Layover on Plum Island! (Destination, Chile...)

  • Parker River National Wildlife Refuge Refuge Rd Newbury, MA, 01951 United States

If it's August, prepare yourself for the first signs of winter! Across North America, from breeding grounds far north in Alaska and Canada, shorebirds are starting their migration. While we're still sunbathing and drinking lemonade, our beaches are already filling with sandpipers, dowitchers, godwits, knots, plovers, and their shorebird kin, many of them on a many-thousand-mile-long journey that will take them down to South America. August is our best chance to see them as they pass through--let's not miss it!

Plum Island, just off the Massachusetts coast, is one of the finest places to watch shorebirds in all of New England. Led by Iain MacLeod, Executive Director of the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center, we'll spend a morning surveying Parker River National Wildlife Refuge for a wide array of these early migrants, including Semipalmated, Least, and Pectoral Sandpipers, Dunlin, Red Knot, Whimbrel, Willet, Short-billed Dowitcher, Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs, and who knows how much more! Whether you're well acquainted with these species or don't know a sanderling from a sand castle, there's always more to learn about this fascinating shorebird family. 

We'll meet at 8:00 am at the first parking lot of the Parker River NWR, just past the tollbooth. (Note that there is a $5 fee per vehicle entering the refuge.) Bring binocs, sunscreen, water, and a bite of lunch. R.S.V.P. to nhyoungbirders@gmail.com, and let us know if you plan to attend. We look forward to seeing you there!