June 1, 2013
Again this summer the VSO and Center for Conservation Biology (CCB) are offering a field trip to The Nature Conservancy's Piney Grove Preserve, site of nesting Red-Cockaded Woodpeckers. Mike Wilson from the CCB will be our leader and educator. We are given access to this protected site through Mike's support and the cooperation of The Nature Conservancy. The past few years have produced both a look at red-cockaded woodpecker nest sites and good views of adult birds.
We will assemble at 5:15 A.M. in the morning on June 1 at the Virginia Diner in Wakefield and leave promptly at 5:20 in carpools to Piney Grove as a group. Because of the sensitive nature of this area, we are limited in the number of participants who can go in at one time (15 people), so you MUST be a VSO member and pre-register.
REGISTER EARLY if you want to attend. Contact Lee Adams, VSO Field Trip Co-chair, to register: 540-850-0777 or leeloudenslageradams_AT_gmail.com
Highland County, Virginia June 7-9, 2013
Join us in the beautiful, scenic mountains of western Virginia (aka "Little Switzerland" for our summer field trip! Highland County is a hot spot among birders throughout Virginia, and we're excited about the arrangements we've made for you on the weekend of June 7-9. Field trips will be offered Friday morning, Friday afternoon, all day Saturday, and Sunday morning.
NOTE: Please bring a two-way radio if you have one to make communication easier among members of the same caravan.
The Highland Inn at 68 West Main Street in Monterey is the host hotel. Special room rates for our block of rooms at the Inn range from $89.10 to $116.10 (plus tax), depending on the type of room you reserve. The owners of the Inn also own the Montvallee Motel, just down the street at 54 East Main Street. Special rates for a block of rooms at the motel: $66.60 (one queen bed) and $71.10 (2 double beds), plus tax. Check-in time is 2:00 PM, and check-out is 11:00 AM. There are coffee makers in all rooms and no refrigerators. They will release the block of rooms at both locations MAY 7, so be sure to register before MAY 7. Phone number to make reservations at both the Highland Inn and the Montvallee Motel: 1-888-466-4682
From I-81, take Exit 225 West, Woodrow Wilson Parkway. The Parkway will take you to U.S. 250 West. Follow U.S. 250 West to Monterey. U.S. 250 becomes Main Street in Monterey.
Meals are on your own. The Inn has a restaurant, and there are a few others in Monterey. A complimentary continental breakfast is included for those staying at the Inn, and they'll open for us at 7:00 AM each morning. For Saturday's all-day field trip, you can order sandwiches in advance from a local restaurant.
7:45 AM - For those who'd like a three-day weekend of birding, Lee and Meredith Bell will lead a field trip to Gaudineer Knob in adjacent Pocohantas County WV (one hour drive). This is one of the highest elevations in the area, and the red spruce forest provides a spectacular setting for several species that typically nest further north, such as Golden-crowned Kinglet and Winter Wren. Many warbler species also nest here, including Black-throated Blue, Black-throated Green, Magnolia, and Chestnut-sided. Meet in the parking lot behind the Highland Inn at 7:45 AM to form carpools, and we'll return in time for you to have lunch before the afternoon trip.
2:00 PM – In case you're arriving after lunch on Friday, you can meet us in the parking lot behind the Highland Inn at 2:00 PM to form carpools for our afternoon trip to Forks of Water, just 5 miles north on Rt 220 (10 minute drive). Located at the headwaters of the Potomac River, we’ll search the trees along the water and road for nesting orioles, sparrows, warblers, vireos, Least Flycatcher and Cedar Waxwing. The trip will return to the Inn by 5:00 PM.
6:00 PM - Lee and Meredith will host a pre-dinner social at the Crafter's Suite (50 Fleisher Avenue), located just a block away from the Inn and motel. Bring a snack to share and beverage of your choice. We’ll overview of the week-end and give you a chance to interact with other attendees. Dinner is on your own afterwards.
Saturday Field Trip
7:45 AM - This will be an all-day field trip. Meet in the parking lot behind the Inn at 7:45 AM on Saturday to organize carpools for the day. We’ll travel north and west, covering Blue Grass Valley, Straight Fork, Laurel Fork, and Locust Springs. With the various habitats we’ll cover, we expect to see these warbler species: Canada, Blackburnian, Magnolia, Chestnut-sided, Yellow, American Redstart, Ovenbird, Black-throated Blue and Black-throated Green. Other target birds include Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Scarlet Tanager, Veery, Vesper and Grasshopper Sparrows, and Bobolinks.
6:00 PM - There will be a tally to total the species seen Friday and Saturday. Location to be determined. Dinner is on your own.
Sunday Field Trip
7:45 AM - We'll explore some private property on Wimer Mountain in the Blue Grass area on Sunday morning (20-minute drive). This property has been a reliable location for Golden-winged Warblers in the past. Other target birds include Yellow, Magnolia and Chestnut-sided Warbler, Black-billed Cuckoo, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Black-capped Chickadee, Least Flycatcher and Cliff Swallow. Meet in the parking lot behind the Inn at 7:45 AM to form carpools.
To help us plan for the number of leaders and groups we’ll need for the field trips, please register in advance. Provide the names of participants in your party, a telephone number and email address so we can contact you if needed. Register with Meredith Bell at merandlee_AT_gmail.com
or call 804-824-4958.
NOTE: Please bring a walkie-talkie if you have one to make communication easier among members of the same caravan.