The Club has monthly field trips from September through May

Planned Field Trips

Field Trip to Grandview Nature Preserve

Canceled due to the inclement weather. It may be rescheduled in the future, but no date is available at this time.

Saturday, January 22, 2022: 7:30 AM

Leader: James Abbott

 

The Hampton Roads Bird Club January Outing will be on Saturday the 22nd to Grandview Beach in Hampton. We should expect to see a variety of birds especially our winter waterfowl and associate species. Species such as snow bunting and snowy owl have been observed here in the past. We will plan to meet at the entrance gate at 7:30am. There is street parking area on the right in front of the entrance. Participants should dress warmly as the wind off the bay will make it colder. You can walk as much of the beach as you want to. A scope is recommended if you have one You can search Grand View Nature Trail Access in Google Maps or use these GPS coordinates to the parking lot: 37.079112, -76.277544 My email is jaa3469@gmail.com and my cell number is 7573209191: email me or leave me a message if you intend to join

Field Trip to Back Bay by Tram

 

Saturday February 12,2022: 8:30 AM

Leader: James Abbott

On Saturday February 12th the HRBC Back Bay Tram Ride Returns! We have reserved the Tram from 9am-1pm. Arrive at the Back Bay Visitors Center at 8:30am. As in years past this trip has a fee of $8.00 CASH ONLY please bring it with you to the visitor center. This trip also has a capacity limit of 24 participants. We will leave Back Bay Visitors Center at 9am and ride to False Cape State Park. We will then have a short hike to the beach and ride back. Along the way we will have the opportunity to see many winter waterfowl esp. Tundra Swan along with other loons, ibis, rails, and shorebirds. There are other short hikes around the Visitor Center to do before or after the trip as well as Little Island Pier to have a chance to see Gannet and Razorbill. The tram is open and WILL be cold, dress accordingly in layers and bring blankets. A snack and drinks are a good idea as well. To sign up for this trip please send an email to jaa3469@gmail.com to be added to the list. If you can no longer make it for any reason please let me know so I can update availability. I will send you a confirmation email and have emails sent out to the club with updated availability of seats.

Past Field Trips

Field Trip to Fort Manroe

Saturday, November 27, 2021: 8:00 AM

Leader: James Abbott

 

The Hampton Roads Bird Club had its November field trip on the 27th at Fort Monroe in Hampton, VA. Weather was cold but clear. Our group met at the Phoebus Waterfront Park and drove to serval locations on the fort and walked the bay wall. Winter activity was just picking up as we observed  BUFFLEHEAD and HORNED GREBE along side BROWN PELICAN. The first NORTHERN GANNET have started to arrive along with COMMON LOON. Our best birds of the day were a RUDDY TURNSTONE in a flock of SANDERLING on the rock jetty at Outlook Beach and a SEDGE WREN in a grassy tangle at the very northern tip of the fort past the campground. Species List: 36

Bufflehead

Horned Grebe

Rock Pigeon

Mourning Dove

Ruddy Turnstone

Sanderling

Laughing Gull

Ring-billed Gull

Herring Gull

Great Black-backed Gull

Forster’s Tern

Common Loon

Northern Gannet

Double-crested Cormorant

Brown Pelican

Great Blue Heron

Turkey Vulture

Osprey

Sharp-shinned Hawk

Cooper’s Hawk

Bald Eagle

Belted Kingfisher

American Crow

Fish Crow

Sedge Wren

Northern Mockingbird

Eastern Bluebird

American Goldfinch

White-throated Sparrow

Song Sparrow

Eastern Towhee

Eastern Meadowlark

Red-winged Blackbird

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Northern Cardinal

Eastern Shore Birding Sites Trip

Saturday October 23, 2021: 6:30 AM

Leader: James Abbott

The Hampton Roads Bird Club had its October field trip on the 23rd of October in Northampton County on the the Eastern Shore of Virginia.

Weather was in the 60s with a cloudy morning that gave way to sun by noon. There was a significant flight of migrating birds the night before. Our group met at the Eastern Shore Visitor center and walked the trails at the National Wildlife Refuge. There was a lot of activity and the best birds at this site were great looks at a BLACKPOLL WARBLER and a flock of migrating TUNDRA SWAN. We also had BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER and NORTHERN PARULA. We moved on to the town of Oyster, VA and the marsh side trail. High water limited the shorebird activity but we enjoyed great looks at TRICOLORED HERON, AMERICAN BITTERN, SALTMARSH SPARROW, and CLAPPER RAIL. Our last stop was at the Ned Brinkley Preserve at the Cheriton landfill pond. They have done a really nice job here with the parking lot and a wonderful viewing blind at the pond. We had a lot of waterbirds including; BLACK_CROWNED NIGHT HERON and LITTLE BLUE HERON along with some early RUDDY DUCK and RING-NECKED DUCK. Two special notes; on the way to the meeting location in the morning myself and Ryan flushed 3 AMERICAN WOODCOCK on Arlington Chase Rd and the GOLDEN EAGLE reported by the hawk watch at 10:50 was refound along highway 13 feeding on a deer carcass and viewed by group members.

 

Species List: 83

 

Canada Goose

Tundra Swan

Gadwall

Green-winged Teal

Ring-necked Duck

Ruddy Duck

Pied-billed Grebe

Rock Pigeon

Mourning Dove

Clapper Rail

American Woodcock

Laughing Gull

Great-black Backed Gull

Herring Gull

Royal Tern

tern sp.

Common Loon

Double-crested Cormorant

Brown Pelican

American Bittern

Great Blue Heron

Great Egret

Snowy Egret

Little Blue Heron

Tricolored Heron

Black-crowned Night-Heron

White Ibis

Black Vulture

Turkey Vulture

Osprey

Golden Eagle

Northern Harrier

Sharp-shinned Hawk

Cooper’s Hawk

Bald Eagle

Red-tailed Hawk

Belted Kingfisher

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

Northern Flicker

Pileated Woodpecker

American Kestrel

Peregrine Falcon

Eastern Wood-Pewee

Eastern Phoebe

Blue Jay

American Crow

Fish Crow

Tree Swallow

Carolina Chickadee

Tufted Titmouse

Carolina Wren

House Wren

Golden-crowned Kinglet

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Eastern Bluebird

Swainson’s Thrush

American Robin

Gray Catbird

Brown Thrasher

Northern Mockingbird

European Starling

American Goldfinch

Yellow-breasted Chat

Eastern Meadowlark

Red-winged Blackbird

Brown-headed Cowbird

Common Yellowthroat

Northern Parula

Blackpool Warbler

Black-throated Blue Warbler

Palm Warbler

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Yellow-throated Warbler

Northern Cardinal                                                                       Photos by Pete Peterman

Eastern Towhee

Chipping Sparrow

Savannah Sparrow

Saltmarsh Sparrow

Song Sparrow

Swamp Sparrow

White-throated Sparrow

Comments from the outing.

Thank you Pete, great photos. A couple notes, the eagle pictured is a 1st cycle bald eagle. No golden eagle will have that much body white. The juvenile golden visiting the carcass is almost all dark with faint white patches on the under wing and a thick brown tail band with less defined white. There is also tawny feathers on the nape of the neck. If you have any other photos of birds from the carcass, look through them for these characteristics.

 

This is a great photo of the saltmarsh sparrow! I sent this photo over to a colleague of mine who works on a marsh sparrow banding project at UNCW and she confirmed this as a saltmarsh sparrow. However she said this individual sparrow is an interesting one. Nelson’s and Saltmarsh were lumped as Sharp-tailed sparrow before being split. The now two species do hybridize and they have been studying this. She says that this individual definitely is showing traits of “Nelson’s” genetics. She cited the the presence of the orange bib like in Nelsons but it is uneven and inconsistent on this individual unlike a classic Nelson’s. She also cited the heavy streaking characteristic of “Saltmarsh” is slightly reduced on this individual.

James Abbott

Hog Island WMA Birding Site Trip

Sunday, September 12, 2021; 7:00 AM

Leaders: James Abbott

 

The Hampton Roads Bird Club had its first fall excursion beyond the Peninsula on September 12 to Hog Island Wildlife Management Area. Weather was in the 70s with a SSW wind around 12mph. Participants included Christiana Wilson, Wendy and Ellis Maxey, Lesley Meng, Eric Mathews, Gary Wright, June Hartzler, Bill Boeh, Cindy Schulz, Dianne Snyder, Rex Holmlin, John and Marylin Adair, Pete and Charm Peterman, Ryan Walsh, Elizabeth Wilkins, Jacques van Montfrans, and Jeanette and Brian Weinberg.

 

 

 

 

HRBC at Hog Island (photo by Dianne Snyder)

 

Water levels were high in the impoundments which limited our shorebird opportunities but great looks at American White Pelican, Northern Harrier, American Redstart, and Bobwhite were the highlights. We also had a Tricolored Heron which is a good catch that far inland.

 

Species list for Hog Island (9/12/2021)

 

Mallard

American Black Duck

Northern Bobwhite

Mourning Dove

Yellow-billed Cuckoo

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Spotted Sandpiper

Laughing Gull

Great black-backed Gull

Caspian Tern

Royal Tern

Forster’s Tern

Double-crested Cormorant

American White Pelican

Great Blue Heron

Great Egret

Snowy Egret

Tricolored Heron

Green Heron

Black Vulture

Turkey Vulture

Osprey

Northern Harrier

Bald Eagle

Belted Kingfisher

 

Downy Woodpecker

Northern Flicker

Pileated Woodpecker

American Kestrel

Eastern Phoebe

White-eyed Vireo

Blue Jay

Fish Crow

American Crow

Tree Swallow

Carolina Chickadee

Brown-headed Nuthatch

Carolina Wren

Eastern Bluebird

American Robin

Northern Mockingbird

Brown Thrasher

European Starling

Bobolink

Red-winged Blackbird

Pine Warbler

Palm Warbler

American Redstart

Common Yellowthroat

Summer Tanager

Northern Cardinal

 

All participants must have identification to pass through the gate. They are serious about this, I have seen people arrive to a walk unable to participate. Most of the time it was because they rode with other people and did not bring their drivers license. We will drive the two mile access road stopping at various points along the way. We can also walk around the impoundment areas for more viewing. Participants can walk as much as they feel comfortable with.

 

We will plan to meet at the entrance gate around 7:00am. There is a parking area on the right and in front of the guard house. All cars that will be entering the WMA will be subject to an inspection since we will be driving through Dominion's Surry Nuclear Power Plant to access Hog Island. You can search (Hog Island Wildlife Management Area) in Google Maps or use these GPS coordinates to the parking lot:

37.163174, -76.700857

 

My email is jaa3469@gmail.com and my cell number is 7573209191: email me or leave me a message if you intend to join

Results of the York River State Park Birding Sites Trip

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Leaders: Harry and Rochelle Colestock

 

Jane Frigo and Marilyn and John Adair met up with the Colestocks at the visitors’ center at 8:15 on a lovely Saturday morning.  The area near the center was busy with Eastern Bluebirds, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, a Northern Mockingbird, Tufted Titmice, a Great Crested Flycatcher, Indigo Buntings and a Blue Grosbeak, which posed very nicely at the top of a tree.  Jane was first to spot two Cedar Waxwings.  The river overlook provided views of a Bald Eagle, Ospreys and 4 Ruddy Ducks that hadn’t yet flown north with their companions.

The pond area was fairly quiet except for the Great Blue Heron rookery, which had about a dozen herons in residence.  Nearby we spotted an Indigo Bunting and Brown Thrashers and heard Blackpoll Warblers and a Common Yellowthroat.

The trail through the woods yielded lots of bird sounds, but not many good views of Red-eyed Vireos, Yellow-throated Warblers, Carolina Wrens, Black-throated Blue Warblers, Ovenbirds, a Pileated Woodpecker, a Yellow-throated Vireo, a Blue-headed Vireo, Northern Parulas, and a Downy Woodpecker, among others.  Two birds that we got good looks at were a Summer Tanager and Ruby-throated Hummingbird.  We also had close, fleeting views of an Acadian Flycatcher that seemed to be following us along the trail.

The drive back out of the park afforded more opportunities to see and hear multiple bird species.

Ruddy Duck

Mourning Dove

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Laughing Gull

Double-crested Cormorant

Great Blue Heron

Turkey Vulture

Bald Eagle

Blue-headed Vireo

Purple Martin

Barn Swallow

Cedar Waxwing

American Goldfinch

Brown-headed Cowbird

Black-and-white Warbler

Blackpoll Warbler

Pine Warbler

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Blue Grosbeak

Red-shouldered Hawk

Pileated Woodpecker

Eastern Wood-Pewee

Acadian Flycatcher

Great Crested Flycatcher

White-eyed Vireo

Yellow-throated Vireo

Red-eyed Vireo

American Crow

Fish Crow

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Carolina Wren

Northern Mockingbird

Chipping Sparrow

Eastern Towhee

Yellow-breasted Chat

Ovenbird

Common Yellowthroat

Northern Parula

Black-throated Blue Warbler

Yellow-throated Warbler

Scarlet Tanager

Indigo Bunting

Osprey

Red-bellied Woodpecker

08 May 2021

Downy Woodpecker

Blue Jay

Tufted Titmouse

European Starling

Brown Thrasher

Eastern Bluebird

Summer Tanager

Northern Cardinal

Results of the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge birding sites trip

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Leaders: Harry and Rochelle Colestock

The Colestocks met up with Bill Boeh, Dave Brown and Pete Peterman at 07:30 at the Jericho Ditch parking area.  It was a lovely sunny morning with temperatures just right for birding.  We set off to walk Lynn Ditch where Prairie Warblers were in abundance. We also saw or heard (mostly heard, due to the thick foliage) multiple White-eyed Vireos, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, Prothonotaries, Northern Parulas and Red-bellied Woodpeckers.  Two surprises were a flock of Cedar Waxwings and a flying Wood Duck.  Next, we ventured a bit down Jericho, Hudnell and Williamson trails, which were much quieter than Lynn Ditch.  Among the birds we saw or heard were Common Yellowthroats, Eastern Towhees, Great Crested Flycatchers, Yellow-throated Warblers and a Louisiana Waterthrush.

On the way back out on Jericho Ditch Road, we made multiple stops to see or hear a Hooded Warbler, a Black and White Warbler, Swainson’s Warblers, Marsh Wrens, Yellow-throated Warblers and a flock of Rusty Blackbirds—the “bird of the day”.

On the way to Washington Ditch along White Marsh Road we saw Eastern Meadowlarks, a Red-shouldered Hawk and a Kestrel.  On Washington Ditch road we heard an Ovenbird.  The boardwalk provided another Ovenbird, a Pileated Woodpecker, Prothonotary, Palm and Hooded Warblers, Gt. Crested Flycatchers and a big surprise: we heard a Yellow-billed Cuckoo. 

By the time we started walking down the road towards Lake Drummond, it was close to noon and getting warm, so we did not go very far past the downed trees.  The last few birds were Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, Black and White Warblers, a Red-headed Woodpecker, more Prothonotaries and, finally, a Belted Kingfisher.  We all agreed that it had been a good morning for birding. The full list of species seen was:

American Crow

American Kestrel

American Robin

Belted Kingfisher

Black Vulture

Black-and-white Warbler

Blue Jay

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Brown Thrasher

Carolina Chickadee

Carolina Wren

Cedar Waxwing

Chipping Sparrow

Common Grackle

Common Yellowthroat

Double-crested Cormorant

Downy Woodpecker

Eastern Meadowlark

Eastern Phoebe

Eastern Towhee

European Starling

Fish Crow

Great Blue Heron

Great Crested Flycatcher

Great Egret

Hooded Warbler

Louisiana Waterthrush

Marsh Wren

Mourning Dove

Northern Cardinal

Northern Flicker

Northern Parula

Ovenbird

Palm Warbler

Pileated Woodpecker

Pine Warbler

Prairie Warbler

Prothonotary Warbler

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Red-headed Woodpecker

Red-shouldered Hawk

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Rusty Blackbird

Swainson's Warbler

Tufted Titmouse

Turkey Vulture

White-breasted Nuthatch

White-eyed Vireo

White-throated Sparrow

Wood Duck

Yellow-billed Cuckoo

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Yellow-throated Warbler

Results of the  Virginia Beach Birding Sites Trip

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Leaders: Harry and Rochelle Colestock

It was another cold, windy morning when four intrepid birders (Dave Youker, Bill Boeh, the Colestocks) met at Little Island Park Saturday morning.  The ocean was choppy, but we got glimpses of Horned Grebes, American Oystercatchers, Razorbills, Surf Scoters, Red-throated and Common Loons, and Red-breasted Mergansers.  Northern Gannets and Brown Pelicans soared over the water in the morning sunlight.  Double-crested Cormorants, Great Black-backed Gulls and Ring-billed Gulls clustered on the beach while a bevy of female Boat-tailed Grackles lined the pier.  Away from the beach, birds were not in abundance; but we saw or heard Killdeer, Northern Mockingbird, Fish Crow, Yellow-rumps and a Gray Catbird, among others.

The next stop was Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge. The wind seemed to be hindering much bird activity, with Robins being the most common bird on the trails.  Other sightings included a Northern Harrier, Kingfisher, Marsh Wren, Song Sparrow, Osprey, Bald Eagle and Yellow-rumps.  Another hike to the beach revealed Sanderlings, more Gannets, Razorbills, Loons, Grebes and RB Mergansers.

Next, we tried the Harris Teeter retention pond, which had good results in recent weeks, but not when we went.  A pair of Mallards swam in the pond and a beautiful Red-tailed Hawk soared over the fields.  Field and Song Sparrows were seen or heard, along with a Flicker, Fish Crow and Carolina Wren.

Nearby at Sherwood Lakes had more water birds.  We got a close view of a Kingfisher near the entrance and a distant view of an immature Bald Eagle.   Red-breasted Mergansers, Ring-billed Gulls and a Common Loon were spotted on the lake.  Incidental sightings included Song Sparrows and a Mockingbird.  At that point, we concluded the trip and headed home. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sylvan Heights Bird Park Birding

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Leaders: Harry and Rochelle Colestock

•Sign-up:  Please contact Harry or Rochelle Colestock at hcolesto@hotmail.com if you intend on going on this trip.  We will only need additional information if there are more than 30 people interested.

 

•Timing: The park will be open from 9 AM to 4 PM.  Attendees can work their own schedule.  We will not be going as group.  Please check the Sylvan Heights Bird Park website at www.shwpark.com for ticket prices and much additional information on this unique bird facility.  Note the dining information on the site if you are looking for facilities in the area.

 

• Walking the trails of the park should take about two hours.

 

•Social distancing and other health maintenance items related to COVID-19 are found also in the facility website.

 

Results of the Field Trip to Beaver Dam Park

 

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Leaders: Harry and Rochelle Colestock

 

The weather cooperated with us with clear, calm conditions with temperatures in the 40’s.  These conditions helped us look at great distance over the water to find Ruddy Ducks, Hooded Mergansers, Buffleheads, Ringed-Necked Ducks, Canvasbacks, and a large number of Pied-Billed Grebes and Coots.  Many of the ducks that had originally migrated to Beaverdam pond areas this season have been leaving for other areas in the past six weeks, so we were lucky to see the variety still left in the area. Naturally, we were welcomed in the parking lot by resident Muscovy Ducks.  Several Bald Eagles and a Red-Shouldered Hawk also made appearances. 

After spending a lot of time on the water birds, we ventured on the trails.  By this time, the sun had started to warm up the forest and numerous bird species were vocalizing and feeding in the trees, brush piles, and ground areas.  These species included Juncos; Yellow-Bellied Sapsuckers; Brown Thrasher; Downy, Red-Bellied, Hairy, and Pileated Woodpeckers; Eastern Phoebe; and Ruby-Crowned Kinglet.  As we continued on trails near the water, it was clear that the rainfall in the last six months had saturated the soil and there were numerous water and muddy patches along the way. 

 

Following the trip conclusion, Cindy Schulz invited participants to visit her home at which a small flock of Evening Grosbeaks have been feeding for several days.  This showing capped a day in which we identified 38 other species.

Canada Goose

Muscovy Duck (dom.)

Mallard

Canvasback

Ring-necked Duck

Lesser Scaup

Bufflehead

Hooded Merganser

Ruddy Duck

Pied-billed Grebe

American Coot

Ring-billed Gull

Double-crested Cormorant

Great Blue Heron

Black Vulture

Bald Eagle

Red-shouldered Hawk

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Red-bellied Woodpecker

 Downy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker

Pileated Woodpecker

Eastern Phoebe

Blue Jay

American Crow

Carolina Chickadee

Tufted Titmouse

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

White-breasted Nuthatch

Carolina Wren

Brown Thrasher

Northern Mockingbird

Eastern Bluebird

Dark-eyed Junco

White-throated Sparrow

Song Sparrow

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Northern Cardinal

2021 Dismal Swamp Trip group.JPG