Upcoming Field Trips

VERY Important! 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 in advance at the VSO online store or pay the registration fee on the first evening of the event.

2016 Piney Grove Preserve Announcement VSO Piney Grove Preserve Field Trip May 28, 2016

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 online at the VSO online store.

REGISTER EARLY if you want to attend. Contact Lee Adams, VSO Field Trip Co-chair, to register. Email leeloudenslageradams@gmail.com withVSO Piney Grove Trip in the subject line, or call 540-850-0777.

VSO Summer Field Trip Highland County, Virginia June 10-12, 2016

Join us in the beautiful, scenic mountains of western Virginia (aka “Little Switzerland”) for our summer field trip! Highland County is a hot spot among birders throughout Virginia, and we’re excited about the arrangements we’ve made for you on the weekend of June 10-12. Field trips will be offered Friday afternoon, all day Saturday, and Sunday morning. Trip coordinator is Meredith Bell (804-824-4958 or merandlee@gmail.com).

NOTE: Please bring a two-way radio if you have one to make communication easier among members of the same caravan.

Lodging Options

The Highland Inn at 68 West Main Street in Monterey is the only hotel, and we’ve blocked all 18 rooms. Special room rates range from $99 to $139 (plus tax), depending on the type of room you reserve. Check-in time is 2:00 PM, and check-out is 11:00 AM. There are coffee makers in all rooms and no refrigerators, but you can store food in the Inn’s large refrigerator. Call (540) 468-2143 make reservations at the Inn.

The Montvallee Motel is closed, with no re-open date set at this time. There are many other lodging options in the County, and a few are in town right on Main Street. The link to the complete list is here.

NOTE: Contact VSO member Patti Reum at pareum@gmail.com about the 2 properties she has available - South Branch Farm (sleeps up to 8) and Eagle Annie’s (sleeps 2).

Meredith and Lee Bell have already booked Rainbow Springs Retreat so they can host an afternoon field trip and social time/dinner on Friday.

If you don’t mind a 45-60 minute commute, there are also many hotel options in Staunton.

Directions to Monterey

From I-81, take Exit 225 West, Woodrow Wilson Parkway. The Parkway will take you to U.S. 250 West. Follow U.S. 250 West to Monterey. U.S. 250 becomes Main Street in Monterey.

Meals

Meals are on your own except for optional Friday dinner (see below). The Inn no longer has a restaurant, but High’s across the street serves all 3 meals. A complimentary continental breakfast is included for those staying at the Inn, and they’ll open for us at 7:00 AM on Saturday and Sunday. For Saturday’s all-day field trip, you can order sandwiches in advance from a local restaurant.

Friday afternoon and evening

1:30 PM – Meet at Forks of Water (5 miles north of Monterey on Rt 220). Located at the headwaters of the Potomac River, this spot has nesting orioles, sparrows, warblers, vireos, Least Flycatcher and Cedar Waxwing. Those staying at the Highland Inn can meet in the parking lot behind the Inn at 1:15 PM to form carpools.

Next, we’ll drive to nearby Rainbow Springs Retreat, a restored farmhouse with fantastic birding on the property. Nesting birds include both orioles, Eastern Phoebe, Yellow Warbler, Cedar Waxwing and more. Lee and Meredith Bell will lead a leisurely exploration, then host a dinner and ask each participant to chip in to cover the cost of food. Additional details will be provided to all registrants closer to the date. Bring your favorite beverage AND lawn chair. Plan to enjoy an absolutely lovely setting with views of the mountains and the songs of several bird species serenading us as sunset approaches.

Saturday Field Trip

7:45 AM - This will be an all-day field trip, so you’ll need to bring snacks, lunch and beverages. Meet in the parking lot behind the Highland Inn at 7:45 AM on Saturday to organize carpools for the day. We’ll travel north and west, covering Blue Grass Valley, Straight Fork, Laurel Fork, and Locust Springs. With the various habitats we’ll cover, we expect to see these warbler species: Canada, Blackburnian, Magnolia, Chestnut-sided, Yellow, American Redstart, Ovenbird, Black-throated Blue and Black-throated Green. Other target birds include Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Scarlet Tanager, Veery, Vesper and Grasshopper Sparrows, and Bobolinks.

Saturday Evening

Dinner is on your own.

Sunday Field Trip

7:45 AM - We’ll explore some private property in the Blue Grass area on Sunday morning (20-minute drive). Target birds include Golden-winged, Yellow, Magnolia and Chestnut-sided Warbler, Black-billed Cuckoo, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Black-capped Chickadee, Least Flycatcher and Cliff Swallow. Those staying at or near the Highland Inn will meet in the parking lot behind the Inn at 7:45 AM to form carpools.

Trip Registration

To help us plan for the number of leaders and groups we’ll need for the field trips, please register in advance. Provide the names of participants in your party, a telephone number and email address so we can contact you if needed. Register with Meredith Bell at merandlee@gmail.com or call 804-824-4958.

Chincoteague Field Trip, September 16 - 18, 2016

VERY Important! 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 in advance at the VSO online store or pay the registration fee on the first evening of the event.