Merrimack Valley Bird Club

               
Juvenile Red Tailed Hawk  Parker River  11/11/2012    

Double click on image for full size picture
The Merrimack Valley Bird Club has been exploring the Merrimack Valley and North Shore of Massachusetts since 1948.  Newcomers are welcome. Bring binoculars and/or spotting scope if you have them!
Most walks include coffee and snacks at the end unless otherwise noted.  Bring something to share if you can!

Executive Committee
President - Donna Cooper
Treasurer - Diane Lightburn
Secretary - Louis Keller
Recording Secretary - Bill Headley
Program Coordinator - Mike Timko

President Emeritus - Evelyn Retelle 

If weather impacts a walk, members will be notified by email and the website updated.  If in doubt, check with the Club President (978-944-0655).

MVBC is a member of the Association of Massachusetts Bird Clubs.

Check out our Facebook page here. 

Found a place you’d like to share for a bird walk? 

If you are willing to lead an exploratory walk in a new location send a suggestion for a date/time to birdclub.merrimackvalley@gmail and we’ll share it with the members.  Interested members will be directed to contact you and it will be up to you set it up and lead the walk.


Contact birdclub.merrimackvalley@gmail.com for information about the club or joining!

Fall Schedule 2017

posted Jul 27, 2017, 2:11 PM by Donna Cooper   [ updated Sep 6, 2017, 8:00 AM ]

If there is any doubt about whether a walk will be held, please contact the Club president, Donna Cooper, at 978-944-0655


Saturday August 12 @ 8 AM Cancelled, Rain date is on for Sunday 8/13.

 Rain date Sunday August 13

Plum Island – Newburyport MA

Meet at the Parker River Wildlife Refuge Parking Lot 1 (map).  Expect to see Purple Martins, Tree Swallows and shore birds.  Don’t be late for this walk as Plum Island can fill up with beach goers if it is a nice day!  This walk consists of driving down Plum Island with various stops for sighting birds.  There is no extended walking.

Leaders: Bill Headley and Evelyn Retelle

 

Saturday - September 9  OR  10 @ 9 AM, OR September 16 OR 17  Rescheduled, walk will be held on Sunday September 10th.

Fall Hawk Watch – Mt. Wachusett  

345 Mountain Road (map link)

Princeton MA 01541

NOTE: Because this event is so weather dependent we are specifying two possible weekends that we may go.  We will watch the wind direction and weather forecast and declare whether we go by September 7th.  If neither day of the first weekend is good for hawk migration, we’ll move it to the second weekend and notify club members.

When the date is finalized, members will receive an email and the website will be updated

Meet at the top of Mt. Wachusett (web site). The road to the summit opens at 9:00. There may be a fee for parking.  There are rest facilities at the summit.  Bring your lunch, a drink and your snacks for sharing.  Bring a lawn chair and sunscreen/hat. 

This event consists of driving to the summit of Mt. Wachusett on a paved road with very little walking.

If we get the wind right we can see hundreds of migrating raptors. 

 

Saturday - September 16th @ 9 AM  

Rain date: September 17

Great Meadows Wildlife Refuge – Concord MA

Meet at the Refuge parking lot at Monsen Rd. off Rt. 62 in Concord (map).  Expect to see fall migration of ducks, geese and ospreys.  This walk consists of an approximately 2 mile walk on level trails.  There is an opportunity to stop halfway for participants who do not wish to circle the pond.

Leaders: Don and Donna Cooper

 

Saturday – September 30 @ 9 AM

Rain date: Sunday October 1

Retelle Reservation

This beautiful reservation is located off Brundrette Rd (map). in Andover.  There is a walk through a meadow and then along the Merrimack River.  This walk consists of extended walking on a relatively open, flat trail.

Leader: Evelyn Retelle

 

Saturday – October 7 @ 9 AM  

Rain date: Sunday October 8

Cashman Park Newburyport MA

We will meet at Cashman Park (map) and check out Salisbury Beach and Cherry Hill Reservation.

This walk consists of driving between multiple sites for birding.  There is no extended walking.

Leader: Mike Timko


Saturday - October 14 @ 9 AM

Rain date:  Sunday October 15

Maudslay State Park – Newburyport MA  (map)

This walk has been a favorite in years past and we revisited it last year and enjoyed it.  It consists of an approximately one mile walk through clear open trails.

Leader: Chas Bicking

 

Saturday – October 21 @ 9 AM

Rain date:  Sunday October 22

Odiorne State Park (map)

The walk will be at Odiorne Point State Park.  It is a beautiful walk with a mix of sea birds and woodland birds (Harrier, Eider, Song Sparrow, etc.) The walk is about 1.5 miles on level trails that are dirt and stone (not paved).  There are restrooms in the picnic area.  There are restrooms in the Science Center (open at 10AM) that we can use without paying an entry fee.

There is no fee to park while the entry gate is unstaffed for the fall/winter.

Leader: Diane Lightburn

 

Saturday - November 4 @ 9 AM

Rain date:  Sunday November 5

Cape Ann and Halibut Point - Gloucester MA 

Meet at the Friendly’s Restaurant at the Route 128 rotary in Gloucester (map).  Expect beautiful vistas and many ducks and shore birds. This walk consists of driving up Cape Ann with various stops for sighting birds.  There is no extended walking.

Leader: Lou Keller

 

Saturday December 9 @ 8:00 AM

CBC Planning Meeting and Winter Social

In case of bad weather, the walk will be canceled and the meeting and social will start at 10:30.

Meet at 8 AM at Nevin’s Bird Sanctuary on Pine Street in Methuen (map). 

Directions from the Sanctuary web site: Follow Rte. I-93 to exit 47 (Pelham Street). Follow Pelham Street towards downtown Methuen. At Five Corners intersection, take slight left onto Lowell Street, and first left onto Pine Stet. Continue to the end of Pine Street. Parking is available along the rail bed.

This walk consists of an approximately one mile walk on trails that may be snow covered. 

After the walk we will have the Bird Count planning meeting and winter social at the home of Jack and Peg Mahoney at 71 Hampstead Street Methuen MA. (map)

Bring brunch goodies to share.

 

Saturday December 16 – All day

Christmas Bird Count

Andover area coordinator: Donna Cooper (978-944-0655)

Weather date: December 18th

This is the 28th year of the MVBC’s support of the Christmas Bird Count. We hope that all who participated in previous counts will join us again for a day of citizen science.

Untitled

posted Jul 27, 2017, 9:14 AM by Lou Keller   [ updated Jul 27, 2017, 2:12 PM by Donna Cooper ]



Untitled

posted Apr 19, 2017, 7:42 AM by Lou Keller   [ updated May 22, 2017, 6:14 AM ]

Spring 2016 Schedule Part 2 - Revised

April 29th, 2017 - Saturday - 8:00 AM 

Ward Reservation - Andover

Meet at Ward Reservation parking lot about .6 miles down Prospect Road.  Prospect Road is off of Rt. 125 about 1.6 miles from the split of Routes 114 and 125. Make a left onto Prospect Road if going south on Rt. 125.
Note: There is now a fee to park at all Trustees of Reservations properties if you are not a member.  Please be aware of this when you arrive. 
Leader: Diane Lightburn (cell) 978-989-5833

April 30th, 2017 – Sunday - 8:00 AM

Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary

Meet at the parking lot of the Mass Audubon Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary for a walk through the beautiful grounds. 

Leader: Lou Wagner (cell) 978-807-6657

 


CANCELED

May 6, 2016 - Saturday – 8:00 AM
Retelle Memorial Baker’s Meadow Walk
Meet at the lower entrance of West Parish Cemetery in Andover and end by walking around Baker’s Meadow. 
Leader: Evelyn Retelle (978) 475-4412

 

May 7, 8:00 AM
Plum Island – Newburyport and Annual Meeting

Meet at Parking Lot 1 on the Parker River National Refuge, immediately after the guard station.  There should be plenty of warblers and other spring migrants arriving at Plum Island and this should be a productive morning.

We will have our annual meeting after this walk. There will not be a coffee break, instead we will have lunch at Mass Audubon’s Joppa Flats Education Center.  Bring your own lunch and a beverage.   Dessert will be provided.  If there is rain, the walk will be cancelled and we will meet at 11:30 for lunch and our meeting.
Leader: Mike Timko  (cell) 978-771-1908 


May 13, 2016 – Saturday –Mount Auburn Cemetery - Cambridge

Car pool from Evelyn Retelle’s (64 Reservation Rd. Andover) at 6:30 AM, OR be at the Cemetery Gates at 7:30 AM. This is one of the best trips in the US for spring warblers. People come from all over for this hotspot! We will not snack at the end of this walk due cemetery regulations.

Leader: Bill Headley (home) 603-898-7650


CANCELED 

May 14, 2016 – Sunday - 7:30 AM

North Andover - Barker Street to Far Corners

Meet on Barker Street, behind McLay’s Florist Shop at the intersection of Route 125 and Barker St. in North Andover.  We start early so we can place some cars at Far Corners, so come at 7:30 to help facilitate the car placement.  We will walk to Far Corners Golf Club on a beautiful country road with Rose-breasted Grosbeaks usually seen.  Then we pile into cars for the ride back to McLay’s and snacks.   

Leaders: Don and Donna Cooper (cell) 978-944-0655

 

May 20, 2016 - Saturday - North Andover - 8:00 AM
Oscar Root Memorial Walk

Meet at Mazarenko Farm Conservation Area parking lot located on Bradford Street about a quarter mile north of the intersection of Route 133 and the entrance to Brooks School.  This walk will continue at Hovey’s Pond in North Andover where we usually find Prairie Warblers, Lady’s Slipper and Columbine.

Leaders: Don and Donna Cooper cell: (978) 944-0655

 

May 21, 2016 - Sunday - Newbury MA – 8:00 AM
Martin Burns Wildlife Reservation

Meet at the parking lot at Martin Burns. Take Exit 55 off Route 95. Follow Central Street east for .7 miles. Take a left onto Orchard Street. Go 1 mile to the Reservation. Drive in and park at the far end of the entrance road.
Leader: Chas and Molly Bicking (978) 807-1614


Bird count:

Martin Burns WMA, Essex, Massachusetts, US
May 21, 2017 8:00 AM - 11:50 AM
Protocol: Traveling
2.25 mile(s)
Comments:     Merrimack Valley Bird Club walk
44 species

Canada Goose  3
Green-winged Teal  4
Great Blue Heron  7
Turkey Vulture  2
Solitary Sandpiper  1
Greater Yellowlegs  1
Mourning Dove  6
Ruby-throated Hummingbird  2
Red-bellied Woodpecker  2
Downy Woodpecker  1
Northern Flicker  1
Olive-sided Flycatcher  1
Eastern Phoebe  6
Great Crested Flycatcher  4
Eastern Kingbird  6
Warbling Vireo  2
Red-eyed Vireo  6
Blue Jay  2
American Crow  6
Tree Swallow  2
Black-capped Chickadee  4
Tufted Titmouse  10
House Wren  1
Carolina Wren  1
American Robin  15
Gray Catbird  8
Black-and-white Warbler  1
Common Yellowthroat  10
American Redstart  1
Magnolia Warbler  1
Bay-breasted Warbler  1
Yellow Warbler  3
Chipping Sparrow  6
Song Sparrow  6
Eastern Towhee  6
Scarlet Tanager  4
Northern Cardinal  1
Rose-breasted Grosbeak  6
Indigo Bunting  1
Red-winged Blackbird  2
Common Grackle  4
Brown-headed Cowbird  12
Baltimore Oriole  20
American Goldfinch  3


May 27th- Saturday – 8:00 AM 
Retelle Memorial Baker’s Meadow Walk 
Meet at the lower entrance of West Parish Cemetery in Andover and end by walking around Baker’s Meadow.  

Leader: Mike Timko (978) 681-0424


May 28th - Sunday - 7:30 AM

Barker Street to far Corner Walk

Meet on Barker Street. Park on Barker Street near Lots of Eats Thai Restaurant. 

Leaders: Diane Lightburn (978) 682-4851 and Mike Timko (978) 681-0424



Winter Walk Schedule January - April 2017

posted Jan 13, 2017, 10:34 AM by Lou Keller   [ updated Apr 17, 2017, 2:18 PM by Donna Cooper ]


January 15th, 2017 - Sunday - Snow date - Sunday  Jan 21st

9:00 AM - Plum Island, Salisbury area

Meet at Parker River Wildlife Refuge Parking Lot 1 (map).

Leader: Bill Headley (cell) 603-952-1913


This Walk  has been canceled Due to Snow February 11th, 2017 - Saturday - Snow Date February 12th 

9:00AM Merrimack River

Cashman Park in Newburyport  Cashman Park (map)

Leader: Donna Cooper - (cell) 978-944-0655


February 18, 2017 - Saturday- all day - Joppa Flats Eagle Festival (not a Club event, but worthwhile) Joppa Flats Eagle Festival    Directions

 

March 26th, 2017 - Sunday - No snow/rain date

 8:45 AM - Bear Creek  Wildlife Sanctuary -100 Salem Turnpike  Saugus, MA 01906   Directions

Members have taken this walk and highly recommend it. 

Leader: Donna Cooper - (cell) 978-944-0655

Note: This is a 4 hour walk organized by Wheelabrator on their property.  We are required to stay with the group. We are not allowed to leave prior to the walk ending. There are no restroom facilities, plan accordingly!


April 8th, 2017 - Saturday - Snow date April 9th

8:45 AM - Cape Anne and Halibut Point areas

Meet at  Friendly’s Restaurant at the Route 128 rotary in Gloucester (map)

Leader: Donna Cooper (cell) 978-944-0655


April 22nd, 2017 - Saturday 

8:00AM Kenoza Park in Haverhill 

Meet at the tennis courts on Shore Drive off Kenoza Ave in Haverhill this lovely walk around Forest Lake

Leader: Bil Headley (cell) 603-952-1913


April 23rd, 2017 - Sunday

8:00 AM Pomp’s Pond  -  Andover

Meet at the tennis court parking area of the Pomp’s Pond recreation area off Abbott St. in Andover

Leader: Donna Cooper (cell) 978-944-0655


April 29th, 2017 - Saturday

8:00 AM Ward Reservation - Andover

Meet at Ward Reservation parking lot about .6 miles down Prospect Road.  Prospect Road is off of Rt. 125 about 1.6 miles from the split of Routes 114 and 125. Make a left onto Prospect Road if going south on Rt. 125.

Note: There is now a fee to park at Trustees of Reservations properties if you are not a member.  Please be aware of this when you arrive. 

Leaders: Diane Lightburn (cell) 978-989-5833


April 30th, 2017 - Sunday

8:00AM Plum Island – Newburyport

Meet at Parking Lot 1 on the Parker River National Refuge, immediately after the guard station.  There should be plenty of warblers and other spring migrants arriving at Plum Island and this should be a productive morning.

Leader: Mike Timko  (cell) 978-771-1908 

Untitled

posted Jul 13, 2016, 10:27 AM by Lou Keller   [ updated Jan 13, 2017, 10:40 AM ]

Fall Walk Schedule  August - December 2016Saturday August 13th – 8 AM (Rain date Sunday August 14th) 

Plum Island – Newburyport MA 

Meet at the Parker River Wildlife Refuge Parking Lot 1 (map).  Expect to see Purple Martins, Tree Swallows and shore birds.  Don’t be late for this walk as the Island can fill up if it is a nice beach day!

This walk consists of driving down Plum Island with various stops for sighting birds.  There is no extended walking.

Leader:  Mike Timko cell: (978) 771-1908


New Date: Saturday - September 24th 

Fall Hawk Watch – Mt. Wachusett   

345 Mountain Road (map)
Princeton MA 01541

NOTE: Because this event is so weather dependent we are only specifying the weekend we will go.  We will watch the wind direction and weather and declare whether we go Saturday or Sunday a couple days BEFORE September 24th.  If we get the wind right we can see hundreds of migrating raptors.  

When the date is finalized, members will receive an email and the website will be updated 

Meet at the top of Mt. Wachusett (web site). The road to the summit opens at 9:00. There may be a fee for parking.  There are rest facilities at the summit.  Bring your lunch, a drink and your snacks for sharing.  Bring a lawn chair and sunscreen/hat if it is sunny.  

This event consists of driving to the summit of Mt. Wachusett on a paved road with very little walking.

Leaders: Lou Keller (978-886-2857)


Saturday - September 17th - 9 AM   (Rain date: September 18th)
Great Meadows Wildlife Refuge – Concord MA

Meet at the Refuge parking lot at Monsen Rd. off Rt. 62 in Concord (map).  Expect to see fall migration of ducks, geese and ospreys.
This walk consists of an approximately 2 mile walk on level trails.  There is an opportunity to stop halfway for participants who do not wish to circle the pond.

Leaders: Don and Donna Cooper (cell: 978-944-0655)

Schedule Change to rain date: Sunday October 2nd - 9 AM  

Retelle Reservation

This beautiful reservation is located off Brundrette Rd (map). in Andover.  There is a walk through a meadow and then along the Merrimack River.  

This walk consists of extended walking on a relatively open, flat trail.

Leaders: Chas and Molly Bicking (978-687-0754)


Saturday – October 8th - 9 AM   (Rain date: Sunday October 9th)
Cashman Park Newburyport MA

We will meet at Cashman Park (map) and check out Salisbury Beach and Cherry Hill Reservation.
This walk consists of driving between multiple sites for birding.  There is no extended walking.

Leader: Diane Lightburn (Cell: 978-989-5833)


Saturday - October 15th – 9 AM (Rain date:  Sunday October 16th)

Birds at Maudsley State Park – Newburyport MA (map)

This walk has been a favorite in years past but has not been part of the schedule for several years.  

Directions: From North and South: Take Rte. 95, exit 57 to Rte. 113 east. Follow 113 east for half a mile and turn left on Noble St. At stop sign turn left onto Ferry Rd., bear left at fork and then just follow signs.

It consists of an approximately one mile walk through clear open trails.

Leader: Bill Headley (603) 898-7650


Rescheduled to the rain date:  Sunday October 23th

GPS: 570 Ocean Blvd
Rye, NH 03870

The walk on Saturday 10/22 will be at Odiorne State Park.  Diane, Mike and I checked it out Wednesday.  It was a beautiful walk with a mix of sea birds and woodland birds (Harrier, Eider, Song Sparrow, etc.) The weather was spectacular although we can’t hope to duplicate that on Saturday! 

There is a 1.5 mile one way walk that we don’t want to make everyone walk both ways so we will use the car spotting method that we use at Barker Street. 

Please meet at the parking lot at the Science Center by 8:45.  We will leave coffee and snacks in cars that stay at the Science Center.  We will pile into other cars and drive about a ½ mile back to the boat launch and start the walk there.  At the end of the walk we’ll have coffee then use the cars at the Science Center to bring people back to cars at the boat launch. 

The walk is about 1.5 miles on level trails that are dirt and stone (not paved).  There are restrooms in the picnic area that were open Wednesday but may be closed this weekend.  There are restrooms in the Science Center (open at 10AM) that we can use without paying an entry fee. 

There is no fee to park now that the entry gate is unstaffed for the fall/winter. 

Leaders:  Diane Lightburn Cell: 978-989-5833) and Donna Cooper (Cell: 978-944-0655)


Saturday - November 5th - 9 AM (Rain date:  Sunday November 6th)
Cape Ann and Halibut Point - Gloucester MA

Meet at the Friendly’s Restaurant at the Route 128 rotary in Gloucester (map)Expect beautiful vistas and many ducks and shore birds.
This walk consists of driving up Cape Ann with various stops for sighting birds.  There is no extended walking.
Leaders: Bill Headley (603) 898-7650 and Diane Lightburn (978) 989-5833


Saturday December 10th  Holiday Social

Due to popular demand, there will be an optional walk before the Holiday Social. The walk will conclude in time to join the Social at 10:30 in Andover.  If there is bad weather, the walk will not be held, but the Social will continue as planned.


Walk: Bill Headley will lead a walk at the Nevins Bird Sanctuary in Methuen.

Start time: 8:30

Directions: From Rt 93. Take exit 47 for Pelham St, follow Pelham St towards downtown Methuen at Five Corners intersection, take slight left onto Lowell St and first left onto Pine St, continue to the end of the street.

Parking is available along the rail bed.  


Please note change of place from previous years

Time:                     10:30 AM December 10th, 2016

Place:                   Home of Champa and Bil Bilwakesh

                              5 Garfield Lane East

                              Andover MA 

                              Champa’s e-mail is champa_b@yahoo.com:          

 Agenda:               Slide show of African birds by Lou Keller

                        Feasting on holiday foods provided by you!

                        Organizational meeting for the Christmas Bird Count                             

Please bring festive foods to share.  Coffee, tea and cider will be provided.  

We look forward to seeing our members at this annual fun event.

Saturday December 17th – All day
Christmas Bird Count – Andover area

(Weather date: December 18th)

This is the 27th year of the MVBC’s support of the Christmas Bird Count. We hope that all who participated in previous counts will join us again for a day of citizen science. 

If you don’t know your assigned territory, contact the Andover Coordinator before Saturday.
Andover Coordinator:  Donna Cooper (978) 944-0655




Spring 2016 Walk Schedule

posted Mar 30, 2016, 2:33 PM by Donna Cooper   [ updated Apr 19, 2017, 7:45 AM by Lou Keller ]


Spectacle Island - May 13, 2016

posted Mar 28, 2016, 5:06 AM by Donna Cooper

 
RSVP Required
 
Merrimack Valley Bird Club has made arrangements to visit Spectacle Island in Boston Harbor to look for migrating sea birds. This event involves taking a bus service that picks up at Dascomb Road and delivers us to the ferry dock in Boston for a day trip to Spectacle Island. The island is a Boston Harbor Island that has been preserved as a park with bathrooms, snack bar, a Visitor Center, and 5 miles of hiking trails for us to bird and explore, plus beautiful vistas all around.
 
Some special arrangements are needed for this event. It is NOT a “just show up” affair. Space is limited to 14 and our hold on the bus seats will be released on May 1.
 
In advance:
  • RSVP is required ASAP – email Evelyn Retelle at evelynretelle@gmail.com
  • Payment of the bus fee is required in advance: 
    • Check for $17 bus fare payable to Jay Darren
    • Mail to Evelyn Retelle 
    • 64 Reservation Rd Andover MA 01810
 Day of:
  •  9:15 Depart Dascomb Road parking area by bus.
  • 10:30am - Ferry to Spectacle Island
    • Cash for ferry $12 
  • Bring your lunch as the snack bar on the island may not be open for the season yet
  • 2:00 Return ferry
  • Bus back to Dascomb Road  
Questions: Evelyn Retelle (978-45-4412)
Email Evelyn Retelle (evelynretelle@gmail.com) to reserve spot and send her your bus check ASAP.

Winter 2016 Walks

posted Jan 4, 2016, 5:02 PM by Donna Cooper   [ updated Feb 24, 2016, 9:50 AM ]

UPDATE!
January 30, 2016 - 9 AM - Kenoza Lake, Haverhill
We will have our January walk on Saturday January 30th at 9 AM. Meet at the tennis courts at Shore Drive off of Kenoza Ave in Haverhill for this walk around forest and lake. There have been a lot of good birds/ducks spotted at Kenoza this winter and we'll hope for open water and lots of good sightings.
Leader: Donna Cooper (cell: 978-944-0655)

February 20, 2016 - 9 AM - Merrimack River 

Meet at Cashman Park in Newburyport

Leader: Donna Cooper 978-944-0655 (Cell)

 

March 5, 2016 – all day - Joppa Flats Eagle Festival 
This is not a Club event, but worthwhile.  Donna and Diane will be manning a viewing site on the Merrimack River (at the Mersen parking lot off Water Street).  We'd be happy to see Club members!  There are other indoor activities as well. 

 

April 9, 2016 - 9:00 AM - Cape Ann and Halibut Point area

Meet at Friendly's parking lot at Rt. 128 rotary in Gloucester 

Leader: Diane Lightburn and Donna Cooper (cell) 978-944-0655

Untitled

posted Aug 8, 2015, 7:54 AM by Donna Cooper   [ updated Jan 8, 2017, 10:26 AM by Lou Keller ]


 


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