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November 8, 2012

Newburyport Birders offer natural history programs

NEWBURYPORT — The Newburyport Birders will be offering the following natural history programs. For more information, go to www.newburyportbirders.com.

Sunset at Salisbury Beach State Reservation

Saturday, Nov. 10, 2:30 p.m. to dark. Fee: $20 each. Meet at the boat ramp parking lot at Salisbury Beach State Reservation.

Wintering waterfowl are abundant at Salisbury Beach State Reservation. Common eiders and all three scoter species are often in large flocks. Loons and grebes are easily observed, and easterly winds bring in razorbills, gannets and sometimes kittiwakes. Purple sandpipers gather on the jetties at high tide; Iceland and glaucous gulls can be seen in the colder months. In winter, short-eared and snowy owls can be seen along with rough-legged hawks. The campground area is a prime area for horned larks, Lapland longspurs and snow buntings. This year is a flight year, so the pitch pines lure in wintering crossbills. The pines along the marsh edge are a great, migrant trap for harboring wintering Saw-whet or Long-eared Owls. On Badger’s Rocks at low tide, we usually see Harbor Seals hauled out.

Thanksgiving Morning Walk at Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm in Newbury

Thursday, Nov. 22, 8:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m. Fee: $20 (Bring a friend or a family member along at no additional cost.) Meet at the end of Little’s Lane near the farm animals — look for the Newburyport Birders’ A-Frame sign.

We’ll walk the agricultural fields in search of American Pipits, sparrows, hawks, snow buntings and horned larks.

Walk It Off at Salisbury Beach State Reservation

Friday, Nov. 23, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fee: $20 each. Meet at the boat ramp parking lot at Salisbury Beach State Reservation.

Waterfowl are abundant at Salisbury Beach State Reservation. Common eiders and all three scoter species are often in large flocks. Loons and grebes are easily observed, and easterly winds bring in razorbills, gannets and sometimes kittiwakes. Purple sandpipers gather on the jetties at high tide. We’ll search for short-eared and snowy owls along with rough-legged hawks. This year is a flight year; so, those pitch pines lure the wintering crossbills.

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