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Old Saturday 13th March 2010, 14:20   #1
steveo
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I'm moving to eastern Ma.

I grew up in Boston I am moving to the South Shore (been in Northern Vt. for the past 10 years). Anyone have good birding spots or websites to get started at. I know of the standard rba's and U of A listserv. Also how about good birding clubs? Is the Ma. Audubon worth joining? WHat are you guys seeing lately and how is the frequency of raritys. Thanks all
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Old Saturday 13th March 2010, 14:38   #2
Jim M.
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Originally Posted by steveo View Post
I grew up in Boston I am moving to the South Shore (been in Northern Vt. for the past 10 years). Anyone have good birding spots or websites to get started at. I know of the standard rba's and U of A listserv. Also how about good birding clubs? Is the Ma. Audubon worth joining? WHat are you guys seeing lately and how is the frequency of raritys. Thanks all
I'm jealous. Had to move from there last year. For it's size, eastern Ma. is one of the best places in the east for rarities. Also has a lot of birders though (many among the best in the country (now including David Sibley in Concord)), so if you don't like seeing other birders you may have to work a bit to be alone (esp. at Plum Island on a weekend in May or September).

Bird clubs to join are the Brookline Bird Club (one of the oldest and largest in the country) and the South Shore Bird Club. Both have websites you can find with a Google search, and offer field trips throughout the year. Even if you don't go on their field trips, just browsing the destinations will give you an idea of the best places to go at various times of year.

And I would also join the Massachusetts Audubon Society. They have sanctuaries all over the state, offer their own field trips and classes, and run a Birdathon and other events; and membership gives you a discount at their gift shops, which sell optics among other things. Also, at some places like Niles Pond, security guards accept your membership card as proof you are a birder and will let you pass.

See if you can find a "Birders Guide to Eastern Massachusetts" used on Amazon -- somewhat dated (1994?) and no longer in print, but it's still the best available.

As far as rarities, last year they had Brown-chested Martin, Le Conte's Sparrow, Fork-tailed Flycatcher, and Black-capped Petrel, to name a few. Looking on massbird (http://birdingonthe.net/mailinglists/MASS.html) just now I see references to Mew Gull, Pacific Loon, and Tufted Duck.

Best,
Jim

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Old Saturday 13th March 2010, 14:58   #3
Jim M.
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To continue my previous post, I wanted to add that a few good places on the South Shore in particular are:

-- Wompatuck State Park (May land bird migration)
-- World's End in Hingham (great scenery at all times of the year and good for land birds especially in migration)
-- Plymouth beach (a long walk but good for shorebirds and terns)
-- Scituate/Minot (good for sea ducks, loons, and grebes in winter -- including a wintering flock of Harlequin Ducks). But I would recommend going there on a trip, because most of this is private property and it can be tricky learning how to avoid stepping on property owner's toes.
--Cumberland Farms (field birds and where the brown-chested martin and LeConte's Sparrow were seen last year)

Jim

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Old Saturday 13th March 2010, 17:05   #4
steveo
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Awesome thanks Jim. All of the places you mention are close by. Wompatuck State park is good for Warblers right? What part of the park is the best zone? The main road is what about 2 miles long would you say left or right side of the road and how far into the park? Or is it all good. Thanks again.
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Old Monday 15th March 2010, 02:36   #5
Jim M.
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Awesome thanks Jim. All of the places you mention are close by. Wompatuck State park is good for Warblers right? What part of the park is the best zone? The main road is what about 2 miles long would you say left or right side of the road and how far into the park? Or is it all good. Thanks again.
Yes, Wompatuck is good esp. in spring migration, though it can be pretty quiet at other times of the year. One of the best places in the state for Cerulean, Hooded, and Worm-eating. Kentucky also sometimes makes an appearance. There are a number of trails/locations throughout the park that are good, though hard to describe. Best way to learn would be to go on a trip with either of the clubs I mentioned above. Both will have trips there this May.

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Jim
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Old Saturday 20th March 2010, 20:35   #6
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A former South Shore resident here. Be sure to hang those hummingbird feeders. I lived in Brockton which is a good size city and we had them there every year. We also had Baltimore Orioles among many other interesting visitors.

I love Florida but I sure do miss my New England song birds.
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