Essex County Ornithological Club Calendar

Spring 2023

Speaker Series/Club Events

Wednesday, March 29, 2023, 6:30-8pm (weather dependent*)
ECOC Clubhouse Event: Brown Bag supper and Woodcock Walk
6:30-7:25 pm – dinner
7:25-7:50 pm – woodcock walk with sanctuary director Amy Weidensaul
Location: Mass Audubon’s Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary, 87 Perkins Row, Topsfield, MA

Gather with fellow ECOC members at this special Clubhouse event and experience one of nature’s remarkable spectacles! After a brown bag dinner (feel free to bring some to share!) inside the barn, we’ll head outside with Amy and listen for the telltale “PEENT!” of male woodcocks performing their amazing aerial displays at dusk (sunset is at 7:06 pm).

* Please RSVP to Jim McCoy by March 27th.

Friday, April 7, 2023, 7:45pm
Flockology: Unraveling the Mysteries of Bird Flocks
ECOC meeting 7:30-7:45pm
In-person | Morse Auditorium, PEM
Please pre-register here and bring your ticket with you
Or Join on Zoom Here
Free and open to the public

Why do birds form flocks? Expert birder and wildlife tour guide Gina Nichol delves into the intriguing phenomenon of bird gatherings with video clips, vivid photographs, and colorful anecdotes.

Chestnut-eared Aracaris, Brazil. © Gina Nichol

Explore the choreography of mass movements, such as starling murmurations, and the benefits of flocking behavior as they relate to breeding, protection, and even avian babysitting services. Nichol shares some of the advantages and disadvantages of flocking, as well as the collective names used to identify bird groupings.

This event is made possible by a generous gift from Tim and Joanie Ingraham in loving memory of Honorary PEM Trustee and longstanding ECOC member Dorothy (“Dotty”) Addams Brown. Co-sponsored by the Peabody Essex Museum.

About the presenter:

Gina Nichol is the founder and principal tour leader of Sunrise Birding. A naturalist and birder for more than 20 years, Nichol began leading ecotours for Audubon Nature Odysseys in the early 1990s. Her avid interest in wildlife biology led her to the Yellowstone Institute in Wyoming where she studied animal behavior as well as methods for tracking animal movements. She has led wildlife tours in New England, Costa Rica, the Galápagos Islands, Colombia, Antarctica, India, Montana, and Texas. Nichol received her B.S. in Environmental Education from Cornell University and her M.A. in Educational Technology from Fairfield University.

Sunday, May 7, 2023, 6am-9am
ECOC Outing: Dykes Pasture and Magnolia Woods
Meeting point: Parking area loop for Dykes Pasture across from #46 Laurel Street, Gloucester*

Walk Leader: Jared Keyes ( | cell: 978-505-0586)

Join in a bird walk in Gloucester led by club member and Gloucester resident Jared Keyes. We’ll start at Dykes Pasture, a small but amazing place with the potential for spotting numerous warbler species (including Canada) in May. After 45 minutes we’ll head to the parking area for Magnolia Woods on Western Ave only 3 miles away. Walking will generally be easy on wide fire roads that afford excellent viewing.

* Contact Jared for event details and to register for this event.

Friday, May 12, 2023, 6am-9am
ECOC Outing: Magnolia Woods
Meeting point: Upper parking lot of Magnolia Woods Recreation Area at 474 Western Ave. (Rte 127), Gloucester*
Note: additional parking available up by the soccer fields

Walk Leader: Jared Keyes ( | cell: 978-505-0586)

Join in a bird hike in West Gloucester with club member and Gloucester resident, Jared Keyes. The full loop is nearly 3 miles and involves several sections of steep, rocky, and challenging woodland paths. Target is 50-60 total species of migratory and resident birds, including Winter Wren and Wilson Warbler. Wonderful blend of upland, grassland and wetland habitats.

* Contact Jared for event details and to register for this event.

Saturday, May 20, 2023, 7am-ish*
Ipswich River Canoe Trip and Bird Survey

Event Coordinator: Dave Brewster ( [preferred contact] | cell: 978-317-0230)

Participate in the 117th ECOC birding trip down the Ipswich River! Arguably the oldest uninterrupted bird-count in the world, this event is timed to get the best views of birds before full leaf-out, but late enough in the season to get better weather for paddling.

* Contact Dave for the exact start time and other details.

Sunday, May 21, 2023, 6am-9am
ECOC Outing: Dogtown bird hike (vigorous)
Meeting point: Parking lot for Goose Cove Reservoir on Gee Avenue, Gloucester*

Walk Leader: Jared Keyes ( | cell: 978-505-0586)

Join in a several mile bird hike on Cape Ann with club member Jared Keyes of Gloucester. Our target birds will be warblers (including Mourning and nesting Nashville), cuckoos, and other Neotropical migrants. Our goal will be to cover multiple habitats and micro-hotspots over nearly 4 miles, an area that yielded great finds and satisfying eBird list in 2022. We’ll work our way at a brisk pace into the heart of fabled Dogtown over some very challenging, rocky and occasionally steep terrain. Appropriate footwear required, and remember to bring water.

* Contact Jared for event details and to register for this event.

Volunteer Opportunity – Grassland Bird Monitoring With The Trustees of Reservations
More Information

Directions to the Peabody Essex Museum

PEM Connect Building is at 135 Essex Street, next door to PEM’s main entrance (at the corner of Essex and Liberty St. in Salem, MA). Morse Auditorium is in PEM’s main building. Note: if severe weather is forecast, call 978-745-1876 to confirm event.

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Please be advised: ECOC calendars are only sent via email, unless a member requests otherwise. The calendar can always be viewed here on our web site. Hard copies will also be available at programs.

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Essex County Ornithological Club 100th Anniversary Sponsors