Handlan Past Field Trips: 2023
2023 Past outings
2023 Trip Reports
May 8th, 2023:
5:00pm. Annual Picnic at Coonskin Park, Charleston.
Bird walk 5pm, meal 6-7pm, bring a covered dish to share and your BINOCULARS. End of the year business meeting will follow.
SHELTER #20 is in the upper park around the circle.
Thursday, May 4 at 8.30 am. Join us for a morning birding the Ester and Norman Walters Nature Park in Putnam County. This park is on the ridge above the Amherst/Plymouth WMA, and should have lots of spring migrants. Be prepared to walk 1-2 miles on a dirt trail (can be muddy). Check the weather and dress appropriately. Bring snacks, water and sun protection.
Directions. - From the intersection of Rt. 62 and 34, a mile “or so” east of the Winfield/Eleanor bridge (and look for the osprey nest as you cross the bridge), go up the hill on Rt. 34 for a few miles and turn right on to Wilkie Road, which looks like a driveway between two houses. Go a few hundred feet or so, pass the park sign on the right, go another quarter mile and turn into a gravel driveway/parking area on the left.
Russ Young's 2023 Spring Hill Cemetery Bird and Nature Walks April 23rd & 30th ~ May 7th & 14th
Mammoth Preserve Saturday April 29th. Birding in eastern Kanawha County on Saturday morning and early afternoon.
Mammoth is the area owned by the WV Land Trust that many of us visited last fall to learn about the project and also begin an inventory of birds.
Winfield Locks and Dam in Eleanor Thursday April 27th. 8.30am. Meet me in the Dam’s parking/picnic area after turning off Route 62. (Make sure you are on the Eleanor side of the river, across from Winfield.) I plan to walk into “Prairie Warbler City” up “on top, so be prepared to walk 1-2 miles on flat dirt tracts. Also looking for orioles, sparrows, and others. Bring binoculars, as well as sun block, snacks and water. Dress appropriate for the weather.
Osbra Eye Spring Nature Walks:
Saturday, April 22nd. Participants can choose from nine different walks and activities, all of them led by expert naturalists. Registration for the walks begins at 8:30 a.m. in front of the Nature Center (former swimming pool facility). The walks begin at 9:00 and continue until about noon. Cost is $7 for adults, $2 for ages 12 - 18, under 12 free.
Topics for the walks include Wildflowers; Birds; Geology; Aquatic Life; Birds and Blooms; Medicinal Plants; Insects/Pollinators; History of mining in Kan. St. Forest; and an Exercise Hike.
The Aquatic Life activity is interesting for all ages, but it's an especially good way to connect kids with nature. Participants will have the chance to get in the stream with nets and help collect life forms that will be identified by an aquatic biologist from the WV DEP. If you plan to get in the stream, bring clothes that you don't mind getting wet, or stay dry and see what others have found.
There will be some loaner binoculars available. There will also be a focus on identifying birds by their distinctive songs.
Some of the walks are slow and easy, with discussion stops along the way, and others involve steeper trails and more exertion. There should be a topic and difficulty level to suit everyone.
Hungry Beech Preserve. April 20th 8:30AM at the 'Park and Ride' lot at the Mink Shoals exit 1 off I-79, north of Charleston. The 'Park & Ride' lot is on the northwest corner of the interchange.
Be prepared to share a ride or caravan to the preserve.
Hungry Beech Preserve has been owned by The Nature Conservancy since the 1970’s, is open to the public, and has a mix of outstanding forest and meadows. The Conservancy has asked for help surveying bird species, especially breeding species.
We’ll be walking 2-3 miles in a meadow and also on a “remnant” forest trail that has NOT been maintained. We’ll probably be on the site 9:30AM - noon, so bring snacks, water, and sunscreen. Bring a chair if you’d like to sit in the meadow and bird. Bring pruners if you’d like to help do a little light clearing of the trail.
I hope that folks will visit the preserve this spring and summer to contribute their bird sightings to eBird. The main interest for this survey is the maintained fields, to see if our late season hay cutting is providing the habitat we are looking for. It would be good to plan additional late season surveys to make sure birds have fledged prior to hay cutting. If folks are interested in adding additional data in the forested area that would be fine.
Hungry Beech Preserve: Directions ~ Directions & Map
Marmet Locks & Dam. Thursday April 13th Rick Gregg will lead a walk, meet at the gazebos at 8:30am on the Belle side of the river. Weather permitting, we will make a mile loop around the proposed Mary Ingles Memorial Trail. The Ospreys are building a nest and seen daily. The eagles are seen from time to time.
Rattlesnake Hollow: April 6th 8.30 am. We’ll meet at Kanawha State Forest (where the DNR warehouse is) on the right about a mile from the park entrance. Check the weather before heading out (might be raining), dress appropriately, bring water and snacks and be prepared to walk/hike 3+/- miles on dirt tracks. All are welcomed. I’ll have a few binoculars to loan.
We’ll be looking for the “early birds”, LA Waterthrush, Yellow-throated Warbler, Blue-headed Vireo, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher. And lots of spring wildflowers. Laura
Ridenour Park in Nitro, join Laura and other members of the Handlan Chapter this Thursday, March 30 at 8.30 for a couple hours birding. Meet in the parking area across the dam. Dress appropriate for the weather, bring water and snacks, and be prepared to walk 1-2 miles on gravel and dirt trails (and a little mud) as we walk around the lake. All are welcome!
Meadowood Park near Tornado, March 23, at 8.30 am. Meet in the dirt parking area on the left of Pettigrew Lane just after turning off of Smith Creek Road. We’ll look for birds on the Coal River as well as early early spring migrants (i think it is actually spring today despite what the thermometer shows). As always, check the weather before heading out, and dress appropriately. Bring binoculars (I’ll have a few to loan out too), snacks and water. Be prepared to walk 1-2 miles on pavement, dirt trails and grass.
Winfield Locks and Dam in Eleanor, 8.30 am Thursday, March 16. Meet me in the Dam’s parking/picnic area after turning off Route 62. (Make sure you are on the Eleanor side of the river, across from Winfield.) Be prepared to walk 1-2 miles on flat pavement and dirt tracts. Bring binoculars and scopes, if you have them, as well as snacks and water. Dress appropriate for the weather. All are welcome to join me! Laura Ceperley
Forks of Coal State Natural Area looking for birds at 8.30 am, Saturday, March 11. We will be looking for our late winter visitors as well as any early “first of year” spring migrants. Check the weather before heading out and dress appropriately. Bring your binoculars, water and snacks. We’ll have a few bins to loan out too. Be prepared to walk 1-2 miles on pavement and dirt trails. All are welcome!
Rick Gregg is leading a walk 8:30am, Thursday, March 9th at Marmet Locks. Details on our Goggle Calendar.
Spring Beauties and Wood Frog eggs — must be early spring! Join Laura at 8.30 am this Thursday, March 2 at Little Creek Park, S. Charleston, for a few hours of birding, looking for winter wrens, kinglets and pine warblers. Meet at the first shelter — drive into the park, down and back up the “dip”, then pull into the parking area for the first shelter on the left. Be prepared to walk/hike 2-4 miles on trails and pavement (depends on the interest of the group). Check the weather and dress appropriately. Bring snacks, water and binoculars (I’ll have some loaners). All are welcomed.
3/30/23: Great morning at Ridenour Lake yesterday morning with nine from the Handlan Club along with about 50 anglers hoping for a golden trout (they were stocked earlier this week). And sure enough, the Great Blue Heron caught one of them (at least I thought it’s fish looked gold)— i just hope the bird gets a free lifetime WV fishing license. We were amid a flutter of Golden Crown Kinglets (and Kevin also saw a Ruby Crown), plus lots of White Throated Sparrows. Heard our first Blue Headed Vireo and a couple Yellow-throated Warblers, and last bird seen was a lone Northern Rough-winged Swallow. Look for directions for next Thursday’s outing to Kanawha State Forest, listening for waterthrushes. Laura
3/23/23: Thanks to the 12 who joined me at Meadowood Park last Thursday for a great morning, especially considering the windy weather that was approaching us for Friday and Saturday. We added 3 fine-looking Black Vultures to the species list in eBird for this hotspot, bringing the total to 90 species, of which 11 have been added this last year by club members. (Only 11 more species to get the total over 100!). It was also great to see two Ospreys carrying nesting materials, hear my FOS Brown Thrasher, and watch several Tree Swallows flashing over the Coal River. Welcome back!
2/25/23: Nine folks came to bird in Ward Hollow, the restricted Dow lands in S. Charleston. Tough group, especially considering the cold rain. Despite fogged glasses, bins and scopes, we had a good collection of water birds, AND we were blessed with a Fox Sparrow, first one for me in a couple years. Also, Wood Frog eggs! Thanks to Chuck Wirts for organizing.
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