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(this month and next)
NONE, Sep 10
Generally, the second Monday of each month. For more information, see the Meetings page.
RECENT BIRD ALERT:
A male Blue Grosbeak was seen in the open pastures section of Bell's Lane on July 28.
Due to a wave of spam attacks, this Web site feature has been disabled for the time being. Stay tuned for further announcements.
Augusta Bird Club members may submit rare bird sightings by using the Update page. For further information, or to report any unusual sightings, please contact the rare bird alert coordinator, Allen Larner.
Blue Ridge Young Birders
Please support and/or spread the word!
Our next "Birds & Brews, Wings & Wine" social hour will be: Thursday, August 23 at 6:00 PM at Plaza Azteca in Waynesboro.
Thursday, June 28th, 5:30 p.m., at Table 44, located at 300 Church Street, near Sunspots Studio in Staunton.
Sorrel's Lounge in the Stonewall Jackson Hotel, Staunton on March 26 at 6:00 PM. RSVP to Peter Van Acker by March 22. 6:00 PM on Tuesday, February 27 at the Depot at 42 Middlebrook Ave, Staunton. Please RSVP by February 26 to Peter Van Acker.
6:00 PM on Tuesday, January 30 at the Fishin' Pig, 117 Apple Tree Lane, in Waynesboro. (It's just off I-64 next to the Best Western.)
Thursday, October 26 at the Yelping Dog, downtown Staunton, starting at 6:00 PM; please RSVP to Peter Van Acker. Stable Craft Brewery, 375 Madrid Rd, Waynesboro, VA 22980
The complete updated Birds of Augusta County (4th ed., 2016) is now available online: Birds_of_Augusta_County_2016_4th_Ed.pdf
(NOTE: The link previously shown above was to a much more detailed historical records document, not suitable for public use. Thanks to Allen Larner for calling attention to the error.) Many thanks to Dan Perkuchin for all the work he put into bringing our records up to date!
In the course of doing surveys for the Virginia Breeding Bird Atlas project (see news items below), on June 30 Andrew Clem "discovered" a birding hot spot that was previously unknown to the local birding community: Dowell's Draft, which is close to Braley Pond and Chimney Hollow, near the village of West Augusta. Near the trail head, an Acadian Flycatcher was singing, along with Ovenbirds and Worm-eating Warblers. At least two Northern Parulas were heard and seen just a bit further along the fire road. The highlight was a singing Prairie Warbler, briefly scuffling with another bird, presumably of the same species. A couple hundred yards after that, another Prairie Warbler was singing, and several Black and White Warblers and American Redstarts were making a racket, probable families in both cases. After a stream crossing, the trail begins a long uphill climb toward the east. Along the way, Scarlet Tanagers and Red-eyed Vireos were seen, and Pine Warblers were heard. At a clearing near the summit of Chestnut Oak Knob were Indigo Buntings, Eastern Towhees, and Worm-eating Warblers.
Dowell's Draft happens to be located in or adjacent to the right of way for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline project, which began to clear a wide swath of trees in western Augusta County this past spring. How this project will affect birds and other wildlife remains to be seen...
A second visit to Dowell's Draft on July 10 yielded mutliple Northern Parulas once again, as well as Ovenbirds and Worm-eating Warblers, but no Prairie Warblers.
On July 14, Penny Warren, Ann Cline, and Andrew Clem made a follow-up visit to Dowell's Draft, seeing or hearing most of the same birds as before. Most importantly, a singing male Prairie Warbler was photographed, confirming probable breeding activity in that location. Another nice surprise (not previously seen there) was a Black-throated Green Warbler, either female or juvenile. There will probably be a field trip to Dowell's Draft in early September.
On June 16, John Spahr led five other Augusta Bird Club members on a second field trip focused on the Virginia Breeding Bird Atlas project. (See the June 2 report below.) The main destination was Braley Pond, near the village of West Augusta, but most of the time was spent along the Johnson Draft trail upstream from the pond. That trail turned out to be very rich in terms of likely breeding birds, and a number of Northern Parulas, Worm-eating Warblers, and Indigo Buntings (including a female with nesting material) were heard and/or seen. Afterwards, some of the members stopped for lunch at the nearby convenience store, where a Ruby-throated Hummingbird came to a feeder. Finally, they spent a while at the Chimney Hollow trail, where they succeeded in locating an Acadian Flycatcher and Louisiana Waterthrush, as well as some juvenile Eastern Phoebes.