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CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: American Kestrel (M), Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (M), Red-tailed Hawk, Short-eared Owl, Red-bellied Woodpecker (M), Northern Cardinal (M), American Robin, Northern Harrier (F/J), Mallard (M).
(All photos taken December 17.)

Augusta County Christmas Bird Count 2016

Nineteen members of the Augusta Bird Club took part in the 2016 Christmas Bird Count for Augusta County on Saturday, December 17. (That part of the CBC is centered in Verona, and includes areas within 7.5 miles of that point. A separate CBC centered near Waynesboro was held on January 2, and a separate report on that is expected soon.) Many participants got a late start due to the icy road conditions. A total of 79 species were counted on the CBC itself, and an additional five species were counted during count week, for a total of 84 species. Highlights:

Highlights from the count week:

by Allen Larner

50th Anniversary Celebration Dinner

On Monday December 12, the Augusta Bird Club had a successful and fun filled 50th Anniversary Dinner at Mary Baldwin University. Fifty one members were joined by Staunton Mayor Carolyn Dull to celebrate our first 50 years. Special thanks go to Penny Warren, Brenda Walters, and Lisa Hamilton for planning. Thanks also go to Crista Cabe for arranging the venue, and to Andrew Clem for his musical medley -- just one highlight of the evening. The evening included special recognition of founding member Grant Simmons and near-founding member Jo King for their ongoing contributions to the Augusta Bird Club. I, of course, got to do the fun stuff. With the support of all our loyal members, the ABC is well on the way to our 100th anniversary in 2066.

by Peter Van Acker, President

50th Anniversary Celebration Dinner

View of the dinner, from front to back.

50th Anniversary Celebration Dinner

View of the dinner, from back to front.

Vice President Stan Heatwole presents a Great Blue Heron painting to Grant Simmons

President Peter Van Acker and Vice President Stan Heatwole present a Great Blue Heron painting to Grant Simmons, a gesture of appreciation for his many years of service to the club.

John Spahr, Tish Folsom, Jo King, and Peter Van Acker

John Spahr elicits laughs from Tish Folsom, Jo King, and Peter Van Acker during the "pishing" (bird calling) contest.

50th Anniversary Celebration Dinner

Andrew Clem plays "bird songs," while the Smiths (Stark & Jean) and Britts (Emily & Tom) listen.

50th Anniversary Celebration Dinner

Grant Simmons, the sole remaining founding member of the club, shares his memories of the early days.

50th Anniversary Celebration Dinner

Staunton Mayor Carolyn Dull impresses the crowd with her knowledge of birds.

50th Anniversary Celebration Dinner

Linda Matkins draws numbers for one of the door prizes.

50th Anniversary Celebration Dinner

President Peter Van Acker reviews the club's past accomplishments and previews future plans.

Birds of the South River sign on Waynesboro's Greenway

In early December, the City of Waynesboro installed a new sign along the Greenway Trail which follows the South River. One of several similar signs along the Greenway, it features a number of bird photos taken by Marshall Faintich, along with descriptions of each species, and includes a note about the Augusta Bird Club and the various bird counts that are done throughout the year.

Birds of the South River sign

Birds of the South River sign.

ABC bird montage small

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