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Although it might seem early, migrant waterfowl appear in NH as early as late February, though their numbers wont peak until mid-March (still only three weeks away). Let this be a comfort to you – spring as defined by the birds is almost upon us. The lower Connecticut River Valley is one of the best places in the state to witness this phenomenon (Birdwatching in NH from page 37), as is the Merrimack River Valley (from page 66), and Great Bay and the coast (from page 89). I will be launching the book April 7 at the Harris Center in Hancock, with additional scheduled talks May 2 at the Hancock Library, June 13 at Madison Library, and September 20 at NH Audubon’s McLane Center in Concord, with more to follow.

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I am finally coming up for air after a hectic year, in which I had only a little time for birding for the simple reason that I have been kept largely busy researching and writing Birdwatching in New Hampshire for University Press of New England. The book is a where, when, and how to find the best birding in New Hampshire, and I was fortunate to get great advance comment from Don and Lillian Stokes (best selling authors of numerous field guides to birds), Mike Bartlett (President of NH Audubon), Jamie Trowbridge (President of Yankee Publishing), and Sy Montgomery (NY Times best selling author). The book will be on the shelves by mid-April, after which I will be doing a statewide speaking tour, starting at the Harris Center on a date to be announced in late April, and the Hancock Library 7pm May 2nd.

I hope to see you in the spring.

Birdwatching in NH cover

Depart dock (Rye Harbor) 8am, return to dock, 3:45pm

Trip limited to 20, $50 pp
$5 per car parking fee
 
Contact me at eric.masterson@myfairpoint.net to reserve a spot.

Star Island is a great place year-round for good views of normally furtive species, like warblers, sparrows, and if lucky, cuckoos.  There is always the chance of a rarity.

Star Island conference center will be closed for the season, so we will essentially have the island to ourselves.  Dress for the worst and expect the best – temps have traditionally been in the mid to high 60’s.  Generally there is little wind on the island, as high winds are one of two conditions under which I cancel, the other being heavy rain (showers are ok as shelter is available).  Bring a pack lunch, a set of warm clothes, sun-screen, and camera (warblers can be exceptionally approachable). I can help coordinate carpooling, and can take those interested on an afternoon tour of the best coastal birding spots.

In the last three years of fall trips, highlights have included:

  • Northern Pintail
  • Northern Fulmar
  • Cory’s Shearwater
  • Great Shearwater
  • American Golden Plover
  • Whimbrel
  • Pectoral Sandpiper
  • Lesser Black-backed Gull
  • Caspian Tern
  • Parasitic jaeger
  • Yellow-billed Cuckoo
  • Sedge Wren
  • Tennessee Warbler
  • Orange-crowned Warbler
  • Cape May Warbler
  • Connecticut Warbler
  • Yellow-breasted Chat
  • Lark Sparrow
  • Grasshopper Sparrow
  • Nelson’s Sharp-tailed Sparrow
  • Dickcissel