SHENANDOAH NATURALISTS
                APRIL NEWS

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I thought spring was officially here.  But on Sunday the wind chill made it feel like winter…burrrr.  It is supposed to be warmer on Wednesday. Can't wait!

A couple of weekends ago Charlie and I hosted a Boy Scout Birding Study Merit Badge workshop. We had 17 scouts!  Yesterday 8 of them went on a bird walk with Jim Smith at Abram’s Creek Wetlands.  We had a couple who I hope will become “birders”! We also saw some very interesting birds.

We will be hosting a BIRDS and BREAKFAST on April 13th at the Cool Springs Shenandoah University Campus starting at 8 am. Breakfast is free but you do need to let us know you are coming.  This is our 3rd time doing it.  Last year along with the Heron rookery and Bald Eagle's nest, we had a Barred Owl who seemed to be interested in seeing us as much as we were interested in seeing him.  Of course, the spring migration is underway so you never know what you will see! (Cool Springs is just off of Rt. 7 going east and the turn off is immediately on the left hand side after crossing the Shenandoah River bridge.)  Hope to see many of you there!
Judy
 

 

The highlight of Jim's walk on Sat. was a Blue-winged Teal.  I am not sure I have ever seen one before.  Interesting enough, we had just had the scouts on our workshop ID a Green-wing Teal.  The female in also in the picture.  Can you spot her?

 

This not a good picture but we also had an American Wigeon show up. You will need to look him up in a bird guide to appreciate how beautiful he is.

 

There is still a large flock of Ring-necked Ducks at White's Lake. Even though they have white rings of their bills, it is because of the ring that is barely visible in this photo on the female's neck (and on rare occasions on the males too) that gives them their name.

 

Charlie took this photo of the Hooded Mergansers also at ACWP. It was an very exciting day!

 

 


Last month Charlie took the photo that is on the left and labeled it a "Canvasback".  I used it with out questioning his label.  Well, he was wrong! It is a Redhead as you can clearly tell when comparing it to a "real" Canvasback on the right!  The Redhead Ducks are still at White's Lake (at least on Sat.) if you want to see them.

 


 

Northern Shenandoah Valley Audubon Society

SPRING BIRD & WILDLIFE WALKS: Abrams Creek Wetlands Preserve - Winchester, VA
Saturdays: April 13, April 27; Walks begin at 8:30am Join seasoned naturalist and current NSVAS President Jim Smith for his nature walks in the Abrams Creek area in the heart of Winchester. Meet at the Children of America's parking lot off of West Jubal Early Drive, approx. 1/2 mile west of Valley Avenue. Park at the west/right side of the lot by the woods. If you arrive late, simply walk the path until you catch up with the group. Allow approx. 2 hours for the walk. Dress for the weather and you may want to bring water, binoculars, and a camera. Walks will be cancelled in inclement weather. For more information contact Jim at 540-303-3983. No fee, no registration required. Great family activity.

 


Virginia Native Plant Society

Lot of happenings: https://vnps.org/events/  

April 27
from 9 to 2 field trip to see the Great white trilliums, along with some other varieties, bloom en masse up and down the slopes of G. Richard Thompson Wildlife Management Area in northwestern Fauquier County, where the park lies along a stretch of the Appalachian Trail. We are planning our annual trek there to see them at the end of April this year. Our hike will be at a leisurely pace, as there is an interesting mix of plants in this natural community living alongside the trilliums, but the trail is somewhat rocky and steep at places.  Again this year we will hold the hike on the day of the City Nature Challenge for the DC area, and we encourage you to join other citizen scientists by bringing a camera and uploading your pictures to the iNaturalist site.VNPS programs are free and open to the public.However, this event has LIMITED SPACE, and you must register to attend.Please click here to REGISTER.To CANCEL your registration or ask a QUESTION, please emailvnps.pot@gmail.com

August 11-15, 2019There will be a Botanical Society Field Meeting - Adams County, OH
Each year the Botanical Society of America, the Torrey Botanical Society, and the Philadelphia Botanical Club sponsor a field meeting in an area of the northeastern United States.Maximum 50 Participants - Deadline June 1, 2019
Questions – contact Bonnie Isaac – isaacb@CarnegieMNH.org

 


 

Blandy

Thursday, April 11 and Friday, April 12 9 a.m.-2 p.m. both days Wildflower Identification Workshop with Marion Lobstein and Sally Anderson who will use Newcomb's Wildflower Guide, the Flora of Virginia, and the Flora of Virginia app to identify spring wildflowers in the lab and field. Bring lunch, a 10x ocular, and books and app if you have them.FOSA and VNPS members $35, nonmembers $40 Reservations Required--Space is Limited Workshop assumes attendance both days   https://www.emailmeform.com/builder/form/m3fBd5HR09VYSz68  Use this for all Blandy registrations!
Saturday, April 13 at 10:30am to 12:13 Understory: Spring's Ephemeral Wildflowers            Jackie Bailey Labovitz, Photographer  will begin in the library with an introduction to Virginia’s spring flora using prints of her stunning photos. We’ll then walk to the Native Plant Trail to see wildflowers and mounted photos side-by-side. Prints will be available for purchase.
FOSA members $10, nonmembers $15 Reservations Required--Space is Limited

Tuesday, April 16 at 8:00pm  Nighttime Walk at Blandy Meet outside the Blandy library for a walk under the gibbous moon. With luck we will hear the chorus of spring frogs! Wear comfortable shoes, bring a flashlight, and explore Blandy after dark. No dogs please. FOSA members/UVa Alumni $10, nonmembers $15 FOSA/Alumni families $20, nonmembers $25 Reservations Required--Space is Limited

Tuesday, April 23 at 1:00pm  Small Tree Pruning & Care Prepare your trees and shrubs for the growing season. We will begin in the library with an introduction to proper pruning, tool use, and tree care. We'll then move outside for demonstrations and hands-on experience, with time for Q&A. Dress for the weather. FOSA members $10, nonmembers $15  
Reservations Required--Space is Limited

Thursday, April 25 at 1:00pm  Blandy Book Club is reading The Story of Earth: the First 4.5 Billion Years, From Stardust to Living Planet, Robert Hazen Join us for lively discussions of books on nature, natural history, personal reflection, and the environment. Participants should obtain their own copies of books and read prior to our meeting. Call 540-837-1758 ext. 287 with questions. 

Friday, April 26  Arbor Day from 11 am to 4 pm Tree of the Year Celebration. At 1 pm there will be an Arboretum Walking Tour. No dogs please. FOSA members/UVa Alumni $10, nonmembers $15 FOSA/UVa families $20, nonmember families $25 Reservations Required--Space is Limited

Friday, May 3 at 12:30pm   Annual Trillium Field Trip Our annual trip to Thompson Wildlife Management Area to see a spectacular wildflower display featuring thousand of trilliums. Meet at the Blandy library and carpool to the site. We have a group permit for this trip. FOSA members $10, nonmembers $15 Reservations Required--Space is Limited.

 


 

Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute 2019 Spring Community Lecture Series will begin this Wednesday, April 3rd                                
details on the speakers and dining hall information can be found on our website (click here

 


 

                          .Loudoun Environmental Stewardship Alliance
The whole month of April LESA will once again be celebrating Loudoun Nature Days. For a reader-friendly list view of the nature-based opportunities being offered by local groups during the month (new events will be added as details are shared), go to http://loudounnature.org/calendar/categories/member-events/loudoun-nature-days

 


 

Potomac Valley Audubon Society

Tuesday, April 2 @ 11:00 am - 2:00 pm Eidolon Nature Preserve Volunteer Workday

 Saturday, April 6 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm This Race is for the Birds  a walk/run adventure on non-technical cross country trails that wind through fields and forests of Broomgrass Organic Farm CommunityRegistration is open,

Saturday, April 6 @ 10:00 am - 1:00 pm Spring Wildflower & Botany Walk This event is free and open to the public however registration is required and will close on
Tuesday, April 2 at midnight.

Monday, April 8 @ 5:45 pm - 7:30 pm Nature Book Discussion Group For the April 8th discussion, the group selected Replacing Darwin by Nathan Jeanson. Meeting at Panera in Ranson on Oak Lee Dr off WV 9  adultprograms@potomacaudubon.org.
May – The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution by Richard Dawkins
June – The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben
July – The Nature Fix by Florence Williams
Anyone interested in discussing this book is welcome to join the group.

Monday, April 8 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm Discover Your Backyard Wilderness: A Film Screening and Discussion
Wednesday, April 10 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm Potomac Valley Audubon Society’s

Monthly Program: Compost Myths and Addressing Common Problems

Thursday, April 11 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm Natural History Workshop: Birding 101  Classroom Sessions: Thursday evenings April 11, 18, 25 & May 2. Field Trips: Saturday mornings April 13, 20, 27 & May 4. Please email any questions to Krista Hawley at adultprograms@potomacaudubon.org or call 681-252-1387. Registration: https://www.potomacaudubon.org/event/natural-history-workshop-birding-101/

Saturday, April 13 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm Natural History Workshop: Art-To-Earth, Inc presents: The Chakras & Earth

Saturday, April 13 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm Cool Spring Nature Preserve Volunteer Workday  1469 Lloyd Rd. Charles Town, WV 25414

Wednesday, April 17 @ 7:00 am - 10:00 am ‘Third Wednesday’ Bird Walk at Cool Spring Preserve  1469 Lloyd Rd. Charles Town, WV 25414

Thursday, April 18 @ 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm Stauffer’s Marsh Nature Preserve Volunteer Workday

Saturday, April 20 @ 7:30 am - 10:30 am Spring Bird Walk  at USGS Fish Health Lab, 407 Reservoir Road Leetown, WV

Friday, April 26 @ 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm Yankauer Nature Preserve Volunteer Workday

Saturday, April 27 @ 9:30 am - 11:00 am Natural History Workshop: Composting Myths and Addressing Common Problems

Saturday, April 27 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am Birds of Virginius Island Bird Walk

 


 

.Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy Programs

A Seasonal Garden & Meadow Tour in 2019. Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy has partnered with Susan Abraham of Conservation Landscapes for a series of garden and meadow tours in Waterford. 
●       Saturday, May 11, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. ●       Saturday, August 10, 9 a.m. to noon
●       Saturday, October 12, 9 a.m. to noon 
Fees: Individual sessions $20 members, $30 non-members Limit: 15 for the series, 5 for each individual session. Registration required: Sign up at https://loudounwildlife.org/events/. Questions: Contact Ann Garvey at agarvey@loudounwildlife.org.
Spring Native Plant Sale — Saturday, April 6, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Morven Park right BEFORE the main parking lot (17263 Southern Planter Lane, Leesburg). vendors: Watermark Woods Nursery, Hill House Farm and Nursery and Nature by Design. Questions: Contact Ann Garvey at agarvey@loudounwildlife.org.
 
Birding Banshee ― Saturday, April 13, 8 a.m. you’ll be dazzled by the many bird species you’ll find at the Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve south of Leesburg. Questions: Contact Joe Coleman at 540-554-2542 or jcoleman@loudounwildlife.org.

 Spring Wildflowers ― Saturday, April 13, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., Balls Bluff. Join Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy for a field trip to explore this beautiful, wooded riverside park for the early spring wildflowers that enrich the Potomac River Valley. We will also watch for early migrating birds. Limit 15. Registration required: Sign up at https://loudounwildlife.org/events/. Questions: Contact info@loudounwildlife.org.

 Birding the Blue Ridge Center — Saturday, April 27, 8 a.m. The Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship (BRCES) is a beautiful 900-acre preserve in northwestern Loudoun County.. Join the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy on our monthly walk, and see what’s there! Meet at the Education Center; BRCES is located just north of Neersville at 11661 Harpers Ferry Road (Rte 671); detailed directions at www.brces.org. Questions: Contact Joe Coleman at jcoleman@loudounwildlife.org.

 Celebrate Birds, Go Birding! —participate in our Birdathon sometime between April 27 and May 12 the peak of migration in our area.  How many species will our intrepid birders find? Would you like to join them? Support your favorite team here or form your own team by signing up hereRegistration required for all walks. To sign up for a walk, visit our calendar at loudounwildlife.org/events. Questions: Contact Joe Coleman at 540-554-2542 or jcoleman@loudounwildlife.org.

 


 

Audubon Society of Northern Virginia Classes
https://audubonva.org/classes
Apr 6, 2019 How to Lead a Bird and Nature Walk
Apr 14, 2019  at Leesylvania State Park  Birding By Ear 1, Early Season Migrants
Apr 30, 2019 Warblers
May 19, 2019 atLeesylvania State Park  Birding By Ear II, Late Spring Migrants

 


 


Dump the Pump
Friends of Blackwater, 
a non-profit conservation organization, has reported good news: The United States Forest Service has ruled against a proposal to build a massive industrial pumped storage facility on the edge of the Blackwater Canyon in West Virginia. Find out more about the efforts to protect this land and other similar initiatives HERE
 
 

Kathy’s Corner  by Kathy Bilton of PVAS