Williamsburg area local birding hotspots

  • Field Trip to Hog Island, November 20

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    A great morning on Hog Island Sunday -- warm temperatures and a beautiful spot to wander around. We had 32 birders and 59 bird species!!

    The list of birds is at the end of this email. There were two groups so not each group saw all of these species, but I hope everyone saw most of them.  One of the birding highlights for our group was the great look at the Peregrine Falcon that zoomed directly in front of us and then perched on a pine limb so we could get great looks through the scopes. Shirley enjoyed seeing the Brown-headed Nuthatches too! A cute bird…and so busy!

    We saw butterflies: Cabbage white, clouded and orange sulfur, buckeye, checkered skipper, variegated frit, monarch, and pearl crescent.  Pretty good for November!

    Many thanks to Brian Taber and Bill Williams who led the groups around. Everyone appreciated the spotting scopes you brought.


    Hog Island WMA - CSW04, Surry, US-VA
    Nov 20, 2011 8:05 AM - 2:40 PM
    Protocol: Traveling
    5.5 mile(s)
    Comments:     two birding groups, one of 9, one of 23
    59 species (+2 other taxa)

    Canada Goose  234
    Wood Duck  1
    Gadwall  17
    American Black Duck  6
    Mallard  10
    Northern Pintail  7
    Green-winged Teal (American)  7
    Bufflehead  1
    Hooded Merganser  8
    Pied-billed Grebe  7
    Double-crested Cormorant  41
    Great Blue Heron  27

  • "New Zealand, The Living Land" Topic of Wednesday's Meeting

    At the November meeting Bill Leaning will present a program titled New Zealand, The Living Land. Bill, originally from New Zealand, is a retired veterinarian and enthusiastic nature photographer.

    Plan to join us on November 16 at 7:30 pm in Room 101, Andrews Hall, on the W&M campus.

    Mary Anne Fennell will be providing the refreshments.

    Don’t forget to use your parking permit.


  • IBA Event, November 5, 2011

    The Hampton Roads Bird Club and the Williamsburg Bird Club have teamed up to adopt the Virginia Important Bird Area the Western Shore Marshes. On November 5, 2011, the two bird clubs as well as volunteers from other organizations (listed below) visited the area for an initial survey of birds, and to clean up any debris in the area.

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    Participating organizations:

    Virginia Audubon and Important Bird Area
    TogetherGreen Volunteers
    Hampton Roads Bird Club
    Williamsburg Bird Club
    Historic Rivers Chapter, Va Master Naturalists
    Peninsula Chapter, Va Master Naturalists
    W&M Biology Dept
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    See more photos at Shirley Devan's Flickr site

  • Bird Walk at New Quarter Park, November 12, 2011

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    In the photo: Seated: Cynthia Long, Janet Curtis, Chris Curtis
    Standing: Nelson Ensley, Geoff Giles, Bringier McConnell, Jane Randall, Rosemarie Mussler


    We had a great turnout on a frosty morning at New Quarter Park. The group grew as the minutes passed and the total finally reached 14 by 9 am.

    Geoff Giles -- leader of the pack -- THANK YOU VERY MUCH
    Joanne Andrews
    Chris Curtis
    Janet Curtis
    Shirley Devan
    Nelson Ensley
    Stephen Living, Wildlife Biologist, DGIF
    Bob Long
    Cynthia Long
    Rosemarie Mussler
    Bringier McConnell
    Christine Putnam
    Jane Randall
    David Taylor
    Osprey was a surprise as were two flyby Great Egrets.
    The group photo was taken about 10 am (after several people had left). Shirley took the photo with the intent of getting the beautiful trees in the background. The park was lovely today in the bright sunshine with clear blue skies.
    New Quarter Park, York, US-VA
    Nov 12, 2011 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM
    Protocol: Traveling
    1.0 mile(s)
    Comments:     Clear, breezy, fifties
    26 species
    Double-crested Cormorant  5
    Great Blue Heron  2
    Great Egret  2
    Black Vulture  5
    Turkey Vulture  30
    Osprey  1
    Bald Eagle  3
    Northern Harrier  1	
  • Field Trip to Shirley Plantation, October 15, 2011

    Shirley Plantation, Charles City, US-VA
    Oct 15, 2011 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    Protocol: Traveling
    2.0 mile(s)
    Comments:     Sunny, breezy, high of seventy
    43 species (+1 other taxa)
    Canada Goose  200
    Wood Duck  5
    American x Eurasian Wigeon male hybrid.  Seen in a mixed flock of mallards and green-winged teal.  Unmistakable.
    American Black Duck  2
    Mallard  18
    Green-winged Teal  9
    Pied-billed Grebe  1
    Double-crested Cormorant  2
    Great Blue Heron  3
    Great Egret  6
    Black Vulture  3
  • WBC Offers Two Bill Williams Nature Camp Scholarships. Deadline January 17, 2012


    The Williamsburg Bird Club requests applications from Williamsburg, James City County, and York County students in grades 5 to 12 for the Bill Williams Nature Camp Scholarships, two full tuition (approx. $750) scholarships for a two week summer camp program in 2012 at the Nature Camp in Vesuvius, Virginia.

    Download the scholarship application form below. The completed form should be submitted along with a 300-word essay about the student’s interest in nature and a letter of recommendation from the student’s science teacher. The application form includes additional details about requirements and camp expectations. Essays will be evaluated for the best age-appropriate expression of interest in nature and anticipated benefit from attending the camp.

    The deadline for applications is January 17, 2012. The Williamsburg Bird Club will contact the students who earn the scholarships in early February 2012.

    Download scholarship application (.pdf)

  • November Field Trip to Hog Island, Nov. 20, 2011

    Join the Williamsburg Bird Club for a Sunday field trip in November to Hog Island.  We can only access this prime birding location on Sunday, due to hunting seasons this time of year.  We will be led by Brian Taber through some super marsh, woodland and field habitat known for an exciting variety of birds and critters!

    Name Hog Island doesn't sound enticing?  Try this.  Join us on a free cruise departing from a historic location on a slow boat to Scotland (Jamestown ferry)! Then, en route, we'll be makin' Bacon (or at least his castle) on a lovely distant shore drive to our destination! There, you won't want to miss this one!!

    Actually, without any hype the exceptional variety of birds we can expect to see there are reason enough to join us.  For those who would like to carpool and caravan, we will depart from Colony Square Shopping Center (south of intersection of Jamestown Road and 199) at 7:00 a.m. Sunday, November 20.   For those who prefer to meet us there, we plan to be at the entrance to the Surry Nuclear Power Plant, which is the entrance to the Hog Island Wildlife Reserve, at about 8:00 a.m.  Please bring photo ID for entrance to the Reserve and note that a cursory car search for security can be expected and is in the interest of safety while visiting this site.

    This should be a great day's birding and we hope you will join us.  For any additional info needed please contact Geoff Giles.


  • November 5, 2011: IBA Clean-up, Mathews County

    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.

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