Mascoma Chapter of NH Audubon
Welcome to the Mascoma Chapter Home Page!
All Chapter field trips/walks and programs are free and open to the public.
Fall Bird Walk Calendar
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 these beautiful, white waterfowl. 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
Birding the Richmond Conservation Land and Other Orford Sites
Saturday, October 15
Twenty birders started out at the recently acquired Richmond Conservation Land under cold, damp and somewhat foggy conditions that no doubt caused it to be a quiet morning for birds. Highlights at the site included a quick look at a Northern Harrier, a Blue-headed Vireo and over a hundred American Crows flying north along the river.
The next stop was at Boat Landing Road where observers spotted an accipiter, (likely a Sharp-shinned Hawk), a Golden-crowned Kinglet and lots of Dark-eyed Juncos.
The group finally picked up a little waterfowl diversity at the Reed's Marsh WMA with Mallards, a Hooded Merganser and some Wood Ducks observed. A crow chasing a Red-tailed Hawk was another highlight.
The last stop was at Tullando Farm where birders had good looks at a perched Peregrine Falcon. Also found were a second-year Bald Eagle and some Common Ravens interested in a cow carcass near the river. More American Crows were seen flowing north, passing the Canada Geese that were flying south out of the Sawyer Brook cornfields where we had seen them earlier.
A total of 31 species were tallied from five spots along the Connecticut River.
Richmond Conservation Land
Orford Boat Launch
Reed Marsh WMA
Bedell Covered Bridge Bird Walk
Bedell Covered Bridge State Historic Site – NH Rt. 10
Saturday, October 1
Conditions were overcast, cool but calm when twelve observers gathered at 7:30 a.m. for a bird walk at Bedell Covered Bridge State Park in North Haverhill, NH. Over the next two hours the party found 30 bird species.
Water levels were strikingly low, most of the wetland was an exposed mud flat, but birds were plentiful being seen almost continuously.
An outstanding highlight was the presence of 24 Rusty Blackbirds that foraged on a mud flat not more than twenty feet from the viewing platform where the group was standing. That elevated vantage point, and the proximity of the birds, gave the group unrivaled views. Plumage characteristics, both for male and female, were seen in vividly defined detail.
Other species were numerous including 60 American Robins and 35 Yellow-rumped Warblers. Also seen were nine Wood Ducks, four Great Blue Herons, a Red-bellied Woodpecker, six Northern Flickers, an Eastern Phoebe, three Palm Warblers, a Blackpoll warbler, three Common Yellowthroats, and five Purple Finches. Sparrows recorded included Song, Swamp, White-throated, and White-crowned.
Special thanks go to Blake Allison and Jeff MacQueen for being coleaders and to Jeff as compiler.
Jeff's eBird report with a complete list can be seen at:
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