6th Annual Garrett County Birdfest
Registration opens April 10th, call 301-387-7067. (if sent to voicemail, please leave a message)
Join us May 3, 4, 5, 2019 for this exciting weekend of birding.
This birdfest was created to help fairly new, but very interested birders become more accomplished at this challenging sport. We spend a lot of time listening to and learning bird songs. $5/trip, 16 and under free.
Early May is the perfect time to see birds migrating through the area. Most migrants have returned but the leaves haven’t grown enough to block your view of the birds in the tree tops.
Join us for one or more walks. You may develop a new and lifelong healthy obsession.
Call 301-387-7067 to sign up for the bird walks (please leave a message if sent to voicemail)
Participants per trip are limited. Depending on participation, we may add more field trips in order to keep the groups small. Dress in multiple layers. Waterproof boots are recommended. Bring snacks and water. If it is a good birding day, hikes may last up to three to four hours.
For additional weekend details and available discounts, please call 301-387-7067.
Further walk meeting and time details will be given upon registration.
Friday, May 3
Sang Run State Park 8 a.m. Leaders: Caroline Blizzard and Connie Skipper This beautiful new state park has diverse habitats - woodland, field, edge, and riverside. Possible sightings include American Kestrel, Wild Turkey, Northern Parula, Chestnut-sided Warbler and many more. Meet at the Sang Run kayak put in. Distance and difficulty: 1 ½ mile, moderate.
Finzel Swamp 6:00 p.m. Leader: Claire Nemes A mountain peat land owned in part by the Nature Conservancy. A trail across the fully-flooded shrub swamp provides access to Northern Waterthrush, Swamp Sparrow, Ruffed Grouse, Alder Flycatcher, and other species. Adjacent grasslands host several sparrow species. Participants are free to stay as long as they'd like; we will try for displaying American Woodcocks after sundown. Difficulty: Easy to moderate. No bathroom facilities
Saturday, May 4 morning hikes
Jennings Randolph Reservoir 7 a.m. OR meet at the Discovery Center at 6:30 a.m. and carpool to the Reservoir. Leader: Mikey Lutmerding This trip yields many hard-to-find warblers. Possibilities include Cerulean, Hooded, Golden-winged and Kentucky Warblers. You will check the lake for eagles, loons and waterfowl. Mikey is a great birder and awesome leader. 1 mile. Difficulty: moderate.
Mt. Nebo WMA 7 a.m. Leader: Connie Skipper Mt. Nebo Wildlife Management Area is a hunting area owned by the Maryland DNR. It is a great birding spot and a good place to look for Ruffed Grouse, Veery, Canada Warbler, Golden-winged Warbler, and Chestnut-sided Warbler. It also has large beaver dam with associated wetland and lake species. Meet in the small parking lot on the Mt. Nebo Road Difficulty: Moderate
Saturday, May 4 afternoon hikes
Broadford Lake and Loch Lynn Heights Wetland Trail 1:00 p.m. Leader: Kevin Dodge This leader is the whole package! You will learn not only about birds but flora and fauna as well! Broadford Lake bird life is diverse: migrating waterfowl and warblers, swallows, sparrows, hawks, bald eagles, and possible Red-headed Woodpecker. Loch Lynn Heights Wetland Trail may yield warblers, sparrows, flycatchers, and woodpeckers. Difficulty: Easy Restrooms available. Meet at the main parking lot by the boat launch bathhouse.
Herrington Manor State Park 1:00 p.m. Leader: Caroline Blizzard Herrington Manor has a variety of habitats resulting in a good bird list. You may see the resident Bald Eagles. Other possibilities include Red-breasted Nuthatch, Winter Wren, Magnolia Warbler and Blackburnian Warbler. Meet at the Herrington Manor State Park Lake House. Difficulty: easy.
Sunday, May 5
Snaggy Mountain Road 7:00 a.m. Leader: Mikey Lutmerding Meet at the dip on Herrington Manor Road (a pull off about ½ mile north of Herrington Manor State Park) and carpool from there. Mikey will lead the caravan along Snaggy Mountain Road stopping at various “birdy” spots. Possible sighting of Ruffed Grouse, White-eyed Vireo, Canada Warbler, 3 or more species of flycatchers, Blackburnian Warbler and Yellow-bellied Sapsucker.
Western Maryland 4-H Camp and Cunningham Swamp 7:00 a.m. Leaders: Alan and Kyle Klotz This father and son duo have a passion for birding and a wealth of knowledge to share! The 4-H Camp birdlife yields a diversity of Garrett County species. It’s a known spot for Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, breeding warblers and waterfowl on the lake. Cunningham Swamp WMA may yield hard-to-find species such as Golden-winged Warblers, both Cuckoos and Alder Flycatchers. Meet at the first parking lot on the 4-H Camp Road. A porta potty is available at the 4-H Camp. Difficulty: Easy to moderate, damp to wet with high grass.