilson's Phalarope (exact count)
3Red-necked Phalarope (exact count)
12Spotted Sandpiper
25Greater Yellowlegs
6Willet (Western)
150Lesser Yellowlegs
150Laughing Gull
2Gull-billed Tern
1Caspian Tern
1Black Tern
3Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)
2Mourning Dove
15Chimney Swift
1American Crow
2Fish Crow
1Purple Martin
80Barn Swallow
15European Starling
3Song Sparrow
20Red-winged Blackbird
8Boat-tailed Grackle
2American Goldfinch
1Blue-winged Teal
1American Kestrel
5Tree Swallow
1wren sp.
5Tree Swallow
1American Kestrel
5Tree Swallow

Student Artwork for the Club’s 40th

For the club’s 40th anniversary celebration, Deane Gordon contacted local elementary and middle schools with a proposal to have students produce artwork that would capture our organization’s significant milestone.  Fifty-six students from area schools — Abingdon Elementary School, Gloucester (47), Coventry Elementary School, York (13), Grafton Bethel Elementary School, York (1), Waller Mill Elementary School, York (1) Grafton Middle School, York (1), Tabb Elementary School, York (3) — submitted works. The artwork was divided into five groups and is displayed in the Tabb Library lobby, Wild Birds Unlimited in Williamsburg, the Backyard Birder in Williamsburg, the Yorktown Library, and the JCC Library on Croaker Road. In September, the student’s art pieces will be  brought together for the club’s anniversary celebration. 

Student Art Displayed at the James City County Library. The groups of artwork have been rotated to different buildings throughout the area.