Friday, October 10, 2014

Nantucket Birding Festival



Nantucket Birding Festival 2014
Thursday, Oct. 16 - Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014 
Join the birding fun! The Nantucket Birding Festival is the perfect venue for both novice and experienced birders to learn and hone their skills in the intimate setting of Nantucket Island. You will enjoy some of the finest birding on the eastern seaboard in the company of great teachers and leaders.
What’s INCLUDED in your Registration:
  • All field trips (except for Great Point) transportation accompanied by friendly, expert leaders on Fri., Sat. and Sun. morning and Fri. and Sat. afternoon as well as the Barn Owl Prowl on Fri. night
  •  Morning recaps and checklist session of what each trip saw-highlights before and during lunch on Fri, and Sat.
  • Lunches on Fri. and Sat. at The Westmoor Club
  • Dinner on Thurs. and Fri. nights at The Westmoor Club
  • Keynote Speaker, Norman Smith at The Atheneum on Saturday night at 7 P.M.-transportation to and from The Westmoor Club
All field trips depart and end at The Westmoor Club at 10 Westmoor Lane. The Westmoor Club and Westmoor Lane are 1.3 miles west of downtown, off of Cliff Road:
thewestmoorclub.com
What’s NOT INCLUDED in your registration:
  • Housing
  • Travel to/from Nantucket
  • Dinner on Saturday Night
  • Breakfasts
  • Cash Bar at The Westmoor Club
  • Great Point Trip additional $60

HOW TO GET HERE:
Hy-Line Cruises is offering discounted ticket prices for Birding Festival participants
Adult: $61 RT or $36 OW
Special Parking Rate at the ferry terminal for $5 a day
To make reservations call 800-492-8082 and tell them you are a part of the Nantucket Birding Festival.

TRIP LEADERS
The trip leaders all are great teachers and very skilled birders!
More on the Trips Leaders:






Nantucket Birding Festival Field Trip Descriptions - 2014 
WEST END: Migration Magic at the West End
This trip will visit Smith’s and Jackson’s Points at the western tip of Nantucket. Depending on the wind direction the previous night, we will tweak our route and visit the areas that have the most birds. This area generally has the most visible land bird migration on the island and many mornings during the fall migration is spectacular. In past festivals this migratory funnel has consistently produced lots of birds and many unusual species. It is leisurely, easy walking on small dirt roads. No two trips are the same here and it can vary from hour to hour with migrating birds! It is worthwhile to visit this area often! 
EAST END: Falcons, Gulls and Migrant Landbirds
Great scenery and generally fantastic views of resting and hunting Peregrine Falcons and Merlins makes this trip a must.  The falcons sit on cliffs or rooftops and scan out to sea watching and waiting for wayward and tired landbirds to make a landfall. The falcons intercept them out over the ocean and dramatic life and death chases ensue with the outcome always uncertain. This area is also often loaded with migrant landbirds that have made their way back to land and they are feeding with a purpose and also a good area to find Lesser Black-backed Gulls on the island. 
SHOREBIRD: Shorebirds, Sandpipers, Plovers, Gulls, and Marauding Falcons
This trip is the most strenuous of the field trips and requires robust walking in soft sand for perhaps a mile. The rewards for this effort are beautiful vistas, a wide variety of migrant waders and a very enjoyable walk in a picturesque conservation area. Almost anything is possible on the flats; shorebirds, rare gulls and terns are a distinct possibility.
MID-ISLAND: Open Country Birds and Puddle Ducks, A Little Bit of Everything
This trip takes you to fields, farmland, thickets, gardens and ponds to search for lots of birds. Easy walking on farm roads and dirt roads in search of sparrows, finches, buntings, grosbeaks, flycatchers, pipits and marauding raptors. This mid-island area can be very productive. The brackish waters of Hummock Pond, adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean, are excellent feeding grounds for a variety of waterfowl and depending on water levels, shorebirds as well.
SALTMARSHES: Water Bird Quest
This trip will target some less frequently birded locales looking for waders, herons and landbirds. The Monomoy Creeks, Folger’s Marsh, The University of Massachusetts Field Station and other places are all likely to be visited. These areas have all had great birds and Folger’s Marsh is a magnet for rarities including North America’s first Western Reef Heron as well a Little Egret found this May.  
BANDING: A Bird in the Hand! Bird Banding Demonstration
This is a unique opportunity to join Dr. Richard Veit and be up close and personal with a bird in the hand. Come watch as the birds are removed from the mist nets, weighed, measured, banded and then released. This fascinating hands-on experience is great for photography and as a way to hone your identification skills by seeing field marks so closely. 
GREAT POINT: Limited to 7 participants per trip; additional $60 fee
Venture down this scenic beach, accessible only by 4-wheel drive vehicle, and bird at the protected beach habitat of the Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge, protected by The Trustees of Reservations. Mile after mile of remote beach, marsh, and ocean roll by capped by the sight of the Great Point Lighthouse. This is a very special trip to one of Nantucket’s special places where you can see marauding falcons, jaegers, sea ducks, gray seals and more. 
BARN OWL PROWL: - Friday Night 8-9 P.M.-limited to 10 participants
If you are not too tired from today’s trip we have had some people request a short owling trip. This will occur only if the weather conditions are favorable for finding these birds on this evening. We will make an attempt to view these nocturnal raptors near one of their roosting/nest boxes with a reasonable chance for success. First come, first served; a wait list will be maintained. 

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