Newburyport Birders’ August & September Update 2015

Newburyport Birders’ August & September Update 2015


I hope you can join us at one of our upcoming programs.  

We’re offering an evening of birding at the North Pool on Plum Island. Doug Chickering will read from his book Reflections on a Golden-winged Warbler. Light refreshments will be served and copies of the book will be available for Doug to sign.

There are evening sessions in August, an early morning session and an evening stroll along the Merrimack River in September.

In August, you can observe the shorebirds and Peregrine Falcons migrating along the coast.  The crescent moon on the 12th will leave the sky dark enough to view the Perseids meteor shower.  One may see as many as 60 shooting stars blaze overhead hourly.  The August supermoon will look like a big, bright globe in the night sky on the 29th.  As the month progresses, you can observe pre-migratory flocks of Chimney Swifts and Tree Swallows.
September is the best time to observe the migration of Sharp-shinned and Broad-winged Hawks.  The Olive-sided flycatchers and Eastern Kingbirds are preparing to head to South America.  Autumnal equinox is on the 23rd when the length of the day and night are equal.  By month’s end, the Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are ready to head to Central America and Mexico.  The September moon is going to be closer than the August moon, making it the second supermoon of the year.


Watching Bird Migration 
Date: Wednesday, August 12
Time: 6:00 pm – dusk
Meeting Location: Parking Lot #1
Fee: $20

Join Sue for a birding program focused on the importance of the Refuge during bird migration. Plum Island is one of the finest places for viewing birds during fall migration. Many bird species are moving south along the coast. On Plum Island, the extensive mudflats, the salt marshes, the salt pannes & the pools are excellent feeding areas & roosting sites for these migrants. I hope we catch the meteor show too.

Book Reading & Birding At The North Pool Overlook… 
Date: Wednesday, August 19th 
Time: 6:00 pm to dusk 
Location: North Pool Overlook at Parker River National Wildlife Refuge
Free Program! 

Join us for an evening of birding at the North Pool on Plum Island. Doug Chickering will read from his book Reflections on a Golden-winged Warbler. Light refreshments will be served and copies of the book will be available for Doug to sign.

Doug Chickering has for nearly three decades been a frequent and passionate birder and chronicler of Essex County, one of the most famous and historic birding locations in the world. His essays in the Newburyport Birders’ newsletter were extremely popular. He has published his essays on birding in Winging It, Bird Observer and The Quail.  Doug is frequently invited to read his works on Ray Brown’s radio program Talkin’ Birds

Here’s what readers are saying about Doug’s book: “Birding is all about sharing the adventure, and in this collection of entertaining essays, Douglas Chickering has shown how varied the world of birding can be. A wonderful read for any birder.” – Don and Lillian Stokes, authors of The Stokes Field Guide to the Birds of North America

“It was the magic of Doug Chickering’s prose, observed on the Massbird Listserv, that led ­me to begin reading them on my radio show and to inviting Doug to read some himself. How wonderful that many of his beautiful and thoughtful pieces have been assembled in this ­delightful book. I recommend Reflections on a Golden-Winged Warbler heartily to all who love birds and to all who enjoy wise and insightful observations expressed with beauty, ­eloquence, and a clearly-expressed love for our natural world.” – Ray Brown, host of the Talkin’ Birds radio show

“The short birding stories of Douglas Chickering are truly inspirational. He demonstrates the pure joy and exhilaration of coming face to face with a plethora of birds on his beloved Plum Island and surrounding countryside. I have had the privilege of birding Plum Island often with Doug, and even 20 years on, I still have wonderful memories of those halcyon days. If ever a man has demonstrated the delights of ‘Patch Birding’ it has to be Doug. This book is a must have for anyone wanting to share those emotions.” -Derek Moore, British ornithologist and nature conservationist 

Along The Merrimack River – Evening Birding 
Date: Sunday, September 6th
Time: 5:00 pm – dusk
Meet at: The Park & Ride on Storey Ave., Newburyport 
– we’ll carpool from there.
Fee: $20 

We’ll be looking for migrating birds! During our program, we’ll focus on the many aids to field identification, including physical characteristics, habitat preference & feeding techniques.

Early Morning Birding in West Newbury 
Date: Monday, September 7
Time: 7:00 am – 11:00 am
Meet at: 
The Park & Ride on Storey Ave., Newburyport – we’ll carpool from there.
Fee: $20

We’ll be watching for migrating birds! We’ll teach you aids to field identification, including physical characteristics, habitat preference & feeding techniques. 


For Sale Fall Timeshare on Martha’s Vineyard!
Birders Getaway late October/early November week
Saturday to Saturday availability: $600.
Fall timeshare week at Harbor Landing Inn in Vineyard Haven:
Unit has 2 twin beds
Private full bath
Cable TV
Small refrigerator
Unit with individually controlled heat and air conditioning
5 acres park the adjoining the property

Access to common areas with fully equipped kitchen, recreation room, deck overlooking the harbor and grilling area on the patio.

Convenient to the ferry, the famous Black Dog Tavern, golf course, beaches, excellent fall birding on The Vineyard, YMCA’s pool and fitness center.

May exchange timeshare week for anywhere in the world through Interval International.

For owner’s contact information, please email Sue at:



There's a natural draw to appreciating birds. Get outside and observe, appreciate and identify birds. Birding is good for you! Birding can reduce stress, lower blood pressure and improve concentration. Take a deep breath of fresh air, listen to the sounds of the birds and appreciate their colors. There are millions of active birdwatchers in the United States who collectively spend more money watching birds than all Americans spend on movie tickets.


Are you ready to head into the field and see dozens of birds? Knowledge and enthusiasm shouldn't get in the way of basic birding etiquette. Tread lightly in the field and be respectful. Be prompt so the group can head out together as one unit. Birds' keen senses alert them to our presence; when the group walks as quietly as possible and whispers, we see more. Take cues from the leader who might signal for quiet as the group approaches a bird. Walking quietly will help us listen for birds. While birding in a group, we enjoy sharing our findings. If you're new to birding, please don’t be shy; there's a knowledgeable leader willing to share tips and sightings. But most importantly, enjoy yourself!
Birding is meant to be fun and informative.

I look forward to birding with you during the fall migration!

Best Wishes,

Sue McGrath
Newburyport Birders
Observe ~ Appreciate ~ Identify
Newburyport, MA
Twitter: @ nbpt_birders