The Coastal Virginia Wildlife Observatory opened its spring migratory banding station for 2007 at First Landing State Park on March 14th. Our bander is Peter Doherty, a dedicated conservationist with extensive banding experience at long-established stations such as the Braddock Bay Observatory in NY and the Manomet Observatory in Massachusetts. Peter will band daily through May 31st, weather permitting. I will pinch hit for him on March31st and April 1st. The public is always welcome at the station and visitors will find Peter a pleasure to talk to and will benefit from his wealth of experience with birds and conservation issues.
The station is located at the intersection of the Long Creek and White Hill Lake Trails. The shortest way in from the Shore Drive entrance to the Park is to pass the contact station on the entrance road leading to the Trail Center. After passing the contact station, make the first right into a parking area and recycling station. Park there and walk back out to the paved road, heading toward the Trail Center. Long Creek Trail is the first marked trail on your right off the road to the Center. It is blazed orange. Follow this trail approx 1.5 miles to the station as it winds along along Long Creek. The station is above the trail on the left, just before you cross a concrete bridge near a salt marsh. There is a banding station sign there and the station has a large blue tarp over it which you are unlikely to miss. You will also see signs announcing the banding area along Long Creek Trail near a boardwalk that is across a wetland, a bit before you reach the concrete bridge. Within the next couple of weeks the Park will install signs along the Cape Henry Trail that will direct visitors to the station via the Kingfisher Trial, which T's into the Long Creek Trail just before you reach the station. That way is shorter only if you are already on the Cape Henry Trail.
Peter is maintaining an outstanding blog, CVWO News from First Landing State Park, with great pictures and commentary. It can be accessed at any time by a button on the CVWO Homepage at http://www.cvwo.org/ . Please check out the blog and pay Peter a visit at the station.
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