Trekking in Patagonia
Friday, January 13 7:00 PM
Blue Hill Library
Speaker: Leah Titcomb
At the tip of South America lies an untamable wilderness full of spectacular scenery with snow-capped mountains, sparkling blue glaciers, icy lakes and even soaring condors. This slideshow will take you on the most remote trails of Torres del Paine National Park in Chile— a hiker’s dream. View the three iconic granite towers from which the park takes its name and marvel at the “cuernos,” the famous horn-shaped peaks. Travel over mountain passes to the Fitz Roy Range in Argentina and encounter some of the most famous glaciers in the Southern Patagonian Ice Field.
Ocean Drive Bird Walk
Saturday, January 14 (snow date Jan. 15) 9:00 AM
Sand Beach, Acadia National Park
Leader: Chuck Whitney
Join us for a casual winter stroll along Ocean Drive between Sand Beach and Otter Cliffs. You can’t beat the view, and with the ocean to our south and spruce forests to our north, we have the potential to see a wide variety of winter birds. Many duck species are possible— and who knows... maybe a Dovekie (it happened in the past)! Remember winter access for the park is via Schooner Head Road.
Winter Birds of Schoodic
Saturday, February 11 (snow date Feb. 12) 9:00 AM
Fraser Point, Schoodic Section of Acadia National Park
Leader: Rich MacDonald
This has become an annual rite of passage for winter birding. Carpooling from Fraser Point, we will follow the Schoodic Park Road, making regular stops to see winter specialties. These may include sea ducks, loons, grebes, Purple Sandpipers, Spruce Grouse and winter finches. After a rest stop at SERC we will move on to Corea to look for white-winged gulls and Harlequin Ducks. Bring a lunch and be sure to dress warmly.
Clever Corvids: Ravens & Crows
Wednesday, February 15
Blue Hill Library 7:00 PM
Speaker: Lynn Havsall
Crows and ravens are common Maine residents with uncommon smarts and interesting behaviors. Learn the differences between them and the habits that they share. From courtship to play, these corvids do amazing things. Come to a slide talk you’ll be raven about! Lynn Havsall is a biologist who has worked as a naturalist for 38 years. During that time she has had many coworkers, including a one-winged crow named Corvus who was the caws of much enjoyment!
Great Backyard Bird Count
Bird watchers of all ages count birds to create a real-time snapshot of where birds are.
It doesn’t matter if your backyard is the ocean, deep woods or a village park— anyone who has internet access can participate in this mid-winter birding event sponsored by Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon. All you have to do is:
1) Count birds for at least 15 minutes at your favorite location(s).
2) Record the highest number of each species seen at once.
3) Enter your tallies on the GBBC website.
Last year an estimated 163,763 bird watchers from more than 130 countries joined in. Participants submitted 162,052 bird checklists reporting 5,689 species–more than half the known bird species in the world and 599 more species than last year! The most frequently reported species was Dark-eyed Junco (on 63,110 lists) followed by Northern Cardinal (62,323) and Mourning Dove (49,630). Snow Goose was once again the most numerous bird reported— 1,405,349 individuals, followed by Canada Goose and European Starling. California submitted the most checklists for any state— 10,861. After the US (131,290) and Canada (13,651), India submitted the most checklists— 7,796. Get involved! Be a part of this huge event, and help scientists learn more about changes in bird numbers and distribution from year to year. For more information go to .
Searching for Snowies
Sunday, February 26 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Upper Hadlock Carriage Road Access, Acadia National Park
Leader: Zach Holderby
Climb up to the exposed ridges of Sargent Mountain to search for irrupting Snowy Owls. Both the snow-white adults and the striking barred juveniles may be found on rocks plying the sedges for voles. A hike or snowshoe on the carriage roads then up the steep side of the ridge will give way to the easy yet cold walk along the ridge. Snow Buntings, Horned Larks and winter raptors are also distinct possibilities. Warning: Approximate 4 mile hike is steep and strenuous even in moderate conditions! With snow and ice, only those comfortable with these conditions should attend. May be cancelled due to inclement weather or deep snow. Dress appropriately, bring walking sticks and ice creepers for your boots!
Saturday, March 4 (rain date March 5) 9:00 AM
Meet at the Public Beach, Newbury Neck, Surry
Leader: Sue Shaw
Come and enjoy a 2-3 mile walk through a private estate on Newbury Neck. Conditions at the time will determine whether we are walking with snowshoes, ice creepers or just boots! This 250-acre estate begins at the gated entrance to a long driveway which curves through a mixed forest. It eventually opens up on a point of land with clear open views of Blue Hill and Morgan Bays. Continuing on, walkers will progress through open woodlands and tended meadows before circling back to the entrance gate. This beautiful property has produced woodland birds, waterfowl and raptors for Christmas Bird Counts over the years. Hopefully those birds will be found there in March as well! Regardless of the bird population, however, this is a beautiful place for a winter walk. Come and take advantage of the opportunity to explore this unique property.
Vernal Pools — and what makes them special
Thursday, March 23 7:00 PM
Ellsworth Unitarian Universalist Church
Speaker: Kris Hoffmann
Join amphibian biologist Kris Hoffmann (she gave the great talk on frogs and turtles last summer) for an entertaining night of wetland ecology. Kris will explain what vernal pools are and the vital role they play in the forest ecosystem by serving as essential breeding habitat for certain animals. We’ll learn about the frogs, salamanders and shrimp (yes, shrimp) that rely on vernal pools, and we’ll even keep our feet dry!