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Field Trips

 

This page contains reports of HRBC field trips conducted in 2013 and 2104.


FIELD TRIP REPORT - Kiptopeke/Eastern Shore - 10/27/13 - by Tom Charlock

Our excursion to Kiptopeke and other points on the Eastern Shore on Sunday, October 27, began with a dawn caravan of 27 birders headed north on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel (CBBT).  The temperature was just in the high 40s, and the sky was clear, except for a cloud band that concealed the solar disc near the horizon for the first few minutes.  We were cheerily greeted by Northern Mockingbirds at the Kiptopeke hawk tower.  Then we ambled west into the tall canopy of the Baywoods Trail, where we happened to split into two groups.  The fast group followed the trip leader, who was eager to use the Wood Warbler Boardwalk to catch the beach low tide at 9 am; on the way over the scrub brush, they saw innumerable Yellow-rumped Warblers in highly varied plumage; and little on the beach.  The slow, patient group missed the Boardwalk but were treated to views of both Wood Thrush and Hermit Thrush.  The groups rejoined at the boat ramp for a look at the “water-bird hotel”:  the pelican- and gull- jammed raft of old concrete ships a hundred meters away.  Closer to shore, a solitary Common Loon put on a good fishing show.  We subsequently hiked a mile to the bird blind at Taylor Pond for views of Ring-necked and Ruddy Ducks with Tree Swallows above.  It warmed to the comfortable 60s, wind was light, and variable cirrus rolled through, as for most of the day.  On the walk back to the pavilion, curious but differing chirps were heard and deciphered by Ernie Miller near a small clearing in a very dense thicket of young pine; and so we were enticed by delightful close displays by pairs of both Golden-crowned and Ruby-crowned Kinglets. 

Our second stop, the marsh at Oyster, Virginia (by George Boyles)

Pictured above, from left to right, a subset of the birders at Oyster:  Walter Harris, Stuart Sweetman, Michael Lowry (hiding behind telescope), Angela Herring, Peggy Rommen, Jane Frigo, Brenda Gervais, Sandy Robertson, Marilyn Adair, Tina Stemberga, Virginia Boyles, John Adair, and Gwen Harris

After lunch, we drove to the waterman town of Oyster for some Nature Conservancy property (permission and signatures were required for access).  Most birds there could be seen at great distance only, and the party fragmented.  The main group called at Magotha Road next, again finding little to observe.  But our last call on the Eastern Shore, at the small bridge on Ramp Road in the National Wildlife Refuge, proved a winner.  Felicity Rask called our attention to a secretive wren in the reeds; Stuart Sweetman, then concentrating on the sound of a Clapper Rail further off, was able to identify it as Marsh Wren; and Mike Lowry photographed it.  Mike points out that:

“This bird looks quite different from the marsh wrens I have seen and photographed before, at NN Park and at Cape May.  It is a warm, cinnamon color and lacks an obvious supercilium (eyebrow strip).  On the other hand it is clearly a wren and is inconsistent with any other possible wren species. After consulting several field guides, I turned to Pyle and believe I now understand.  The bird is a member of a different subspecies, local to coastal, southern VA to NC, called Cistothorus palustris waynei.  This explains the non-typical color vs the grey brown of the subspecies, Cistothorus palustris palustris, which I have previously encountered.  The bird is a juvenile and so has a less distinct supercilium.”

Marsh Wren subspecies Cistothorus palustris waynei at Eastern Shore National Wildlife Refuge (by Mike Lowry)

A stop at CBBT Island 1 on the way home during late afternoon provided our best views of the Ruddy Turnstones and grandly colored American Oystercatchers.

71 species were observed by Virginia Boyles, George Boyles, Stuart Sweetman, Felicity Ericson Rask, John Rask, Michael Lowry, Brenda Gervais, John Adair, Marilyn Adair, Laura Slaughter, Kohei Minami, Peggy Rommen, Jane Frigo, Tina Stemberga, Sandy Robertson, Diana McFarland, Angela Herring, Dot Silsby, Carol Evans, Jim Evans, Walter Harris, Gwen Harris, Jessica Rodgers, Ernest Miller, Dave Youker, Terri Cuthriell, and Thomas Charlock

The species list:

 

Mallard (heard)
Ring-necked Duck
Ruddy Duck
Common Loon
Double-crested Cormorant
Brown Pelican
Great Blue Heron
Snowy Egret
Tricolored Heron
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Bald Eagle
Northern Harrier
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Cooper's Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
American Kestrel
Clapper Rail (heard)
Killdeer
American Oystercatcher
Ruddy Turnstone
Sanderling
Laughing Gull
Ring-billed Gull

Herring Gull
Great Black-backed Gull
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Belted Kingfisher
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Phoebe
Yellow-throated Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Fish Crow
Tree Swallow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
Carolina Wren
House Wren
Marsh Wren
Winter Wren
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Eastern Bluebird

Hermit Thrush
Wood Thrush
American Robin
Gray Catbird
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
European Starling
Palm Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Eastern Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Field Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
House Finch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow


FIELD TRIP REPORT - Colonial Parkway and Jamestown Island- 9/22/13 - by Tom Charlock

Pictured above, from left to right, Ned and Becky Rose, Bill Ferris, Sandy DeCarlo, Geoff Giles, Alex Brubaker, Bryan Barmore, John Adair, Pete Peterman, Sandy Robertson, Charm Peterman, Sherry Brubaker.

Our first field trip for fall 2013 was to Colonial Parkway and Jamestown Island on Sunday, September 22. The temperature was in the 60s with mostly cloudy skies, showers having just vanished shortly after sunrise; cloud cover lessened as the day progressed. The College Creek car park at 8:00 AM was our first stop, and it was the most fruitful as regards the variety of bird species seen. This spit of land was known as Archer's Hope to early West European settlers; we appreciated the extended prospect of the reedy swamp from its slight rise. Bryan Barmore counted 19 black vultures perched in nearby trees. A walk to the James River beach at low tide revealed the likely recent food source for the vultures to be the cleanly picked, meter long carcass of a long-finned gar. One could faintly imagine the carcass (see the toothy photo below by Sherry Brubaker) as an archaeopteryx fossil.

But when Sandy Roberstson deftly used driftwood to drape the remains on a nearby bush, the odor was unmistakably not fossilized. Mature and immature bald eagles were active above the beach; some perched not far from vultures on the debris of a tall, muddy and eroding river bank. The stand of trees and brush behind the beach had few songbirds when we arrived; but there was soon a bounty of them, flitting and sounding off, once the few anglers moved away. We saw Eastern Towhee, Gray Catbird, Scarlet Tanager, Summer Tanager, Northern Mockingbird…It seemed as if the light, postfrontal wind from landward had gently blown smaller birds to the last clump of vegetation before the water.

We drove west to Glebe Cut and enjoyed Royal Terns over the Thoroughfare (the body of water that makes Jamestown an island). Three bald eagles proudly showed off, perching low to the left of our main party Crossing to Jamestown Island itself, we halted at the first bridge on the narrow, one-way Island Drive. There we met our third eagle presentation of the day. Behavior and call indicated that a nest was likely in the area (a summer storm was reported to have demolished the old bald eagle nest, back down the road). The distant, come and go antics of Red-winged Blackbirds were intriguing. Sharp-eyed young Ned Rose pointed out a large submerged snapping turtle near the bridge; and a distant Great Blue Heron, its neck triumphantly cropped with a 6 inch fish.

We proceeded slowly on the 5 mile Island Drive and enjoyed lunch at a stop near the easternmost point, but observed few additional species on the remaining portion of Jamestown Island.

A small group continued clear across the Peninsula on Colonial Parkway for birding at Felgates Creek, where it feeds into the York River. There we identified one last species, a Great Egret, on this eagle-rich, but surprisingly hawk-free, day. Ned and Becky Rose, Bill Ferris, Sandy DeCarlo, Geoff Giles, Alex Brubaker, Bryan Barmore, John Adair, Pete Peterman, Sandy Robertson, Charm Peterman, Sherry Brubaker and Tom Charlock observed a total of 45 species (list follows).

 

Canada Goose
Pied-billed Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Bald Eagle
Laughing Gull
Caspian Tern
Forster's Tern
Royal Tern
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Chimney Swift

Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Wood Pewee
Great Crested Flycatcher
Eastern Kingbird
Blue Jay
American Crow
Tree Swallow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
Brown-headed Nuthatch

Carolina Wren
Eastern Bluebird
American Robin
Gray Catbird
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
European Starling
Yellow Warbler
Eastern Towhee
Summer Tanager
Scarlet Tanager
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
House Finch
House Sparrow


FIELD TRIP REPORT - Fisherman's Island and Cape Charles Vicinity - 3/9/13 - by Tom Charlock

Pictured above (left to right) are trip participants: John Adair, Ernest Miller, Rock Moeslein, Marilyn Adair, Laura Slaughter, Phyllis Roth, Tom Charlock, Nancy Gruttman-Tyler, and Dave Youker. (Photo by John Adair)

Jennie Lewis (Eastern Shore of Virginia, National Wildlife Refuge) was our guide for the valued Fisherman's Island portion of our field trip on Saturday, March 9. While the Island is the north terminus of the busy Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel (CBBT), birders may stop and observe there only with an official escort. The Island is a vital nesting refuge for waterfowl, and we were fortunate to have arranged for the last tour of the season. Fisherman's Island itself began to spring from the sea only during the early part of the nineteenth century; now covering a few square miles, it is still growing by the displacement of sand from the likes of Smith Island (formerly inhabited) and Mockhorn and Goodwin Islands to the northeast. We had company at Fisherman's: a temperature of about 40 F, nearly cloudless skies, a stiff north breeze, and another party of Cro-Magnons. The others were mostly middle school males; polite as they were, a few unfortunately did relish the chasing of birds. Our mid-morning walk began at a football field-sized pond on the western portion of the Island. There we saw American Widgeon and enjoyed the scolding rattle of Kingfisher. Sticking as required to a ¾ mile trail, we stopped for distant looks at Lesser Scoup, Great Blue Heron, American Black Duck and Northern Gannet over a large saltmarsh to the northwest. At trail's end we descended to the beach for a ½ mile walk; and there lingered at the foundations of the Route 13 bridge (the more energetic boys had departed) for especially fine views of Sanderlings, Ruddy Turnstone, and the uncommon Piping Plover (kudos to Ernie Miller for his photos). The cold headwind on the return along the beach proved a chore for those carrying scopes; but once again secure beyond the dunes, the way back among songbirds and scruffy vegetation was welcoming. Thus the final birding tour of Fisherman's Island for Spring 2013.

We next drove northward to the quaint and rehabilitating town of Cape Charles on the Chesapeake Bay. It was still breezy and clear but warmed to about 50 F. The long fishing pier at the Cape Charles beach was closed, so the telecopes came out again, here concentrating on Red-breasted Merganser, Horned Grebe and Bufflehead. We saw our first Canada Goose (!) of the day on the lake (now fenced) just north of Washington Avenue. Sprawling King's Creek, which we accessed from a car park at the Bay Creek Marina, gave high sport: two Ring-billed Gulls repeatedly buzzed a Red-tailed hawk. But the delight of Cape Charles was the old industrial harbor just to the south of town. Horned Grebes were so close, so cooperative, and in significant numbers. And there was cooperation again in a one-man, one-bird show near an old railroad siding, where Dave Youker spotted a Savannah Sparrow; man lectured on habit of said introverted avian, and bird demontrated. Our next stop was the long, elevated boardwalk of the Sustainable Technology Industrial Park, ending at a tall bluff with a prospect of the far side of the Bay. Nancy Gruttman-Tyler peered carefully at a large ship in the channel through her scope, toward New Point Comfort and Mobjack to the northwest; she spotted a flash mob of over a thousand Northern Gannet behind the ship, which was headed out to sea. The same vessel, but without its glorious flock, crossed our path in late afternoon as we finished the day with a chilly blast from the north and vanishing sun at CBBT Island 1. I believe that our last identified species was the White-winged Scoter, seen at Island 1 by Laura Slaughter.


Hampton Roads Bird Club members Phyllis Roth, John and Marilyn Adair, Dave Youker, Rock Moeslein, Ernest Miller, Nancy Gruttman-Tyler, Laura and Brent Slaughter, and Tom Charlock participated. Sandy DiCarlo of the Cape Henry Audobon Society joined us for the Fisherman's Island portion. 56 species were identified, including the Piping Plover above photgraphed by Ernest Miller.

 

 


FIELD TRIP REPORT - CBBT Islands and Eastern Shore - 2/10/13 - by Tom Charlock

Pictured above (left to right) are trip participants: Tom Charlock, Stuart Sweetman, Jane Frigo, Virginia Boyles, Geoff Giles, George Harris, Rosemarie Harris, Marilyn Adair, Dave Youker, John Adair and Dave Youker. (Photo by George Boyles)

Our February 10 excursion to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel (CBBT) islands began shortly after 8 AM at Island #2 with the requisite security escort. The mercury was at freezing, and light southerly winds yielded a chill factor just below 20 F. Veteran club members assured the sole novice to this annual HRBC winter jaunt that such weather was much better than experienced in previous years. And they demonstrated an enthusiasm for maritime birding like that found in the Aleutian Island scenes of the film The Big Year: Upon hearing the phrase “White-winged Scoter”, pairs of legs caused well-insulated torsos, awkward tripods and field guides to dash to the opposite end of this featureless concrete island. The cry “Harlequin Duck” prompted a rush, punctuated with dribble of gorp, to another point. The escorted component of this trip had a three-hour time limit. This deadline was stretched by telescope-glued Geoff Giles and Dave Youker, who both failed to respond to the leader's police whistle; “Razorbill” was their excuse. Humor aside, the day was true; identifications with naked eye and binoculars were carefully confirmed with spotting scope and deliberation by the group. The adult male Long-tailed Ducks (Old Squaw) were spectacular by site and by sound.

After enjoying the harbor seals at Island #4, we next spent the afternoon at the Eastern Shore Wildlife Refuge and vicinity. It warmed to the 40s. There were cirrus clouds of varying fractional coverage and optical thickness all day. A pair of eagles presented talon flashing acrobatics above the old WWII gun emplacements at the Refuge. Outside the Refuge, George Boyles caught fine pictures of Eurasian Collared Doves, which are pretty rare here, at Magotha Road.

A big snowstorm had struck the Northeast a few days before this field trip. Did the storm drive some of those 75 species, seen by the 11 birders, our way? Hampton Roads Bird Club member participants included Geoff Giles, Marilyn and John Adair, Jane Frigo, Stuart Sweetman, Virginia and George Boyles, David Youker, George and Rosemarie Harris, and Tom Charlock.

Species list follows.

 

Brant
Tundra Swan
American Black Duck
Greater Scaup
Lesser Scaup
Common Eider
Harlequin Duck
Surf Scoter
White-winged Scoter
Black Scoter
Long-tailed Duck
Bufflehead
Red-breasted Merganser
Red-throated Loon
Common Loon
Pied-billed Grebe
Horned Grebe
Red-necked Grebe
Northern Gannet
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Cormorant
Brown Pelican
Great Blue Heron
Black Vulture

Turkey Vulture
Bald Eagle
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
American Kestrel
Merlin
Killdeer
Greater Yellowlegs
Willet
Ruddy Turnstone
Sanderling
Purple Sandpiper
Dunlin
ring-billed Gull
Herring Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Great Black-backed Gull
Black Skimmer
Razorbill
Rock Pigeon
Eurasian Collared Dove
Mourning Dove
Belted Kingfisher
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker

Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Blue Jay
American Crow
Tufted Titmouse
Brown-headed Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
House Wren
Eastern Bluebird
Gray Catbird
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Eastern Towhee
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Eastern Meadowlark
Common Grackle
Boat-tailed Grackle
House Sparrow


FIELD TRIP REPORT - Grandview Beach/Fort Monroe - 11/3/12 - by Tom Charlock

Pictured above (left to right) are some of the trip participants: Mike Iwanik Vicki Gullet, Phyllis Roth, Virginia Boyles, Felicity Rask, Marilyn Adair, Dave Youker, Stuart Sweetman, Jeremy LeRoy and John Adair.

Sunrise, fair sky, and temperatures in the low 40s heralded our party of 15 on its stroll through a still muddy, post-Sandy, path to Grandview Beach at low tide on November 3. Every bush retaining a touch of green seemed to be accented by its own “butter butt” (Yellow-rumped) warbler, fluttering as ever. Sandy had reduced the dunes to about half their previous height – but enough slope remained for a light off shore breeze to kite a Peregrine Falcon at low altitude and provide a great view. Beach highlights included Dunlin, Black-bellied Plover and Ruddy Turnstone. Ernie Miller and camera worked like a pied piper on the innumerable Sanderlings; they came so close, that Ernie probably wished he'd left the long range lens back at home.

The gang next drove to Fort Monroe by way of Old Buckroe Beach Road. Approaching the moat by the Postern Gate, all were treated to a Cooper's Hawk patiently posing atop a fence just 50 feet away. We walked almost half way around the Fort's tall ramparts and then down into the Live Oak Park, but with the wind and clouds having picked up, our tally rate for newly seen species slowed. Returning past the Engineer Pier with the mercury in the low 50s, we enjoyed a tight group of a dozen Fortster's Terns busily fishing about the whitecaps. We saw the uncommon Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow on the rip raps (thank you, Dave, Stuart and Jane for confirming that it was not a Saltmarsh). 53 species were observed. Club members Phyllis Roth, John and Marilyn Adair, Virginia Boyles, John and Felicity Rask, Terri Cuthriell, Stuart Sweetman, Ernie Miller, Jeremy McLeroy, Dave Youker, Jane Frigo, and Tom Charlock were joined by Mike Iwanik and Vicki Gullet from Charlottesville.

Species list follows.

 

Lesser Scaup
Dunlin
Marsh Wren
Surf Scoter
Laughing Gull
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Bufflehead
Ring-billed Gull
Hermit Thrush
Common Merganser
Herring Gull
Gray Catbird
Ruddy Duck
Great Black-backed Gull
Northern Mockingbird
Common Loon
Forster's Tern
European Starling

Pied-billed Grebe
Rock Pigeon
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Northern Gannet
Mourning Dove
Nelson's Sparrow
Double-crested Cormorant
Belted Kingfisher
Song Sparrow
Brown Pelican
Downy Woodpecker
Swamp Sparrow
Great Blue Heron
Northern Flicker
White-throated Sparrow
Cooper's Hawk
Eastern Kingbird
Dark-eyed Junco

Peregrin Falcon
Blue Jay
Northern Cardinal
Clapper Rail
Fish Crow
Red-winged Blackbird
Black-bellied Plover
Tree Swallow
House Finch
Killdeer
Carolina Chickadee
American Goldfinch
Ruddy Turnstone
Red-breasted Nuthatch
House Sparrow
Sanderling
Carolina Wren


FIELD TRIP REPORT - Eastern Shore - 10/13/12 - by Tom Charlock

Pictured above (left to right) are the participants for this trip: Marc Nichols, Stuart Sweetman John and Marilyn Adair, John and Felicity Rask Erikson, Tom Charlock, Dave Youker, Laura Slaughter, Jane Frigo, Phyllis Roth, Brent Slaughter, Dorothy Sharpe and Mike Lowry.

Fair skies and temperatures from the low 50s greeted our caravan of 5 vehicles as we headed north on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel (CBBT) shortly after dawn on October 13, 2012. It had warmed to the low 70s when we called at the CBBT Island on the way back in late afternoon; and the 14 Club members in attendance were well pleased by their total of 91 species observed The grounds of the Sunset Beach Resort had marked our first morning stop - an unscheduled, unsuccessful, but fun chase for a Red Crossbill reported on ebird. As banding was not operational at Kiptopeke, we there focused on the trails, especially delighting in the Pied Billed Grebe, Ruddy Duck, and low-flying Tree Swallows at Taylor Pond. We had not lugged a scope to the Pond, so the intrepid Marc Nichols was appointed to brave dense bushes for a closer look. He confirmed Blue-winged and Green-winged Teal; and returned with a covering of 3cm stickers, himself costumed for a Halloween hedgehog. After lunch we visited Oyster at low tide, where some had their first-ever siting of White-crowned Sparrow. Patient telescope use at the edge of a newly plowed field on Magotha Road provided views of American Pipit, Eastern Meadowlark, and Horned Lark. Bayberry bushes at a narrow channel of Magotha Bay served as the movie set for rapturously close displays by some 500-1000 Tree Swallows. The sun angle was perfect for showing the blue and green on the flanks of these birds; en mass, they repeatedly landed, feasted and flew, as if to a staccato beat. The National Wildlife Refuge was our next port of call. While the tide was then much coming in, the sky did not disappoint: Two unidentified falcon-like birds played aerial talon grasping. One bird was immature, and Stuart Sweetman suggested that this acrobat was in training for future reproductive activities. We'll check next year. The observers on this trip were Marc Nichols, Stuart Sweetman John and Marilyn Adair, John and Felicity Rask Erikson, Tom Charlock, Dave Youker, Laura Slaughter, Jane Frigo, Phyllis Roth, Brent Slaughter, Dorothy Sharpe and Mike Lowry.

Species list

Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Wood Duck, Blue-winged Teal, Green-winged Teal, Ruddy Duck,Pied-billed Grebe, Double-crested Cormorant, Brown Pelican, Great Blue Heron, Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture, Osprey, Bald Eagle, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Cooper's Hawk, Broad-winged Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, American Kestrel, Merlin, Peregrin Falcon, Clapper Rail, Killdeer, Prarie Warbler, Greater Yellowlegs, Willet, Ruddy Turnstone, Sanderling, Laughing Gull, Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Forster's Tern, Royal Tern, Rock Pigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Mourning Dove, Belted Kingfisher, Red-headed Woodpecker, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Eastern Phoebe, White-eyed Vireo, Philadelphia Vireo, Blue Jay, American Crow, Fish Crow, Horned Lark, Tree Swallow, Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Brown-headed Nuthatch, Brown Creeper, Carolina Wren, Marsh Wren, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Eastern Bluebird, Hermit Thrush, American Robin, Gray Catbird, Northern Mockingbird, Brown Thrasher, European Starling, American Pipit, Black-and-white Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Magnolia Warbler, Black-throated Blue Warbler,Palm Warbler,Pine Warbler,Yellow-rumped Warbler,Black-throated Green Warbler, Eastern Towhee, Chipping Sparrow, Field Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Red-winged Blackbird, Eastern Meadowlark, Common Grackle, Brown-headed Cowbird, American Goldfinch, Great Egret

 

 


FIELD TRIP REPORT - Fort Monroe- 4/14/12 - by Jane Frigo

Hampton Roads Bird Club members Dot Silsby, Harry Carlson, Elisa Enders, Tom Charlock, Dave Brown, Clark White, Jane Frigo, Virginia and George Boyles, and Marilyn and John Adair participated in the April 14, 2012 field trip to historic Ft. Monroe in Hampton.  Off shore breezes made for a chilly start to the morning, but the great birds made it worth the chill.  At the sea wall by the Chamberlain Hotel a male Red-necked Grebe in breeding plumage swam just feet from the bank accompanied by a group of female Red-breasted Mergansers.  While enjoying that rare sight, a group of four American Oystercatchers flew 'round about vocalizing  the entire time.  A closer scan of the area revealed both Common and Red-throated Loons.  As the group continued along the seawall, several groups of Sanderlings were spotted along with the expected variety of gulls, pelicans and even a Royal Tern.  On the inland side of the drive Killdeer were everwhere!  A Lesser Yellowlegs was spotted and Clark White heard a King Rail.  Another area enjoyed by all was the "moat" area.  Barn Swallows, Rough-winged Swallows, Tree Swallows and Purple Martins kept everyones eyes to the sky, yet cooperative birds spent quite a bit of time perched on railings and walls to give long looks.  Birds were observed entering and leaving openings in the stone work of the moat.  The group wondered if the openings would become nesting sites.  43 species were identified at Ft. Monroe.  Clark and Dave stopped at Ridgeway Park on their way home and added Cooper's Hawk, Green Heron and Yellow-crowned Night-Heron to their list.   A species list follows.

 

Canada Goose
Red-breasted Merganser
Red-throated Loon
Common Loon
Red-necked Grebe
Brown Pelican
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Turkey Vulture
Osprey
Bald Eagle
Sharp-shinned Hawk
King Rail
Killdeer
American Oystercatcher

Lesser Yellowlegs
Sanderling
Laughing Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Herring Gull
Great Black-backed Gull
Royal Tern
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Belted Kingfisher
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Blue Jay
American Crow
Purple Martin
Tree Swallow

N. Rough-winged Swallow
Barn Swallow
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
European Starling
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Eastern Towhee
Song Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
House Finch
House Sparrow


FIELD TRIP REPORT - Chickahominy WMA - 1/14/12

The club ventured to a new birding area this month--the Chickahominy WMA--in Charles City County. Marc Nichols, Bill Ferris, Libby Carmines, Jane Frigo, Marilyn and John Adair, and Meredith and Lee Bell participated in the trip. The area provided good viewing areas of woodland, field and shoreline habitats. A HUGE flock of American Robins and a good size flock of Cedar Waxwings began the morning. Woodpeckers were well represented in the woodland area. At the open grassland section an Eastern Phoebe and Eastern Bluebirds gave a special show. Also at this area what may have been a Harris's Sparrow was spotted. Regretfully, no photo's were acquired and only a brief observation was possible of the individual. The sighting peaked the groups interest, however! Duck hunting in the area made waterfowl scarce but did not affect the abundance of Bald Eagle observations. As a side trip, a few of the group stopped by Greensprings on the return trip. The stop was well worth it. Excellent views of Northern Pintails and Green-winged Teal were had a the beaver pond. During the return to the parking lot a most cooperative Red-shouldered Hawk gave a lenghty show. Even the yellow on the nostril was visible! Again, where are the camera's when you need them. A complete species list follows.

 

Canada Goose
Tundra Swan
American Black Duck
Mallard
Northern Pintail
Green-winged Teal
Pied-billed Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Bald Eagle
Red-shouldered Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk
Ring-billed Gull
Forster's Tern
Belted Kingfisher
Red-headed Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Down Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Phoebe
American Crow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch

Brown Creeper
Carolina Wren
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Eastern Bluebird
Hermit Thrush
American Robin
Cedar Waxwing
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Chipping Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal


Click here for 2007-2011 reports

   
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