FOUR CONSERVATION ORGANIZATIONS in the Midcoast offer opportunities to get outdoors and learn about birds this spring.

FOUR CONSERVATION ORGANIZATIONS in the Midcoast offer opportunities to get outdoors and learn about birds this spring.

BRUNSWICK

Polish the lenses on your binoculars. The sixth annual Birding Extravaganza, a series of free birding excursions supported by four conservation organizations in Midcoast Maine, kicks off next month.

Merrymeeting Audubon, Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust, Harpswell Heritage Land Trust and Kennebec Estuary Land Trust have planned an array of experiences to spot and study a wide range of birds as well as learn from expert birders.

“The birding extravaganza is one of the many ways local land trusts serve their communities,” said Reed Coles, executive director of Harpswell Heritage Land Trust, in a press release. “This is a great excuse to try out a new trail, or see a familiar trail in a new light.”

Ted Allen, of Merrymeeting Audubon and who leads walks each spring, enjoys participating in the birding series because he never knows what kinds of birds he will spot during a walk.

“Despite the snow, the birds are still out there,” said Allen, “(I saw) about 25 of them that came down from Canada. They look like robins which have used way too much mascara to the extent that their whole head is black. Called Newfoundland Robins, it apparently got too cold for them up there and they showed up in Brunswick because they remembered the berries growing downtown.”

This year, the walks range in topic from learning techniques for beginning adult birders to exploring the species found around a working farm to spotting migrating waterfowl along a tidal stream. These walks are accessible to many, including outings for experienced and novice birders, families and those unable to walk great distances.

All events are free and open to the public. For more information, visit: maineaudubon.org/merrymeeting, kennebecestuary.org, hhltmaine.org or btlt.org.

The event schedule is as follows:

• April 28, 8 a.m. Kennebec Estuary Land Trust’s Sewall Woods Preserve in Bath led by Merrymeeting Audubon’s Ted Allen. The group will hike along Whiskeag Creek, a tidal influenced stream that flows into the Kennebec River. Birders will seek migrating waterfowl including Canada geese, black ducks, mallards, blue- and green-winged teal and common mergansers. Participants can meet at 7:30 a.m. at the CVS in Bath to carpool. Call Ted Allen at (207) 729- 8661 for more information.

• May 9, 7:30-9 a.m., Harpswell Heritage Land Trust’s Curtis Farm Preserve. John Berry will lead participants through fields and forest to look and listen for a wide range of spring birds. Bring binoculars and sturdy walking shoes. Space is limited, advance registration is required. For more information, visit hhltmaine.org, email [email protected] org or call (207) 837- 9613.

• May 10 and May 11, 7:30 a.m. Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust’s Crystal Spring Farm in Brunswick. This walk is through a variety of habitats, including fields, forests, and wetland in order to spot sparrows, bluebirds, bobolinks, and several species of warblers. Bring your binoculars, and meet at Crystal Spring Farm’s Farmers’ Market Green on Pleasant Hill Road in Brunswick at 7:30 a.m. For more information, contact Lee Cataldo at (207) 729-7694.

• May 26, 8 a.m. Ted Allen from Merrymeeting Audubon will lead birders through the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust’s Thorne Head Preserve in Bath. Overlooking Whiskeag Creek as it converges with the Kennebec River, the preserve is located on the Maine Birding Trail and is rich in migrating warblers and vireos. Participants can meet at 7:30 a.m. at the CVS in Bath to carpool. Call Ted Allen at (207) 729-8661 for more information.

• June 14, 6:30-8 p.m, Harpswell Heritage Land Trust office at 153 Harpswell Neck Road, Harpswell. The Intro to Birding for Adults kicks off in a classroom session. A field trip to a local site will take place June 16 (rain date June 17), 8-9:30 a.m.

Space is limited and advance registration is required. For more information, visit hhltmaine.org, email [email protected] or call (207) 837- 9613.


Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: