Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Centennial Lake

There were more joggers than birds on this overcast, misty morning, but we were treated to many gorgeous cherry trees:
We only spotted Canada Geese, Mallards, and a Pied-billed Grebe on the lake, but noted about a dozen Yellow-rumped Warblers in the trees.  White-throats and Juncos were still found in the brush, a lone tree swallow was working the lake, Bluebirds and Flickers were near the entrance, and Red-wings were calling along the shore.

Other birds noted were Red-shouldered Hawk, Downy and Hairy Woodpecker, WB Nuthatch, a Great Blue Heron, Song, Swamp, and Chipping Sparrows. 

Last year at this time, there were lots of waterfowl on the lake, the warmer temperatures probably moved them north early.  After walking the 2.4 mile circuit with a few detours, we headed over to Mimi's Cafe for a hearty brunch.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Irvine Nature Center

We were greeted with fog and cold, which followed us during the entire the field trip.  Trip leader and excellent birder Keith Costley led us straight to the area where the LeConte's Sparrow had been seen, but it didn't make an appearance  unfortunately.  Some of the participants hiked back to see it later however.  Keith did scare up Snipe, Virginia Rail, and it was excellent habitat for Swamp, Song, Chipping, Savannah, and Fox Sparrow. 
Other birds noted were Raven, Red-tailed Hawk, Osprey, Phoebes, Cedar Waxwing, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Eastern Bluebird, and Pileated Woodpecker.

Irvine Nature Center has 116 acres of woods and meadows with walking trails, and a robust environmental education program for kids.  Adults can find a lot to do there too.  Attend their upcoming birding seminar -
Feathers in Flight on May 5th, and the annual native plant sale and seminar on August 25th.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Nature Journal Workshop

CAS board member and artist Mary Kokoski introduced a group of eager learners, including one 8 year old, to the craft of nature journaling this morning.  Enjoy a sampling of our first pencil drawings:

We then added watercolors or colored pencils:

One of Mary's drawings:

Thank you again Mary for your expert instruction, and to Oregon Ridge Nature Center for the use of their library.  You can view Mary's work on her website http://www.marykokoski.com/.  One of her pieces will be available at the silent auction at Chesapeake Audubon's 30th Spaghetti Dinner on April 28th.  Join us!