MMRG hoping birders flock to Birch Ridge Community Forest outing

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Birders on Teneriffe Mountain searching for an ovenbird. (Lorrie Drake photo)

Moose Mountains Regional Greenways will offer a birdwatching outing at Birch Ridge Community Forest in New Durham on July 20 from 8-11 a.m.

Although this event will be aimed at beginners, birdwatchers of all levels are welcome to attend. There will also be a brief update on vision, goals and the planning process for the Community Forest, which was permanently conserved just last month.

The trip leader will be MMRG staff member Virginia Long, who also leads MMRG's monthly birding group called MOOSE-ie Birders and led a hawk watch on Birch Ridge last fall.

Regarding this outing, Long said, "It's always exciting to search for birds in a new place and I enjoy introducing beginning birders to new birds, so I'm looking forward to this event. We'll explore part of the new Birch Ridge Community Forest and its birdlife. Recent and previous timber cuts on the property mean that we may see some less common bird species that rely on early successional habitat, which has been disappearing from New Hampshire as forests have regrown."

The event is free and open to the public but preregistration is required. For directions and to register, call MMRG Education Coordinator Kari Lygren at (603) 978-7125 or email Please bring binoculars; a bird guide would also be helpful. Participants are asked to leave pets at home.

MMRG is one member of the Partnership for Birch Ridge Community Forest, which also includes Southeast Land Trust of New Hampshire and Merrymeeting Lake Association. ThepPartnership was formed to acquire, conserve and steward the 2000+ acre BRCF property overlooking Merrymeeting Lake, with SELT as landowner and MMRG holding the conservation easement.

A celebration of the permanent conservation of the Community Forest is being held next Saturday, July 13.

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