Every September, thousands of hawks from New England and Canada ride the thermals of the Wapack Range as part of their southward migration. On a good day in mid-September, a keen-eyed observer may see up to 3,000 hawks from the various peaks of the range, such as South Pack Monadnock in New Hampshire to Mount Wachusett in Massachusetts. On Saturday, September 15, 2012, the Nashua River Watershed Association will lead a “Hawk Watch and Hike” on Mt. Watatic in Ashby, MA. In the event of a steady rain Saturday, the event will be held on Sunday, September 16.
After convening at the trail-head at 9:00 a.m., we’ll hike up Mt. Watatic, a 30 to 40 minute hike, moderately difficult, with a few steep sections. We’ll spend about three hours at the summit, watching for hawks and observing whatever else nature presents. Many of the Broad-Winged Hawks will be in kettle formations, which can be spectacular to behold. Other species such as Sharp-Shinned and Cooper’s Hawks may also be seen. We’ll head back to the cars around 1:30 p.m. If the birding is exceptionally good, people can choose to stay longer.
Bring along binoculars (a must), spotting scopes, bird book, food and water, hat, hiking seat, windbreaker. The hike is free and open to the public; limited to the first 20 people who register. Children should be old enough to hike on their own (12 years and up) and be patient enough to spend several hours at the summit staring into the sky. For the comfort of all, no dogs please.
To register or for more information, please contact Mark Archambault, NRWA Smart Growth Circuit Rider, at (978) 448-0299, or email [email protected]. Because the trip is limited to 20 people, anyone registering after that number is reached will be placed on a waiting list. Directions to the meet-up location will be given upon registration.