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New Zealand Birding Trip

Last November and December, Ed and Nancy Lawler took a trip to New Zealand, where they went birding in a wide variety of habitats, both on land and on sea. Here is just a sample of the photos they took:

Fiordland Penguins

Fiordland Penguins.

Fiordland Penguins

Southern Brown Kiwi.

New Zealand Fantail

New Zealand Fantail.

North Island Saddleback

North Island Saddleback.

Salvins, Royal, White-capped Albatross

Salvins Albatross, Royal Albatross, & White-capped Albatross.


Owls all around

Short-eared Owl

Short-eared Owl, Jan. 19 on Bell's Lane.

Barred Owl

Barred Owl, Jan. 11; photo courtesy of Elaine Carwile.


Waynesboro CBC 2016

January 2 dawned gray and rainy, but 27 intrepid birders in 11 parties set out to cover their assigned territories for the 52nd annual Waynesboro Christmas Bird Count, which was established in 1965. Despite intermittent rain and fog and what felt like a rather slow day, participants identified 78 species including one new to the count: a Sandhill Crane found by Jo King, Dan Perkuchin, Carroll Lisle, and Marietta Beverage. Other highlights included a high count of Horned Grebes (5) found by two parties: Peter and Angela Nebel; and Melissa Druff with Pat Grabowski, Ellen Kell, and Crista Cabe. The highest number of species tallied was an honor shared by two teams, both with totals of 37 species: Grant Simmons and Brenda Walters, and Rick Keyser and Kate Jensen. Gabriel Mapel, Vic Laubach, and Baxter Beamer found this year's only Barn Owl and American Woodcock. And Elaine Carwile with Elizabeth and Jim Reed found the Black-crowned Night Heron in Waynesboro.

by Crista Cabe


Montage_17Dec2016

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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