October Chapter Meeting - Birds of the American Southwest
The topic of our October Chapter meeting will be Birds of the Southwest. We are looking forward to hearing from Forsyth Audubon member Leesa Goodson, who will present a program of photos and share her experiences birding in the American Southwest, particularly Southern California and Arizona. Leesa is a talented photographer and avid birder. She loves using her photography as a way to learn more about birds and birding. She is often amazed at what new details and information photographs can reveal about the birds she has seen.
We will be meeting virtually again this month. Our Chapter Meeting will take place on Zoom on Tuesday, October 27th at 7:00 PM. Look for an upcoming email notice with information on how to receive the Zoom link to this Chapter Meeting. Mark your Calendars! You won't want to miss this program!
Above photo of Vermillion Flycatcher courtesy of Leesa Goodson
New Display Board Adds Interest to Hawk Watch
This year's Hawk Watch featured a new educational tool - a fabulous display board designed by our own Barb Borucki and Jesse Anderson. This Wingspread Board will be set up each year at Little Pinnacle Overlook to add interest and information to our hawk watch. Jesse reports that visitors of all ages were seen matching wingspans with our local raptors. In the top photo, Ga Baliga's grandson, Janak Ostasiewski, shows us how it's done! Thank you Barb and Jesse for this wonderful addition to our Hawk Watch that will create inspiration and enjoyment for years to come.
Our Hawk Watch this year also included barriers to keep our hawk watchers at a socially safe distance. Many thanks to Jean Chamberlain and Jesse Anderson who worked hard so that our Hawk Watch could continue this year. Thank you also to all of those who helped us count migrating birds at Little PInnacle Overlook. This event is always a highlight of our birding year.
Bird Walks! Bird Trips!
I am looking forward to re-starting our in-person group walks and trips, hopefully in the near future. We are in need of a bird walk coordinator or coordinators. Jesse Anderson has done a great job with this, however he is moving and we need a replacement. This is a great volunteer activity for one or two people who would enjoy learning about and sharing great birding sites in Forsyth County and the surrounding area. You need not be an expert birder or thoroughly familiar with birding sites, just have an interest and excitement in discovering which sites are best at what time of year and for which birds. We have lots of material and personal experience to help you. Duties include selecting appropriate birding sites for local walks twice a month and giving this information to Heather Moir for publication. With the help of others, you can recommend day trips and possible destinations for winter and spring weekend trips. You are not expected to lead these trips although you are welcome to do that. You would publish a sign up sheet for bird walk leaders and encourage volunteers. Some walks have pre-determined leaders, others are organized on site. You would have fun birding old places and new places, meet new friends, and gain our sincere appreciation. A volunteer bird walk coordinator will help us all get back on the trails! Please contact Don Lendle, firstname.lastname@example.org, 336 972 2689
New Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee
Forsyth Audubon is in the process of forming a small group to guide the chapter toward more inclusion. We are following the direction of Audubon’s leadership at the national and state levels. We encourage all Forsyth Audubon members to read related articles in the new Fall 2020 Audubon magazine. Thoughts about our commitments to anti-racism work can be found on Page 12 by CEO/President David Yarnold. Read on page 12 about beginning changes made by our neighboring chapter in Ashville. If you are interested in joining this mission, feel free to contact Joy Rochester,email@example.com.
In the September newsletter, Board Member Joy Rochester's name was listed incorrectly. I apologize for the error!
We are saddened to hear of the loss of long-time member and former President of Forsyth Audubon Bill Hammond. He will be deeply missed by our organization and by so many others in our community. His obituary can be found here.
Meet the Board (part 2)
In our September newsletter, we began a series of Questions and Answers with our board members. Since we are unable to gather for bird walks or board meetings at this time, we are missing the opportunities to get to know one another better.
Forsyth Audubon: Favorite bird?
Allison Gagnon: I love owls…friends started calling me Owl-ison! My favorite among them is the Snowy Owl. It is also the Provincial Bird of Quebec, where I was born. I also feel a great affection for the Carolina Wren…little bird, big voice! But really every bird I’m currently observing is a favorite!
FA: Favorite birding spot?
Allison Gagnon: North Carolina...from the mountains to the sea! And a few special spots: Elk Mountain Overlook on the Parkway; Wrightsville Beach, Miller Park.
FA: Tell us about your bird feeders.
Allison Gagnon: I have a small Squirrel Buster feeder at the front and at the back with safflower seed, a suet feeder in a bush at my front window (that functions as a bird blind), and a special hummingbird feeder on my deck, which my realtor gave me when I closed on my home in October 2017. The day I came to view the property with her and a couple of friends they were out on the deck while I was downstairs looking around, and a hummingbird stopped by...they said that "sealed the deal" that this home was for me!
FA: What do you like to do when you're not birding?
Allison Gagnon: I teach at UNCSA so that's a lot of what I do when I'm not birding! Making pottery is my other favorite pastime. This summer I learned to do coil pottery out on the back deck when the Sawtooth was closed and I didn't have access to a wheel. This meant I could work with clay while enjoying my backyard birds!
FA: What is your favorite project/activity with Forsyth Audubon?
Allison Gagnon: I really enjoy the community created by our online googlegroup, especially during pandemic times. And I've enjoyed bird counts even more since I joined the team that does the landfill site!
FA: What has been the most rewarding thing about your involvement with Forsyth Audubon?
Allison Gagnon: Lifelong learning, and being with my "tribe" (or is it flock?!?).
FA: Do you have a "spark bird?" (a bird that you saw that helped you first fall in love with birds and birding?)
Heather Moir: Growing up in the Chicago area, I remember going to a nearby nature preserve and watching Red-winged Blackbirds. Their call still takes me back to my childhood every time I hear it.
FA: Favorite birding spot
Heather Moir: I like to call Trout Lake, on the Blue Ridge Parkway, my "happy place." But really, anywhere on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
FA: What is your favorite project/activity with Forsyth Audubon?
Heather Moir: I love doing the bird counts. I think I've only missed one since I joined, and that was for my daughter's college graduation.
Forsyth Audubon Board
Don Lendle -President
Rick Mashburn - Secretary
Deirdre Herrington - Treasurer
Jennifer Hemric - Membership
Max Nottke - Conservation
Wendy Hawkins - Education
Joy Rochester - Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
Heather Moir - Communication
If you are looking for ways to get involved with Forsyth Audubon, we encourage you to reach out to any of us for ideas.
Forsyth Audubon is pleased that Hannah Addair is managing Forsyth Audubon's Instagram! We now have a presence on Facebook and Instagram. Visit us on Social Media! Tell your friends!
Order "Birding Guide to Forsyth County"!
The fifth edition of "Birding Guide to Forsyth County," by David Disher, is now available. David's book, in a handy 6 x 9 paperback format, compiles documented observations for 280 bird species in Forsyth County. Learn what birds can be seen here and during which weeks of the year you are most likely to see them. Photos of uncommon sightings are included. Information on local birding spots also is included. For $15, this is a great gift for your favorite birder. All profits go to our chapter. Copies are available at Wright's Backyard Birding Center, 3906 Country Club Rd., Winston-Salem, and at Wild Birds Unlimited, 1589 Skeet Club Rd, High Point. Copies also are available for sale at our monthly chapter meetings. If you have a smart phone or tablet, download the electronic version available for $4.99 from www.lulu.com.
Forsyth Audubon T-shirts are here! They are available now at most of our chapter events, or you can pick one up at Wright's Birding Center during business hours. There are two different styles to choose from, both with our fabulous brown-headed nuthatch logo. The soft cotton poly blend shirts are $20.00 and the polyester tech tee with the cool dri wicking fabric is $25.00.