The Williamsburg Bird Club and Hampton Roads Bird Club will join forces this Saturday for a fun event for habitat conservation -- a bird survey and beach/road cleanup at Bethel Beach and New Point Comfort Natural Area Preserves in Mathews County. Advanced registration is required!
The Western Shore Marshes Important Bird Area has the largest concentration of saltmarsh habitat in the lower Chesapeake Bay and the largest in Virginia outside the Eastern Shore. These 12,590 acres are spread out over York, Gloucester and Mathews counties as well as in the cities of Hampton and Poquoson. The area provides habitat which serves as home to a variety of saltmarsh birds such as Clapper rails and many migratory birds and hundreds of other native plant and animal species.
Right now Saturday's weather is projected to be great with a few clouds and temperatures in the low 60s.
The plan for the day will be as follows: If you want to carpool from Williamsburg, meet at 7 am at Colony Square Shopping Center. We will meet the rest of the group in the parking lot next to Mathews High School at 8:30 AM. Before we depart, we will go over some administrative details and everyone must complete a liability/photo release form. We should depart Mathews HS no later than 9:00 AM and head to New Point Comfort. We will initially perform the bird survey, followed by a clean-up of the adjacent area. Trash bags will be provided, and we will separate the trash and recyclables. We will then proceed to Bethel Beach and follow the same routine. We should be finished for the day by mid afternoon.
Your participation is important for this IMPORTANT BIRD AREA. Please bring your own insect repellant, sunscreen, hat and snacks, lunch water as necessary. Additionally, for the bird walk and survey, if you are able and willing to bring along a scope or binoculars to help with marsh bird identification, that would be greatly appreciated Sign up in advance! Please contact Dave Youker of the Hampton Roads Bird Club to register or gain additional information such as directions. If you use the contact page, we will forward your message to Dave.