Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Keswick Hall

We love this place, which Lisa first took Warren to on a surprise mini-vacation in February. Keswick Hall, and its associated club and estate, are located on 600 acres near Monticello, outside of Charlottesville, Virginia. The hotel is first-rate, the restaurant simply amazing... and the staff are smart and attend to your every whim. More important than all that to BirdCouple is that they seem to genuinely care about the environment that they occupy.

Development is being done carefully, nature trails are going in. Did we mention that they are an Audobon-certified sanctuary? And that they are beginning a composting program?

Birds, of course, are where BirdCouple comes in. We are working with Keswick to develop a list of birds that can be seen on the estate's woods, ponds and golf courses. We spent two days here early this week, walking every inch of the property (or so it felt like). We found birds of every description: raptors, migrating neotropics, field birds, shore birds, herons, woodpeckers. Our list, still in the works, is at 63. It includes this Eastern Towhee:

And this Pine Warbler. Our hope is to increase guests' and the staff's knowledge of the birds around them, their pleasure from the natural environment and -- who knows? -- maybe convert a few folks into dedicated birders. More soon, BC is off to do one more walk around the grounds...

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