Fall Splendor in Maryland State Parks

​​Lighthouse.September.jpgFall is fast approaching in Maryland. With the fall equinox happening on Friday, September 22, many animals are already preparing for the cold winter months. Bats are getting ready to feed and build their fat supplies for hibernation, woolly caterpillars are being seen, and the fall bird migration is underway.

September is an important month for migrating bird species. Hummingbirds will be gone in most parts of Maryland by the end of the month. It is the peak of the season for most warblers and for the Blue-winged Teal. During the cooling month of September, blackbird flocks can number in the thousands.

One of the most breathtaking sights of traveling birds happens during the third and fourth weeks of September. This is the peak season for hawk migrations. One location to view this spectacular site is from the top of the tower at Washington Monument State Park. The view alone is worth the visit, but since the Cumberland Valley is a migratory bird flyway, the park offers excellent all-around bird watching opportunities. The Appalachian Trail winds through the park and passes the base of the monument.

The Turkey Point lighthouse in Cecil County offers another great viewing location for migrating birds of prey such as hawks and eagles. The season begins in August and runs through Thanksgiving. Thousands of birds are counted yearly by volunteers, with a peak of 7,000 counted during the 1999 season!

Opportunities abound to view this yearly breathtaking phenomenon. Grab your binoculars, camera, and sense of awe and join as a state park near you this September.