The Mad Birders have announced a full schedule of Spring Walks for 2023. The club has expanded the number of birding enthusiasts who will guide the walks, and some new ideas that will help expand our offerings. Here is their information.
First, you will find some of our walks designated as “hosted” walks. When a walk is hosted, a volunteer who is familiar with the area has agreed to guide a walk during which locating and identifying birds will be a “crowd sourced” activity. In this way, we have opened coordination of our walks to more people, even those who do not consider themselves as “experts”. We are confident that experienced birders will join each walk and share their expertise, thus assuring bird identification.
Second, several of our walks will feature a “Lawn Chair” birding component. Lawn Chair birding is just what it sounds like. Birders will bring their own chair (It can be a lawn chair, or a wheel chair, or a blanket to sit on the ground) and then form a circle and listen and look for the birds around them. If you are mobility challenged in any way, this may be the perfect way for you to go birding. Our founder, and bird enthusiast Pat Folsom, will lead all our Lawn Chair birding events and with her deep knowledge of birding, she will happily help identify the birds in the area.
Finally, for the first time we are holding a “bird by boat” event. Participants will need to bring their own small boats and we will take a leisurely morning paddle around Blueberry Lake in Warren looking for birds.
2023 WALK SCHEDULE – All Mad Birder walks are OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. Our club’s activities are supported by membership dues.
Thurs. May 4 –7:30 AM- 9 AM – Mad River Path-Fiddlers Walk – Host – Laura Brines (she/her) Leader – Jeannie Elias (she/her). Meet at Laundromat for a comfortable stroll along the Mad River Path- 168 Fiddlers Green off Route 100 in Waitsfield.
Fri. May 5 – 7:45 PM – 8:30 PM – Freeman Hill Woodcock Walk – Leader – Rebecca Waterman (she/her) . Meet at Mountain View Cemetery .2 miles up Freeman Hill Road from Route 100b in Moretown. NOTE: This is an evening walk. Bring a flashlight and wear light colored or reflective clothing.
Sat. May 6 – 8 AM – 10 AM – Knoll Farm – Leader – Nancy Turner (she/her). This is one of our most popular walks. From Route 100 in Waitsfield take Bragg Hill Rd to Knoll Farm. 700 Bragg Hill Road. This walk will traverse the farm’s fields with the possibility of tall or wet grasses; wear appropriate footwear and be prepared to slowly walk up the farm’s hillside, with its amazing views into the valley below.
Thurs. May 11 – 7:30 AM – 9 AM Otten Pond – Leader – Jeanne Elias (she/her). Meet at the pond that is 2.3 miles up Center Fayston Road from Route 100. Park on the side of the road. This walk starts alongside the pond then climbs steeply uphill to a large pine tree overlooking a field. Lawn Chair birding (Leader – Pat Folsom (she/her) ) will be offered on this walk, in a flat area next to the pond.
Sat. May 13 – 8 AM – 10 AM – Big Picture Theater Mad River Path – Boardwalk – Leader – Pat Folsom (she/her). Meet at the boardwalk opposite the Big Picture Theater at 48 Carroll Road in Waitsfield for this short, flat walk.
Mon. May 15 – 7:30 AM- 9 AM – Kingsbury Greenway/Riverside Park (Sugarbush Snowmaking Pond) – Mad River Path- Warren – Host – Laura Brines (she/her) – Leader – Rebecca Waterman (she/her). Meet at Riverside Park off Route 100, just south of Powderhound and Stewart Wood Roads and the Warren Motel (coming from Waitsfield).
Thurs. May 18 – 7:30 AM- 9 AM – Geiger Property – Leader – Jeannie Elias (she/her). Meet 2 miles up Center Fayston Rd. from Route 100, just after the “S” curve. Park in driveway on the left. Sturdy footwear recommended. Lawn Chair birding (Leader – Pat Folsom (she/her) ) will be offered on this walk, in a flat area on the woods edge just at the top of the driveway.
Saturday May 20 – 8 AM – Boyce Hill Road Trails – Host – Janet Saylor (she/her) Leader – Richard Littauer (he/him). 574 Boyce Hill Road. Last driveway on the right before you reach Town Forest Parking Lot. Park in driveway.
Thurs, May 25 – 7:30 AM – 9 AM – Freeman Hill Walk – Leader – Jeannie Elias (she/her). Meet at Mountain View Cemetery .2 miles up Freeman Hill Road from Route 100b in Moretown.
Sat. May 27 – 8:00 AM- 10 AM – Harwood High School Trail Walk – Leader – Jeannie Elias (she/her) Meet in the rear parking lot behind the High School. 485 Vermont Route 100 in Duxbury.
Thurs. June 1 – 7:30 AM – Blueberry Lake – Birding by Boat – Leader – Jeannie Elias (she/her) Meet at north parking lot at the end of Blueberry Lake Road off Plunkton Road. Bring your own boat. All birders must bring and wear a Personal Flotation Device to participate in this event. Birders will very slowly circumnavigate the lake looking and listening for birds.
Sat., June 3– Boyce Town Forest – 7:00 AM -9:30 AM – Leader – Lisa Koitzsch (she/her). Meet at Fayston Town Hall at 866 North Fayston Rd at 7:00 AM to carpool to the Town Forest, which has very limited parking. Lawn Chair birding (Leader – Pat Folsom (she/her) ) will be offered on this walk, and lawn chair participants should park in the driveway of 574 Boyce Hill Road.
Sat. June 3 – 3-4:30 PM Birding by Ear Workshop, Moretown Town Hall 1147 Route 100B in Moretown – Co -Presenters: Cory Stephenson (she/her) and Jeannie Elias (she/her). Learn more about identifying birds by their songs at this informative and fun workshop cosponsored by the Moretown Library and the Mad Birders.
Sun. June 4– 7:30 AM – 9 AM Pony Farm Road Walk – Co-Leaders: Cory Stephenson (she/her) and Jeannie Elias (she/her). This bird walk is open to all, but is a follow up to the Birding by Ear Workshop and will focus on identifying birds by ear, as well as by sight. Take Pony Farm Road uphill from the southern end of Moretown Village, the walk begins at 182 Pony Farm Road at the top of the first hill. Park at the Farmstand. Lawn Chair birding (Leader – Pat Folsom (she/her) ) will be offered on this walk.
Sat, June 17 – Parkers (Monitoring Walk) in Granville – 8 AM – 2 PM – Leader Pat Folsom (she/her). Meet at 7:30 AM at 3681 E. Warren Rd, Waitsfield (Pat’s) to carpool. Note that this is a longer walk, bring water, definitely wear boots. This involves wet conditions in many places. Brunch is included.