EcoTravel Day Trips

Swallow Cruises on the Connecticut River

Tree Swallow 2Due to popular demand and great press coverage, Swallow Cruises on the Connecticut River aboard the 46 passenger vessel are SOLD OUT for this year!

We still have a few dates remaining for our small boat charters for up to six persons. Call us at 860-767-0660 for more details.

To get early notification for next year, please email us at pwood@ctaudubon.org to be added to our email list. Online reservations for next year will start June 1.

 

Read about the swallows in the Associated Press’s recent story, Autumn on the Connecticut River.

During fall migration, thousands of swallows congregate on the lower Connecticut River and at sunset settle in on a giant communal roost. The birds come from as far away as 25 miles and converge at dusk, often creating a “ballet” and “funnel” of birds before and as they settle down to roost.

The renowned ornithologist and artist Roger Tory Peterson wrote, “I have seen a million flamingos on the lakes of East Africa and as many seabirds on the cliffs of the Alaska Pribilofs, but for sheer drama, the tornadoes of Tree Swallows eclipsed any other avian spectacle I have ever seen.”

Join Connecticut Audubon naturalists as they journey down river to see the spectacular display. Bring a picnic supper and your favorite beverage to enjoy on the trip, and your binoculars. A truly awe-inspiring display! If you only take one trip with EcoTravel this fall, make sure it’s this one! Fee: $40.

 

Free Get Started Birding Event

Sunday, September 14     3PM to 5PM
Have you always wanted to get out and start bird watching more seriously? Birding is one of the top two hobbies in the country, second only to gardening! Here is your opportunity to find out what it takes, as Connecticut Audubon Society’s expert guides will be on hand to tell you about Sibley Guidebinoculars, spotting scopes, and field guides to get you started. The event is FREE and the experts happy to evaluate any equipment you may already have and make suggestions if you’re interested in upgrading. Learn about the extensive birding opportunities offered throughSwarovski Bino Connecticut Audubon Society’s EcoTravel program. Location: Eagle Landing State Park, 1 Marine Park Road, Haddam.


Click here for our full selection of Day Trips.

Click here for our Full Newsletter.

Click Here for Special Discounts on Swarovski Binoculars and Scopes for the Month of September!
Call us at 860-767-0660!


Join Connecticut Audubon Society

Standard Membership Only $50!
CLICK HERE!

 

Day Trip Listing 

High Line Park, New York
Tuesday, September 16     7AM–5 PM
The High Line is a public park built on a historic freight rail line elevated above the streets of Manhattan’s West Side. The line was built in the 1930s as part of a massive public-private project that lifted freight traffic 30 feet in the air, removing dangerous trains from the streets. Under threat of having it demolished, Friends of the High Line worked in partnership with New York City to preserve and maintain the structure as an elevated public park. The gardens of the High Line are a sight to behold, where many of the species are native and historically grew on the High Line’s rail bed. Leader: Bob Kuchta. Members: $85/Nonmembers $95.

 

Fall Hiking in the Berkshires
Wednesday, September 24     8AM–5PM
Enjoy an autumn day in the foothills of the Berkshires exploring the walking trails in a few states parks in the Amherst/Northampton area. Elwell, Joseph Skinner, and Daughters of the American Revolution State Parks are all nestled in the five-college area with plenty of sights to see and signs of fall to enjoy. Participants will stop at the popular Atkins Farm for a picnic lunch before heading atop Joseph Skinner State Park, where you can look upon an oxbow of the Connecticut River and see, on a clear day, four states at the same time. Leader: Priscilla Wood. Members: $75/Nonmembers $85.

 

Wine Tasting and Hiking Trail
Thursday, October 2     9AM-5PM
Connecticut is becoming 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 the vineyards and visit the tasting tables of Southeastern Connecticut. Our visits will include Jonathan Edwards Winery, Stonington Vineyards, and Saltwater Farm Vineyard. We will make a stop at Oswegatchie Hills Nature Preserve in East Lyme for a short hike to take in early autumn colors. Leader: Priscilla Wood Members $85/Nonmembers $95.

 

Central Park Colors
Saturday, October 4     7AM-5PM
Spend a splendid day full of birding and botany in New York’s Central Park as we walk among the maples, oaks, and elms. These are just a few of the trees that create a spectacular backdrop at the park in fall. Head up to the Ramble where migrating birds make their bi-annual stop. Enjoy all of the park’s arches, bridges, statues, and memorials surrounded by the beautiful colors of autumn. Leader: Bob Kuchta. Fee: Members $75/Nonmembers $85.

 

Birding Harkness Memorial Park
Wednesday, October 22     Noon-8PM
Enjoy panoramic views of Long Island Sound from over 230 seaside acres of sweeping lawns, stately trees, and spectacular gardens of Harkness Memorial Park in Waterford. From here, the group will venture to the Thames River and its tidal estuary. The group will continue the search for migrant warblers and other songbirds of the later migration season, then stop for dinner at a local eatery. Leader: Andy Griswold. Members $75/Nonmembers $85.

 

Selden Island Exploration
Saturday, October 25    830AM-12:30PM
Join a historian, a botanist, and a birder as EcoTravel takes a cruise along the Connecticut River to Selden Island in Lyme. This island, the largest on the Connecticut River, is rich in history, flora, and fauna. You’ll be able to choose which topic—local botany, geology, or ornithology—you’d like to learn most about. Perhaps you’ll be lucky enough to see one of our resident Bald Eagles en route. Fee: $45 for all travelers.

 

Saw-Whet Owl Banding
Saturday, October 25     2PM-11PM
Each fall between late September and late November, large numbers of Saw-whet Owls (the smallest owl in the Northeast) migrate through New England, and a good number of these birds end up in the nets of the Massachusetts banding team. This trip will provide an opportunity to learn about (and hold) these adorable owls, the banding process, and the scientific data that banding stations help to provide. An unforgettable trip! The trip departs Essex and will begin with a stop at Blackstone Park for birding, hiking, and a picnic dinner. Because the banding is of a nocturnal owl species, this event will entail a late night return to Connecticut. Leader: Jim Denham. Members $90/Nonmembers $100.

 

Birding Andy’s Favorite Places
Thursday, October 30     9AM-4PM
Do you want to know where Andy’s favorite birding hot spots are? Join him as he travels east of the Connecticut River to his favorite haunts in Southeast Connecticut. Stops will include New London, where there is a Black Vulture roost site along with a few other surprises. Enjoy migration with the beautiful backdrop of autumn. Leader: Andy Griswold. Members: $75/Nonmembers $85.

 

Newport & Nature
Wednesday, November 5     10AM– 8PM
Newport, Rhode Island, is a diverse and dichotomous town with stately mansions on one end of town, and quiet, solitary walking paths on the other. Enjoy both of these extremes as we spend a full day in Newport enjoying the Cliff Walk that takes you along the surfside mansions of Newport. The group will take time to visit Sachuest Point and Brenton Point for additional scenic views and hiking trails, and will stop for dinner in Newport on the way home. Leader: Priscilla Wood. Fee: Members $75/Nonmembers $85.

 

Plymouth Plantation & Mayflower II
Wednesday, November 12     8AM-6PM
Enjoy a full day of exploring Plymouth Plantation in Massachusetts, offering a fascinating and personal look at the lives of the native Wampanoag people and the English Pilgrims who lived in the early Plymouth Colony. The tour includes a visit to the ship Mayflower II. Although the original Mayflower that sailed to Plymouth in 1620 no longer exists, Plymouth Plantation’s full-scale reproduction was built in Devon, England, and crossed the Atlantic in 1957. A great way to prepare for Thanksgiving, by touring the area where it all began! Leader: Bob Kuchta: Members $90/Nonmembers $100.

 

ExploringNapatree Point
Thursday, November 20     8AM– 4PM
Napatree Point in Watch Hill, Rhode Island, is a great place to see all kinds of shorebirds and other migrants in the fall—a consistently good birding spot where we are likely to find something out of the ordinary. Enjoy exploring this area and searching for any rarities in the neighborhood. Leader: Andy Griswold. Members $75, Nonmembers $85.

Holidays at the Mansions
Wednesday, December3     8AM-5PM
Tour three of the most famous mansions of Newport, Rhode Island, in all of their holiday splendor! The Breakers, the estate of Cornelius Vanderbilt II; Marble House, modeled after the Petit Trianon at Versailles; and the elegant French chateau, The Elms—all will be filled with spectacular evergreens, thousands of poinsettias, and 19th-century-style ornaments. Built by America’s greatest architects during the Gilded Age, these estates allow the visitor a glimpse at the wealth, power, and influence of the men and women who made Newport the center of grand society. Leader: Bob Kuchta.Fee:Members $85/Nonmembers $95.

 

New York Botanical Garden Holiday Show
Saturday, December 6     2PM-9 PM
Another Annual Favorite! See the Botanical Garden in Bronx, New York, as it has never looked before. Wrapped in the glow of twinkling lights, model trains and trolleys zip along over bridges and on winding tracks past scaled replicas of New York landmarks. Orange slices, cinnamon sticks, poppy pods, pine cones, and other plant parts make a festive brew as the materials used to create the more than 140 architectural reproductions. Among the favorites are the Empire State Building, Little Red Lighthouse, Brooklyn Bridge, and the borough’s own Yankee Stadium. This trip is sure to put you in the holiday spirit! Leader : Bob Kuchta. Members $85/Nonmembers $95.

 

Coastal Birding Holiday
Wednesday, December 10     Noon-7PM
Join Andy Griswold, EcoTravel Director and expert birder, for an annual favorite as your birding group searches for early winter migrants and coastal birds along the shore from Westbrook to Groton. After this pre-holiday adventure, your group will be stopping for dinner at one of the fine eateries in the area. Leader: Andy Griswold. Members $75/Nonmembers $85. Bring your friends to help kick off the holiday season!

 

Click Full Newsletter  for a printable version of our listings!

 

 

SEARCH FOR RARITIES

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.

 

 

 

 

Address

Connecticut Audubon Society EcoTravel
30 Plains Road
PO Box 903
Essex, CT 06426
800-996-8747
860-767-0660

Andrew Griswold, Director
agriswold@ctaudubon.org

Priscilla Wood,
EcoTravel Assistant
pwood@ctaudubon.org

Get Directions
Note: For GPS, please use 30 Plains Road (not our mailing address).

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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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