aba events

ABA Birding Rally! Cape Charles, Virginia

ABA Birding Rally!

When: October 17-21, 2012
Where: Cape Charles, Virginia
How Many: 60 Participants
Registration: $1195 per person

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Calling all birders! Join us this fall for the first-ever ABA Birding Rally! Kiptopeke State Park is situated near the tip of the Delmarva Peninsula, and is home to the oldest songbird banding station in the U.S., and one of the country’s most productive hawk-watches. It will serve as our base of operations for 5 days during which we will pack in a ton of fun, and some great birding. Field trips will include visits to places such as Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge, and the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. Of course Kiptopeke State Park itself provides not only our lodging, but also great birding, and opportunities to see expert bird-banders in action.


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The grounds of Kiptopeke State Park provide excellent habitat for migrating hawks and songbirds. In the background one can see two of the five lodges we shall use as accommodations during the Rally. Migrant bird species this October will likely include the species depicted: Red-tailed Hawk (top: courtesy of CVWO), Palm Warbler and Ruby-crowned Kinglet (bottom).

Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge is famous not only for its wild ponies but also as a haven for migrant birds. It is home to resident species such as Brown-headed Nuthatch and Northern Flicker (top), and for the endangered Delmarva Fox Squirrel (bottom). White Ibis (bottom right) are increasing in the area.

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel is not only a marvel of engineering but also a great place to see seabirds and waterbirds of the littoral zone. It often provides migrating songbirds a place to rest too. In this photo the sun sets behind the fishing pier, where everything from croakers to blue crabs are caught. The bird species depicted are the Saltmarsh Sparrow and the American Oystercatcher.

In this close-up of one of the lodges, one can see the surrounding songbird habitat to better advantage, and a Grasshopper Sparrow atop the sign provides some evidence.

We are pleased to offer lodging at 5 modern, comfortable lodges right at Kiptopeke State Park. Each has 6 bedrooms, with room for 12-16 people, and 3 shared bathrooms. Each lodge has a deck off the backdoor, a large indoor common area (kitchen/lounge), and of course good outdoor views for spotting migrating hawks and songbirds!

Mid-October in the Cape Charles region offers some of the best birding on the east coast. Come join your ABA leaders as they team up with local birders to explore this rich region, and take in the sights of the Chesapeake Bay, the salt marshes, and the barrier beaches. And all this while you socialize with old friends and new, over some succulent seafood!