EcoTravel Day Trips

Swallow Cruises 2017!

Swallows - Diana Atwood Johnson
Swallow Spectacular Boat Cruises

Gift Certificates available.
Please call 860-767-0660.

Reservations available online now for 2017. Reserve early!
September 10, 17, and 24, 2017. Departs at 4:30 p.m. 

For reservations
 Or call 860-767-0660, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Witness one of the most spectacular avian happenings as thousands of Tree Swallows congregate on the lower Connecticut River and settle in on a giant communal roost each evening at sunset. Birds come from as far as 30 miles away, often creating a ballet of synchronized flight.

Join Connecticut Audubon Society naturalists aboard Essex Steam Train and Riverboat’s Becky Thatcher as we journey first by train and then by boat to see the spectacular, awe-inspiring display. Enjoy picturesque scenery on the train ride to the 70-foot Mississippi-style river boat. Food and a full bar are available on board. There is ample seating, three decks, and restrooms. If you take only one trip in the fall, make sure it is this one! Tours are approximately three and a half hours in length. Fee: $45. Eight years and over, please. 
All of last season’s boats sold out, so make your reservations early for 2017. 
Gift Certificates are available! Call.


Click here for our Full Newsletter.

Call us for the lowest prices on Swarovski and Vortex Binoculars and Scopes. Call us at 860-767-0660!

Join Connecticut Audubon Society

Standard Membership Only $50!

bird on a sign

Day Trip Listings

(All Day Trips include transportation from a central meeting spot).

Exploring Barn Island and Bluff Point
Thursday,  June 8   7 a.m. – 4 p.m.
For spring nature exploration, take this trip to the Barn Island Wildlife Management Area in Stonington and to Bluff Point State Park in Groton. Barn Island, the state’s single largest coastal property managed for wildlife conservation, provides a diversity of ecosystem and habitats, including hilly uplands, agricultural/open fields, mixed hardwood forests, and salt, brackish, and freshwater tidal wetlands. Bluff Point State Park also sits along the water and offers fabulous walking trails and opportunities for late migrating songbirds and shorebirds. Leader: Andrew Griswold. Members $75/Nonmembers $85.

Bridge of Flowers & Butterfly Garden
Thursday, June 22    8  a.m. – 5 p.m.
Enjoy the day in the lovely hills of the Berkshires of western Massachusetts. Destinations include Shelburne Falls’ famous Bridge of Flowers and Joseph Skinner State Park, where you can see four states and other trails and places of interest. Nature exploration and trail walks can be expected. Leader: Priscilla Wood. Members: $85/Nonmembers $95.

Sessions Woods and Shade Swamp Sanctuary
Wednesday, June 28   8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sessions Woods Wildlife Management Area, in Burlington, is a 700-acre parcel of land with a series of trails on which we can search for birds, plants, and other wildlife. A birder and botanist will be guiding the trip to help identify and discuss species in this varied habitat. A stop at Shady Swamp Sanctuary in Farmington can be expected as well. Leader: Priscilla Wood. Members $75/Nonmembers $85.

Exploring Fishers Island
Saturday, July 15    10  a.m. – 8 p.m.
Wednesday,  September 6    10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Don’t miss this very popular day trip to Fishers Island, New York, which sits between the eastern coast of Connecticut and the tip of Long Island Sound. This small island, part of Suffolk County, is accessible by plane or ferry and serves mostly as a remote destination for summer vacationers in their exclusive island estates. The group will visit the Henry L. Ferguson Museum and a local oyster farm, and will take a tour of the gated East End, which is off limits to the public. Please bring your binoculars, field guides, lunch, and money for dinner. Leader: Bob Kuchta. Members $95/Nonmembers  $105.

Sachuest Point and Green Animal Topiary Garden
Saturday, July 29   9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
A warm summer day is the perfect time to be near the water in and around Newport, Rhode Island. The group will travel to Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge for a trail walk on the peninsula in search of summer shore birds and later stroll along the Newport Cliff  Walk. After lunch we will visit The Green Animal Topiary Garden, one of the oldest topiary gardens in North America. This Victorian country estate includes more than 80 sculptured trees and shrubs in animal and geometric forms, floral gardens, a rose arbor, and fruit trees. Leader: Priscilla Wood. Members $85/Nonmembers $95.

Southbound Shorebirds
Wednesday, August 2     8 a.m.- 6 p.m.
Take in a full day of shore birding on the North Fork of Long Island, New York. The group will be ferried across Long Island Sound to enjoy the water views and search for the leading edge of shorebird migration, including Ruddy Turnstone, White-rumped Sandpiper, Baird’s Sandpiper, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, and Black-bellied Plover. If lucky, we may even find a rarity. A beautiful way to spend a warm summer’s day. Leader: Andrew Griswold. Members $95/Nonmembers $105.

NY Botanical Garden: Chihuly Glass Exhibit
Saturday, August 19   8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Have you ever been to Mohegan Sun Casino or other large venues and wondered who created the enormous, vibrant glass sculptures? It’s Dale Chihuly, an American glass sculptor and entrepreneur. His works are considered unique to the field of blown glass, and he has created breathtaking works of art which are on view at NYBG in his first major garden exhibition in New York in more than ten years. Twenty installations have been created specifically for NYBG and will complement the garden’s landscape and architecture. We’ll have time to enjoy other portions of the garden as well. Leader: Priscilla Wood. Members $85/Nonmembers $95.

Jamaica Bay
Saturday, August 26  8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Jamaica Bay, in Queens, New York, is one of the most important urban wildlife refuges. It hosts a variety of habitats, including salt marsh, several fresh and brackish water ponds, and an open expanse of bay and islands, making this destination a fabulous location for shore birds. This trip is scheduled at this time in hopes of capturing the southward migration of shorebirds. Leader: Will Haffey. Members $85/Nonmembers $95.

Wine Trail of Litchfield County
Thursday, September 28    9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Litchfield County, in the northwest corner of the state, has been named one of the most exciting and fastest growing wine regions in the United States. A tremendous variety of wine styles and stunning scenery are to be enjoyed as we meander through this beautiful part of the state. This cool-climate growing region allows for refined flavor development, and it is also a great place to look for early fall migrants. The trip will include a short hike at White Memorial Conservation Center. Leader: Priscilla  Wood. Members $85/Nonmembers $85.


 Click Full Newsletter  for a printable version of our listings!




Have you ever wanted to search for a rare bird near Connecticut, but couldn’t find directions or were concerned about going alone? Here’s your chance to join CAS EcoTravel Rarities Expeditions. We’ll provide the transportation, driver, pleasant company, experienced leadership, and logistical arrangements. This is how it works: first, call EcoTravel to sign on. Then, when a “bird of significance” is in the area, EcoTravel will contact you with the chance to join the adventure. You have the option of coming along or waiting for the next big rarity. The fee will be determined by how far we have to drive for each bird and the number of people participating. Call 800-996-8747 to get your name on the list! Call now so you will not miss out!



Falcon in a Tree

Falcon in a Tree

Donate your car, boat, truck, RV, Jet Ski or snowmobile to Connecticut Audubon EcoTravel and receive a tax deduction. This no cost, no hassle process begins when you contact our fundraising partner, Donation Line LLC at 877-227-7487. Make sure to ask for our extension 3087. Or you can click here on “Donate Car”  to donate online, now.





Connecticut Audubon Society EcoTravel
30 Plains Road
PO Box 903
Essex, CT 06426

Andrew Griswold, Director

Priscilla Wood,
EcoTravel Assistant

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TV News Clips:
Fox 61: Swallow Cruise
MyTV 9: Swallows at Sunset
CBS: Eagles - Species Status
FOX: Selden Island "Daytrippers"
ABC: Eagles in Essex

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