Corridor NEWS

PRESS & MEDIA

BHC Announces 2019 “Birding the Blackstone” Program

Blackstone Heritage Corridor Volunteer Birding Ambassadors Lead Spring Bird Walks

Birding the Blackstone

Whitinsville, MA (April 15, 2019) – Volunteers of Blackstone Heritage Corridor’s Birding Ambassadors program are leading a series of free, guided bird walks at some of their favorite birding spots this spring. The “Birding the Blackstone” spring series is being led by volunteer interpretive birders Beth and Paul Milke who have been leading walks for BHC for the past few years and have developed quite a following of avid birders.

                The Saturday morning bird walks will each last about two hours, and in the event of inclement weather, the walks will take place the following day, Sunday, at the same start time. Pre-registration is required (BlackstoneBirdsMA@gmail.com) and notice will be given as to any change in schedule.

The Birding the Blackstone series will take flight for the season on Saturday, May 11 at River Bend Farm (Blackstone River & Canal Heritage State Park, 287 Oak Street, Uxbridge, MA) at 8:00 a.m. and is one of the Milke’s favorite birding spots. “After crossing the Blackstone Canal on the wooden bridge, we’ll look for singing birds in the thickets and trees around the mowed field: bluebirds, swallows, blackbirds including Baltimore Orioles, plus a variety of sparrows, warblers, and flycatchers,” Beth explained. “There’s a good chance we’ll see Red-breasted Grosbeaks, an Indigo Bunting and possibly a secretive Black-billed Cuckoo.”

                On Saturday, May 25, the program flies south to Cumberland, RI, for an 8:00 a.m. walk at the Cumberland Monastery (1464 Diamond Hill Road; meet at the Cumberland Senior Center lot). “This is our first time birding here in spring,” Beth noted. “Who knows how many different species could be present along the edges of extensive marshland and fields!”

                Celebrate National Trails Day on Saturday, June 1 exploring the trails at Chase Farm (667 Great Road) in Lincoln, RI, while looking for migrating birds. Beth and Paul will lead an 8:00 a.m. bird walk exploring this beautiful, historic property located next to the Hearthside House Museum, a blacksmith shop and a one-room schoolhouse. “The air over the fields will be full of Tree and Barn Swallows,” Beth predicted. “We should see a good number of blackbirds, including Baltimore Orioles, and a variety of warblers and sparrows.  A Green Heron might be fishing at the pond.”

                On Saturday, June 8, a participant of the Birding Ambassadors program is opening up her farm along Cold Spring Brook, in Uxbridge, MA.  According to Beth, the habitat includes a marsh, several fields, and a section of woods.  “Bluebirds, Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Wrens, and Wood Ducks often nest on the property,” she noted. The walk begins at 8:00 a.m. and like the other walks, pre-registration is required (BlackstoneBirdsMA@gmail.com) and directions will be sent to those who register.

                The spring birding series will conclude on Saturday, June 15 at the new Blackstone Gateway Park in Worcester, MA, which is located adjacent to the Blackstone Heritage Corridor Visitor Center (3 Paul Clancy Way). Participants will meet at 8:00 a.m. at the Visitor Center and walk over to the park. “We’ll be among the first to list what bird species are making their home here along the Middle River, at the northern edge of the Blackstone River Heritage Corridor,” Beth explained. “The River Walk includes observation platforms projecting over the water that give a bird’s-eye view of their habit.”

                The Saturday morning bird walks will each last about two hours, and in the event of inclement weather, the walks will take place the following day, Sunday, at the same start time. Pre-registration is required (BlackstoneBirdsMA@gmail.com) and notice will be given as to any change in schedule.

Binoculars are suggested, but a few extra pairs are available.  Walks are generally about a mile and suitable for adults and children ages 10 and up with a parent. For more information about the Blackstone Heritage Corridor Birding Ambassadors and other volunteer programs, contact Suzanne Buchanan, BHC’s volunteer coordinator, at Volunteer@BlackstoneHeritageCorridor.org or call (508)234-4242.