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
Links || Join || Application Form || Sitemap


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.

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 - Tim Vechter

History of club officers

Great Blue Heronry, 2014     Great Blue Heronry, 2014
Great Blue Heron colony, April 1 2014.

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

Wetland Delineation: History and Current Practice

by club member Mark Bowers

Donohoe Center Barn
Thursday, September 18, 2014
7:00 p.m. Doors open 6:30

Club Picnic

Keystone State Park
Pavilion #2
Sunday, July 27, 2014
4 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Bring a covered dish and your own drinks. Anything else is optional. The club will provide hamburgers, hot dogs, paper plates and plastic utensils. We'll hike Stone Lodge Trail or dabble in the pond across the road for dragonflies. The MOTH-ers will have their sheets up after dark. Pavilion #2 is at the west end of the park by the ball field, off Slag Rd (T860). Click here for a PDF map of the park.

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Click for Latrobe, Pennsylvania Forecast

Field Trips for Summer of 2014

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 July 20 Saint Vincent Wetlands Dragonfly / Butterfly Outing
Meet Tom Pearson at the first pond of the St. Vincent wetlands at 1 p.m. Directions: From the Arnold Palmer airport on Route 30 turn north onto Route 981. Go to the next stoplight and turn left. Continue on this road straight through the circle intersection on past the old Grist Mill on your right to the dirt road just beyond on your right that leads down into the parking lot between the first and second ponds. If the dirt road gate is closed, then park at the grist mill parking lot.

Fri-Sat. July 25-26 Ned Smith Center for Nature and Art
Make your reservation at the Lykens Valley Lodge near Millersburg for Friday night July 25 (1-800-257-2211) $72.1 if you tell them you'll be attending the Ned Smith Center. Two pets is $25 extra. Shortest route to Millersburg is 22 /322 through state College. We'll breakfast and head for the Nature Center in the A.M. Club member Tom Duran will be leading a gallery tour at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. This is also the 21st Ned Smith Nature and Arts Festival (click here) weekend in Millersburg which you can enjoy after the Ned Smith Center visitation. Their brochure describes programs on birds (Scott Weidensaul), fungi (Jerry Hassinger), honeybees, butterflies, photography, dinosaurs, Indian artifacts, folk music sessions, fly fishing, birds of prey grazing green goats and more. Stay as long as you want. Return home on your own.

Sun. July 27 Club Picnic
Keystone State Park Pavilion #2, 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Bring a covered dish and your own drinks. Anything else is optional. The club will provide hamburgers, hot dogs, paper plates and plastic utensils. We'll hike Stone Lodge Trail or dabble in the pond across the road for dragonllies. The moth-ers will have their sheets up after dark. Pavilion #2 is at the west end of the park by the ball field, off Slag Rd (T860). Click here for a PDF map of the park.

Saturday, Aug. 16 - Yellow Creek State Park Lake
Join Tom and Billie Moser at 10 AM for Birds, Botany, Bugs and More at the Yellow Creek State Park. 170 Route 259 Highway, Penn Run, PA 15765-5941. Directions - From Indiana, PA take PA Route 422 and travel 12 miles east (www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/findapark/yellowcreek/index.htm#boating). We will meet at the main day-use launch area to begin our exploration of Grandpa's and Grandma's cove and other areas. Bring your own canoe or or rent from the Park boat concession on a first come basis. Come early if renting to ensure you have a craft. Rental Costs -Canoe (3 people) and Single Kayak - $10/hr; Double Kayak - $12/hr for more information regarding rental reservations, contact the park office 724-357-7913 or www.coop.iup.edu/Co-op_Rec_Sailing.htm (Rental halfway down page) RSVP by July 28 - Billie Moser (dewey4301_AT_yahoo_DOT_com or 724-325-1946). We will meet at the boat launch in the main day use area at 10AM ready to launch.

Sat. Aug. 23 Keystone State Park Star-gazing Party with the Pittsburgh Astronomers Club
This event takes place in the beach area from 8:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. and is open to the public. Club member Mark McConaughy will be there with his 9.5" reflector. Move around and enjoy the beauty of the fall celestial objects.

Sat. Sept. 13 Murrysville Community Park & Walter Nature Reserve
Meet Sue Miller at the Miracle Field parking lot for a general nature walk at 10:00 a.m. Directions from Delmont: Take Route 22 west to Murrysville and turn right onto Cline Hollow Road. Follow Cline Hollow to the T-junction with Hills Church Road and turn left. At the next intersection Hills Church will turn left, BUT you will go straight ahead and be on Weistertown Rd. Continue on Weistertown until you pass Evans Road on your left. Take the next left into the Community Park. When you come into the entrance of MCP, drive up the hill until you see the blue "Miracle Field Drive" street sign and turn right. Drive down to the field and park to the left of the field.

Sun. Sept. 14 Laurel Hill State Park Canoe Outing
Meet at the northern launch area parking lot at 10:00 a.m. Directions: From the Donegal Turnpike exit follow Route 31 East for 14 miles to Trent Road on your right. Turn right onto Trent Road and in about 2 miles you'll see the park entrance on your right. Continue on the park road straight through the 1st intersection past the park office, down the hill and over the bridge. Shortly after the bridge you'll see the left turn going downhill into the boat launch parking lot. Bring your own canoe.

Thur. Sept. 18 Club Meeting
Delineated wetlands by Mark Bowers - 7:00 p.m. at the Donohoe Center barn.

Sat. Sept. 20 Westmoreland Heritage Trail for fall warblers.
Meet our warbler expert Ken Byerly (724-468-8594) at the Delmont McDonald's just west of the Rt. 22/Rt. 66 cloverleaf at 8:00 a.m.

Tues: Sep. 23 Allegheny Front Hawk Watch
Meet at the lookout at 11 a.m. for the equinox broadwing migration! Click here for directions.

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.

Samples of recent newsletter and Christmas Bird Count results:

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: Westmoreland Bird and Nature Club Find us on facebook

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

For places to bird in Westmoreland County click here

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