Join BTLT and our conservation neighbors again this year for the Spring Birding Extravaganza!
Birders of all ages and experience levels are invited to take part in the fifth annual Birding Extravaganza, a free series of birding events sponsored by four conservation organizations in Midcoast Maine. Merrymeeting Audubon (MMA), Kennebec Estuary Land Trust, Harpswell Heritage Land Trust, and Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust have collaborated to offer eight opportunities to watch for and learn about a wide range of birds, both seasonal migrants and permanent residents.
The series is a way to encourage community members to enjoy and learn about the our beautiful natural areas and introduces folks to all of the land trusts’ preserves and trails. The protected areas of the three land trusts cover thirteen towns in a region known as a global hotspot for migratory birds.
“The land trusts work hard to provide a variety of trails for the public to experience the natural wonder of our region. It’s thrilling to showcase these special outdoor places by birding with people of all ages,” said Carrie Kinne, Executive Director of the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust,
“The series gives the perfect excuse to visit and experience a new outdoor place not so far from home.”
“Every year this series is an absolute favorite with our community,” said Lee Cataldo, Outreach and Education Coordinator at Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust. “We truly love this partnership with the neighboring land trusts and MMA. It is such a great way to bring folks from all over the region to new trails and properties, and to get to see some of the amazing migratory birds that pass through the Midcoast.”
This year, the walks range in topic from observing songbirds at Crystal Spring Farm to an evening presentation about migrating herons in Harpswell to a walk to see birds of the forests, meadows and wetlands on Westport Island. 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. You can visit the websites of the four hosting organizations for more information on these terrific treks to observe our feathered friends.
Details on each event:
On Thursday, April 13 from 6-7:30 p.m. join Harpswell Heritage Land Trust for a presentation titled: Herons in Migration. Hear about a new initiative to track the nesting, migration and wintering habits of Great Blue Herons and how the results so far tie in with what we know about the natural history and current status of Maine’s heron population. Our speaker is Danielle D’Auria of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. FMI: www.hhltmaine.org, 207-837-9613 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Thursday, April 27 at 6:00 p.m. join the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust to learn more about Osprey and how you can get involved in Osprey Watch. This international citizen science projects makes it easy for anyone to monitor local Osprey nests and report data that helps us better understand this amazing and threatened species. FMI: www.btlt.org or email@example.com .
On Saturday, April 29 at 8:00 a.m. join Merrymeeting Audubon and the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust (KELT) to explore Whiskeag Creek where it empties into the Kennebec River at Thorne Head. Bird species we hope to see include Canada Geese, Black Ducks, Mallards, Blue and Green-winged Teal, Common Mergansers, as well as early arriving songbirds. Meet at the Bath CVS at 7:30 a.m. to carpool. FMI Ted Allen at 729-8661.
On Saturday, April 29 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. join the Harpswell Heritage Land Trust for Birding for Kids, a free, hands-on workshop for families. Participants will learn how to begin identifying birds through their shape, size, beaks, songs and habitat. The group will explore how differently shaped beaks are designed for different foods, listen to some common bird songs and go for a walk to try to identify birds using skills they’ve learned. Join us at Curtis Farm Preserve, 1554 Harpswell Neck Road, Harpswell. Bring binoculars. FMI: www.hhltmaine.org, 207-837-9613, firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Friday, May 12 at 7:30 a.m. join expert birder Jan Pierson for a popular annual outing to Brunswick Topsham Land Trust’s Crystal Spring Farm in Brunswick. This walk is through a variety of habitats, including fields, forests, and wetland. We hope to see 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. FMI: Ted Allen, 207-729-8661.
On Saturday, May 13 at 8:00 a.m. birders of all ages are invited to the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust’s Squam Creek Preserve on Westport Island to scout for birds on this new preserve led by volunteer and local birding enthusiast, Robert Carnicella. With a variety of habitats ranging from fields to woodlands to wetlands, Squam Creek is the perfect place to practice birding techniques. Wear boots or shoes that can get mucky and bring a pair of binoculars. FMI: www.kennebecestuary.org/birding-extravaganza, 207-442-8400.
On Tuesday, May 23 at 8:00 a.m. join us for the Bradley Pond Warbler walk in Topsham. This relatively easy walk passes through a conservation easement surrounding a privately-owned working farm. The easement includes varied habitats. We’ll focus on migrating land birds: warblers, flycatchers, blackbirds, vireos, sparrows and an occasional raptor. Meet at the Brunswick Hannaford at 7:30 a.m. or at Bradley Pond Preserve, second parking lot at 8:00 a.m. FMI: Ted Allen, 207-729-8661
On Saturday, May 27 at 8:00 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. FMI: Ted Allen, 207-729-8661.
On Saturday June 10 at 8:00 a.m. join us at the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust’s Cathance River Nature Preserve in Topsham. The forest, river, and heath of the Preserve offer varied habitats for an array of migratory birds. We will walk the trails looking for Towhees, sparrows, warblers, woodpeckers, and other birds. Wildflowers, ferns, and mosses grow in the moist woods by the river.