AUBURN — The Stanton Bird Club of Lewiston and Auburn has three events planned for the month of September.

Sunday afternoon, Sept. 9, will find the club having a Centennial Walk. The YMCA’s new Outdoor Learning and Education Center (OLEC) will be the site for birdwatching on Wednesday, Sept. 19. On Wednesday, Sept. 26, there will be a program in conjunction with the Auburn Library from the Wendell Gilley Museum. Our annual meeting is coming up on Tuesday, Oct. 2, with Jensen Bissell, recently retired longtime director of Baxter State Park.

Our Sunday afternoon Centennial Walk on Sept. 9 takes us to Thorncrag Nature Sanctuary. This walk is on Fern Identification. It will take place from 1 to 2 p.m. Meet at the Thorncrag parking lot off Montello St., near Highland Spring Road. The turn for Highland Spring Riad is off Route 126 at the stone pillar near Hannaford.

Thorncrag is a great place to see a wide variety of ferns that grow in Maine, in one place. Come learn to identify these ferns while enjoying this lovely setting where the city blends comfortably with nature and one can tune out the city sounds and tune in to enjoy a short, wilderness experience. The leaders will be Maine Master Naturalists Beth Brooke and Sharon Thibeault. For more information contact Jeri Maurer at 207-524-2060 or [email protected].

For our Wednesday, Sept. 19, walk, park on the gravel and grass at the entrance to the YMCA’s Outdoor Learning and Education Center in Auburn. It is at 167 Stetson Road and is on the right, before you reach Schooner Estates which is on the left. This is a fairly new multi-purpose outdoor center. It is built on 93 wooded acres along Stetson and River roads in Auburn. Summer 2018 is the first time the YMCA has held Camp Connor on these grounds. This is an opportunity to see this work in progress. Be on the lookout for fall migrants, such as the Hermit Thrush and the Eastern Kingbird. The leaders for this walk are Stan and Joan DeOrsey. It will begin at 8 a.m. and end at 11 a.m. For any questions, call Stan or Joan at 207-406-4741 or email [email protected].

All of trips are free and open to everyone. The leaders identify and comment on flora and fauna seen and heard. Walks are approximately 2 miles in length, on fairly smooth trails. Bring binoculars and dress for the weather.

A sculptor from the Wendell Gilley Museum in Southwest Harbor will be coming to the Auburn Library for a noon program on Wednesday, Sept. 26, to discuss bird carving. This program is offered jointly by Stanton Bird Club and the Auburn Library in continued celebration of the International Year of the Bird and Stanton’s 100th anniversary. This program is also free and open to all.

The Stanton Bird Club’s annual Dinner Meeting, which is also part of the 100th anniversary celebration, is Tuesday, Oct. 2, at the Green Ladle, 156 East Ave., Lewiston, at the Regional Technical Center. The club encourages those interested to join them celebrating this milestone. Join for dinner, followed by speaker Jensen Bissell. Mr. Bissell was director of Baxter State Park for 12 years, retiring at the end of 2017. An RSVP for the dinner is required. The flyer and reservation form can be found on our website under the All News heading.

Although most of the Warblers have left our state by this time, there are still plenty of birds which we can hope to see, both at our fall events and around our homes. In the woods, our friends the Tufted Titmouse, American Goldfinch and Black-capped Chickadee are to be expected. The open areas at this time of year might reveal some Red-winged Blackbirds, Chipping Sparrows and Mourning Doves. The brushy fields, forest edges and thickets could be sheltering the Northern Cardinal, Northern Mockingbird and Song Sparrow. The Dark-eyed Junco may surprise us as its numbers increase here in Maine about this time of year for the fall and winter.

The Stanton Bird Club manages the Thorncrag Nature Sanctuary in Lewiston, as well as the Woodbury Nature Sanctuary in Monmouth and Litchfield. It is an environmental organization which seeks to inculcate a love of nature in people of the community and also seeks to create model bird sanctuaries.

More information can be found at

An Eastern Kingbird, a feisty bird often found in open areas near water. They are Robin sized and usually seen sitting on a dead snag or chasing a larger bird. Males and females look alike. (Photo by Dan Marquis)


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