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Local birding trips set for late May

By Staff | May 15, 2012

The Potomac Valley Audubon Society has scheduled two local birding trips for late May. Both trips will be free and anyone with an interest is welcome to come along, regardless of their birding skills. Binoculars will be available for anyone who needs them. No pre-registration is required.

For both trips, participants should wear sturdy footwear, dress appropriately for prevailing weather conditions and bring along water and bug spray.

The first trip will be a bird walk at the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park’s Murphy’s Farm on Wednesday, May 23. This trip will involve about two miles of moderate hiking, mostly through fields. Species likely to be sighted include various flycatchers, vireos and warblers; Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Scarlet Tanager, Eastern Meadowlark, Cedar Waxwing, Northern Mockingbird; and perhaps such raptors as Bald Eagles, Red-tailed, Red-Shouldered or Broad-winged Hawks.

Participants should plan to meet at 7:30 a.m. at the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park main Visitor Center off Route 340. Please note that the Park Service will charge a fee of $6 per vehicle to enter the Park unless you have an annual Park passes or a NPS Golden Eagle pass.

For more info contact trip leader Deb Hale at debhale72@gmail.com or 304-535-1528. The second trip is birding trip to the Shannondale Springs Wildlife Management Area in Jefferson County on Wednesday, May 30

The 1,361-acre Shannondale Springs property is managed by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources. This trip will involve walking about two miles over mostly level ground, although some hilly, uneven terrain will be encountered.

Participants will meet at 7 a.m. in the parking area by the WMA’s boat launch site. Directions to the meeting place can be found on the Birding Trail Map on the PVAS website:www.potomacaudubon.org. Or contact Sandy Sagalkin at 240-291-6465 or monsansagalkin@myactv.net.

Sign Up Now for Canaan Valley Birding Trip

The Potomac Valley Audubon Society will Sponsor a May 26 birding trip to Canaan Valley. The trip will be led by veteran West Virginia birder Matt Orsie. It will involve a 10-mile drive through elevations ranging between 2,500 and 4,000 feet and focus on birds breeding at these different ranges. Likely sightings include 15-18 species of warblers, as well as other species. Some hiking will be included.

Participants should plan to travel on their own to the area on Friday, May 25, and meet the other members of the trip group at 6 a.m. on Saturday, May 26, in the lobby of the Canaan Valley State Park Resort lodge. The group will spend the rest of the day birding and then return home Saturday evening.

The trip will be free and open to anyone with an interest, regardless of their birding skills. But participation will be limited to just eight people and pre-registration is essential. Register on the PVAS website at www.potomacaudubon.org or contact Mr. Orsie at 304-261-5602 or wvbirder@comcast.net. The registration deadline is May 15.

Once registered, participants will be expected to make and pay for their own room reservations the night of May 25 at the Resort or some other nearby location.

The trip will be held rain or shine. Participants should wear sturdy footwear, dress appropriately for the prevailing weather conditions and bring along water and insect repellent.

Canaan Valley is the highest valley of its size east of the Rocky Mountains. Its climate and habitats are typical of areas much further north, and its plants and animals are unusual for the latitude, with many of them at or near the southernmost edge of their ranges. The Valley includes the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge, which was established in 1994 to preserve the area’s unique wetlands and uplands. Currently, the refuge consists of 15,245 acres.