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Last few days before the beach at the refuge is closed for bird nesting season; we wanted to see what the refuge is like.


Located just outside Newburyport MA, it is pretty easy to get to via either Rt 1 or Rt 95, but we traveled the more scenic 107A thru Amesbury. 

The beaches close April 1, primarily for plover mating/nesting season , though other birds like their privacy too.

This time of the year it was not very crowded; the impression is that it gets VERY crowded during the summer. It wasnt exactly cold, but there was very little wildlife out and about. A few geese and seaducks, some chickadees and one distant bird in flight ( some sort of bird of prey) was pretty much it.

But it wasnt a waste.  It's a very different environment from our usual mountain/woodland/lake/river trips, so it was interesting.

We took all the links of the Hellcat trail, almost all boardwalk.  

Following that, with the advice of a couple of local birders, we drove all the way to the end of refuge road, to the Sandy Point state reservation and did some walking on the beach there. The road was a bit rough in spots, but passable.

At the end of the road there was a parking area and we took a walk on the beach. It's in a cove, so the waves come in at an angle, which neither of us had seen before.

The undergrowth above the tide line was impressively tangled ( like the border of Fangorn Forest in the LOTR !) ....  I kept imagining what it would be like to strike for shore in a longboat, pull up on the beach and have to hack thru that. No thanks!

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