Mascoma Chapter of NH Audubon
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All Chapter field trips/walks and programs are free and open to the public.
Fall Bird Walk Calendar
Bedell Covered Bridge Bird Walk
Saturday, October 1
7:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Bedell Bridge State Historic Site – NH Rt. 10
The Bedell Covered Bridge may be long gone, a victim of a violent windstorm in 1979, but the grounds surrounding it offer a diverse array of habitats that always produce some interesting sightings. There are wetlands and hardwood stands as well as active agricultural fields. Last fall’s trip recorded nearly 30 species. Including a pair of northern harriers and a dozen rusty blackbirds.
The walk will be co-hosted by Mascoma Chapter Steering Committee members Blake Allison and George Clark. People from the Hanover/Norwich area and environs wishing to carpool should meet at 7:00 a.m. in the “Park ‘n Ride” lot on the Vermont side of the Ledyard Bridge in Norwich.
The trip is free and open to the public. All experience levels are welcome. The walking is level, traveling over a dirt road and lawn-like grassy areas. Bring binoculars and/or spotting scopes as you prefer. Water is recommended. In the event of steady rain, the event will be cancelled.
Directions: From the south, take I-91 north to Exit 16 for Bradford. At the bottom of the ramp, turn right onto VT Rt. 25 and follow it across the Connecticut River into New Hampshire. After about a quarter mile, you'll see River Rd. on your left. Turn onto it and follow it north about three miles to its junction with NH Route 10. Turn left onto Rt. 10. In a half mile it will go past the Haverhill Green. The park entrance is about 100 yards farther ahead on the left at Meadow Road. Turn left and follow the dirt road down to the riverside parking area.
Alternatively, you can take NH Rt. 10 north from Hanover to Haverhill, or in VT take US Route 5 north to Bradford, and at the traffic light turn right onto VT Rt. 2
Richmond Conservation Land
Saturday, October 15
7:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Join Mascoma Chapter Steering Committee member Jeff MacQueen as he leads an exploration of this recently conserved area at the Jacob's Brook outlet in Orford. Several different habitats are found there, and we will be searching for migrating waterfowl as well as some late-moving land birds. Afterwards, participants are welcome to visit other birding hotspots in Orford, including Reed's Marsh WMA.
Participants coming from the south are invited to meet at the “park and ride” lot at the Norwich end of the Ledyard Bridge at 7:00 a.m. to form carpools.
The event is free and open to the public. All experience levels are welcome. Bring binoculars and/or spotting scopes as you prefer. The trails can be uneven in spots and may be damp if there has been recent rain. Appropriate footwear is advisable. In the event of inclement weather, the event will be cancelled.
Directions: From VT take either I-91 (Exit 15) or US Rt. 5 to Fairlee. Cross over the Samuel Morey Bridge into Orford. At the stop sign, turn left onto NH Rt. 10. The Richmond Conservation Land site is located one mile north. Look for a kiosk and stone marker on the left adjacent to a large cornfield.
Alternatively, in New Hampshire, you can take NH Rt. 10 directly north from points south.
Dead Creek Wildlife Management Area
Saturday, November 5
All Day Event
Did someone say snow geese? Last year’s visit to this major migratory stop on the Lake Champlain flyway produced a tally of nearly 3000 of the beautiful, white birds. Watchers occasionally were treated to wonderful views of the flock spiraling upward creating spectacular white, cloud-like formations. Depending on conditions, expect to see a variety of waterfowl, raptors and perhaps even late migrating shore birds.
This is an all day event. Carpoolers will depart at 7:00 a.m. from the “Park ‘n Ride” lot on the Vermont side of the Ledyard Bridge in Norwich.
The trip is free and open to the public. All experience levels are welcome. The walking is level traveling over paved and dirt roads. Bring binoculars and/or spotting scopes as you prefer. Packing a lunch and water is recommended. In the event of adverse weather conditions the event will be cancelled.
Snow geese on the move at Dead Creek WMA in Addison, VT.
Photo: Peg Ackerson-- Lyme, NH
Annual Hawk Migration Watch
Saturday, September 17
Lebanon Airport -- Airport Road,
W. Lebanon, NH
Saturday morning, under sunny skies, about 30 participants joined in a hawk watch arranged by the Mascoma Chapter of New Hampshire Audubon at the Lebanon (NH) Municipal Airport.
Raptors were the highlight among 16 bird species found. Thie numbers included 35 Turkey Vultures, three Osprey, an adult and an immature Bald Eagle, two Cooper's Hawks, 24 Broad-winged Hawks, seen in two kettles, and three Red-tailed Hawks.
Among other species that were recorded were a Northern Flicker, an Eastern Phoebe, at least ten American Crows, five Common Ravens, seven Blue Jays, eight Black-capped Chickadees, a White-breasted Nuthatch, 14 European Starlings, a Song Sparrow, and five American Goldfinches.
Additional details are available at
Norwich Birdwalk – Early Fall Migrants
Saturday, August 20
The Mascoma Chapter's annual August trip upo theVermont side of the Connecticut River drew about 15 participants. More than 45 bird species found during three stops: 1) Ledyard Bridge (Foley Park), 2) "Pompy Flats" and Kendall Station Road, and 3) Campbell Flats Road.
At the outset, temperatures were cool, in the 50s, under moderate fog, but conditions became notably warmer, into the low 70s, as clearing of the fog provided bright blue skies with abundant sunshine.
Waterbirds seen included Green Heron, Wood Duck, Mallard, American Black Duck, and Hooded Merganser. A Turkey Vulture, juvenile Cooper’s Hawk, and a Broad-winged Hawk were the raptorial kinds of species. A Chimney Swift was sighted from Kendall Station Road.
It was rewarding to find several Ruby-throated Hummingbirds. Belted-kingfishers, and five species of woodpeckers. A Least Flycatcher was seen in good light. Eastern Phoebes and Eastern Kingbirds were relatively numerous. Barn Swallows were present under the I-91 bridge and presumably still keeping nests there.
One of the more remarkable sightings of the morning was finding three Blue-gray Gnatcatchers together along Kendalll Station Road. Warblers overall seemed a bit scarce, but there were numerous sightings of American Redstarts.
The cornfield on Campbell Flats Road yielded Common Yellowthroats, and numbers of Song Sparrows, Indigo Buntings, and Bobolinks.
After this fine morning afield, special thanks is due to co-leaders Sara Eisenhauer, Ed Hack, and Spencer Hardy, Special help has been given by Sara in preparing the eBird report for Ledyard Bridge, and by Spencer in entering eBird reports for the "Pompy Flats" area and Campbell Flats Road.
Ledyard Bridge Area
Kendall Station Road
Campbell Flats Road
Great blue herons often are seen in the wtlands at Bedell Bridge State Historic Site.
Photo: Wayne Benoit -- Manchester, NH
Birding River Road – Hanover to Lyme
Saturday, July 23
The Mascoma Chapter's annual, July excursion north along the Connecticut River took place under pleasantly cool and clear conditions from its beginning at Hanover's Wilson Landing to its conclusion in Lyme a few yards north of where Grant Brook flows into the "long river." More than 15 observers tallied 45 species of birds.
Among the birds at Wilson’s Landing were Canada geese, both hooded and common mergansers, a young yellow-bellied sapsucker, at least three northern flickers, a singing willow flycatcher, a few vocalizing kingbirds flying about, a barn swallow, cedar waxwings and two rose-breasted grosbeaks.
Lyme's Hewes Brook Cartop Boat Launch area yielded a double-crested cormorant perched on a snag across the river, a Louisiana waterthrush. a singing pine warbler and a mature male American redstart.
Farther along up at Grant Brook, an unusual find was an occasionally singing marsh wren. Among other species observed were six turkey vultures soaring over Thetford and a belted kingfisher.
The outing concluded just up the road from Grant Brook at the home of long time Mascoma Chapter associates Ann Flood and Hal Swartz. Their numerous feeders brought in several previously unrecorded "finds" including mourning doves, ruby-throated Hummingbirds, a hairy woodpecker, an eastern bluebird, a Baltimore oriole, and two purple finches.
Thanks to Jeff MacQueen for preparing the outing's species lists and an additional note of appreciation to Jeff, George Clark and Blake Allison for co-leading. Kudos to Ann and Hal for their generous and gracious hospitality. Their post-walk reception set a very high bar for future Mascoma Chapter gatherings. We also are grateful to Dartmouth Printing for allowing us to use their parking lot as a gathering spot.
Here are links to the day's accounts as submitted to eBird.
River Road -- Hanover to Lyme:
Hewes Brook Cartop Boat Launch Area:
Grant Brook and Environs:
VT State Prison Farm and Environs
Saturday, June 18
On a sunny, pleasantly cool, morning, 26 participants found a total of 46 bird species during a walk on the Windsor (VT) state prison farm grounds as arranged by the Mascoma Chapter of New Hampshire Audubon.
Highlights included two Northern Harriers, an exceptional species in the Upper Valley during the summer months and one ranked as of statewide Special Concern for conservation in the 2015 Vermont state listing. We urge anyone going to view and/or photograph these birds to do so from a road and not to enter vegetated areas where these birds might possibly nest so as to avoid human disturbance which might result in a nesting failure.
Other noteworthy birds were an American Kestrel, a male Ruby-throated Hummingbird which provided spectacular views, and eight species of warblers including a Blue-winged Warbler and a blue-winged/golden-winged hybrid Brewster’s Warbler. Field, Savannah, and Swamp Sparrows, as well as an Eastern Towhee, were present. Bobolinks, a Scarlet Tanager, a Rose-breasted Grosbeak, and a Baltimore Oriole added to the morning's enjoyment.
Special thanks go to co-leaders Blake Allison, Sara Eisenhauer, and Ed Hack. Additional thanks to Blake who kept the list and has provided much more detail in an eBird report a:
Bedell Covered Bridge State Historic Site
Saturday, May 28th
Thanks to Mascoma Chapter Steering Committee members George Clark, Jeff MacQueen and Blake Allison for jointly leading the walk and to Jeff for compiling the event's sightings.
More Bird Watching Opportunties
NH Audubon Events
Check the NH Audubon web site for activities hosted by NH Audubon and its chapters. At the website you can download the latest addition of NH Audubon's quarterly newsletter Afield, or register to receive its monthly e-letter E-field.
VT County 2016 Birding Quest
Recommended too is the VT Center for Eco-studies VT County Birding Quest program. This inter-county competition provides opportunities to bird important VT areas with staff members from the Center.
For information about the results of the 2015 VT County Bird Quest and to learn about the 2016 edition, visit the VT Center for Eco-tudies web site: www.vtecostudies.org
The wetlands at Bedell Covered Bridge State Historic Site offer opportunities to view a variety of waders, waterfowland members of the flycatcher family.
Photo: Blake Allison -- Lyme, NH