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Birds, stones, stars focus of programs; Millers River Environmental Center.

Byline: George Barnes

ATHOL - The Millers River Environmental Center will hold several programs this week allowing people a chance to take a close look at birds, stones and the stars.

From 8 to 10 a.m. Tuesday, Joseph F. Superchi will have the first of his accessible birding programs. The programs will be held the second Tuesday of each month through June 10. Those attending should meet at 8 a.m. at the Environmental Center, 100 Main St. The program is open to birders of all abilities. Those wishing wheelchair van access should call (978) 248-9491.

At 7 p.m. Wednesday, at a meeting of the Athol Bird and Nature Club, James W. Berry will present a program in conjunction with the second Massachusetts breeding bird atlas, for which the fieldwork began last year. Mr. Berry of Ipswich is coordinating the atlas fieldwork in Essex County. He will show slides of breeding birds and their nests and eggs in the context of their preferred habitats. He has done extensive research on the birds of Essex County and is writing a book on the subject. The meeting will be held at the center.

For those who prefer to gaze at the stars, John

Kocur and Robert B. Coyle will host an astronomy program beginning at 8 p.m. Friday. Using Mr. Kocur's computer-driven, eight-inch Newtonian telescope set up at the ball field behind Miller's River Environmental Center, those attending will get a chance to observe Saturn and its moons, bright stars, double stars, star clusters, the Orion Nebula, planetary nebulas, galaxies and other astronomical objects. They will also use a laser pointer to identify constellations and show the location of objects in the night sky.

If the weather doesn't cooperate, Mr. Kocur will demonstrate how to operate the computerized telescope. He also will have a presentation available of his trips to the Southwest, including nature photography and astrophotography.

At 8:45 a.m. Saturday, Mr. Coyle will lead a geology trip to Beryl Mine in Royalston. Property owner Chet H. Hall has invited the Bird and Nature Club to visit the location, which has produced the spectacular Massachusetts mineral, the famous blue beryl. Those attending should bring rock hammer, safety glasses, magnifying glasses and bags for collecting.

Quartz, feldspar, biotite, muscovite, garnet and other semiprecious stones are all possibilities.

Also on Saturday, the Environmental Center will be open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. prior to the River Rat Race. Volunteers are needed to host visitors. Anyone interested in helping out should send an e-mail to
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Title Annotation:LOCAL NEWS
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Apr 6, 2008
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