Archive for the ‘Field Trip Reports’ Category

Highland County Weekend Getaway, June 1-3, 2018

Sunday, August 5th, 2018

It was a dark and rainy weekend. Five club members embarked on the long planned outing to Highland County hoping to find Golden-winged Warbler, Mourning Warbler, and Alder Flycatcher. Armed with raingear, food, maps, binoculars, and cameras, we rendezvoused Friday afternoon at Doe Hill Escape, a pleasant and well equipped house on a working farm. It served as our base for the weekend’s birding. Birds were plentiful and success was had in locating the three target species. Participants included Scott Byrd, Brenda Chase, Jim Goehring, Sally Knight, and Mike Lott.

Click on the following link to read about their wet, but fruitful weekend in the mountains of western Virginia.

Highland County Weekend Getaway, June 1-3, 2018

Shenandoah NP – Limberlost Trail Outing May 12, 2018

Sunday, August 5th, 2018

On Saturday, May 12, 2018 three “intrepid” members (Bev and Jim Arnold and Brenton Mundt) of the Fredericksburg Bird Club met at 7:30 a.m. at the Limberlost Trail in Shenandoah National Park. The weather was cool (71 degrees compared to the 91 degrees at home) and the trees were barely leafed out.

Click on the following link to read about their birding adventure in one of Virginia’s best locations to bird.

Shenandoah NP – Limberlost Trail Outing May 12, 2018

FBC Delaware Shore Weekend, May 18-20, 2018

Sunday, August 5th, 2018

A small group ventured up to the Delaware shore for the weekend of May 18-20. The weekend was a little rainy, but the birding was still great. Read all about the trip by clicking on the following link:


Outer Banks/Mattamuskeet, NC Trip—Feb. 2-4, 2018

Saturday, February 10th, 2018

Club members joined the VSO on their Outer Banks weekend for our February 2018 outing. Click the links to read about their experiences.

Outer Banks VSO 2018 Trip Report

Outer Banks Species List


Southern California Trip – November 7-14, 2017

Saturday, February 10th, 2018

A group of club members journey across the country for an amazing 8 days of birding lead by FBC member Mike Lott and his brother Tony. Click the link below to share in their experiences.

California Trip Report

FBC Blandy Experimental Farm, Sky Meadows and Short-eared Owls Outing – January 20, 2018

Saturday, February 10th, 2018

Perhaps the largest group in club history ventured out to northwest Virginia in search of Short-eared Owls, Red-headed Woodpeckers, and other winters species. The day would not disappoint. Please click the below link to read about our fantastic day of birding.

Blandy Farm Trip Report

Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge & Maryland Eastern Shore Trip Report, February 3-5, 2017

Tuesday, May 16th, 2017

Ten members of the Fredericksburg Birding Club gathered at noon on Friday for lunch at the Cambridge Diner where Bev and Jim Arnold, our leaders for the weekend, went over the trip itinerary.  After lunch, we spent the early afternoon in Cambridge birding several spots on the Choptank River where we spotted Common Goldeneye, Surf Scoter, and Long-tailed Ducks.  At the end of Oakley Street we were treated to a waterfowl show with close up looks at hundreds of Canvasback and Lesser Scaup, with a sprinkling of Ruddy Duck, Mallard, and Wigeon, among others.  From Cambridge we drove to Blackwater NWR and birded the wildlife drive till dusk.  Highlights included Northern Shovelers, Ring-necked Ducks, Common Mergansers, a group of 30 White Pelicans, and thousands of Snow Geese.  We also picked up a small flock of Dunlin, several Killdeer, and both adult and immature Bald Eagles.  After a quick check in at our hotel, we ended our day with an excellent dinner at the High Spot Gastropub in downtown Cambridge.

After an early morning breakfast, Saturday began with a drive down Egypt Road that rewarded us with one of our target birds – Horned Lark!  We continued with another drive around the wildlife drive at Blackwater NWR and a stop at the new visitor center.  A Coopers Hawk was spotted uncharacteristically perched on the ground in the reeds, and at the visitor center we picked up Yellow-rumped Warbler, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, and a Northern Harrier hunting over the marshes.  From there we went looking for eagles along Decoursey Bridge Road and Bestpitch Ferry Road.

A surprise find of Eastern Meadowlark put smiles on everyone’s faces.  After a picnic lunch at the Harriet Tubman Historical Site we made our way south to Hooper Island where we saw several thousand Redhead, more Surf Scoter, Common Goldeneye, Horned Grebe, Common Loon and Red-breasted Merganser.  We ended our day with dinner at the acclaimed Old Salty’s restaurant.

Sunday began with breakfast and an early morning check-out followed by another look at the Choptank River in Cambridge.  We then began our drive home with a stop at the Pickering Creek Audubon Center north of Easton and a final stop at the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center in Grasonville, MD where we looked for the Orange-crowned Warbler reported to be overwintering there.  The warbler was a no show, but a nice group of Northern Pintail ducks, and the cute Brown-headed Nuthatch were enjoyable consolation prizes!  Our trip ended with a late lunch at the Cracker Barrel on Kent Island.

Trip Participants

Bev and Jim Arnold

Dave and Georgia Patton

Scott Byrd

Brenda Chase

Alton Dick


Maureen Hamm

Sally Knight

Species Tally – 74

Tundra Swan

Snow Goose

Canada Goose

American Black Duck


Northern Pintail

Northern Shoveler


American Wigeon



Ring-necked Duck

Lesser Scaup

Long-tailed duck

Surf Scoter

Common Goldeneye


Hooded Merganser

Common Merganser

Red-breasted Merganser

Ruddy Duck

Common Loon

Horned Grebe

American White Pelican

Double-crested Cormorant

Great Blue Heron

Black Vulture

Turkey Vulture

Bald Eagle

Northern Harrier

Cooper’s Hawk

Red-shouldered Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk

American Kestrel



Ring-billed Gull

Herring Gull

Great Black-backed Gull

Forstern’s Tern

Rock Pigeon

Mourning Dove

Belted Kingfisher

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

Northern Flicker

Blue Jay

American Crow

Fish Crow

Horned Lark

Carolina Chickadee

Tufted Titmouse

White-breasted Nuthatch

Brown-headed Nuthatch

Carolina Wren

Golden-crowned Kinglet

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Eastern Bluebird

American Robin

Northern Mockingbird

Brown Thrasher

European Starling

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Chipping Sparrow

Savannah Sparrow

Song Sparrow

White-throated Sparrow

Dark-eyed Junco

Northern Cardinal

Red-winged Blackbird

Eastern Meadowlark

Common Grackle

American Goldfinch

House Sparrow

Fredericksburg Canal and River Walk Trip Report – April 29, 2017

Tuesday, May 16th, 2017

Fifteen club members turned out for our walk along the Fredericksburg canal and Rappahannock River this past Saturday.  We were lucky to have Andrew Dolby, Chair of Biological Sciences, at UMW and an expert birder, as our leader.  We gathered at the small parking lot on Fall Hill Road at 7:30am and quickly started to tally our first birds of the day – Gray Catbird, Eastern Phoebe, Northern Cardinal, and a beautiful Scarlet Tanager at the top of a tree across the road from us.

We proceeded to cross Route 1 and walk along the canal, past FOR headquarters, and towards the river.  The day started misty, but the skies cleared quickly and the humidity rose steadily along with the temperature.  The birds didn’t seem to mind and the bird chatter was challenging our rusty “birding by ear” skills.  Luckily we had Andrew to help us tease out the different bird songs we were hearing and add them to our growing list.  Some birds we heard, but didn’t see, were Rose-breasted Grosbeak, White-eyed Vireo, Wood Thrush and a Black-throated Blue Warbler.  Along the canal, we had several Eastern Kingbirds, posing nicely at eye level, a magnificent male Wood Duck on the water, a pair of Common Yellow-throats, several Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, Carolina Chickadees using a natural nest cavity and a single Cedar Waxwing – odd to see one all by itself.

We took a trail through the woods that led down to the river where we saw a pair of Canada Geese and a pair of Mallards hanging out together, Double-crested Cormorants flying by and a Bald Eagle soaring above.  We then watched as an Osprey took off from its perch and dove down into the river coming up with a fish in its talons and Jim Hazzard was able to catch the whole sequence.

Out next stop was along River Road where we watched Tree Swallows hawking bugs above the river, and picked up House and American Goldfinch, along with European Starling, Brown-headed Cowbird and a House Sparrow.  Andrew saw a Yellow-billed Cuckoo fly across the road and disappear into the thick scrub at the river edge.  We tried to find it but no luck.  We did get to see a Blackpoll Warbler working its way up a tree, busy feeding, after its long migration north.

From here we drove over to Old Mill Park where we got good looks at a male Baltimore Oriole.  Our attention was then drawn to where several birds, including American Crows, were mobbing some unfortunate bird in the thick undergrowth.  They achieved their intent as we watched a raptor decide to give up and get out of dodge.

All agreed it was a fun day – good weather, great company and a total of 57 species, including 9 warbler species.


Andrew Dolby

Bev and Jim Arnold

David and Georgia Patton

Elton and Fritzi Schwemmer

Jeremy Larochelle

Alton Dick

Nancy Verity

Brenda Chase

Mike Lott

Mark Miller

Jim Hazzard and Sally Knight

Pope’s Creek Outing Trip Report – January 21, 2017

Saturday, February 25th, 2017

By Scott Byrd

Three intrepid club members gathered on this mild winter day in search of the many species of wintering waterfowl to be found in the Northern Neck of Virginia.

Our first stop of the morning was at the LaGrange sand and gravel pits in western King George County. The pits are located off LaGrange Road and are situated on private property, so observations are limited to what we can see from the roads. Typically, quite a few species of waterfowl can be seen in 3 water-filled pits during winter months. This was the case for our stop. We spent about an hour peering through scopes, spotting 13 different species of ducks, geese, and swans. Most prevalent were Canada Geese, Tundra Swans, Gadwalls, Mallard, and Ring-necked Ducks. Present in small numbers were American Widgeon, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, Canvasback, Bufflehead, Hooded Merganser, and Ruddy Duck. In addition to the plentiful waterfowl, we also spotted a Northern Harrier and a couple of Red-tailed Hawks.

From LaGrange, we headed east out VA-3 to George Washington Birthplace National Monument, where we searched for more waterfowl along Pope’s Creek and the Potomac River. We started along Pope’s Creek near the Visitor’s Center, which did not prove to be very fruitful. In this area, it was almost entirely Canada Geese and Tundra Swans. We navigated away from the Visitor’s Center along the creek where we encountered Common Goldeneye, Hooded Merganser, Ruddy Duck, and our first (but not last) hunters of the day. We finished up at GWBNM by heading over to the Potomac River. Here we found more hunters, some swimming dear, and lots of Buffleheads. This site wasn’t all waterfowl either. We also scored Bald Eagle, Belted Kingfisher, and Brown Creeper as we journeyed between viewing spots along the water.

Our final stop of the day was a little further east of VA-3 on Longwood Road, which dead ends overlooking the Potomac. As we drove down the road towards the river we were treated to an American Kestrel, which was perched on a power line and several large gaggles of Canada Geese. At the river, we saw no hunters, but did see some of our best birds of the day. Most exciting was the four Long-tailed ducks we spotted diving for food about 150 yards off shore. We also got an excellent view of a pair of Common Goldeyes, clearly seeing their distinctive yellow eyes. Also present was a single Common Loon and many Buffleheads and Ruddy Ducks. Not a bad finish to a productive day of birding.

  1. Canada Goose
  2. Tundra Swan
  3. Gadwall
  4. American Widgeon
  5. Mallard
  6. Northern Shoveler
  7. Northern Pintail
  8. Green-winged Teal
  9. Canvasback
  10. Ring-necked Duck
  11. Bufflehead
  12. Common Goldeneye
  13. Long-tailed Duck
  14. Common Loon
  15. Hooded Merganser
  16. Ruddy Duck
  17. Great Blue Heron
  18. Double-created Comorant
  19. Bald Eagle
  20. Northern Harrier
  21. American Kestrel
  22. Red-tailed Hawk
  23. Ring-billed Gull
  24. Belted Kingfisher
  25. Red-bellied Woodpecker
  26. Northern Flicker
  27. Blue Jay
  28. American Crow
  29. Fish Crow
  30. Brown Creeper
  31. Carolina Wren
  32. American Robin
  33. Northern Mockingbird
  34. Yellow-rumped Warbler
  35. Dark-eyed Junco
  36. White-throated Sparrow
  37. Northern Cardinal
  38. Red-winged Blackbird
  39. American Goldfinch

Sky Meadows Fall Trip – October 29, 2016

Saturday, November 26th, 2016

By Jim Goehring

Predictions of good weather were more than met for our outing to Sky Meadows State Park. Blue skies, few clouds, temperatures in the sixties and seventies, and remarkably no wind made for a splendid day with wonderful views and good birds. Participants included Bob Hunt, Jim Goehring, and Mike Lott (leader). We walked both the Sherman’s Mill trail and the loop composed of the Rolling Meadows and Old Pasture Trails.skymeadows1

A few singing Eastern Meadowlarks greeted us as we drove into the Bridal Trail portion of the park. Shortly after arriving at the parking lot, we were immediately treated to a Broad-winged Hawk flying over. A second Buteo followed a few minutes later, though we were not able to make a definite ID.  Later in the day, we were treated to a mixed kettle of Red-tailed Hawks (5) and vultures, and a initially high distant accipiter turned out to be a Cooper’s hawk as it passed overhead flying southward. An adult and juvenile Bald Eagle, and a beautiful juvenile Northern Harrier rounded out the day’s raptor sightings. The latter with its fairly unmarked reddish breast was seen sitting on a fence post towards the end of the day. It allowed for a relatively close approach, offering great views.

In the woods along the Shearman’s Mill Trail we saw and heard numerous Golden-crowned Kinglets, which we suspect were more numerous than our count of fifteen suggests. Some came down low offering wonderful views of their golden crowns. In comparison, only two Ruby-crowned Kinglets were seen on the trip. At the same time, a fairly steady stream of Canada Geese flocks passed along the pasture side of the trail heading northward towards the various ponds and fields. It was here also that we encountered a Hermit’s Thrush, our first Yellow-bellied Sapsucker of the day, and a Brown Thrasher.

Bob departed befoskymeadows2re Mike and I headed down the Rolling Meadows trail. While sparrows were not numerous, the loop offered two a wonderful chorus of a pair of Barred Owls hooting back and forth with one another at mid-day. We added at least two Red-headed Woodpeckers (heard only) to our list along the Old Pasture trail, giving us a seven-woodpecker day.

A total of 45 Species were either seen or heard on the trip.  The list and counts follows. The sonorous croaking of the three Common Ravens we saw and heard was delightful.

Blue Jays were numerous throughout the day, and a few flocks of Red-winged Blackbirds, mostly female, added up. White-throated Sparrows were certainly more numerous than our count suggests, as their numbers likely explain the frequent rustling heard in the underbrush. Surprisingly only two Yellow-rumped Warblers were seen for the day.

Great Blue Heron 3
Canada Goose 172
Turkey Vulture 8
Black Vulture 9
Bald Eagle 2
Red-tailed Hawk 6
Broad-winged Hawk 1
Buteo, unidentified 1
Cooper’s Hawk 1
Northern Harrier 1
Mourning Dove 4
Barred Owl 2
Belted Kingfisher 1
Red-headed Woodpecker 2
Red-bellied Woodpecker 5
Pileated Woodpecker 2
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 2
Downy Woodpecker 4
Hairy Woodpecker 1
Northern Flicker 4
Blue Jay 34
American Crow 13
Common Raven 3
Carolina Chickadee 6
Tufted Titmouse 2
White-breasted Nuthatch 6
Carolina Wren 8
Golden-crowned Kinglet 15+
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 2
Eastern Bluebird 7
Hermit Thrush 1
American Robin 5
Gray Catbird 1
Northern Mockingbird 8
Brown Thrasher 1
European Starling 8
Yellow-rumped Warbler 2
Eastern Towhee 3
Song Sparrow 15
Swamp Sparrow 7
White-throated Sparrow 34+
Field Sparrow 1
Northern Cardinal 10
Red-winged Blackbird 60+
Eastern Meadowlark 3
American Goldfinch 4