Stanton Bird Club plans nature camp, birding trips in July

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LEWISTON — The Stanton Bird Club of Lewiston and Auburn has three events planned in the month of July, as well as two one-week sessions of Nature Week at Thorncrag. These walks visit a variety of interesting and diverse local habitats.

The Centennial Sunday walk “Stone Walls Tell a Story” on July 8 will be led by Cheryl Laz and will take place from 1 to 2 p.m. Old foundation, stonewalls, wolf pines and large spreading maples suggest that farming was a primary use of the land for many years before it became what is now Thorncrag. This is the second in a series of monthly Sunday walks held in celebration of Stanton’s 100th anniversary. Participants should meet at the Thorncrag parking lot off Montello Avenue. For more information, contact Jeri Maurer at 207-524-2060 or jerigary@fairpoint.net.

The Wednesday Bird Walks are held every other Wednesday from spring into the late fall. This month both of the trips will begin at 8 a.m. and end at 11 a.m. The leaders identify and comment on birds seen and heard, with everyone pointing out birds that they notice. The leaders are Stan and Joan DeOrsey. For any questions, call them at 207-406-4741 or e-mail jsmd@att.net.

Wednesday, July 11, will find participants walking the trails of the Fitzgerald Preserve in Brunswick. This walk is along sandy paths on one of the few sandplain grasslands remaining in Maine. Participants will explore this rare natural area for birds such as Field and Vesper Sparrows, Eastern Meadowlarks, Eastern Towhees and Prairie Warblers. Meet at the preserve. Turn left at Lowe’s traffic light on Bath Road, onto Old Bath Road. Continue 1.3 miles to Lindbergh Crossing on the right and park along the road.

The next trip for July will be the Wednesday July 25 walk at the Riverside Trail in Lewiston. Those attending should meet at the corner of Winter and Whipple Streets at Sunnyside Park. Participants will be looking for resident summer birds. The cheerful voices of the Eastern Wood Peewee and the Eastern Phoebe often greet visitors along this trail, as Pine Warblers and White-breasted Nuthatch brighten the walk.

All of the field trips are free and open to everyone, from beginning naturalist to advanced birder. The club suggests bringing binoculars and dressing for the weather.

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Nature Week at Thorncrag was a popular program last summer and promises to be just as enjoyable this year. Each of the two one-week sessions meets from 9 a.m. to noon each weekday and is for 6- to 12-year-olds. The daily topics are Branching Out Forest Exploration, Rock Our World, Bird’s Eye View, What’s Bugging You and Pon-de-licious. The First Session dates are July 16 to 20 and the Second Session meets July 23 to 27. Registration is $25 per week, with some scholarships available. For information and registration forms call Penny Jessop at 207-782-5467 or visit www.StantonBirdClub.org.

The Stanton Bird Club manages the Thorncrag Nature Sanctuary as well as the Woodbury Nature Sanctuary in Monmouth and Litchfield. Thorncrag is the largest protected conservation land in Lewiston. It also includes the city’s highest elevation, and features over four miles of trails. The Bird Club is a service organization which seeks to help people fall in love with nature and learn about nature. More information can be found at www.StantonBirdClub.org. The results of the various trips are posted there, often with photos. The Club also has a Facebook page.

A male Wilson’s Warbler is seen in breeding plumage. These warblers nest in Maine and can be found in backyards during migration but usually nest near brushy, wet areas. They are often seen on Stanton Bird Club spring walks. (Dan Marquis Photo)

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