Good local bird-watching sites include the two Mass Audubon wildlife sanctuaries in Marshfield, the Blues Hills Reservation, area beaches in towns such as Scituate and Plymouth, and marshes along the Quincy shore.
Pictured: Bird-watchers with the North River Wildlife Sanctuary on a Friday Bird Walk tour at Plymouth Beach. Next
A sure thing for newbies, the bird-feeding station just outside the Trailside Museum cannot be bettered. Blue Hills summits are good places to look for migrating hawks, and the area’s beaches attract migrating shore birds heading south for the winter.
Pictured: A black capped chickadee at Jenny Pond in Plymoutth. Next
The Daniel Webster Wildlife Sanctuary in Marshfield offers a clear, easily accessible path through the main field to a slightly elevated lookout facing the marsh. Side trails branch off in either direction, some turning into loops that circumnavigate the “wetpan” (stream, pools, marshy patches) with boardwalks built at low points to keep your feet off the wetlands.
Pictured: Ellen Adams of Marshfield stands on the seawall to get a better view. Next
The site’s high point for bird-peeping is the shack-like blind strategically placed by a small wetlands. Ducks and herons can be seen from the inside.
Pictured: A Canada goose goose at Jenny Pond in Plymouth. Next
The Webster sanctuary does host tree swallows, barn swallows, chickadees, martens, ducks. The wetpan attracts visits from shore birds such as the semipalmated (6-inch) and least (smaller) sandpipers, wood ducks, the green and the great blue heron.
Pictured: Bird watchers look for birds from Manomet Point. Next
Norman Smith said the Blues Hills Reservation is a good place to see hummingbirds and, this time of year, migrating hawks. A sure thing for newbies, the bird-feeding station just outside the Trailside Museum cannot be bettered. Hummingbirds come to the station’s sugar-water hummingbird feeder, a clear tube filled with red liquid.
Pictured: A Phoebe bird at Jenny Pond. Next
Sally Avery, a volunteer walk-leader for Mass Audubon, is one of those birders who can identify birds by their calls. She sings the “song” of the chickadee over the phone, and then the “call,” to show the difference.
Pictured: Avery (left) from Cohasset, and Jean Nichols (right) from Hanover observe birds at Jenny Pond. Next
Shore birds have already begun their migration from the Arctic to winter homes, Avery said. Look for them as they move through our region on beaches such as Third Cliff and Fourth Cliff in Scituate and Plymouth Beach.
Pictured: A pair of swans at Jenny Pond. Next
Other Blue Hills sites good for observing the fall migration include Buck Hill and Chickatawbut Hill.
Pictured: Joe Scott (left) of Chatham, N.H., and and guide David Ludlow look for birds at Manomet Point. Next
“They see it right away,” said Mass Audubon sanctuaries director Sue MacCallum of the joy of spotting large birds. “You want people to be enthusiastic and enjoy it.”
Pictured: Double crested cormorants find a perch on a rock at Manomet Point. Back to the beginning
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below