Hike and Hawk Watch

Saturday, September 15, 2018, beginning at 8:00 a.m. on Mt. Watatic in Ashburnham, MA  (rain date: Sunday, September 16th)

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 and Mount Wachusett in Massachusetts. On Saturday, September 15, 2018, the Nashua River Watershed Association (NRWA) will lead a free “Hike and Hawk Watch” up Mt. Watatic in Ashburnham, MA (off of Route 119). In the event of a steady rain on Saturday, the event will be held on Sunday, September 16. Both of these dates are close to the historical peak of the Broad-winged Hawk migration.

After convening at the trail-head off Route 119 at 8:00 a.m., we’ll hike up Mt. Watatic, a 30 to 40 minute hike, moderately difficult with a few steep sections. We’ll spend a few hours at the summit, watching for hawks and observing whatever else nature presents. We’ll head back to the parking area around 1:00 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 and a 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, please contact Kate McNierney, NRWA Office Administrator, at (978) 448-0299, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 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 registrants before the event.

Free Aquatic Plant Identification Workshop

Wednesday, August 15, 2018, beginning at 6:00 p.m., at the Bill Ashe Visitor Center at Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge, 80 Hospital Road in Devens

Do you have a favorite paddling or swimming spot where you’ve found an aquatic plant and wondered if it’s native or invasive? Are you part of a pond committee or river group looking to protect the health of your waterway from invasive plant species? The Nashua River Watershed Association invites you to join us for a free “Aquatic Plant Identification Workshop”  at the Bill Ashe Visitor Center at Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge in Devens. This one and a half hour class will be led by Tom Flannery, Aquatic Ecologist with the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Lakes and Ponds Program. The workshop begins with an introduction to the invasive non-native species issue, how exotic species are introduced into our waterways, methods of dispersal, basic terminology, and guidance on performing bi-weekly monitoring and completing plant surveys. The remaining 3/4 of the class will engage participants in hands-on identification. A variety of non-native and native plant species are provided, and people are encouraged to bring in their own samples of aquatic plants (no terrestrials please, we’re focusing strictly on aquatics). Participants will become familiar with using a dichotomous key and, although the emphasis is on exotic species, the goal is to teach people how to use the key so that they will be able to identify the majority of common aquatic plants in their lake or pond (native or otherwise).

This workshop is free and open to the public, made possible by a grant from the Greater Lowell Community Foundation. The workshop is limited to 30 people; pre-registration is required. To pre-register, please contact Kate McNierney, NRWA Office Administrator, at (978) 448-0299, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. For more information about the workshop,This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Morgan, NRWA Water Programs Director.

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