This Meetup was canceled.
UPDATE: CANCELED DUE TO EXTRME COLD AND WIND. BIRDS WILL BE HUNKERED DOWN, SO EVEN IF WE BRAVED IT, THERE WOULDN’T BEMUCH TO SEE.
Let's return to Plum Island and look for birds on Parker River National Wildlife Refuge. This is a great time of year to see wintering seabirds. Lots of hawks, eagles and owls have also been spotted in the past couple of weeks (see bird sightings link below), so we may get lucky and see a Snowy Owl (or two)!
PLEASE NOTE: As of today (12/31/18) the refuge is officially closed/not staffed because of the government shutdown. The gate is open, but the bathrooms at Parking Lot #1 and outhouses at other locations are most likely closed.
That noted, this beautiful refuge includes sandy beaches, marshes, and maritime forest. We will start looking for seabirds at parking lot 1, then we'll drive the refuge road and stop at several observation points. We'll do some walking over the course of the day.
Bundle up! Dress for weather 10-15 degrees cooler than whatever it is inland. Bring snacks and a warm beverage if you'd like. Please bring binoculars if you have them. We will bring an extra pair to share and a spotting scope.
Let's plan to be on the refuge for about 3 hours.
Dogs are not allowed on the refuge. There is an entrance fee of $5 per car. Please carpool if possible.
More info about there refuge (and shutdown) and maps are available at: http://www.fws.gov/refuge/parker_river/
Visit Tom's Birding Page for a list of recent bird sightings:
We will cancel if there is bad weather or strong winds. We'll make the decision the day before.
Photo of Snowy Owl at Plum Island from the Project Feederwatch archives. https://feederwatch.org/birdspotter-2016/snowy-owl-plum-island/