This is the 2017-2018 schedule of trips for the Youth Birding program! All trips are scheduled on the second Saturday of each month, at the following times: SEPT, NOV, 8:00-10:00 a.m. OCT, DEC – APR, 9:00-11:00 a.m. MAY, JUNE, 8:00-10:00 a.m. All programs for ages 8-15 years with parent Pre-registration is encouraged, but not required, for all walks except the December Eastern Shore trip. Pre-registration is required for that one. To register for any walk, call John Robinson at 443-810-9059, or send an email to email@example.com with your name, number of people coming and any questions you may have. SEP 9, 8:00 a.m. Cromwell Valley Park, Willow Grove. 2175 Cromwell Bridge Road (the second entrance off Cromwell Valley Road), meet at the parking lot below the nature center. We begin the season at one of the best birding areas near Baltimore. We’ll look for all sorts of sparrows, warblers, flycatchers and various other fall migrants, along with lingering summer residents. Past years have been so impressive that there’s simply no knowing what we’ll find. Start learning how to identify those confusing fall birds! OCT 14, 9:00 a.m. Irvine Nature Center. 11201 Garrison Forest Road, Owings Mills, off of Greenspring Valley Road. The easy trails wind through woods and fields, and we’ll be looking for late fall migrants, especially sparrows, but a variety of warblers and vireos are possible, in addition to birds like rails and snipe. The visitor center has a number of very good displays, and there are also several hawks and/or owls in the aviary outside. NOV 11, 8:00 a.m. Patterson Park. Park along S. Patterson Park Ave., and meet at the fountain north of the pagoda, just inside the entrance off S. Patterson Park Ave. at Lombard St. This easy-access urban park has a surprisingly diverse variety of birds that can be found during the year, and we can expect winter residents (and possibly unusual visitors) in both the brushy areas and on the lake. DEC 9, 9:00 a.m. Special Eastern Shore Trip – Bombay Hook, Delaware. Note the time change! We will meet at the beginning of Whitehall Neck Road, right after turning off from Rt 9 (Smyrna Leipsic Rd) and pulling off onto the shoulder. After scoping the fields for Horned Larks, Meadowlarks, Pipits and other wintering residents, we will proceed to the refuge HQ at 2591 Whitehall Neck Rd, where we can look for White-crowned Sparrows and other nice birds at the feeders. Then it’s off into the refuge itself for water birds, wintering shorebirds and land birds such as sparrows and raptors, and finish the day by getting lunch and then swinging by the Dover AFB Air Museum to check for Snowy Owls. This is an outstanding trip, and although the 2-2 ½ hour driving time is doable in a single day, it can be worth staying overnight in Dover and exploring a bit on Sunday before heading home. The trip is free, but the refuge charges a fee to enter which may be $5 per car. This trip must be pre-registered for, so we know who to expect and can wait if anyone is delayed. JAN 13, 9:00 a.m. Harbor Duck Trip – Masonville Cove to Fort McHenry. We will meet at the Masonville Cove Environmental Education Center, 1000 Frankfurst Ave, Baltimore, and after checking the water from that location, we will work our way around the harbor, stopping at the Medstar Harbor Hospital parking lot and then Middle Branch Park before finishing up at Fort McHenry about noon. This trip offers a good selection of the wintering waterfowl that stay in the area, including a nice variety of ducks, grebes and the occasional loon. Bald Eagles are often seen, and rarities turn up regularly. FEB 10, 9:00 a.m. Loch Raven – Old Picnic Area Trail. After crossing the bridge northbound on Dulaney Valley Rd, bear right at the fork to stay on Dulaney Valley, and shortly after the Fishing Center entrance on the right, there is a small entrance to the hunters’ parking area. If you reach Stone Hill Rd on the left, you have gone too far, but if the parking area is blocked, we will park on the southbound shoulder of Stone Hill Road as an alternative. We will walk in on the trail to the old picnic loop, checking for a variety of ducks and other waterfowl, as well as winter residents. Past years have seen Common Loon, Eurasian Wigeon, Red-breasted Nuthatch and Merlin among the more familiar species, but of course every trip is a new chance. MAR 10, 9:00 a.m. Marshy Point Nature Center. 7130 Marshy Point Rd, Baltimore, off of Eastern Avenue (Rt 150). We will meet at the Visitor’s Center before setting out along the trails and boardwalk for a mix of late winter residents and early migrants. Fox and Tree Sparrows are good possibilities, and Rusty Blackbirds may turn up, as well as a selection of both land and water birds, including species such as Winter Wren, Hermit Thrush and plenty of waterfowl. APR 14, 9:00 a.m. North Point State Park. 8400 North Point Rd, Edgemere, off of North Point Blvd, close to exit 42 on the Beltway. Meet at the small parking area on the left, just past the booth at the entrance. We will walk down the Black Marsh trail to the Bay, looking for late ducks and early migrants, such as Hooded Mergansers and Little Blue Herons as well as the increasingly rare Rusty Blackbird. Afterwards, we will head down to the stone pier to check for other interesting residents and visitors. The walk is free, but there is a $3 charge to enter the park. Dress for the weather, and wear good footwear, the trail can be mucky. MAY 12, 8:00 a.m. Oregon Ridge Park. Meet at the Nature Center, 13555 Beaver Dam Road in Cockeysville. Note the time change! We’ll explore the fields and woods for migrating birds, especially warblers. For those who have not visited the Nature Center before, we’ll spend some time after the walk admiring the displays and information available inside. The variety of habitats allows us to see a good variety of birds, and we’ll have plenty of opportunities to get to know both the common residents of the area, and the less common migrants that pass through on the way to their breeding grounds. JUNE 9, 8:00 a.m. Cromwell Valley Park, Willow Grove. Meet at the Nature Education Center, 2175 Cromwell Bridge Road (the second entrance off Cromwell Valley Rd.) Our return visit to the park lets us visit one of the best locations for a good number of very nice breeding birds such as both Orchard and Baltimore Orioles, Northern Parulas and Warbling Vireos. This area has a nice selection of birds from both field and forest, and it’s always easy to get good looks at most of the nesting birds, wherever they may build the nest. This trip is highly recommended!