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Claymont birding tip set May 21

By Staff | May 10, 2013

The Potomac Valley Audubon Society will sponsor a birding field trip on the historic Claymont property outside Charles Town, WV on Tuesday May 21.

The trip will begin at 7 a.m. and last about four hours. It is free and open to anyone with an interest, regardless of their birding skills. Children are welcome, but must be accompanied by an adult. Pre-registration is required, as the group size will be limited to 16 participants. Register on the PVAS website at www.potomacaudubon.org or contact trip leader, Joette Borzik, at 240-440-4221 or pep4223@comcast.net.

Field trip participants should plan to meet the field trip leader on the Claymont entrance road where a wetland meets the access driveway. The entrance is located at 667 Huyett Road; it is marked by a street sign that says “Claymont Mansion.”

The group will look for birds in the wetland near the entrance, then park vehicles and begin a 2-3 mile hike on the Claymont property.

The trip will involve moderate hiking, and will be focused on observing song birds, raptors, woodpeckers, sparrows, and other wildlife. Hearing the chorus of breeding song birds will be one of the trip highlights. This field trip will be conducted rain or shine. Participants should dress appropriately for the prevailing weather and bring drinking water, trail snacks and insect repellent. Those who need binoculars should let the trip leader know ahead of time, as loaner binoculars will be available.

The Claymont property, which totals about 300 acres, is home to the historic Claymont mansion.

The mansion, which was built in 1820 by George Washington’s grand-nephew, Bushrod Washington, is the largest of the Washington family homes and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The property is owned and managed by the Claymont Society for Continuous Education, and is used to host seminars and retreats for the public.

The property has recently been entered into a conservation easement that ensures it will be protected from development.