This year we need your pledge to help the following organizations that the Beckham Bird Club Board selected as recipients of grants from the 2018 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 2018 BBC Birdathon:
ORGANIZATION - PLAN FOR GRANT
Sunnyside Master Gardeners Bluebird Team - Grant will be used to purchase building materials for 400 Bluebird boxes.
Earth & Spirit Center - To make a 21-acre nature preserve to promote birding, education and wildlife habitat enhancement. Purchase bird boxes and wildflowers around a wetlands.
KY State Nature Preserves Commission - For active management of grasslands to promote suitable habitat for many birds.
KY Natural Lands Trust - For land acquisition in the Pine Mountain Wildlands Corridor.
Raptor Rehabilitation of KY, Inc. - To present educational programs to schools.
Bernheim Forest - To continue Golden Eagle tracking and research, continue monitoring and data collection.
KY Conservation Committee - For land protection funding education & KY biodiversity education projects.
Louisville Nature Center -To provide educational programs on-site & off-site for schools, senior homes and libraries.
2018 Birdathon Results
BECKHAM BIRD CLUB BIRDATHON MAY 6, 2018
Bright orange eyes shine in the glow of our headlights! On each side of the road we hear birds calling their names over and over again. It is early on a foggy Sunday morning and Whip-poor-wills and Chuck-will’s-widows are calling. The bright eyes belong to the Whips which are right beside the road. What a thrill to hear these birds. We got up at the ungodly hour of 4 a.m. just to be here. Where is here? Well, we are once again on Harrison Fork Road along the boundary of Bernheim Forest to start our 2018 birdathon. We had to ford the Fork two times, but, boy, was it worth it! Not one but two Screech Owls come into a taped call. It was getting light enough to see the birds perched in the tree above us. Soon after a Barred Owl appears and begins to call “Who Cooks For You?” No one was cooking for us which was too bad as our bowls of cereal already seemed like a long time ago. Much to our delight it called for many minutes even after we went on down the road. Dawn is slowly creeping over the land and the air soon becomes filled with birdsong. Stepping over a low gate we enter the Forest. A beautiful Blue-winged Warbler is close by. We had no problems identifying a Chat as it was calling it loud happy song. And, much to our surprise, a Common Nighthawk was already flying around the field catching insects for its breakfast. Soon we are back at the car ready to look for a very special warbler that had been found along the road in previous years. Yes, we once again find a male Cerulean Warbler. Not to be out done a pretty little female Golden-winged Warbler makes an appearance. Slowly but surely we are making our way to the end of Harrison Fork Road with many stops along the way to see what we can find. We hope you are wildflower enthusiasts as we are. For all at once Pat calls out, “Oh, Stop! See right next to the road!” Soon we are all looking at 4 or 5 Yellow Lady Slippers! We were so thrilled to find this very special plant still in bloom. There are so many wonderful things to see when you are outdoors. We love it all!
It is only 8:50 in the morning when we finally reach Hwy 245, but we have tallied 55 species including 16 species of warblers. What a great start to our birdathon!
Our next stop is the Jim Beam Lake adjacent to Bernheim. Lagging a little behind the group I enjoyed a close-up and personal look at a Chat. Did you know that the Chat is no longer considered a warbler? This large songbird is the only member of the family Icteriidae. That sounds impressive, doesn’t it? BUT, we wish it was still a warbler. We add several new species along the road and on the lake. Here we find our first hummer!
Then it is time to head to the Valero Gas Station where we had parked our car. In an open area behind the store two Northern Waterthrushes are singing up a storm. A Swainson’s Thrush puts in an appearance. You never know where birds are going to show up. Driving into Bernheim proper we begin to add bird after bird to our list. A Red-headed Woodpecker brightens our day! So pretty – our favorite Woodie! Another bird that was passing through the forest was the Philadelphia Vireo. Don’t you just love its subtle yellow coloring? Warblers adorned the tops of the trees as we journeyed up the road to the fire tower. Two other species lit up the trees like Christmas ornaments? Can you guess what they might be? Scarlet and Summer Tanagers!
Finally we break away from the Forest. It is 1:45 p.m. and we haven’t had lunch, yet? Can you believe that? But we are already over the 100 mark in number of species counted. Grabbing a quick bite to eat we then head for Melco, a water retention basin off Grade Lane. Because of the heavy rain on Saturday, birds were hard to find here. Spotted and Solitary Sandpipers did make an appearance and Lesser Yellowlegs and swimming Cormorants were hanging around.
Now we’re heading to the mighty Ohio River where we add three great birds to our list – Bald Eagle, Osprey and Peregrine Falcon. Isn’t life grand? Driving along River Road we would stop at several spots to try to add birds to our ever growing list – Blue-winged Teal at Lentz’s Pond, Wood Ducks at Putney Pond, White-crowned Sparrows at Stone Creek Stables. At Lentz’s Pond a very special sighting! A splendid Coyote (I know not everyone would choose that adjective.) trotted across the field and out of sight. So neat! We had hoped to find a rare bird at the Stables – a Harris’s Sparrow. But, Drats, it was not to be! I know you were wondering when you would find that word.
Then off to Cherokee Park where a Black-throated Blue Warbler had been reported. Nice birds there, but didn’t see the warbler. Hey, Drats, again! And so as it is really getting late we decide to call it a day and head for home. We did make one more fast stop. Driving through a field of grasses at Brainard’s farm we find Savannah Sparrows. Swallows, Red-winged Blackbirds and Meadowlarks were flying around the field making for a nice end to our beautiful bird-filled day. Special thanks to Brainard for his help. We could not have reached 125 SPECIES without him being there with his ability to identify every bird along with its song and chip notes.
How we wish you could have been there with us. We are so grateful to God our Creator for the beauty of His world and the wonders of life that live here. Again thank you so much for sponsoring us this year.