“This is a great opportunity to see thousands of wintering waterfowl up close, and in areas not normally open to the public,” says Cindy Beemiller, manager of the Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge. “You’ll be guided way off the beaten track!”
Friends of Eastern Neck, Inc., announces the second year of five Winter Waterfowl Walks at Eastern Neck NWR, one per month, starting November 5.
Conditions permitting, thousands of Canada geese, tundra swans, scaup, ruddy ducks, buffleheads, mallards, black ducks, canvasbacks, mergansers, grebes, and wood ducks can be spotted as the winter progresses. Resident bald eagles are often observed at Eastern Neck, as well as other local wildlife.
Guided walks start at 8:00 a.m. on five Saturdays: November 5, December 3, January 7, February 4, and March 4. The walks will include Panhandle Point, Hail Creek, and Shipyard Creek, all Refuge areas ordinarily off-limits to the public.
A local birding expert will guide each walk. Plan for a flat, two-mile walk of about two hours, with cocoa and cookies served at Refuge Headquarters afterward. Bring binoculars and a camera. Wear boots and dress warmly! No rain dates.
Registration for each walk is limited to 20, first-come, first served. Children over 12 are permitted, but no dogs. Walks are free (with a tax-deductible donation to Friends of Eastern Neck appreciated to keep the program self-sustaining). To register at “Eventbrite,” go to: http://bit.do/winterwaterfowlwalks
NOTE: Each of the Friday evenings before these Saturday walks is a “First Friday” in Chestertown, Kent County’s seat, with special exhibits, public performances, including music, and general merriment, with most shops open late.
Because the walks are early morning, if you’re traveling from a distance, you may consider obtaining Friday night accommodations in Rock Hall (5 miles from Refuge) or Chestertown (12 miles). Each registrant will be mailed an information packet with precise directions to the Refuge and local motels and B&Bs, restaurants, shopping opportunities, and other points of interest in Kent County.