Every fall is different at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, so join us to discover the surprises that await us on this year’s annual fall VSO trip, September 16-18. Last we tallied 145 species, including a terrific combination of waterfowl, shorebirds and migrating songbirds.
Trip Registration: To help us plan for the weekend, please register in advance. Provide the names of participants in your party with your mobile number and email address so we can contact you if needed. Register with Meredith Bell, trip coordinator, at merandlee@gmail.com or 804-824- 4958. If you’re also registering for one of the bus trips to Wash Flats (see below), be sure to state your preferred day.
Headquarters The Refuge Inn on Beach Road in Chincoteague will be the host hotel (800-544- 8469 or 757-336- 5511). Room rates are $108 (plus tax) per night for a single or a double room, minimum two night stay. For those arriving a day early or staying an extra day, the rate for Thursday and Sunday nights will be $96. The Refuge Inn is non-smoking and no pets are allowed. To assure the VSO rate, make reservations by August 16 and state you are with the VSO when you call.
Meals: Meals are on your own. The Refuge Inn offers a complimentary continental breakfast for guests and will open early for us for breakfast at 7:00am. Chincoteague is known for its fine dining and you will be able to choose from any number of excellent restaurants... Click Here To Continue Reading!

(NOTE: Trip is Full as of July 15) - Craney Island Field Trip Friday, August 19, 2016. Meet at 4599 River Shore Road, Portsmouth, VA at 7:15 A.M.The field trip will run from 7:30 until 11:30. Please come prepared to car pool which is one of the prerequisites of the trip. Each car must have at least 3 people in it. 4 x 4 vehicles suggested. There is a limit of 30 participants. The Craney Island Dredged Material Management Area is an active U.S. Army Corps of Engineers civil works project. The site is located on the north side of Portsmouth, Virginia and consists of approximately 2,500 acres of dredged material management area. The site is served by a perimeter road approximately 6 miles in length located near the shoreline. Varied habitats at the site support a wide diversity of bird species. Waders, shorebirds, waterfowl, raptors and land birds take advantage of this dredge spoil site. A few species that have been seen on August field trips include: Black-necked Stilt, American Avocet, Wilson's Phalarope, Red-necked Phalarope, Whimbrel, Marbled Godwit, Blue-winged Teal, American Black Duck, Sora, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Bald Eagle, Bobolink & Black Tern. All VSO field trips will have a registration fee of $20 for NON-members only. This fee will be applied to an individual membership that will be active until the end of 2016. If 2 or more people from the same family register, the registration fee will be $25, which covers a family membership. Groups of students accompanied by their instructor are exempt... Click Here To Continue Reading!

The VSO and Center for Conservation Biology (CCB) are jointly offering a field trip to The Nature Conservancy’s Piney Grove Preserve, site of nesting Red-Cockaded Woodpeckers. Bryan Watts from the CCB will be our leader. We are given access to this protected site through CCB’s support and the cooperation of The Nature Conservancy. In recent years we have had good views of Red-cockaded Woodpeckers, nestlings and nest sites.  

We will assemble at 5:15 A.M. in the morning on May 28 at the Virginia Diner in Wakefield and leave promptly at 5:20 in carpools to Piney Grove Preserve. Because of the sensitive nature of this area, we are limited in the number of participants who can go in at one time (20 people). We will need to carpool as parking is limited on the site. This field trip will end mid to late morning. 

All VSO field trips have a registration fee of $20 for NON-members only. This fee will be applied to an individual membership that will be active until the end of 2016. If 2 or more people from the same family register, the registration fee will be $25, which covers a family membership. Groups of students accompanied by their instructor are exempt from this fee. Non-members can join... Click Here To Continue Reading!