The environmental scoping process for the Buena Vista Lagoon Enhancement Project is complete. Read about it HERE. A fact sheet for the project can be found HERE.
Check out the Conservation Page for more BVAS conservation news, including a planned habitat upgrade by Whelan Lake!
There is no General Meeting in December. Check back for details of the January meeting.
2013 Oceanside Christmas Bird Count
Saturday, December 21
The 2013 Oceanside Christmas Bird Count (CBC) will
take place on Saturday, December 21, 2013. This year’s
Oceanside count continues an annual tradition begun in
1946, when six birding friends decided to take on the challenge.
hopes to have as
many as 100
birders and nature
taking part in
Experienced Birders: If you’re a regular birder, whether
of modest or expert skill level, we’d like to hear from you.
Please contact the BVAS coordinator for the count, Andy
Mauro ( 760-753-1266; firstname.lastname@example.org). He’ll answer
your questions, get your information, assign you to a team,
and fill you in on all the details.
Fledglings Welcome: If you're a new or inexperienced
birder, we’d also like to see you participate in the Christmas
Count. Make it a family adventure! Please join Joan
Fountain, Tom Troy, and a guest expert birder that day, for
a special Christmas Bird Count edition of the Basic Birding
Workshop. The group will meet at the Nature Center
at 8 a.m. and then carpool on a birding loop around the
Buena Vista Lagoon. No experience necessary.
Day of the Count: Early in the morning on December 21,
participants will meet up with other team members and fan
out to their assigned territories. The boundaries of the 15-
mile count circle include parts of Oceanside, Vista, Carlsbad
and Camp Pendleton. Team leaders will have scouted
After a morning of counting birds, everyone will gather
back at the Nature Center for a free chili luncheon and the
sacred "Reporting Of The Lists," where we compile and
discuss the morning’s results. Following lunch and the
adding up of the morning count, some will go off to try to
see one or more of the highlighted sightings of the day. A
few will go back out in the field to try to find an expected
species that might have been missed during the morning.
Most, though, will simply go back home with a warm glow
of satisfaction following a morning well spent.
Expectations and Goals: We aim to tally more than
40,000 birds representing close to 200 different species
during this year’s count. Of course, a lot depends on the
weather (expected to be just fine!) and the level of participation
and enthusiasm (expected to be overwhelming!).
Joey’s and Johnny’s Clubhouse
BVAS Nature Center
Sunday, Dec 15, 1-4 p.m.
Joey and Johnny DiMento have been entertaining their
young friends at the Nature Center on the third Sunday of
each month. Seven-year-old Joey and her younger brother
Johnny (age 4) have always enjoyed hanging out at the
Nature Center, investigating the exhibits, reading the children’s
books, doing nature-oriented crafts, and exploring
the trail. Their parents, Danny and C.J., are long-time
members and highly involved volunteers at BVAS.
The monthly gathering of kids began when the DiMento
family signed up to host the Nature Center from 1-4 p.m.
on the third Sunday of each month. Joey quickly took on
the role of “kid’s greeter,” welcoming each youngster who
entered the Nature Center with special walks around the
exhibits and suggestions of fun activities. She then began
inviting her friends from school to drop by to join her and
Johnny for fun and games at the Nature Center. It’s now
become a much-anticipated nature play day for a growing
number of young children, as well as their accompanying
parents. As attendance has
grown, so has the fun and
excitement. The adults provide
a few ideas and help
oversee things in general,
but the kids themselves invent
many of the games and
choose their activities.
Visitors to the Nature Center
can always tell when
Joey’s and Johnny’s Clubhouse
has had another
“meeting”. For several days following each session, the
sidewalk at the entrance to the Nature Center is adorned
with colorful chalk art featuring birds, flowers, and other
designs, usually accompanied with the hand-written sentiment
“We Love the Nature Center!”.
Do you have a bored youngster looking for a little fun this
summer? Drop by the Nature Center from 1-4 p.m. on the
third Sunday of each month and join the kids (and parents)
at Joey’s and Johnny’s Clubhouse.
Estate Planning and BVAS
Just before the summer break, the BVAS Board received word that Joni Ciarletta had generously included BVAS in her estate plan. Joni established a future bequest in her will to help ensure the chapter would have the funds needed in the years ahead to continue to maintain the Nature Center and support its nature education programs. Joni is an active birder and naturalist and a regular contributor to BVAS. She has previously volunteered her expertise to help BVAS prepare grant requests for various projects.
The Board gives Joni its heartfelt thanks for joining the BVAS Legacy Circle, and for helping us call attention to this special program. The Legacy Circle is comprised of friends and members who have provided for BVAS in their estate plans, whether by provisions included in their wills or trusts, or by several other means now available. Joni follows the grand tradition set by a number of our early “charter” members who chose to remember BVAS in their estate plans.
How important is this to BVAS? As a result of bequests that BVAS has received over the last ten years, the Nature Center Endowment Fund has now grown to approximately $500,000. A portion of the annual investment earnings from this fund now help augment the chapter’s annual operating budget, allowing BVAS to maintain and upgrade its facilities and offer a wider variety of exciting new programs.
BVAS has prepared a guide to planned giving that provides basic information regarding establishing an estate gift to BVAS. The guide can be read and downloaded by following this link.
Alger Hiss and the
A first-person connection between the infamous Alger Hiss, our very own Dennis Huckabay, and birding in New York’s Central Park is explored in a story by Dennis.
Shanti Mayberry has an interesting story to tell. It’s about a special encounter she had over several months with a great horned owl that still lives in Crest Canyon, adjacent to her home in Del Mar. This is a story about an interspecies relationship that was born in innocent communion but quickly grew in intensity and passion. Something finally had to give, and the natural order of things has now been restored. But, the poignant and somewhat bittersweet memories persist . Read Shanti's story HERE.
Looking for Birding Optics?
For unbiased advice, reviews and ratings of binoculars & spottingscopes, check out this new website:
Participants on our trip to
the Oregon Cascades in July, led by
Steve Shunk of Paradise Birding, saw
125 species of birds, including all 11
targeted species of breeding woodpeckers.
Other highlights included the
northern pygmy owl. Click HERE for
a detailed first person trip report, complete with photos.
Support our Ruddy Duck Club members
Click on the above pic
re for a list of all current members
Ruddy Duck Club
This special group of local businesses
and organizations support the
nature education and recreation programs offered at the
Buena Vista Audubon Nature Center with an annual donation
of $100 or more. To request your “no obligation”
Ruddy Duck Club packet of membership information and
benefits, please call Kelly Deveney at 760-721-2441.
Public Bird Walks
Monthly Bird Surveys
BVAS conducts regular monthly bird surveys of Buena Vista Lagoon and Whelan Lake Bird Sanctuary. We also offer one or more other bird walks at various locations within the county each month. We welcome birders of all levels to join us on these excursions. See Field Trips for details.
SD County Checklist
More than 500 bird species have been identified in San Diego County. Get busy, birders! Here's a checklist to start recording your sightings.
Have you considered becoming a BVAS Nature Guide?
We lead school classes and other groups on nature walks
and tours of the Nature Center. Our nature programs are
prepared to make it easy for us to learn and to teach, but
give us plenty of opportunity to share our own stories and
nature knowledge as we talk to our young visitors. We
need more guides for this fall. For more information,
please e-mail Ellen at: email@example.com. More info on this and other volunteer opportunities can be found HERE.
NestWatch Invites You to Watch!
NestWatch is a nest-monitoring project developed by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center aimed to provide a unified nest-monitoring scheme to track reproductive success for all North American breeding birds. NestWatch invites people who are interested in the natural world to help monitor the success of nesting birds and better understand the threats they face. These data will provide a wealth of information about breeding birds and the factors that influence their success across different landscapes. For more info, go to www.nestwatch.org.
BVAS members interested in the birding scene in San Diego County might want to investigate SDBIRDS. Over 1,000 area birders currently participate in this free listserv. Subscribers post their interesting bird observations via e-mail to SDBIRDS, and receive the daily postings of other members. It’s a great way to learn which birds are being seen locally, and where to see them. Interesting birding questions and observations are also discussed. Check out the rules and learn how to subscribe by clicking here.
Donate that Old Clunker to BVAS
BVAS is now participating in the Cars 4 Causes donation program. Tax-deductible donations of any car, running or not, can be made through the Cars 4 Causes organization, for the benefit of BVAS. Avoid the hassle of trading in or selling that old car and help support the Nature Center. Just call 1-800-766-2273 and say you’d like to donate your vehicle to benefit BVAS. Cars 4 Causes will pick up your vehicle at your home, fill out the necessary paperwork, and provide the receipt for your tax deduction. Or click the below link to sign-up online.
In response to repeated requests, BVAS has produced a full-color brochure highlighting some of the best birding spots in North County. The brochure profiles 14 different coastal and inland birding sites that promise a varied bird list in a range of habitats. A detailed site map and directions are included, along with notes about visitor services at each site. Award-winning photographer Chris Mayne contributed the dramatic bird photos that illustrate the brochure.
The brochure was partially funded by a San Diego County grant. A committee headed by Judi Wilson oversaw the project, with graphic design services provided by Daniel Sanchez. The brochure is being distributed free of charge at the BVAS Nature Center and at several other North County sites. Stop by to pick up your copy today, and go birding!
Buena Vista Audubon
PO Box 480
Oceanside, CA 92049-0480
Carlsbad Lagoons and Wetlands
The three Carlsbad lagoon foundations - Buena Vista, Agua Hedionda and Batiquitos - together with Buena Vista Audubon have started coordinating their activities and working more closely together with the City of Carlsbad under a new umbrella group, Carlsbad Lagoons and Wetlands (CLAW).Click on logos below to check out activities and common interests of all of our lagoon foundations.