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Old Monday 28th May 2007, 03:28   #1
Terry O'Nolley
Cow-headed Jaybird

Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,919
Blog Entries: 6
A great birding spot in Montgomery County!

The actual park headquarters for PRSP is in Ellicott City at the Howard/Montgomery county line.

But the park actually stretches quite a long way along the river.

The spot I found has been deserted every time I've been there (6 or 7 times) except for a (total of) about 5 fishermen I've seen.

This spot is nothing more than a gravel parking lot with a park sign and small info board and several great trails.

To get there from Silver Spring, MD:
1) take 29 north to Briggs-Cheney Road
2) exit on Briggs Cheney and turn left at the exit traffic light
3) Travel a few miles to Hwy. 650/New Hampshire Ave and turn right
4) Head up 650 about 11 miles and turn right on Hwy. 97
5) The parking lot entrance will be an unmarked paved road on the left less than a hundred yards from the Patuxent river (only few miles up 97)

To get there from Washington DC: Either take New Hampshire Ave all the way to 97 or take any other route you know.

To get there from Baltimore: Take I-70 west to 97 south to the River.

Good patches to bird:
1) The meadow directly bordering the parking lot is fantastic for warblers and Indigo Buntings.
2) The trail that leads through the meadow enters deciduous forest with an abundance of Wood Thrushes, woodpeckers, vireos and the usual suspects
3) The trail that follows the river is rich with birds and a beautiful walk. Follow the river and pass under Hwy 97. Beneath the overpass you will see nesting barn Swallows. Continuing down the trail you will soon come to a fork - the left fork follows the shoreline of the river and the right fork heads a short way into the woods and parallels the river. The two trails converge again after a few hundred yards. A good way to do this in the morning is to take the wood trail away from the parking lot because you are in dense forest and then when the trails converges, follow the river trail back to the parking lot and you will have the sun at your back. I've seen Indigo Buntings, Scarlet Tanagers, Common Yellowthroats, Cedar Waxwings, Acadian Flycatchers, Gray-cheeked Thrushes (un-ticked because it MIGHT have been a Bicknall's), Eastern Phoebes, Wood Duck and lots of other great birds.

There are not only several other trails accessible from this parking lot, but the Patuxent River State Park has a dozen other parking areas that I haven't even explored yet.

Happy Birding!
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