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Day Trip Listing
Birding Along The Connecticut River
Sunday, January 18 8am-1pm
Winter is a great time for birding when the deciduous trees are bare of foliage and birds are easier to spot. Kick off your birding year by taking a land tour of Old Lyme along the Connecticut River in search of wintering species in the area. Possibilities include Pileated Woodpecker, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, and the occasional overwintering warbler. Look for Bald Eagle, Great Cormorant, overwintering ducks, and Rough-legged Hawk. The day will end at the Great Island marshes in search of Northern Harrier, other hawks, Seaside and Saltmarsh Sparrows. Leader: James Restivo. Fee: Members $55/Nonmembers $65.
Harlequins at Newport
Wednesday, January 21 10am-8pm
Harlequin Ducks, the fashion plates of the winter seas, are a rare sight in Connecticut, but participants are nearly guaranteed to see them at Sachuest Point in Newport, Rhode Island, where a large percentage of the dwindling North American population spends the winter. Join us for a look at the harlequins and other winter ducks at the point, plus a tour of additional birding spots around Newport. A Snowy Owl is always a possibility, since they usually winter at the Point each year. The group will go out to dinner at a local favorite eatery before heading home. Leader: Priscilla Wood. Members $85/Nonmembers $95.
Day of Birding Block Island
Wednesday, January 28 8am-7pm
Enjoy Block Island, Rhode Island, and the birds that inhabit the island at a time of year when the landscape is quiet and the island spirit easygoing. The tourists may have left the island, but the birds remain. Focus on winter specialties and the occasional pelagic bird. The group will travel by ferry from Point Judith and spend the day visiting the birding hot spots and various habitats on the island. Leader: Andrew Griswold. Fee: Members $90/Nonmembers $100.
Milford Point Winter Shorebirds
Saturday, February 7 8am-4pm
Milford Point in winter supports an amazing diversity of seasonal ducks. Walk to different parts of the point where you’ll see ducks and other waterbirds and have a chance to learn your gulls. You might even spot Snow Buntings or a Harbor Seal. Always be on the lookout for the out-of-the-ordinary. Leader: Jim Sherwonit. Fee: Members $75/Nonmembers $85.
Birding Rhode Island Coast
Thursday, February 12 7am-5pm
Spend the day scouring the coast visiting Charlestown Breachway and Napatree Point in Watch Hill. Take the opportunity to see this summertime destination in a new light. Both locations are great migration spots that allow views of open ocean waters. Leader: Andrew Griswold. Members $75/Nonmembers $85.
Tree Identification Hike
Saturday, February 21 9am-1pm
Explore East Rock Park in New Haven with a master botanist and discover all the varieties of trees that inhabit it. East Rock is part of the narrow, linear Metacomet Ridge that extends from Long Island Sound near New Haven, north through the Connecticut River Valley of Massachusetts to the Vermont border. Learn which tree species are native and which are not; which ones are deciduous and which are coniferous. Learn to identify trees by their size, shape, and bark. A great exploration for birders and non-birders alike. Leader: Bob Kuchta. Fee: Members $55/Nonmembers $65.
Connecticut’s Northwest Corner
Saturday, February 28 7am-5pm
EcoTravelers head to Litchfield County in search of winter irruptive passerines with the possibility of seeing the rare and unusual. Not much on-foot birding is expected; most of it will be roaming by vehicle. Target birds include Common Redpoll, Pine and Evening Grosbeaks, Pine Siskin, Purple Finch, and Bohemian Waxwing. Even a Hoary Redpoll is possible. This trip will only take place if an irruption has occurred. Leader: Nick Bonomo. Members $85/Nonmembers $95.
Birding the North Fork of Long Island
Wednesday, March 4 7am-6pm
The North Fork of Long Island, New York, is not short on places to observe winter birds. With so many bodies of water (Long Island Sound and the Peconic Bay System), the numerous creeks, and the half dozen or so fresh water ponds, the trouble can be deciding where to go! From Orient Point to Riverhead, almost any side road that ends at the water can offer opportunities while summer visitors are gone and feathered guests prolific. Leader: Andy Griswold. Members $85/Nonmembers $95.
New York Botanical Gardens: Orchid Show
Saturday, March 14 8am-5pm
Take part in the annual trek with Bob Kuchta, expert botanist, for his trip to the world famous Botanical Gardens. Lift your winter-weary spirits by enjoying the Annual Orchid Show, the only place in the Northeast where one can see thousands of orchids. Elaborate and kaleidoscopic displays explode with orchids in an amazing array of colors, shapes, sizes, and textures. Leader: Bob Kuchta. Members $85/Nonmembers $95.
Thursday, March 19 9am-3pm
Hike a couple of different trails on a crisp winter day: one through the forest, the other by the water. We will be exploring the east side of the Connecticut River in Old Lyme and East Lyme at Watch Rock and Oswegatchie Hills Nature Preserve in search of birds and critters of winter! We’ll find a warm location for lunch in between hikes. Leader: Priscilla Wood. Fee: Members $65/Nonmembers $75.
Milford Point Bird Walk
Saturday, April 11 8am-1pm
Check out the shorebirds of Milford Point and see what early spring migration has brought in and which wintering waterfowl are lingering. Stroll the beach in spring and see what nature has to offer in the change of seasons. Leader: Nick Bonomo. Fee: Members $45/Nonmember 55.
Exploring Kent, Connecticut
Thursday, April 16 8am-5pm
Spring is a beautiful time of year to visit White Memorial Conservation Center, Connecticut’s largest nature center and wildlife sanctuary. It features 4,000 acres with 35 miles of trails to explore looking for spring migrants, budding flowers, and a visit to the center’s nature museum. After a picnic lunch, the group will visit Kent Falls State Park to see the waterfalls, where stair pathways run adjacent to the cascade providing views from all levels. Leader: Priscilla Wood. Members $75/Nonmembers $85.
High Line Park, New York
Saturday April 25 8am-5pm
High Line is a public park built on a historic train line, elevated above the streets of Manhattan’s West Side. The line was built in the 1930s as part of a massive project that lifted traffic 30 feet in the air, removing dangerous trains from the streets. The structure is now being maintained as a public park, its gardens a sight to behold in full April color. Leader: Bob Kuchta. Fee: Members $85/Nonmembers $95.
Early Spring Migrants
Wednesday, April 29 7am-4pm
Late April is the beginning of the migration madness when bird species are headed north to summer habitat. With the right weather and winds, some species like to get a head start and we will be there to greet them. Visit some of the local spots that are known for their great diversity. See the birds in their nuptial plumage and listen to their enthusiastic spring songs. Leader: Andy Griswold. Members $75/Nonmembers $85.
Birding the Easton Loop
Saturday, May 2 7am-3pm
Search for spring migrants nestled in the wooded sections of Saugatuck Falls and Trout Brook Valley, both located near Easton. Make your way into these natural areas and you’ll soon disappear into another world. It’s not a huge place, but the terrain changes frequently and allows for great diversity of flora and fauna. Great places for all nature lovers. Leader: Joe Bear. Fee: Members $75/Nonmembers $85.
Annual Lyme Loop
Wednesday, May 6 and Friday, May 8 6am-3pm
Travel through Lyme and Nehantic State Forest in search of neotropical migrants. The various habitats of the state forests include wetlands, streams, and ponds, all excellent places in spring for the morning chorus of warblers, vireos, and other songbirds. This area hosts the largest concentration of Worm-eating Warbler in the state. Leader: Andrew Griswold. Members $75/Nonmembers $85.
Saturday, May 9 7am-3pm
Travel to Stonington and the Barn Island Wildlife Management Area. The 1,013-acre area is the single largest coastal property managed for wildlife conservation, providing a diversity of ecosystems including upland, open field, mixed hardwood forest, and tidal wetland. Enjoy the peak of the migration season. Leader: James Restivo. Members $65/Nonmembers $75.
Wood Warblers of Cockaponset State Forest
Thursday, May 14 6am-3pm
Cockaponset, named after an Indian chief whose gravesite is found in the town of Haddam, is the second largest forest in the Connecticut state forest system, encompassing over 16,000 acres. An oasis of habitat for migrating songbirds, it should provide for a busy morning of warblers, vireos, thrushes, and more. Leader: Andy Griswold. Fee: Members $75/Nonmembers $85.
The Mount in Lenox, Massachusetts
Saturday, May 16 8am-5pm
This turn-of-the-century home of Edith Wharton was designed and built based on the precepts outlined in her 1897 book The Decoration of Houses, co-authored with architect Ogden Codman, Jr. Edith Wharton was an authority on European landscape design as well as a passionate gardener. She envisioned gardens as an elegant series of outdoor rooms and created unique architectural compositions planned to be in concert with the house and the surrounding natural landscape. The gardens and grounds include over 5,000 trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants, as well as nearly 3,000 annuals and perennials. A gardener’s delight! Leader: Bob Kuchta. Fee: Members $85/Nonmembers $95.
Migrants of Machimoodus and Gillette Castle
Saturday, May 23 7am-2pm
Machimoodus Park in Moodus has some wide open areas that allow for excellent views of spring migrants. Prairie Warbler, Blue-winged Warbler, plentiful Indigo Bunting, and Orchard Oriole are likely. The trip will also include a visit to the trails at Gillette Castle State Park. Leader: Andy Griswold. Fee: Members $75/Nonmembers $85.
Nehantic State Park for Beginning Birders
Thursday, May 28 7am-2pm
Nehantic State Forest in Lyme is a fabulous place for beginning birders to get their feet wet. This forest is one of the best stop-over places for migrating songbirds and nesting residents, all in their colorful plumage and cheerily singing. Leader: Andy Griswold. Members $75/Nonmembers $85.
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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!
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.