Litchfield Hills

Audubon Society

A local chapter of the National Audubon Society

 

Our Mission Statement

The mission of the Litchfield Hills Audubon Society is to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife and their habitat, for the benefit of the community, through conservation, education and research.

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Litchfield Hills Audubon CALENDAR

LHAS—Meetings and Events
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BIRD WALKS and EVENTS for 2018:

MEETINGS:

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LHAS—Meetings and Events
LHAS—Meetings and Events

January 8, 2018. . . .General Meeting

Monday, 7:00 p.m.

Program: “Isthmian Bird Treks: Chasing Lifers in Panama”

January 14 . . . . Sunday, - 8:30 a.m.

Shorebirding for Waterfowl and Rarities

January is always full of surprises - once again, let's see what unusual birds are showing up at the shore. We will meet in Stratford (exit 30 off I-95 north) at the Dunkin Donuts on Route 113/Lordship Boulevard at the corner of Honeyspot Rd. We will check out the local Hot Spots including Long Beach, where the ice piles up in huge mounds on the sand; Stratford Point (if open) to watch for gannets and maybe even alcids out on the Sound, and the Birdseye Boat Launch. Let's hope for Snowy Owls! King Eiders? Harlequin Ducks? It will be cold and windy, so come prepared!

To register or for more information, including how to car pool, contact Angela Dimmitt at 860-355-3429 or angeladimmitt@aol.com.

Chris Wood’s illustrated talk about his adventures in the Darién wilderness, the Canal Zone, the Caribbean coast, and the mountains of western Panama and the amazing variety of birds found there, including many of our own nesting species that winter in the south, will thrill us all, especially those LHASers who went there in 2014 (remember Beni!) Chris, who lives in Woodbury, has been birding for more than 45 years and has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology from Southern CT State University. He now has a life list topping 6,200 species!

February 5, 2018. . . .General Meeting

Monday, 7:00 p.m.

Program: Connecticut Bird Atlas

Starting in 2018, CT DEEP’s Wildlife Division and UConn, together with every birding organization in the state, will begin conducting a bird atlas. This five-year initiative aims to better understand breeding bird distribution and abundance in the state but also will include overwintering populations. It will involve volunteers covering geological blocks and recording every bird species they find, particularly any signs of nesting. Similar to the census done in the 1980s, this atlas will continue to use paper forms for submission, but thereafter the digital process will offer endless possibilities for study. Chris Elphick and Craig Repasz will tell us about this exciting undertaking.

March 5, 2018. . . .General Meeting

Monday, 7:00 p.m.

Program: Naugatuck River Revival Group

Kevin Zak, president of the Naugatuck River Revival Group, an organization dedicated to cleaning and documenting the condition of the Naugatuck River and its environs, will talk about how, after the river’s more than 100 years of neglect, his group and others set about cleaning the river and restoring its health. He has also spent thousands of hours filming Ospreys, beavers, Bald Eagles, deer, Green Herons, Kingfishers, and snapping turtles, producing videos about the river that he has shown at historical societies and nature preserves around the region. This presentation is amazing!

February 16-19 . . . . Friday - Monday

Annual Great Backyard Bird Count

The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is a free, fun, and easy event that engages birdwatchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of bird populations. Participants are asked to count birds for as little as 15 minutes (or as long as they wish) on one or more days of the four-day event and report their sightings online at birdcount.org. Anyone can take part in the Great Backyard Bird Count, from beginning birdwatchers to experts, and you can participate from your backyard or anywhere in the world.

The 21st annual GBBC will be held Friday, February 16, through Monday, February 19, 2018. Please visit the official website at birdcount.org for more information.

February 23-25 . . . . Friday - Sunday

Birding at Newburyport and Cape Ann, MA

Dave Tripp will escort LHASers around the Newburyport, Amesbury, and Salisbury niches in search of wintering northern birds. In the past this trip has seen rare birds like Great Gray Owl, Boreal Chickadee, Varied Thrush, Townsend’s Solitaire, and Harris’ Sparrow. The more uncommon birds encountered are Snowy and Short-eared Owls, “white-winged” Gulls, Barrow’s Goldeneye, Rough-legged Hawks, and Northern Shrike. An added bonus is a day trip to Gloucester and Rockport on Cape Ann, which may add Razorbills, Thick-billed Murres, Harlequin Ducks, Black Guillemots, and more gulls and waterfowl.

If you are interested in going, email Dave Tripp at dtrippjr@ gmail.com. In the past, we stayed at the Fairfield Inn at Amesbury, but they are no longer offering discounted rates for birders. So check websites like Kayak or hotels.com to find the best rate. (You might want to read Russ Naylor’s article about last year’s trip, which appeared in the May/June 2017 issue of Chickadee Chatter; read it by clicking on the Newsletter tab at the top of this page and clicking on May/June 2017.)