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  • NEW ROOM ON CAMPUS FOR BIRD CLUB MEETINGS

    Our Bird Club meetings will be in Andrews Hall Room 101 this fall. Our usual room in Millington was not available so we'll be in Andrews Hall, which is actually closer to the Phi Beta Kappa Parking lot.

    We've met in this room several times recently, and there are LOTS of seats. So bring your friends and neighbors and sit near the front. We'll have a sign on the sidewalk beside Andrews Hall to direct you in the side door.

    PARKING PERMIT: Enclosed in the September newsletter (and here) is a parking permit for the nights of the Bird Club meetings. Please place it in your windshield when you park in front of Phi Beta Kappa Hall, the Art Museum, or Morton Hall. You may be subject to an expensive parking ticket from the William and Mary Parking Services without the permit displayed in your windshield.

    Many thanks to Dr. Dan Cristol for arranging meeting space and parking permits for our Bird Club this year.

    We look forward to seeing you September 21.

  • September 21 Meeting: Adopting the Western Shore Marshes, Important Bird Area

    The Williamsburg Bird Club and the Hampton Roads Bird Club have joined forces to "adopt" an Audubon Important Bird Area on the Coastal Plain of VA. The "Western Shore Marshes" stretch from Grandview Beach north to Haven Beach and includes portions of the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay in Poquoson, Hampton, Gloucester County, York County and Mathews County.

    At the Bird Club's September 21 meeting, Ruth Beck and Shirley Devan will describe the areas with photos and maps and discuss the importance of conserving and protecting these areas and the special birds in these habitats. Ruth Beck has been studying the birds at Grandview Nature Preserve and Plum Tree Island for many years, and conducts yearly surveys of nesting shore birds at Grandview.

    Our two bird clubs will join forces for future bird surveys and an upcoming "TogetherGreen Volunteer Day" event at one or more of the birding spots in this IBA.

    Our Bird Club meetings this year will be in Andrews Hall Room 101 this fall. Our usual room in Millington was not available so we'll be in Andrews Hall, which is actually closer to the Phi Beta Kappa Parking lot. Don't forget to use your parking permit to park in the W&M parking lot.

  • Tree Swallow photo

    Bird Club member Inge Curtis' photo of a Tree Swallow that made a nest in a pipe on her pier made "Bird of the Week" at BirdWatchingDaily.com.

  • Newport News Park, August 20, 2011

    Joe Piotrowski took these shots of an Osprey, a Pied-billed Grebe, and a Green Heron at the Newport News Park, August 20, 2011.

    [flickr set=72157627478850490 size=medium]

  • Bird Walk at New Quarter Park, August 13, 2011

    Ten brave birders, led by Geoff Giles, smoked out thirty species of birds on our 13 August walk in New Quarter Park. The atmospheric conditions were far from ideal, as the winds had shifted and dumped the acrid smoke from the wildfires in the Dismal Swamp on our birding area and then died completely. That left us with poor visibility and an unearthly silence at the start of our walk. Not only were fall migrants not yet in evidence, even most of the "usual suspects" were silent and out of view.

    The tide was very high and still coming in, so the few ospreys, GBH's and great egrets in view seemed to be just killing time instead of actively fishing. A lone mature eagle soared majestically over us and crossed the marsh and continued off into the distance. The most exciting moment was provided by an unidentified, large flapping object in the distance over the marsh, which circled and then drew a bead right for our observation point and eventually passed right over our heads. It proved to be a very large, and very scruffy looking swan - an immature mute swan.

    There was not much action on the high ground either, except for one very vocal indigo bunting who seemed to be belting out his best number for "Indigo Idol". For the few who where left at that point, he proved hard to view until he took a brief bow on a bare limb after he concluded his number and flew off!

    After the walk, Geoff paused by the parking lot to look up into a sudden spate of bird chatter, to see several carolina chickadees and a tufted titmouse high in the trees. Suddenly a small bird swooped down to a close branch of a nearby oak and picked off a succulent green inchworm. An unobstructed view for the binocs showed this to be a beautifully colored yellow-throated warbler. While chomping down his prize, he gave great views of his colors from the front, bottom and side. After sitting for a moment after his meal, one of his species flew by and he sailed off with his friend across the parking lot. Sure wish he could have appeared sooner.

    Our birders who braved the smoke for this walk included: Jean and Mike Millin, Jim Booth, Jennifer Trevino, Sharon Plocher, David Taylor, Cathy Millar, Sarah Lewis, Jan Lockwood and Geoff Giles. Thanks to all for pleasant birding on a quiet morning!

  • Field Trip to Richmond, August 7, 2011

    Geoff Giles led the Williamsburg Bird Club to see the approximately 20,000 Purple Martins who come to roost in the Bradford Pear trees near the 17th Street Farmers Market in downtown Richmond, Virginia.

    [flickr set=72157627389327866 size=medium]

  • Craney Island Field Trip: Sat., August 27, 2011

    Black-necked Stilts, American Avocets, a Red Phalarope and a Black-bellied Plover are among the many birds that have been seen at Craney this July. As always, this is a field trip you do not want to miss.

    In you want to go, please meet at the Colony Square Shopping Center (on Jamestown Road) on Saturday, August 27th, at 7:00 am—carpooling is very important.

    Be sure to be prepared for mosquitoes and the sun—wear a hat, long sleeves, long pants and use sun screen. Bring water and snacks. If you have a spotting scope, please bring it. The administration building at Craney Island will be closed, so we cannot use the restrooms there, but there will be a bathroom stop made before entering Craney Island and then again on the way out. To observe the birds in the cells, we’ll have to walk up to the impoundments and along the dike road so be prepared for some walking—but not long distances.

    Ruth Beck will be the leader for this field trip.

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