Twenty Allen Bird Club members made a three-hour tour of the Southwick Wildlife Management Area on June 12th. At 200 acres, the Southwick WMA offers an extensive swath of grassland habitat that is increasingly scarce in New England. Together with the adjacent 150-acre Suffield WMA just across the state line in Connecticut, this site is carefully managed to provide nesting habitat for such sought-after species as Brown Thrasher, Eastern Meadowlark, Bobolink, Orchard Oriole, Grasshopper Sparrow, Prairie Warbler and Blue-winged Warbler. Our group encountered all but two of these species, missing only Bobolink and Meadowlark. The trip leader was heartened to see that our party included Jackson, an elementary-school-age boy, with 100 life-birds already under his belt! He added another seven or eight during our tour. Here’s a tip for those interested in visiting this unique site: bring a telescope if you can. One was surprisingly helpful today for viewing species such as American Kestrel and state-listed Grasshopper Sparrow without having to (or being able to) approach them closely. The final trip tally was 33 species.