Merrimack Valley Bird Club

The Merrimack Valley Bird Club has been exploring the Merrimack Valley and North Shore of Massachusetts since 1948. New members are welcome. Bring binoculars and/or spotting scope if you have them!

Contact for information about the club or about joining!

Executive Committee

  • President - Donna Cooper

  • Treasurer - Champa Bilwakesh

  • 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).

Most walks include coffee and snacks at the end unless otherwise noted. Bring something to share if you can!

Check out our Facebook page here.

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

Browse our Christmas Bird Count records for several years.

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.

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Fall and Winter 2020 Schedule

Due to the corona virus, there will not be any Merrimack Valley Bird Club trips this fall. Instead we are offering our walk schedule for you to enjoy on your own. The walks below are the walks the club usually takes at this time of year, with the approximate date that it would have been scheduled. You are encouraged to explore these areas as you wish, on any day or time that you wish, with people with whom you are comfortable birding. Please check web sites, if listed, to confirm that a location is open, parking is available, etc.

Please remember to bird safely, respect social distance, and wear a mask when encountering others.

Swallow Migration at Parker River NWR / Plum Island – Newburyport MA

Late August
Web site information

Start at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge Parking Lot 1. Drive south down the island stopping at various places. Expect to see large numbers of Purple Martins, Tree Swallows, and shore birds. Go early as Plum Island can fill up with beach goers if it is a nice day! Or go in the evening, staying aware of the refuge closing hours. This walk consists of mainly of driving down Plum Island with stops for sighting birds.

Fall Hawk Watch at Wachusett Mountain State Reservation

Early September depending on wind conditions
345 Mountain Road
Princeton MA 01541
Web site

The viewing site is at the top of Mt. Wachusett. The road to the summit opens at 9:00. There may be a fee for entering or parking. This event consists of driving to the summit of Mt. Wachusett on a paved road with little walking. If the wind is right you can see hundreds of migrating raptors. Check here for information about hawk migration and recognizing the best weather for migration. There are rest facilities at the summit. Bring your lunch, a drink, and snacks. Bring a lawn chair and sunscreen/hat.

Retelle Reservation

Early September
Web site map
Brundrett Ave. Andover MA

This beautiful reservation is located at the end of Brundrett Ave. in Andover. Walk through a meadow and then turn right along the Merrimack River. There is signage to indicate the Loop Trail. This walk consists of about a 2 mile walk on a relatively open, flat trail.

Great Meadows Wildlife Refuge – Concord MA

Anytime in September
Web site information

179 Monsen Rd. off Rt. 62 in Concord. Expect to see fall migration of ducks, geese, and ospreys. This walk consists of an approximately 2 mile walk on level trails. You can go out the dike and return, or circle the pond by turning right at the end of the dike. Recently the pond has been heavily overgrown and visibility can be limited.

Cherry Hill Reservoir – Moulton Street, West Newbury MA

Web site information

Start at the parking area on Moulton Street in Newbury MA.

This walk consists of extended walking on flat, but unimproved trails. You can extend the walk by moving to Pike’s Bridge Road (off Turkey Hill Rd.) and exploring this area as well.

Donovan Reservation

Web site information
473 Sagamore St, South Hamilton, MA

Explore a beautiful spot in Hamilton. Walk several miles of trails including hills leading to beautiful views.

Odiorne Point State Park

Web site information

This 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 parking area and in the Science Center. There is no fee to park while the entry gate is unstaffed for the fall/winter.

Horn Pond in Woburn

Web site map

Try this walk at nearby Horn Pond. Park at the lot at the end of Beacon Street where it crosses Sturgis Street. This walk is over unimproved trails with some hills. Expect to see lots of ducks and fall migrants.

Cape Ann and Halibut Point - Gloucester MA

This trip consists of driving up Cape Ann with various stops for sighting birds. You can avoid extended walking. Stops include: Fisherman Statue, Jodrey State Fish Pier, Eastern Point, Rockport Harbor, Emerson Point, and Halibut Point State Park. Start in Gloucester and work north or start at Halibut and work south. There are public restrooms at the parking area in Rockport center.