january, 2019

January

Event Details

Questions? Call Pam at 301-652-9188 x16 or email pam.oves@anshome.org.

JANUARY

Winter Birding at Black Hill
Section B: Saturday, January 5 (8:30-11 am)
Section C: Sunday, February 3 (8:30-11 am)
Section D: Saturday, March 2 (8:30-11 am)
Leader: Mark England
Each walk: members $24; nonmembers $32
Entire series $88/$120
The winter months can be an ideal time to learn more about birds and birding, and Black Hill Regional Park, in upper Montgomery County, is an ideal outdoor classroom for this study. Each walk in our series, intended for beginning to mid-level birders, will visit one or more sites in the Park in a search for waterfowl, sparrows, raptors, and other both resident and overwintering species. The Park’s habitats are varied and include wetlands and Little Seneca Lake, as well as forest and field. Join us for the entire series and observe the seasonal changes in numbers and species, or just sign up for individual walks. Image credit: Connormah REGISTER HERE.

Winter Walks Along the Canal
Wednesdays (10 am-12:30 pm)
Section A: January 9 – Carderock  WAITLIST OPEN
Section B: January 23 – Widewater WAITLIST OPEN
Section C: February 6 – Swain’s Lock WAITLIST OPEN
Section D: February 20 – Violettes Lock WAITLIST OPEN
Sestion E: March 13 – Pennyfield Lock (note date change) WAITLIST OPEN
Leader: Stephanie Mason
Each walk: members $25; nonmembers $35
Entire series 115/$160
Join our Senior Naturalist for one or all of these walks along the C&O Canal as we look for over-wintering birds and other wildlife, practice winter botany skills, and enjoy the expansive views along the Potomac River that this season provides. Carpooling will be available from Woodend. REGISTER ONLINE.

Introduction to the Winter Night Sky
Thursday, January 10 (7:30-9:30 pm)
Leader: Richard Orr
Members $24; nonmembers $32
Can you spot Orion the hunter rising up just over the treetops? This alone is a sure sign that winter has come once again to the northern hemisphere. Being able to read the sky in winter can give you a unique sense of cosmological wonder since most of the brighter stars are, in fact, winter stars. While our leader is best-known for his expertise in dragonflies, he’ll share his equally strong knowledge of astronomy in an indoor/outdoor presentation at our Woodend Sanctuary. We’ll be introduced to sky guideposts and the dozen or so “winter” constellations. Assuming skies are clear, we’ll bundle up to head outside and look for some of these wondrous celestial sights through a telescope. Image credit: Mouser REGISTER ONLINE.

Winter Hike Series: River and Rocks
A. Saturday, January 12 (3/4 day hike) Catoctin Mountain Park, MD
B. Sunday, January 27 (3/4 day hike)  Riverbend Park, VA

C. Saturday, February 9  (3/4 day hike) C&O Canal, MD
Leaders: Stephanie Mason and Cathy Stragar
Each hike: members $34; nonmembers $48
Take on two of your New Year’s resolutions at once: spend more time outdoors exploring nature AND get more exercise by signing up for one or more of our winter hikes. This season’s series traverses the rocky trails of Catoctin Mountain Park just as the New Year begins. We’ll hike between 3.5-5 miles here, either as one long loop or as a series of shorter hikes. Our next two hikes visit the scenic bottomlands along the Potomac River. Hike B will use the Potomac Heritage Trail, which is mostly flat, but offers a small amount of rocky terrain, for a round trip hike of 3.8 miles. On our last outing, we will hike upriver on the flat C&O Canal towpath from Pennyfield Lock near Potomac, MD to Violettes Lock—and back—for a round trip total of 5 miles. On all three of these hikes, we will search for over-wintering birds and other wildlife, while practicing our winter botany skills.  Hikes may be modified depending on weather and ground conditions, which could be muddy or snow-covered.  These hikes are designed to offer a natural history experience for persons who want to move farther and faster than the pace of most ANS field trips. We will stop to observe and admire nature in it winter season, but will keep a pace necessary to cover the distance stated. REGISTER ONLINE.

Winter Waterfowl Prowl
Sunday, January 13 (8 am-12:30 pm)
Leader: Mike Bowen
Members $26; nonmembers $36
Early in the year is the best time to search for and learn to ID overwintering waterfowl in our area. Basing our search at wetlands and waterways relatively close-in to the metro area, we’ll visit sites in or near the District, Northern Virginia, or Montgomery County.  Our exact locations will be determined closer to the date of the field trip, based on our leader’s scouting expeditions. While our focus will be waterfowl, we’ll keep an eye open for all birdlife. All levels of birders welcome. REGISTER ONLINE.

Native Plant Gardening
Winter Walk: Wednesday, January 16 (10 am-Noon)
Leader: Stephanie Mason
Members $20; nonmembers $28
Explore the Blair Native Plant Garden, located just outside the Sanctuary Shop, with our Senior Naturalist who helped develop the garden and its educational focus. Find out more about the values of gardening with native plant species, including: lower maintenance; more value to native birds, butterflies and other insects, including pollinators; reduced negative impact on local ecosystems, and more. We’ll discuss native alternatives to popular non-native species such as English ivy, as well as resources for broadening one’s knowledge and understanding of plants natives to the mid-Atlantic. You’re welcome to bring along a bag lunch to eat with the leader after the walks, which are scheduled to highlight seasonal aspects of the garden. REGISTER ONLINE.

New Year’s Moonwalk
Saturday, January 19 (6:30-8:30 pm)
Leader: Stephanie Mason
Members $25; nonmembers $35
Cross your fingers for clear skies as we celebrate the New Year with a brisk walk under the light of the year’s first full moon. We’ll head upriver on the C&O Canal towpath from Swain’s Lock, enjoying the shadows of arching sycamore trees and listening for the calls of owls and winter-active mammals. Distance covered will depend on the weather and conditions underfoot. REGISTER ONLINE.

Winter in Cape May
Saturday, January 19 (9 am) to Sunday, January 20 (4 pm)
Leader: Mark Garland
Members: $120; nonmembers $168
Visit the varied coastal habitats of Cape May at the heart of winter to search for wildlife during this seaside resort’s quietest season. We’ll start with a walk at Cape May Point State Park on Saturday morning. If it’s a mild winter there can be a good variety of lingering songbirds and waterfowl in the park. In harsh winters ice forms along the beaches, harbor seals rest on the floating ice, and woodcocks feed along the roadsides. After lunch, we’ll travel north to look for shorebirds and waterfowl at one or two inlets along the Atlantic Ocean coast. Big flocks of Dunlins winter here, and there are good chances to see scoters, Long-tailed Ducks, two species of loons, and other water birds. We end the day at Jakes Landing, where sometimes Short-eared Owls are seen patrolling the marsh at dusk. If it’s a calm evening we may try to call a Great Horned Owl or an Eastern Screech-Owl. We will plan to spend all day Sunday around the southern tip of the Cape, taking walks at several natural areas. If the weather is bitterly cold we will mix shorter walks with warming breaks inside. Overnight options include motels, B&Bs, and lodges in and around Cape May, which are booked by participants themselves. REGISTER ONLINE.

Winter Birding at Oaks Landfill
A: Sunday, January 20 (3-5:30 pm)
B: Sunday, February 10 (3:30-6 pm)
Leader: Mark England
Each walk members $24; nonmembers $32
You’ll want to bundle up for these birding treks to the now-closed landfill adjacent to the Blue Mash Nature Trail, a familiar birding spot in upper Montgomery County. As afternoon fades to dusk in the open terrain here, we’ll search for resident and overwintering species, including Northern Harriers and Short-eared Owls. Our leader will bring along a scope for distant bird viewing. Our visit to this area which is “closed to the public” is by special permission. Please register for one session only to allow for greater participation. REGISTER ONLINE.

Winter Walks Along the Canal
Wednesdays (10 am-12:30 pm)
Section B: January 23 – Widewater WAITLIST OPEN
Section C: February 6 – Swain’s Lock WAITLIST OPEN
Section D: February 20 – Violettes Lock WAITLIST OPEN
Sestion E: March 13 – Pennyfield Lock (note date change) WAITLIST OPEN
Leader: Stephanie Mason
Each walk: members $25; nonmembers $35
Entire series 115/$160
Join our Senior Naturalist for one or all of these walks along the C&O Canal as we look for over-wintering birds and other wildlife, practice winter botany skills, and enjoy the expansive views along the Potomac River that this season provides. Carpooling will be available from Woodend. REGISTER ONLINE.

Introduction to the Identification of Gulls
Thursday, January 24 (7:30-9:30 pm)
Saturday, January 26 (3/4 day field trip)
Leader: Paul Pisano
Members $48; nonmembers $68
Lecture only members $24; nonmembers $32
The variable plumages of gulls frustrate many observers, yet their behavior often allows careful and studied observation. This foray, designed for beginning and mid-level birders, will study the gulls that most commonly occur in the mid-Atlantic region. Thursday’s lecture will use slides to teach subadult and adult plumages, while Saturday’s field trip by carpool will take us to locations in DC and Virginia where the birds can be studied at length. Image credit: Richard001, Wikimedia REGISTER ONLINE.

Walk Among the Giants
A. Saturday, January 26 (9 am-1 pm)
B. Saturday, April 13 (8 am-Noon)
C. Sunday, July 21 (8 am-Noon)
D. Sunday, October 27 (8 am-Noon)
Leader: Stephanie Mason
Each walk members $28; nonmembers $38
Entire series $112/$156
Walk among the giant Sycamores, Oaks, and River Birches on this seasonal series of explorations along the Potomac River just upstream of Great Falls, MD. We’ll keep our eyes and ears open for all manner of wildlife, and watch the winter woods turn green, and then summer sultry before fall colors herald the coming of another winter. Our floodplain trail, connecting with the Towpath, is mostly level, but could be muddy as we walk our loop of roughly 2.5 miles. REGISTER ONLINE.

Winter Hike Series: River and Rocks
B. Sunday, January 27 (3/4 day hike)  Riverbend Park, VA
C. Saturday, February 9 (3/4 day hike) C&O Canal, MD
Leaders: Stephanie Mason and Cathy Stragar
Each hike: members $34; nonmembers $48
Take on two of your New Year’s resolutions at once: spend more time outdoors exploring nature AND get more exercise by signing up for one or more of our winter hikes. Hike B will use the Potomac Heritage Trail, which is mostly flat, but offers a small amount of rocky terrain, for a round trip hike of 3.8 miles. On our last outing, we will hike upriver on the flat C&O Canal towpath from Pennyfield Lock near Potomac, MD to Violettes Lock—and back—for a round trip total of 5 miles. On all three of these hikes, we will search for over-wintering birds and other wildlife, while practicing our winter botany skills.  Hikes may be modified depending on weather and ground conditions, which could be muddy or snow-covered.  These hikes are designed to offer a natural history experience for persons who want to move farther and faster than the pace of most ANS field trips. We will stop to observe and admire nature in it winter season, but will keep a pace necessary to cover the distance stated. Image credit: MONGO REGISTER ONLINE.

Time

Year Around Event (2019)

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