Pondicherry National Wildlife Refuge, a pristine mishmash of Eastern hardwoods and the more northerly boreal forest, is the closest thing New Hampshire has to a birder's Eden. More than 130 different species of birds breed here, making it one of the most biodiverse sanctuaries in all of New England. Add to that group the large numbers of migrant warblers, thrushes, raptors, and others still passing through the area, and you have the makings of a jaw-dropping spectacle.
On this trip the Harriers will have the chance to learn from experienced birders, botanists, and all-around naturalists, but we’ll also spend some time on our own in the quiet of the woods. And we’ll hope to see our namesake, the Northern Harrier, engaged in its roller-coaster aerial displays over the edge of Cherry Pond. Meet at the parking lot off of Hazen/Airport Rd. (1/4 mile east of Mt. Washington Regional Airport) at 7:00 a.m. The expedition requires a good deal of walking, between 2-4 miles, although on very flat, well-maintained rail trails, so wear good shoes. Bring water, a little lunch, and probably that insect repellant!
Due to the location (a long drive for all of us southerners) and the early start time, consider camping in the Jefferson/Whitefield area the night before, Friday, May 8.