Saturday December 2 - Northwest River Park Field Trip 9:00 AM
1733 Indian Creek Road, Chesapeake
January 26 - 28 - Weekend field trip to Blackwater NWR in Maryland, Ocean City MD, and a stop in Chincoteague NWR in VA.
This field trip is a renewal of one taken by CHAS IN 2017. We will stay at a motel in Cambridge MD on Friday night so that we can get an early start Saturday morning for our tour of Blackwater NWR. A good variety of wintering species is expected, and a rarity or two such as Golden Eagle is a possibility. Saturday afternoon we’ll visit nearby marshes including Elliott Island. Saturday night we’ll stay in a motel in Salisbury MD and travel on Sunday morning to Ocean City MD, where we will check some ponds for waterfowl, spend some time at the inlet jetties looking for eiders and other sea ducks and scanning the ocean for jaegers. On the way back to Tidewater we’ll make a deviation to Chincoteague and take a spin around the wildlife drive.
The two motels where the trip leader will be staying are: Friday night January 26, Comfort Inn & Suites, 2936 Ocean Gateway, Cambridge MD, 21613, phone 410-901-0926, rate of $140 and up; Saturday night, January 27, Hampton Inn Salisbury, 121 E Naylor Mill Rd, Salisbury MD 21804, phone 410-224-3080, rate of$130 and up. There are no group rates for this trip. Always negotiate your best price. Note that there are other motel choices in these two locations. If the suggested motels don’t suit you, you should try others. If you plan to join the group, please register with the trip leader Bob Ake, email@example.com or 757-630-5189. He is available to answer any questions. Meeting times and trip arrangements will be emailed to participants.
Recent Field Trip Reports
Saturday November 11 - York River State Park
A small group of CHAS birders enjoyed a beautiful fall morning at the park. Birds were plentiful and the scenery was spectacular, with the fall foliage at its peak. We were treated to awesome views of at least 7 Bald Eagles, with multiple eagles within view at all times, some flying within 10 yards of us! A flyover American White Pelican provided another highlight. For a full list of the 43 species seen, click here.
Saturday October 28 - New Quarter Park, Williamsburg
A joint field trip with Williamsburg Bird Club on a beautiful fall day. HIghlights include a beautiful adult male Northern Harrier hunting over the marsh within view for over 20 minutes and 2 Nelson's Sparrows. For the full list of 41 species seen, click here.
Saturday October 7 - Eastern Shore Field Trip
On October 7, 2023 a group of 11 CHAS members traveled to the Eastern shore for a birding trip led by David Clark. The first stop was the beautiful Butterfly Trail at the Refuge Visitor Center, where the air was still and the birds mostly quiet; but the group was happy to encounter a group of about 10 white ibis, plus a quick visit from a cooper's hawk, and a merlin. The group also stopped at the Edward S. Brinkley Nature Preserve where they viewed huge numbers of seabirds and shorebirds, including snowy egrets, little blue herons, black-crowned night herons, great egrets, and a little pied-billed grebe all by itself. the final stop was the hawk platform at Kiptopeke State Park, where they spotted northern harriers and American kestrels overhead and identified various warblers flitting among the branches. For a complete list of species seen click here: CHAS - Eastern Shore Field Trip October 7, 2023 - eBird Trip Report
Swifts at Sunset - May 16 2023
11 people observed the spectacular sight of 600+ Chimney Swifts flying to one chimney just after sunset. Click here for details.
Great Dismal Swamp (Washington Ditch) - April 22, 2023
20 birders enjoyed a joing Cape Henry Audubon / Virginia Beach Audubon trip to the Great Dismal Swamp. Highlights include: beautiful views of Red-headed Woodpeckers and Prothonotary Warblers and a variety of singing warblers including Black-and-White, Black-throated Green, Yellow-throated, Hooded, Yellow-rumped, Ovenbird, Northern Parula and of course numerous Prothonotary Warblers. For a full narrative report and list of species seen, click HERE
Dwarf Trillium trip to Great Dismal Swamp - March 25, 2023
16 birders enjoyed a very successful morning in the swamp. Highlights include: Peregrine Falcon; Blue-headed Vireo; Black-throated Green Warbler; Yellow-throated Warbler; Rusty Blackbird; Spotted Turtle; and a half-dozen butterfly species. For a full narrative report and list of the 43 species seen, click HERE.
New Quarter Park - February 25, 2023
Six CHAS members joined the Williamsburg Bird Club for a walk at New Quarter Park on Queens Creek. Very pretty place. Lots of bluebirds and eagles, nesting great blue herons. Lots of water birds.
Hoffler Creek Wildlife Preserve - January 14, 2023
On a cold winter morning we had 21 to show up at Hoffler; however, only 8 hardy birders made it all the way to the end at 10:15. See Saundra and Morocco's list of the 32 species seen by clicking here: https://ebird.org/checklist/S126109958
Back Bay NWR Field Trip - December 3, 2022
A hardy group of nine birdwatchers arrived at Back Bay NWR around 8 am with a light rain falling. The bay behind the visitor’s center had a nice variety of waterbirds including Ruddy Ducks, Ring-necked Ducks, a few swans, a group of coots, some Gadwall, and a Pied-billed Grebe. A walk around the parking lot and along the boardwalks produced some White-throated Sparrows, a few Yellow-rumped Warblers, a hunting Northern Harrier, more swans flying over, a Marsh Wren, an Orange-crowned Warbler, a Ruby-crowned Kinglet, and a Wilson’s Snipe.
Moving south along the road we passed two Great-blue Herons and heard a few Swamp and Song Sparrows. At that point Tracy Tate spotted a pale sparrow that was something unusual and became the bird-of-the-day. After careful study the group concluded the bird was a Le Conte’s Sparrow, a rare wintering bird to our area that breeds in the upper Midwest. The group continued south to the blind where Mallard, Black Ducks, and a Northern Pintail were added to the trip list.
Returning toward the visitor’s center we walked over the dunes to the beach where we spotted many fishing Northern Gannets plunge-diving among the large group of cormorants that were also fishing. Both Common and Red-throated Loons were seen as well as gulls, Forster’s Terns, and a flock of Red-breasted Mergansers.
The species checklist totaling 49 species can be viewed by clicking here.
NC Outer Banks Field Trip - November 26, 2022
Highlights: A large variety of waterfowl including Eurasian Wigeon; Common Gallinule; American Avocet; Marbled Godwit; and a brief appearance by a Lapland Longspur. For a complete report click CHAS OBX Field Trip - November 26, 2022.
17 people witnessed the spectacle of hundreds of Chimney Swifts rallying at sunset and entering their night roost. The chimney is located on Alson Drive across from St. Patrick Catholic School in Norfolk. It is a few stories high, and might be the largest known roosting site of Chimney Swifts in Norfolk. For a complete report, click here: CHAS Field Trip - Chimney Swifts at Sunset September 25, 2022 eBird Trip Report.
13 birders showed up on a beautiful late summer morning at Mackay Island NWR in North Carolina on Sept. 5, 2022. The caravan of cars spent 4 hours at the refuge. Highlights included great views of King Rail, Prairie Warbler, Summer Tanager, Blue grossbeaks, Red-headed woodpeckers; also, hundreds of shorebirds including plovers and sandpipers, tricolored heron, dowitcher and yellowlegs. A few ducks were seen. Complete list can be seen here:
Greensprings Interpretive Trail Field Trip - May 14, 2022
Highlights included: Rusty Blackbird; early returning migrants such as Yellow-throated Warbler, Prairie Warbler, and Louisiana Waterthrush; early butterflies including Tiger Swallowtail and Zebra Swallowtail; and a successful search for Dwarf Trillium. For a complete report, click here: CHAS Field Trip - Dismal Swamp NWR Mar. 26, 2022 eBird Trip Report
CBBT and Eastern Shore Field Trip - February 12, 2022
52 Species total - Highlights included excellent views of King Rail & Merlin, hundreds of Tundra Swans, Orange-crowned Warbler, and out-of-season Prairie Warbler and, for those who opted to continue with an impromptu addition to the outing, a cooperative Western Kingbird.