This year we need your pledge to help the following organizations that the Beckham Bird Club Board selected as recipients of grants from the 2017 BBC Birdathon. You will be contacted either by email or a phone call so please say YES. Just make a pledge of a set sum or an amount for every bird that is counted on birdathon day by the person you sponsor. After birdathon day you will receive an account of the day and information about where to send your pledge.
The following are the recipients of the 2017 BBC Birdathon:
ORGANIZATION - PLAN FOR GRANT
Creasy Mahan - To purchase an “interactive Document Camera” to allow students close views of items like feathers, eggs, nests etc. without passing them around.
KY State Nature Preserves Commission - For active management of grasslands at Eastview Barrens SNP.
KY Natural Lands Trust - For land acquisition in the Pine Mountain Wildlands Corridor.
Raptor Rehabilitation of KY, Inc. - To present 10 educational programs to schools
KY Resources Council - To support work on environmental & energy policy
KY Conservation Committee - For land protection funding education & KY biodiversity education projects.
Jefferson Memorial Forest - For educational programs and to replace invasive with native plants on one acre.
Louisville Nature Center - To provide educational programs on-site & off-site & general overhead costs.
The Mary E. Wharton Nature Sanctuary at Floracliff, Inc. - To aid in campaign to purchase 60 acres to fully protect the last quarter mile of Elk Lick Creek as well as forest land along the KY River Palisades, an important corridor for migratory birds.
2016 Birdathon Results
BECKHAM BIRD CLUB BIRDATHON May 6, 2016 AND THEY’RE OFF! Yes, the 2016 birdathon is underway. It is 6:30 a.m. and we set forth to find every possible species under the Kentucky sun! It will prove to be a “HO, Hum” kind of day. There was very little song and not many migrants to be found. But we would persevere to the end – too tired to go any further. Come join us as we go. There are lots of questions to be answered by you as we travel the highways and byways. Would you believe that we traveled over a hundred miles throughout this long day?? On our way to Pope Lick Park we would count several birds along the way – Red-tailed Hawks high up on the utility poles, Rock Pigeons under every by-pass, Crows and Starlings flying overhead.
As we near the park Fog covers the fields and roads, but, thank goodness, it quickly dissipated and was not a problem in seeing the birds. Waiting for us at the Park is Rob Lane, a wonderful birder who recognizes bird songs. He will be with us for part of the day and, boy, did we need his help. This beautiful park is part of the Parklands of Floyd Fork. If you haven’t been to the Parklands, put it on your bucket list. I guess everyone has a bucket list. What do you think?? We love birding these parks as there are so many wonderful neotropical migrants that make their summer home here. At Pope Lick we are looking especially for two beautiful warblers. We set out to walk the trail and before long we are hearing and seeing Field Sparrows, Eastern Towhees, Indigo Buntings, and Goldfinches. Soon after starting the trail, we find a beautiful little warbler. Its head and underparts are yellow. It has a black line through its eyes. It wings are blue-gray with two white wingbars. Okay, have you guessed its name?? I bet you have! Here is the answer: a Blue-winged Warbler. But, Wait! What do we hear in the distance a Black-billed Cuckoo, a great bird to add to our list. We would also find Yellow-billed Cuckoo. I really like Cuckoos. How about you?? Another truly delightful warbler that nests along the creek is the Prothonotary. How lucky we are to have it here in Jefferson County. As we progress along the trail we hear the song of the Wood Thrush and the Summer Tanager. So wonderful! There are many bluebird houses along part of the trail, but can you guess what bird occupies almost every box?? Your first two guesses don’t count, because I know that you guessed the Tree Swallow. They are such pretty birds.
Now back to the two special warblers that we are looking for here. If you have sponsored us before, you know their names. But in case you need a hint or two. One is a yellow and black streaked warbler that just has to be one of your favorites and the other bird has a yellow chest, loud song, and a funny display flight. It whistles, cackles, and chuckles and we laugh and chuckle upon hearing it. Have you guessed their names?? You’re right!! A Prairie Warbler and a Yellow-breasted Chat. I don’t want to leave the park without mentioning two other great birds – the Baltimore and Orchard Orioles. Their distinctive song makes it easy to know that they are close by and wanted to be counted. As we leave the park we have only about 45 species, a very low number in comparison to previous years. We make the decision to drive over to Beckley Creek Park and search for birds there. Along the way we stop at a yard filled with Purple Martin Houses. We quickly add Martins to our count. At the park we walk the trails, but very few migrants are out and about. We did find two new species of warblers – Black-and-white and Palm. There is a nice wetlands there where we discover Killdeer, Solitary and Pectoral Sandpipers, and Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs. But we missed out on a terrific bird that we ordinarily see every time we visit the park. Drats!!! It’s the most beautiful woodpecker that makes it home here. What is it, you ask?? The Red-headed Woodpecker. Next we decide to go to Brainard’s farm as he had reported seeing several good birds there. Although it is still kind of early hunger pains had set in so we stop at Wendy’s for carry out lunches. Arriving at the farm we eat our lunches while watching the feeders. The lunch was very tasty but only one new bird arrived at the feeder – House Finches. The trail through the woods was very slow but a Lincoln’s Sparrow was a super find.
Next we head for the mighty Ohio River. It was mighty all right! Water was flowing over the dam and covering everything. We couldn’t even find a Cormorant or a Ringed-billed Gull. DOUBLE DRATS!!! Going to the Clark’s Cabin we would see a Bald Eagle and an Osprey. That lifted our spirits a little.
Although we are well into the afternoon now onward we go. We will find several new birds at a wetlands area off of Fern Valley Road. What is your favorite shorebird??? I bet one is a little guy with richly spotted breeding plumage and bobbing tail. Do you know its name?? The Spotted Sandpiper. I kind of gave that one away, didn’t I? We found it and the Least Sandpiper here. A majestic Great Egret was also at the wetlands. But the bird of the day was one that is rare in Jefferson County. Let’s see if you can ID it. An elegant bird with immaculate white plumage with black legs and brilliant yellow feet. Breeding birds grow filmy, curving plumes. Okay, I know, those brilliant yellow feet gave it away. A Snowy Egret.
Next we’re off to Melco, a MSD retention basin. We usually add several new species to our list here. But, not a single, solitary ONE. What a bummer!! Where were the birds???? So we decide we must go on to Bernheim Forest as we need so many more birds that we hope we can find there. Chipping Sparrows are the first new bird, followed by Pine Warbler, Ovenbird, and Scarlet Tanagers. The Forest was beautiful, but not very birdy. So we head back to Louisville and decide to see if we can find the Mississippi Kite in St. Matthews. But, no way! So we call it a day. It is now 7:30 in the evening. AND we are worn out! But Birding is our thing. It is wonderful to be in the great outdoors. We continually marvel at the wonders of God’s creation. Last question: Can you guess what our final tally is??? 98 species. Again thank you so much for sponsoring us this year. Peace and joy to you all. Pat and Jane P.S. The last time we did not break the 100 species mark was in 2004 – twelve years ago.