The Christmas bird counts begin on Saturday. Veteran bird watchers who would like to volunteer for the three South Fork counts - Montauk to East Hampton, Sagaponack and Hook Ponds, and Water Mill to Quogue - can call, respectively, Hugh McGuiness at Friends World College at Southampton College, Mary Laura Lamont of Riverhead, and Barbara Scherzer of Hampton Bays.
Less experienced birders can still feel a part of the National Audubon Society counts by watching their bird feeders; that is, by counting the number and species of birds that visit during the duration of each 24-hour count.
The Group for the South Fork has scheduled an "edge of winter" walk on WHICHDAY through the newly acquired Smithers County Park in Hampton Bays. Vikki Hilles, the leader, will instruct hikers about the importance of ecological "edges."
For reservations and instructions on where to meet, hikers should call the Group at its headquarters in Bridgehampton.