Virginia Beach, VA, December 6-8, 2013
The VSO annual field trip to Virginia Beach will be held Friday, December 6 through Sunday, December 8, 2013. The kick-off for the weekend will be a Friday afternoon trip to Pleasure House Point led by Rexanne Bruno for those arriving early. Other field trips include a visit to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel (CBBT) on Saturday morning, a Saturday afternoon trip to Fisherman Island led by USFWS volunteers from Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge, and a tram ride at Back Bay NWR and False Cape State Park on Sunday morning. For additions to the schedule & updates, please check back for additions to the schedule & updates.
It is important to register for the field trips as participation is limited. Register with the trip coordinator, Lee Adams by email by November 15. Include your name, e-mail address & cell phone number, and the field trips you are requesting. Please put VSO VA Beach trip in the subject line of the email.
There will be blocks of rooms available at three oceanfront Choice Hotels with a variety of accommodations to suit everyone.
- Quality Inn & Suites (VA314) Eighth Street and Atlantic Avenue Virginia Beach, VA 23451
- (757) 428-8935 / FAX (757) 425-2769 $58 + tax Reserve by November 11 2013.
- Comfort Inn at the Beach (VA563) 2321 Atlantic Avenue Virginia Beach, VA 23451
- (757) 491-2400/ FAX (757) 491-8204 $69 + tax Reserve by November 15, 2013
- Comfort Inn and Suites Oceanfront (VA440) 2015 Atlantic Avenue Virginia Beach, Virginia 23451(757) 425-8200/ FAX (757) 425-6521 $79 + tax. Reserve by November 15, 2013. To get the VSO rate you must mention Virginia Society of Ornithology when you call to reserve your room.
Rexanne Bruno of Virginia Beach & Lynchburg, will be leading a trip to a new hot spot, Pleasure House Point. Meet at Pleasure House Point at 1:00. The address for Pleasure House Point Natural Area is 3957 Marlin Bay Drive, Virginia Beach, Virginia 23455. Directions from hotel area would be: north on Atlantic Ave which becomes Shore Dr, continue about 6 miles on Shore Dr and cross Lesner Bridge, after you cross the bridge go about 3/4 mile and turn left onto Marlin Bay Dr, park along the street and meet group there to walk trails at this newly acquired natural area.
Let’s explore the dining options at the beach & eat together if you wish. Suggestions appreciated.
Morning on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel
The Saturday field trip to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel (CBBT) will leave promptly at 8:00 AM from the parking lot of the CBBT visitor center. Participants must meet & check in at the CBBT office at 7:30 AM. Participants should bring spotting scopes, lunch, snacks, and beverages and be prepared for winter weather. Participation will be limited to the first 45 who sign up since there is a requirement to pay a security guard to accompany each group of 15. The fee is $10 per person for the cost of the security guard; please bring cash so that the fee can be paid to CBBT Sunday morning. A security information form, is required for each person who registers for the trip. Please fill out & mail to me page 2, which is headed: "Each individual in this Group must provide the following information:" Mail to: Lee Adams, Box 1671, Fredericksburg, VA 22402 Lee will fill out the group information on the applications.
Field trip to Fisherman Island will meet at 1:30 PM at the Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge visitor center. 32205 Seaside Road Cape Charles, Virginia 23310 Phone: 757-331-3425.
After a brief orientation we will shoehorn into vehicles for the ride to FI. Parking is very limited at the site. Between 25 & 35 people can attend this walk, contingent on tight carpooling. It is a 3+ mile round trip walk, some of it in soft sand.
Back Bay NWR and False Cape State Park
The tram trip at BBNWR will begin at 8:00 AM.This will be a half day trip. Participants should bring spotting scopes, lunch, snacks, and beverages. After a leisurely tram ride with stops to view a myriad of shorebirds and waterfowl, a good amount of time will be spent birding and lunching at False Cape State Park. Participants may want to stop at the beach in Sandbridge to check out the birds before departing the area. Birds seen on this trip could include both swans, American Bittern, Wilson’s Snipe and numerous waterfowl. This trip is limited to the first 24 to register. Please bring $10 cash, or checks made out to VSO.
Craney Island Sunday, December 8 from 2:00 PM to 4:30 PM
Please email Lee Adams for a spot. There are slots for 20 people. We will meet at 1:45 PM at the intersection of River Shore Road & Hedgerow Lane in Portsmouth, & start the field trip at 2:00 PM sharp.
NEW and VERY Important! Starting January 1, 2014 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 2014. 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.
Make plans to join trip leaders Bill Akers, Jerry Via and Lee Adams at the Outer Banks of North Carolina February 7-9 for the VSO’s Winter field trip. We always have great waterfowl, shorebirds and raptors, along with a wide assortment of land birds. Back by popular demand, we're offering the optional Friday trip to Lake Mattamuskeet, led by VSO field trip co-chair Lee Adams.
To help us plan for the weekend, please register in advance. Provide the names of participants in your party with a telephone number and email address so we can contact you if needed. Register with Meredith Bell, trip coordinator, at merandlee_AT_gmail.com or 804-824-4958.
Important! Please bring FRS (two-way) radios if you have them because this helps us stay in contact in our caravans when calling out bird sightings.
The Comfort Inn South Oceanfront in Nags Head will be the trip headquarters again this year. Everyone had great feedback about this facility and agreed it’s much better than the other Comfort Inn. The two elevators are right off the lobby, and there are 7 floors. Also, there’s a huge deck off the second floor, which offers great beach-viewing opportunities. The special VSO room rate is $67 for oceanfront and $62 for bay-view plus tax. Ocean front rooms are available on a first come, first served basis. The 7th floor bayside rooms offer a panoramic view of the bay but do not have balconies. This hotel is also just two blocks from Jennette’s Pier, a 1,000-foot long, 24-foot wide pier that will allow you to get amazingly close to the ocean birds! Contact information for the hotel is: 8031 Old Oregon Inlet Road, Nags Head, NC 27959; Phone: 252-441-6315; fax 252-441-2868. Reservations must be made by January 23, 2012 to get the special VSO rate.
A complimentary breakfast buffet breakfast is included with your stay, beginning each morning at 6:30 AM. Participants should bring lunch provisions for Friday (optional trip) and Saturday. For dinner there are many fine restaurants in the area.
A program of events and announcements will be available at the front desk on Friday. Lee Adams will lead the day-trip to Lake Mattamuskeet. Last year we spotted 95 species, including Black-crowned Night Herons, 6 warbler species, 6 woodpeckers species, and a nice assortment of ducks, with two unusual hybrids - Blue-winged x Cinnamon Teal and American Black Duck x Mallard. Meet in the hotel lobby at 7:15 AM for 7:30 departure. Expected driving time to our destination is 90 minutes. Bring snacks, beverage, and lunch. Also, bring camp or lawn chair to enjoy a break while eating lunch. Those interested will stop at Alligator River on the return trip to listen for Short-eared Owls at dusk.
Friday evening we’ll have an orientation and slide program at 8:00 PM in the Neptune Room on the 2nd floor at the end of the hall. Complimentary coffee and tea will be available. There is no bar in the hotel but you can BYOB.
All day will be spent visiting the impoundments of Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge and the beaches of Cape Hatteras National Seashore. The generally milder climate and the proximity of the Gulf Stream make for an interesting combination of wintering waterfowl, shorebirds, ocean birds and sometimes whales. We will divide into smaller groups for a safer caravan experience, but every group will visit all areas. Be sure to bring lunch.
Saturday evening there will be a tally at 6:30 PM in the Neptune Room on the 2nd floor at the end of the hall. Complimentary coffee and tea will be available. There is no bar in the hotel but you can BYOB.
We’ll explore to Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. The trip will depart from the hotel at 8:00 AM, giving those wishing to continue straight home from the field trip time to check out of their rooms.
Come prepared for variable weather, lots of birds and a good time. If you have any questions, contact field trip coordinator Meredith Bell at 804-824-4958 or merandlee_AT_gmail.com.
NOTE: If you choose to hand type email address replace _AT_ with @, otherwise click on the email link.