Newsletter Archive



May 2014




Annual Spring Potluck Picnic

The Handlan Chapter of the Brooks Bird Club will have the annual Spring picnic on Monday, May 19, at 6:00 at Coonskin park.

This is a potluck dinner, so bring a covered dish of your choice - main dish, dessert, or salad.  Water and ice will be provided as will plastic plates, cups, dishes, table cloths, eating utensils.

We are aiming for shelter #19, where we have used the last few years.  If for some reason #19 is not available when we get there, we will use either #18 or #20, which are in the same general area.  See the map.  At the Gorman area (on the left), turn right - pass through the gate and go up the hill - go all the way up the hill until you see several picnic shelters.  Turn right into the parking lot for shelter # 19.

Hope to see you all there.



 Spring Hill Cemetery  Bird Walks

This is a reminder that Russ will be leading the last of the Spring Hill Cemetery  Bird Walks Sunday, May 4,and May 11 at 8:00am.  Meet at the parking area near the office.  Go to for updates.

This is a really nice birding walk.  The Spring Hill Cemetery is beautiful especially this time of year. 

On the April 20th Cemetery Walk, among other birds, an Orange-Crowned Warbler was sighted!

Last spring, Russ Young found an Orange-crowned Warbler on April 21, 2013, as part of his series of spring bird walks at Spring Hill Cemetery in Charleston. This was the first record for OC Warbler in over 10 years of Russ's spring bird walks at this location.

With a Russ-led walk scheduled for this year on April 20, 2014, Jerry Westfall decided it would be worth driving down from Parkersburg to see if another OC Warbler (or maybe the same bird) showed up. Not many shared Jerry's optimism, but a mere one hour into the walk, Jerry heard a singing bird and announced, "there it is," and he took off rapidly in that direction. As it turned out, he was right. The bird sang for an extended period and came out into the open, giving everyone excellent views. Now Jerry is planning to seek a Connecticut Warbler at a time and location where it was observed last year. It will be interesting to see if this strategy works twice in a row.





Century Count Week

Starting this Saturday, the Handlan Chapter of the Brooks Bird Club will be conducting our Century Count Week, May 3 through May 11.  This is the most active time of the birding year, when a great variety of species can be observed, as our year-round birds are nesting, some of the neo-tropical migrants have returned to our area to nest, and other neo-tropical migrants are moving through our area to nest further north (like Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, which Bev Wright just reported at her feeders).  All the male birds are in their bright, breeding colors and are singing enthusiastically.
So the goal of our Century Count week is to see how many species of birds we can collectively observe during this time period.  Getting out during this special week is a great chance to see birds (and wildflowers, butterflies, etc.) and practice and develop your birding skills.
To participate, just keep track of all the species of birds you see during this time period.  You don't have to count individual birds, just species (for instance, not 42 cardinals, just: cardinal).  Then e-mail your list to me, and I'll compile our collective list.  We'll discuss the results at our May bird club meeting.  If you visit a variety of different habitats (forest, forest edge, ponds, wetlands, fields, etc.), you're likely to see a greater variety of birds.  Unlike the Christmas Count, we aren't limited to birding within a small circle.  Anywhere withing the greater Kanawha Valley/Ohio River Valley area is fair game.
Russ Young will be leading his Spring Hill Cemetery walks on the two Sundays that fall within the count week.  Meet at 8:00 at the cemetery office for those counts.
Please let me know if you have any questions. 
Happy Birding!

Jim Waggy



Some Local Sitings


    From Doren Burell:

Went to the Rockcamp Branch section of the Mary Ingles Trail in Kanawha State Forest on Sunday.  This small stream valley is in a remote portion of the Forest with a separate entrance from, and is less visited than, the main areas of KSF.  In two hours of gentle strolling we encountered 33 species of birds, with good looks at some Worm-eating Warblers singing, a couple of Pine Warblers, a Wood Thrush, and a first-year Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker still hanging around and worrying a few dead branches.  This also marked the first time we heard an Acadian Flycatcher this season.

Later, on the way home, I heard a Warbling Vireo along the Elk River just outside of Charleston.

Red-tailed Hawk      1
Red-bellied Woodpecker  3
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker  1
Downy Woodpecker      1
Pileated Woodpecker      2
Acadian Flycatcher      1
Eastern Phoebe      1
Yellow-throated Vireo      5
Blue-headed Vireo      2
Red-eyed Vireo      7
Blue Jay          3
Carolina Chickadee      1
Tufted Titmouse      9
White-breasted Nuthatch  1
Brown Creeper          2
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher      5
Wood Thrush          6
Ovenbird          9
Worm-eating Warbler      3
Louisiana Waterthrush      5
Black-and-white Warbler  7
Hooded Warbler      3
American Redstart      11
Cerulean Warbler      3
Northern Parula      2
Pine Warbler          2
Yellow-throated Warbler  3
Black-throated Green Warbler  3
Chipping Sparrow      1
Scarlet Tanager      8
Northern Cardinal      3
Brown-headed Cowbird      1
American Goldfinch      2


   From Dianne Anestis:
Yesterday, April 28 around 2:30pm, I heard a Swainson's Warbler singing on circuitous territory between 
Kanawha Trail Club Lodge and Shooting Range at Kanawha State Forest near Charleston, WV.  Also heard 
Louisiana Waterthrushes in vicinity.  I can't claim to be the first to hear this particular SWWA. 
 Rumor has it that Bev Wright detected the bird a few days ago.  The bird's territory is very close to
 the southwestern boundary of the proposed Keystone No. 2 MTR.  This is also very close to where a SWWA
 was detected numerous times last year.  Same bird?  The song was more similar to the song you can hear 
in this podcast than in most recordings I have heard on the internet. 




Some upcoming topics and activities for future meetings have not all been finalized, but please put these meeting dates on you calendar.


Annual Spring Potluck Picnic at Coonskin Park May 19, 2014 - 6:00pm Shelter 19
Spring Hill Cemetery Walks May 4th and 11th - 8:00am  
Century count May 4 - 11  
Brooks Bird Club Foray June 13 - 20 See their website
September  Ice Cream Social at South Charleston Library September 15, 2014 - 6:30pm  
October  Meeting at South Charleston Library October 20, 2014 - 6:30pm Topic to be announced later
November  Meeting at South Charleston Library November 17, 2014 - 6:30pm Topic to be announced later






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