Sharpies, Sparrows, and Cider Donuts

  • Carter Hill Orchard 73 Carter Hill Rd. Concord, NH

One of the spectacles of early October is the migration of the Sharp-shinned Hawk—over a hundred of these blue-jay-sized demons may whizz by in a single day, along with their larger cousin, the Cooper’s Hawk. They pop up in ones and twos all over the sky--a regular meteor shower of these raptors known as accipiters. This is also the time of year for sparrows: White-crowned, White-throated, Chipping, Song, Savannah, Lincoln’s, and maybe a Clay-Colored. Carter Hill Orchard, set between the Contoocook River and Penacook Lake in Concord, is an ideal spot for watching these birds roll through. YBC Coordinator Katrina Fenton is the full-time hawk-watcher on the Carter Hill platform; she’ll show us the lay of the land, and help us pick out anything with wings that’s flying over it. Special guest Robert Vallieres, one of the “founding fathers” of the Carter Hill site, will give us a face-to-face introduction to one of New Hampshire Audubon’s captive raptors. And as if that weren’t enough, there are apples to pick, caramel apples to eat, cider donuts to sample, and the smells of the fall to soak up. Meet at the observation platform around 10:00 a.m. Feel free to have a picnic lunch and stay all afternoon!