YMOS Birding Trips 2017 – 2018

2017– 2018 YMOS Birding Trips


  1. These trips are open to any interested student. You need simply indicate your intention to attend. All trips will be supervised by George Radcliffe assisted by Dr. Wayne Bell and/or Stacy Epperson.
  2. For each trip, more detailed information will be sent out in advance of the trip. Email George Radcliffe (radclifg@gmail.com) of your intent to go at least 2 weeks in advance of the trip. Then we will use email to coordinate actual departure times and locations, trip needs, carpooling, and additional information.
  3. No experience necessary, and binoculars are available for loan on each trip.
  4. There is no charge for trips, but we recommend that students provide gas money for drivers.
  5. Parents and families are always welcome to accompany us. We need parents to assist with driving, and we can also usually provide binoculars for family members to use.
  6. Carpooling is recommended to minimize environmental impact.
  7. Where trips are located on the Eastern Shore and have early start times, students and parent drivers are welcome to overnight at the home of George and Jackie Radcliffe (410-228-7670). Bring a sleeping bag, food, and snacks.
  8. Trips can be cancelled because of extreme weather. Only students who have notified us of their intent to go will be contacted in the event of cancellation.




Date Trip Begin-End Target Special Instructions
Sat, Aug 12 Bombay Hook NWR Shorebird Hunt 8 AM –
1 PM
Shorebirds in migration Bombay Hook is the best place to view migrating shorebirds. We’ll have plenty of spotting scopes available to view and photograph these birds: Sandpipers, Plovers, Dowitchers, and maybe Avocets and Stilts.





Sat, Sep 9

Assateague Island Bird Competition 5 AM –

      5 PM

Coastal birds


Migratory Species

This is the First Annual Assateague Island Birding Competition; teams will try to find as many species as possible during competition hours; lodging available Fri night at the Radcliffes. Camping usually available at Assateague. Compilation dinner after competition.


Sat, Sep 16 Fall Bird Count

(Taylor’s Island in Dorchester County)

4 AM –
5 PM
Birds in Fall Migration This is one of the Fall Bird Counts held around the State. We’ll begin early, but there will be overnight lodging provided near the location for participating birders. The trip is open to anyone, and you can come for all of it or part time.




Sat, Oct 7 Cape May Hawk Migration and Sea Watch All Day


Meet Cape May by 8:30 AM

Migrating Raptors and

Birds of Cape May

Though a long day, this is a great trip for all levels of birders. We’ll carpool from both the Eastern and Western Shores and spend the day in Cape May during the peak of raptor migration. We’ll also search for songbird migrants and visit the Avalon Seawatch.


Sat, Nov 4 Chincoteague NWR All Day

(Begin in CNWR at 8 AM)

Herons, Waterfowl, Skimmers, Raptors, Thrushes This is a great opportunity to get a good look at a lot of bird species. Waterfowl will be back, and Chincoteague provides a unique opportunity to explore many types of habitats. Lodging will be provided Fri and/or Sat nights for students coming from a distance.


Sun, Dec 17 Christmas Bird Count


(Talbot County)

4 :00 AM – 5:00 PM Wintering Birds and Waterfowl This is one of several Christmas Bird Counts held around the State. It is a wonderful experience but a very long day. Lodging will be provided Sat night for any participating students so that we can get the early start for an owl bonanza. Come part time if you wish.


Fri, Feb 2 to Sun, Feb 4 MOS Conference in Ocean City Several Trips from Fri to Sun Wintering Birds Detailed info to come later.

Sun 8 AM – 12 Noon is a student led trip for Maryland educators that will explore the Ocean City area.

Sat Feb 17 Dorchester County Winter Bird Count 8 AM –
5:30 PM

Golden Eagle

Short-eared Owl

Rough-legged Hawk

The group will meet at 8 AM at the Sailwinds Center immediately across the Choptank River Bridge in Cambridge. We’ll spend time looking at the large array of ducks, before heading south in the county to Blackwater Refuge and Shorter’s Wharf to look for Short-eared Owls and the Rough-legged Hawk. Bring a lunch and money for dinner and plenty of warm clothing.




Sat Mar 17


Sun Mar 18

Maryland Youth Birdathon


Fund Raising for the World Series of Birding Teams

5 AM Sat – 5 PM Sun Remaining Wintering Birds and Early Migrants



The group will begin in Ocean City on Saturday morning and end up in Dorchester County by evening. The search will resume Sunday morning in Dorchester and conclude by the Bay Bridge late Sunday afternoon. Lodging will be available Friday and Saturday nights in Dorchester County. Students will need money for meals. Logistics and specific times will be coordinated once we know who is going. Participants can come either or both days.


Sat Apr 14 Lower Eastern Shore


Early Migrant Search

7 AM –
6 PM
Early Warblers


Birding on the Lower Eastern Shore – Looking for early migrants.  Meet the group in Cambridge at Sailwinds Park at 7 AM;

Return to Sailwinds Park by 6 PM. We’ll bird Nassawango Creek, Elliott Island Rd, and Blackwater NWR


Sun April 29 Western Shore


 Migrant Search

5:45 AM – 5:30 PM Spring Migrants


Preparation for the World Series of Birding

– Meet at 7 AM at Susquehanna State Park for warblers and early migrants, possible Cerulean Warbler
– Swan Harbor for King Rail, Sora, Least Bittern
– Patapsco Valley State Park in Marriottsville for warblers
– Several stops along the C & O Canal
– Ending at McKee-Beshers WMA at 5:30 PM
Wed May 9


Sun May 13

World Series of Birding 3 Days of Scouting with 1 Day of Competition Annual Competition – Students must commit by Jan 15. Depart Weds AM for 3 days of scouting. We’ll participate in the Big Day on Saturday, trying to find as many species as we can in 24 hours. We’ll return Sunday after the Awards Brunch. The Birdathon fundraising will hopefully pay for registration, motel costs, the Awards Brunch, and most of the food costs. For more information, see the ymos.org website.