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Free Birding Trips

March | April | May | JuneDirections

These free, volunteer-led walks offer birders a chance to explore new areas with other birding enthusiasts. ANS also offers fee-based, instructional classes and field trips for beginning to mid-level birders.

Beginner bird walks
Saturdays, 8-9 a.m. at Woodend
Weekly March through June. No walks in July or August. Weekly schedule resumes in September through November, then monthly walks on December 3, January 7, and February 4. Meet at the Audubon Sanctuary Shop parking lot. Bring binoculars or use ours. 



2016/Early 2017 Christmas Bird Counts



Wednesday, March 8, Tuesday, March 14, and Thursday, March 16
Riley’s Lock and Hughes Hollow, Montgomery Co. MD
Informal late afternoon walks until dusk. Joint trip with Montgomery Bird Club. Meet time/place: Meet promptly at 4 pm at the end of Seneca Rd at Riley's Lock “on the bridge.” We will be checking out the river, and the leader will not leave Riley’s for Hughes Hollow until 5:30 pm. Highlights here will include waterfowl flying into roost. We will try for displaying woodcock if they are in the vicinity. Bring scope, flashlight and wear “muddy conditions” footwear. Reservations not required—all are welcome. For more info call the leader Jim Green, 301-742-0036 (cell).

Saturday, March 11
Patuxent River Park, Jug Bay Natural Area, Prince George’s Co, MD
Half day. Joint trip with Montgomery Bird Club. Waterfowl, Wilson’s Snipe, winter and early spring songbirds. Ospreys displaying. Meet time/place: 8 am at parking lot by park hdqtrs. Wear mud-conditions footgear. Make reservation (15-person limit) with John Bjerke at johnbjerke1@mac.com.

Wednesday, March 29
Woodbridge/Occoquan Bay NWR, VA
Half day. Songbirds, waterfowl, eagles, and other raptors. Meet time/place: 7:30 am inside the refuge at central parking lot. Make reservation (6-adult limit) with leader Jim Waggener, 703-567-3555.


Tuesday, April 11
Pennyfield in the Spring, Tra-la!
An easy 3- to 4-hour walk, looking for lingering winter visitors and early spring migrants and wildflowers. Meet time/place: 8 am at Pennyfield Lock on the C&O Canal. Make reservation (8-person limit) with Lydia Schindler, lydiaschindler@verizon.net (preferred) or 301-977-5252.

Saturday, April 15
Blue Mash Nature Trail, Montgomery County, MD
Half day. Both nesting and migrant songbirds, waterbirds, and possible raptors. Possible nesting birds include Yellow-breasted Chat and Yellow Warbler. Meet time/place: 7 am at Zion Road parking lot. Waterproof footwear strongly recommended. Make reservation (10-person limit) with leader Marc Liebermann at mdlieberm@gmail.com.

Wednesday, April 26
Woodbridge/Occoquan Bay NWR, VA
See March 29 listing for details.

Saturday, April 29
Chapman State Park and Indian Head Rail Trail
Half day. The Indian Head Rail Trail is one of the best locations for Red-headed Woodpeckers in the state. We will also bird one of Audubon’s Important Bird Areas, Chapman State Park, home to many of Maryland’s coastal plain rare natural heritage resources. Come and see the Red-heads, and help us find migrants and early spring ephemerals! Joint trip with SoMD Audubon. Meet time/place: 8 am at the entrance to Mount Aventine-Chapman State Park (3452 Ferry Place, Indian Head, MD 20640). Make reservation with leader Lynne Wheeler at 301-751-8097 or comstockel@aol.com.


Sunday, May 14
C&O Canal, MD Areas
Half day. Songbirds, waterbirds, raptors. Meet time/place: 7 am in parking lot at Riley’s Lock on the Canal. Reservations not required. For more info, contact leader Tony Futcher, 301-422-3927 or tonyfutcher1@verizon.net.

Wednesday, May 31
Woodbridge/Occoquan Bay NWR, VA
See March 29 listing for details.


Sunday, June 4
Little Bennett Regional Park, Montgomery Co., MD
Half day. Nesting songbirds, possibly including Yellow-breasted Chat, Willow Flycatcher, Prairie Warbler, and Kentucky Warbler. Meet time/place: 7:30 am at Kingsley Trail parking area (see website for directions). Insect repellent highly advised, as is waterproof footwear. Extra water and sunscreen also recommended. Make reservation (12-person limit) with leader Paul DeAnna, 202-544-2680 or ppdeanna47@gmail.com.

Sunday, June 11
Fort C.F. Smith Park, Arlington, VA
One-third day. Nesting songbirds in woods, edge, and meadow habitat. There may be muddy conditions. Meet time/place: 7 am in parking lot. Make reservation (10-person limit) with leader Karen Fairweather, twofairs@msn.com or 703-841-1299. 

Wednesday, June 28
Woodbridge/Occoquan Bay NWR, VA
See March 29 listing for details.