WBNC Westmoreland Bird & Nature Club, southwestern Pennsylvania
Westmoreland Bird & Nature Club

Birding and nature observation
in Westmoreland County
southwestern Pennsylvania

About the club || Meetings || Field Trips & Outings || Newsletters & other Docs
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Westmoreland Bird & Nature Club

The Westmoreland Bird and Nature Club is a natural history organization serving Westmoreland County and surrounding areas. The WBNC is primarily an outdoor club averaging about 30 field trips a year for birds, butterflies, flowering plants, dragonflies and damselflies, trees and general ecology. Outings can be hiking, canoeing or cycling in nature. Sometimes impromptu field trips are organized over the internet. In addition, members participate in the Audubon Christmas Bird Count and the Pennsylvania Annual Migration Count in early May. Field trips are sometimes held in conjunction with the Botanical Society of Westmoreland County (BSWC), and the Three Rivers Birding Club (3RBC). Several members also belong to the Western Pennsylvania Mushroom Club. There are three general membership meetings a year including a summer picnic. All meetings are held in the Barn at the Donohoe Center, 218 Donohoe Road, Greensburg. The 10-18 page newsletter entitled The Syrinx is published four times a year summarizing past field trips, upcoming events, natural history information, and recent bird sightings. The Westmoreland Bird & Nature Club (formerly Westmoreland County Bird Club) formed on Feb 26, 1981 to promote interest in birds and conservation and to provide field trips in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. The first newsletter, Vol. 1 No. 1, was for March 1981. In that newsletter five field trips were scheduled. Seven people were listed as paid charter members.

Club Membership: $7 individual/family. Paid memberships currently stand at 217. All Membership Dues are due in January, unless you joined after September 1st. See Join for details.

facebook group: Westmoreland Bird and Nature Club Find us on a facebook group the fb open group is interactive (unlike this static site), contains recent photographs, wildlife sightings, etc.

red trillium

Current officers of the club

Executive Committee - Dick Byers, Tom Pearson, Tom & Billie Moser, Dale Matusa, Joe & Arlene Kalinowski, Rose Tillman, Len & Linda Hess
Secretary/Treasurer - Rose Tillmann
Newsletter Editor - Dick Byers
Bird Records - Karen Jackson
Archives Scrapbook - vacant
Website and facebook - Tim Vechter

History of club officers

Great Blue Heronry, 2014     Great Blue Heronry, 2014
Great Blue Heron colony, April 1 2014. Photos by Tim Vechter.

Great Blue Heronry     Great Blue Heronry, 2014

Great Blue Heronry
Great Blue Heron, April 1 2014.

Black-crowned Night-Heron, 2014     Black-crowned Night-Heron, 2014
Black-crowned Night-Heron at Loyalhanna Creek downtown Latrobe, by the Rt981 (Lloyd Ave) bridge, March 27 2014.
"In Pennsylvania, the black-crowned night-heron is listed as state endangered and protected under the Game and Wildlife Code." Photos by Tim Vechter, 2014.

Gray Screech Owl, 2013     Red`Screech Owl, 2013
Screech Owls, gray and red phase, photos by Dick Byers, 2013.

Fox Sparrow, 2013
Fox Sparrow, photo by Dick Byers, 2013.

Harlequin Duck - Keystone State Park, Nov. 19 2008
Harlequin Duck at Keystone State Park, Nov. 19 2008.
Reported by Linda Huber & Ken Byerly.
Photo by Dick Byers.

Pine Siskin - Latrobe PA - 21.Jan.2009
Pine Siskin in Latrobe PA, Jan. 21 2009.

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Sandhill Crane

Lake Ethel in Derry, PA
Mid December 2007 to last week of April 2008.

Sandhill Crane Sandhill Crane

Sandhill Crane Sandhill Crane Sandhill Crane

More Sandhill Crane info is at wikipedia || Middle Creek || Platte River Nebraska || Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge || International Crane Foundation

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Upland Sandpiper Upland Sandpiper
Hutter's Farm
Mammoth-Kecksburg PA
May 25 1996
Sedge Wren
3rd Bridge
Loyalhanna Creek
Latrobe PA
June 7 1997
Sedge Wren

Both species are listed as threatened in Pennsylvania by the PA Department of Natural Resources. A threatened species may become endangered within the foreseeable future throughout their range in PA. An endangered species is in danger of extirpation throughout their range in PA.
Endangered & Threatened Species of Pennsylvania: PA Game Commission (Animals, Birds) || DCNR (Plants) || Fish & Boat Commission (Fishes, Turtles, Snakes, Lizards)

Atlas of Breeding Birds in Pennsylvania


Club Meeting

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Donohoe Center Barn
7 P.M. Doors open 6:30 P.M.

Speaker: New Kensington nature photographer and naturalist Steve Gosser will present a digital slide show mix of his natural history compositions. If you have seen his pictures on Facebook you know he is a master of digital photography. His work embraces every aspect of natural history from the flora and fauna to landscapes and the starlit night skies. I am always impressed with his bird pictures, not just with the perfect exposures, but with the fact the birds always pose for him in the open at just the right angle in good lighting. Anyone who has tried to photograph birds will instantly know these pictures are planned, composed and accomplished with incredible patience. Join us for an entertaining evening of well illustrated natural history.

Club Meeting

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Donohoe Center Barn
7 P.M. Doors open 6:30 P.M.

Our annual "Show and tell" evening with club members revealing their summer exploits. Also our fund-raising raffle of donated materials. Let Tom Moser know if you are bringing slides to show.

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Click for Latrobe, Pennsylvania Forecast

Field Trips for March through December 2018

Cancellation Policy:In the event of inclement weather, please call the field trip leader in advance to confirm if the outing is on or canceled. The leaders have the right to cancel. Please check weather reports and road conditions. If there's any question, please call the leaders for confirmation. Car pooling is a good idea. Field trips are free and open to the public.

Weather for Latrobe (weather.com) || Weather for Westmoreland County || Weather(underground) for PA

Sun. Mar. 18 Little Sewicklev Creek
For snow trillium and other signs of spring. Directions: Take the PA Turnpike to Exit 67-Route 30/Irwin/Greensburg. Take the Route 30 East/Greensburg ramp. At the first stoplight on Route 30, turn right onto Arona Rd, go 0.5 miles and make another right onto Wendel Rd. (no sign). Travel this road 3.7 miles to a T. Turn right at the T and continue 1 mile to Herminie to a 4-way stop (VFD on comer). Continue straight to the next stop sign and turn left. Proceed through 2 more stop signs, end at a T, and turn right. Continue past the Dairy Queen on your right and continue down a hill; we will meet just before the highway bridge at 1:00 PM. Park on the left side.

Sat. Mar. 24 Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve
Join us for a cabin fever walk through the Palmer Reserve and adjoining wetlands at St. Vincent College for waterfowl. Meet at The Palmer Reserve at 10:00 AM. Directions: From the intersection of Route 30 and 981 (at the corner of the Arnold Palmer airport) turn north onto Route 981. Drive about a half mile and turn left at the W. Palmer sign. Go a short distance and turn right into the reserve.

Thur. April 12 Club Meeting
Details above

Sat. April 21, 16th Annual Westmoreland Earth Day 2018
At Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve, Saint Vincent College, Latrobe PA. 1:00 pm - 6:00 pm. The WBNC will have a display there.
Westmoreland Earth Day 2018

Wed. April 25 Westmoreland Heritage Trail Saunder Stations Road to BY Park in Trafford.
Meet at Giant Eagle in Murrysville. Some members might choose to drive straight to the Saunders Station parking area. The GPS coordinates for the parking lot - 40.4093, -79.7284. The hike will be downstream heading toward Trafford, approximately 2.25-miles (4.5-miles roundtrip). For a lunch break, there's an ice cream shop, Parkside Creamery, at the Trafford end of the trail. Murrysville Giant Eagle is located at the intersection of Old William Penn highway and Cline Hollow road. There's always lots of parking available at the southeast corner of the lot. This is the newly opened portion of the trail last summer from Export to Trafford.

Sat. April 28 Friendship Hill National Recreation Trail
For early migrating birds, spring wildflowers, old growth forest, waterfalls and historic buildings and cemeteries. This historic park has over 12 miles of trails. We're going to pick out one that will give us about a 3-mile hike. You can take others on your own. Meet in the Dick's Sporting Store parking lot in the Westmoreland Mall to car pool or caravan in time to leave there at 9:00 AM. Dick's sporting goods is behind the main building. RSVP to Dick Byers if you are going to come so we dont leave without you if you're held up. Contact info is on the front page. If you live south of Greensburg and want to drive directly to the park rather than backtracking to Greensburg, plan on arriving at the park at 10:30 AM in the Gallatin House parking lot Diane Walters, who suggested this outing said the trip takes 1 hr 15 min from Greensburg. Email Dick for directions and a map of the park or download them from the Internet.
Click here for a map

Sun. May 6 Keystone State Park’s Youth and Family Day
Keystone State Park with the support of Friends of Keystone State Park Proudly present a FREE Family Event! Youth and Family Outdoors Show. A fantastic day of learning about wildlife and the outdoors, networking with fellow outdoors people, and encouraging a love of the outdoors in today’s children and families.
Exhibitors include: PA Fish and Boat Commission, PA Game Commission, DCNR, Army Corp of Engineers, NRA, Ducks Unlimited, National Wild Turkey Federation, Boy Scouts, various dog groups including bird dogs and coon dogs and even sled dogs, a fly tying demo, a birding group, local sportsmen’s clubs and many other area non-profit recreational groups and businesses. Plus a BB gun shoot and an archery range!
Everyone is welcome! Free admission, Free exhibits, Free Food, Free Door Prizes, FREE FUN!
Sunday, May 6 at 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Keystone State Park, Pavilion # 1
1150 Keystone Park Road, Derry, PA 15627-3679

Sat May 5 Deadman's Hollow
For wildflowers, birds, herps and trees. No leader. Meet at the Bike trail parking lot, first right after crossing the Boston Bridge at 9:00 AM.

Sat. May 12 Pennsylvania Annual Migration Count
This is the county wide count. Any resident can do a feeder watch and neighborhood count. If you want a wider territory for all day, contact Dick Byers an assignment. It's a big county. Your personal request can usually be accommodated. Return field reports to Dick via email to otusasio_AT_lhtot_DOT_com or snail mail to 233 Old Route 711, Stahlstown PA 15687.

Sat. May 19 Wolf Creek Narrows
For warblers and wildflowers. Meet at the Giant Eagle in Murrysville on Cline Hollow Road at 8:00 AM to car pool to the trailhead.

Mon. May 28 Charles F. Lewis Natural Area
For resident warblers, late migrants and pink lady slipper orchids. Over a hundred were in bloom at this time last year. Rattlesnakes and copperheads are also a possibility in the event of an early spring. Meet Jim Pemberton at the trailhead parking lot at 10:00 AM. This trail is steep and strenuous, not for the weak hearted. Walking sticks are recommended.

Sat. June 2 Evening Vespers at the Darlington Inn
For our annual get-together buffet dinner before the Spruce Flats Bog outing to hear the calls of the thrushes. Meet at the inn at 4:00 PM RSVP Karen Jackson by Wed. May 30.

Sat. June 9 Whitney Wetlands Deborah and Jim Hart
will be our hosts for this wetland area next to their property. Meet there at 9:00 AM. Directions: From Rt. 30 at the Latrobe airport, turn south on to 981 follow to the round-a-bout onto Charles Houck Rd (2nd right in round-a-bout). At the Big White Barn (before the village of Whitney), make a left turn onto St. Cecilia Rd. go straight toward the ridge (thru 2 stop signs) continue straight for approximately 1 mile. The road makes a sharp curve to the left, then down a hill (Dead Man's Curve) our farm house can be seen on the right side at bottom of hilllong driveway. Deb Hart 412-554-4409.
From Rt. 982 coming from Pleasant Unity / Lycippus turn Right off Rt 130 onto Rt 982 drive approx 1 mile make a Right turn (still on Rt. 982) continue approx another 1 mile, pass the Quarry Rd., make a left turn onto St. Cecilia Rd. drive approx 0.4 mile, cross over small bridge, turn left onto our driveway, park under trees in front.
From Youngstown- Turn onto Rt. 982 at the red light by The Tin Lizzy. Drive towards Mount Pleasant approx 2.5 miles, pass Bethel Church Hill Road, pass Baggaley School, turn on the 2nd road on right, onto St. Cecilia Rd. Drive approx 0.4 miles, cross over small bridge. Turn Left onto our long Driveway.

Sun. June 10 The McCune Trail in Ohiopyle State Park
This trail traverses through an abandoned farm from the 1960's into a wooded area with a view of the Youghiogheny Gorge. It then climbs a couple hundred feet through a rock outcrop and back to the upper parking lot. It is the highest trail in the park at 2700 -2900' feet. Birdlife will be varied with both coniferous and deciduous stands of trees. You'll see the remains of the farmhouse, springhouse, the latter still feeding a small pond with peepers. At this elevation there will still be some spring wildflowers. Meet at the first parking lot on your right after crossing the tracks into Ohiopyle on Route 382 at 1:00 PM. Dick Byers was to lead this walk when first proposed last fall and may not be available. Call to see if the walk is still on a day ahead of time.

Sun. July 29 Dragonfly Survey Loyalhanna Watershed Farm
Meet Tom Pearson in the Farmer's Market parking just below Loyalhanna Watershed headquarters at 1:00 PM. Tom will have nets. Bring field guides, cameras, wading boots if you have them. We'll park in the Farmers market grounds and also check out the new 2 year old wetlands a quarter mile down Old Route 30.

Sat. Aug. 18 Whitney Wetlands for dragonflies at 1:00 PM.
Directions: From Rt 30 by the Latrobe Airport, turn South onto 981 - go past Kenna metal to top of hill. At the intersection go straight across onto Charles Houck Rd.- continue approx 1 mile. At the Big White Barn, make a left turn onto St. Cecilia Rd. go straight toward the ridge(, thru 2 stop signs) continue straight for approx 1 mile.. the road makes a sharp curve to the right, then down a hill ( Dead Man's Curve) our farm house can be seen on the right side at bottom of hill- long driveway. Deb Hart 412-554-4409 From Youngstown- Turn South at the Rt. 30 cloverleaf onto 982. Drive thru the next light past The Tin Lizzy. towards Mount Pleasant approx 2.5 miles , pass Bethel Church Hill Road, and Baggley School, turn on the 2nd. road on right onto St. Cecilia Rd. drive approx .4 miles, cross over small bridge, Turn Left onto our long Driveway

Sat. Aug. 25 Tree ID walk
Learn to use the inexpensive Tree Finder by May Theilgaard Watts in Duff Park. Meet in the parking lot at 10:00 AM. Field guides will be provided.

Sat. Sep. 8 C.F. Lewis Natural Area for warblers and maybe some snakes.
Wear hiking shoes and bring walking stick for treacherous terrain. Meet Jim Pemberton in the parking lot at 9:00 a.m. Call Dick for directions if needed.

Wed. Sep. 12 Warbler Watch on the Westmoreland Heritage Trail.
From Rt.66 in Delmont, turn right onto Greensburg St., follow it to a V intersection and bear left onto Freeport Rd., then take the first right onto Althena Drive and follow it to the WHT parking lot on the right. Meet there at 8:00 AM. Got lost? Call Ken Byerly on his cell at 724-289-0238.

Wed. Sep.19 Allegheny Front Hawkwatch
Join us at the lookout any time on or after 10:00 AM in our annual hope for the peak broadwing migration.

Tues. Sep. 25 Club Meeting at the Barn
Details above.

Sat. Oct. 6 Keystone S.P. Big Sit
Let Dick Byers know you're coming and when (contact info on front cover) to arrange for all-day or part-day coverage. Meet at the marsh end in the picnic area across from the beach parking lot.

Fri. Oct. 19 Friendship Hill National Recreation Trail
Meet at the Gallatin House parking lot at 10:00 AM. Download directions from the Internet. Driving time is about 1.25 hours from Greensburg, distance 51.4 miles.

Mon. Oct. 22 Fall Foliage Hike at Creekside Trail
Meet in Latrobe's Legion-Keener Park in the pavilion parking lot at 10:00 a.m.

Sun. Nov. 4 Morosini Reserve Hike
to show you the features and lay of the land on this new 188-acre nature reserve of the Westmoreland Conservancy. Prepare for steep terrain with good walking shoes. Meet Dick in the parking lot behind the Delmont McDonald's at 1:00 p.m.

Sun. Nov. 11 Pymatuning/Millers Pond
Meet Jim Pemberton at the I-79 Exit 141 Park and Ride - across the street from the Geneva Fast Stop at 9:00AM. Cancel with accumulating snow or rain. (412-414-9129)

Thur. Nov.15 Club Membership Meeting
Details above.

Sun. Dec. 30 Bushy Run Xmas Count
Meet at the Delmont McDonald's on Route 22 .5 mile west of the 22/66 cloverleaf at 7:30 a.m. Contact Dick before the meeting for assignment arrangements. Contact info on front cover.

Jan. 3-4 CBC Count Dinner
on hold Carbone's announced they were closing, so the count dinner will have to arranged elsewhere and it's too early for most restaurants to schedule. We'll announce by email.

Note: for the email addresses replace "_AT_" with "@", and "_DOT_ with ".", without the quotes. This is done to help foil spamming programs.

Bookmark outings.htm on a mobile device for quick download of scheduled outings for a text only listing of outings.

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Samples of recent newsletter and Christmas Bird Count results:

The Syrinx, Voicebox of the Westmoreland Bird & Nature Club, Vol. 36 No. 4, Oct - Dec 2017
Syrinx Oct - Dec 2017-2.pdf

Big Sit - all time 2008 to 2010 yr.pdf. The sit takes place at the wetland head of the lake at Keystone State Park in Derry Twp. All sightings are recorded from morning till evening.
Big Sit - all time 2 10 yr.pdf

The Syrinx, Voicebox of the Westmoreland Bird & Nature Club, Vol. 34 No. 3, July - September 2015
SyrinxJulySep 2015 B.pdf

The Syrinx, Voicebox of the Westmoreland Bird & Nature Club, Vol. 34 No. 2, April - June 2015

The Syrinx, Voicebox of the Westmoreland Bird & Nature Club, Vol. 33 No. 1, Jan. –Mar. 2014

40th BUSHY RUN S.P. CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT 2013 (114th) [Can open in Wordpad]
BushyRun 2013 Syrinx.doc

Click for Syrinx Newsletter          Click for Syrinx Newsletter

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Links to other web sites about nature and birds seen locally. These links can become inactive at any time.

Links to external websites will open in separate windows

Photos by Mark McConaughy:

Pine Siskin, White-winged Crossbill at Bushy Run Battlefield, Westmoreland Co., Feb. 2009

WBNC outing to West Lebanon, Indiana County, Feb. 24 2008.

Common Redpolls at Bushy Run Battlefield Park

Sandhill Crane at Derry Lake, Dec. 31 2007.

Herring Gull Nest in Armstrong County, 29 May 2005.

Short-billed Dowitcher at Mammoth Wetlands and Mammoth Lake, Sat. May 14 2005.

Hays Bald Eagle Cam in Pittsburgh || University of Pittsburgh Falcon Cam || Pittsburgh Gulf Tower Falcon Cam || Osprey Cam southeast PA

Westmoreland Botanical Society

Western Pennsylvania Mushroom Club

Three Rivers Birding Club

Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh

Botanical Society of Western Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Birding News at ABA || Birding mailing lists at ABA

Archives of PABIRDS@LIST.AUDUBON.ORG, Bird discussion list for Pennsylvania, Login required. || To subscribe or unsubscribe to the PABIRDS discussion list

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pink lady's slipper

To join Westmoreland Bird & Nature Club

Please send check or money order, made out to Westmoreland Bird & Nature Club to:
Rose Tillmann
PO Box 188
New Derry PA 15671
$7 individual/family. $20 supporting membership.
Include your name and address for the mailing list. Phone number, Email address, etc., is optional.

All Membership Dues are due in January, unless you joined after September 1st.
You can print and use an online application form by Clicking here.

current club patch

previous club patch

WBNC Bumper Sticker

Bookmark outings.htm on a mobile device for quick download of scheduled outings. outings.htm is a text only bare bones web page.

facebook group: Westmoreland Bird and Nature ClubFind us on this facebook group for a more interactive online interface, recent sightings and photographs.

Web page, and photos (unless otherwise noted), by Tim Vechter.

For places to bird in Westmoreland County click here

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