Wake Audubon Blog

NC Audubon Chapter Day Feb 6 at the Zoo

i Jan 26th No Comments by

This is a great opportunity to learn about what other Chapters as well as NC Audubon are up too!  I hope you will join us.  If interested in carpooling let Becky Desjardins know.

Here is the vital info…

Date:  February 6, 2010, 9:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Location:  NC Zoo, Asheboro

This year the meeting will focus on projects that have the greatest potential for collaboration between the state office and chapters, as well as those innovative chapter projects that could provide inspiration for other chapters.  We’re going to have short presentations from some of the state office staff, followed by highlights from chapter representatives, followed by an afternoon session that we’re calling the “bird shuffle” where you will have a chance to talk to each presenter and get more details.

We’re asking each chapter to make a short (5 minute) presentation to the group that focuses on highlights from the previous year.  We’ve sent suggestions on topics to your president and they will be coordinate the presentation.  During your chapter’s allotted time, a representative from your chapter will present a short overview of your projects, discussing the pros and cons and insights that could help other chapters determine if they would like to pursue a similar project.  In the afternoon session each staff and chapter presenter will be stationed at a table where they can answer individual questions about their program or project.

Audubon North Carolina Chapter Day, February 6, 2010

9:30 a.m.- 10 a.m

Arrival and Registration

Arrive, register, and have a bite to eat with a continental breakfast of pastries, juice, coffee and tea.

10:00-10:20 am

Welcome and Introductions

Chris Canfield, Executive Director, Audubon North Carolina (Overview of coming attractions for 2010, i.e. Pine Island, update on policy issues)

10:20-11:40 am

Highlights from ANC Staff (Approx. 20 mins. each, incl. 5 mins. for questions at end of each section)

1. Curtis Smalling: IBA Program, including Adopt an IBA update and Year of the Birds

2.  Angela Mangiameli:  Coastal Program update and coastal volunteer opportunities

3.  Andy Wood:  Update on climate change activities and overview of Diamondback Terrapin project

4.  Ida Phillips:  Update on communications program, including Share the Beach

(Moderator:  Lena Gallitano)

11:40 – 12:00 am

Junior Naturalists – Wake Audubon

Youth from the JN club will talk about their interest in the program, what attracted them to nature watching and birding, how they heard about the program and what other chapters might do to attract teenagers to Audubon.

(Moderator:  Becky Desjardins)

12:00 – 12:30 pm – Lunch

Boxed lunches will include sandwiches, cold salad, fruit, cookie and beverages for those who have registered for lunch.

12:30 – 1:15 pm

Chapter Projects – A representative from each of the chapters will spend 5 minutes discussing 2 or 3 key projects. Wake does not get to double dip so I took the number out.

Facilitator:  Lena Gallitano

1:15 – 2:45 pm

The Bird Shuffle – approx. 6 minutes per station

Each presenter, including ANC staff and chapter representatives, will have a station in the room where they will be available to talk to attendees in more depth about the connections between state office and chapters within their particular program/department.  Attendees will rotate to talk with each presenter.  A bell/buzzer will sound time each rotation. Kind of like speed dating! J

(4 staff tables and 9 chapter tables)

2:45 – 3:00 pm

Into the Future Together – Chris Canfield

How to register:

If you plan to attend please register so we can keep a head count. Once you register we will send you directions to the Zoo.  There is no cost to attend chapter day, UNLESS you want to partake of the continental breakfast and reserve a box lunch; the combined cost of the meals is $17.00 (these are offered only as a package).  If you do not wish to reserve the meals, we encourage you to bring your own breakfast and lunch.  If you do reserve the meals when you register, please mail a check to our office or bring cash or check with you the day of the event.  But please register whether you are reserving the meals or not!

To register, please e-mail Anne Brown at: agbrown@audubon.org or call her at 919-929-3899.  Please provide the following information:
Name

Email

Phone

Chapter affiliation

# of people attending

Ordering breakfast/lunch package (If you are!)  Please indicate if you prefer a vegetarian lunch.

Please register as early as possible –  deadline is February 1.

Trip Report-December Mattamuskeet Trip

i Jan 20th No Comments by

The Wake Audubon-sponsored trip to Lake Mattamuskeet took place Dec 4-6. Our group braved some inclement on Saturday as a moving weather front brought cold, intermittent rain to the area. We were able to get out for a few hours in the morning, and some in the late afternoon, and get in some decent birding in between bands of light rain and drizzle. In mid-afternoon we ate a leisurely lunch at the Hotel Engelhard, after which John Gerwin conducted a sparrow identification workshop, using specimens from the Museum’s bird collection. Thanks go to Becky Desjardins, Bird Collections Manager and Wake Audubon President, and Keith Jensen, part time Bird Collections Technician and longtime Audubon member, for pulling those specimens together – it helped fill in a rainy couple of hours with an educational and entertaining program. Much thanks go to the Hotel Engelhard staff for providing great hospitality, nice comfortable rooms, and “birder friendly” breakfasts.

Sunday dawned clear and cold, as the front had now passed. The early morning light was spectacular for viewing the thousands of Snow Geese at the Lake Landing area. The list of birds, and approximated numbers seen, are at the end. Highlights were:

Peregrine Falcon: on Friday, a few of us “early birds” were witnesses to an adult Peregrine chasing and stooping on a flying Snowy Egret over the main body of water to the east of the causeway. After half a dozen or so passes, the falcon gave up, and the Egret continued on, unharmed.

Saturday –

White Pelican – one seen by all flying west across the causeway.

Tree Swallow – we witnessed one of the most amazing congregations of swallows I have ever seen: there were tens of thousands of birds swarming overhead all day long, everywhere we went. I have never seen anything like it. Apparently feeding in advance of the approaching cold front, it was beyond any Hitchcock image, and was truly spectacular. Perhaps nearly as spectacular was the near-absence of this species the following morning, when we counted only about 25.

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher – one along the causeway.

Yellow Warbler – a short but good look at a female or immature along the causeway.

Prairie Warbler – one along the causeway, and another one or two seen Sunday a mile south.

Sunday –

Little Blue Heron – several immatures were seen, standing with Cattle and Snowy egrets, at the Lake Landing area.

Merlin – one seen each day but the best view was a flyover this morning.

Virginia Rail – a bird called right along the roadway we were walking, among some short vegetation in shallow water. Participant Alex Capaldi had a “Field Guide to Birds” application on his cell phone, which included vocalizations. He played the V. Rail to get the birds attention, which he did. We could see the “shadow” as the rail ran among the thick vegetation, very close to us. Board member Erik Thomas, donning rubber boots, went in to “bird dog” it, and successfully flushed it. The bird flew about 15’, into the wind, and only about 15’ in front of us, which allowed us all to get a great view.

Marsh Wren – always a piece of work to get into view, the group persisted and succeeded in doing so with one in a cattail patch at the Lake Landing area. Much thanks to Alex Capaldi again for using his cell phone to keep the bird’s attention, and coaxing it out several times, enough for folks to get a decent, albeit always brief, look.

Monthly meeting to be a "Whale" of a lecture!

i Jan 11th No Comments by

Join us Tuesday January 12 for our monthly meeting:
Is the Baiji gone forever? Is there hope for the Vaquita? Why are beaked whales so poorly known? Freelance marine mammal biologist and photographer Todd Pusser will share his travels among, and spectacular photos of, some of the world’s most impressive and imperiled creatures—marine mammals.

7:30 at the Museum of Natural Sciences Downtown Raleigh