Connecticut Audbon Society
EcoTravel

EcoTravel

EcoTravel Day Trips

Swallow Boat Cruises for 2022


Swallow Cruises       
Sunday, September 4, 11, 18, 25, 2022 

Witness one of the most spectacular avian events when thousands of Tree Swallows congregate on the lower Connecticut River at sunset to settle in on a giant communal roost during their fall migration. Birds come from miles away, creating a ballet of synchronized flight before settling down. Renowned ornithologist and artist Roger Tory Peterson wrote that “the tornadoes of Tree Swallows eclipsed any other avian spectacle I have ever seen.” Join naturalists as we journey first by steam train and then by boat to see the awe-inspiring display. Enjoy picturesque scenery from a 70-foot Mississippi-style river boat’s three decks. Food, a full bar, and restrooms are on board. Also enjoy round trip transportation to the boat from a historic steam train. If you take only one trip this fall, make sure it’s this one! Tours are about three and a half hours in length and range in departure from 3:30-5:00 p.m. (The later in the month, the earlier the departure time). Returns to the dock at approximately 8:30pm.

September 4

September 11

September 18

September 25

Click on the date above or call for reservations. 860-767-0660.
RESERVATIONS ARE NOT REFUNDABLE.


Click here for a printable version of our Full Newsletter.

Classic Day Trips

A tried-and-true experience! If you’ve always wanted to travel with EcoTravel, this is a great way to test the waters. These full-day trips visit locations across Southern New England, Eastern New York State, and Long Island, searching for birds and other natural phenomena. There’s no better way to meet the staff and guides!

Classic Day Trips include transportation from a central meeting spot. Some trips can be followed in your personal vehicle as a Self-Drive Trip.

To sign up for a trip, please call the office at (860) 767-0660.

April

Early Spring Migrants
Thursday, April 28     6 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Late April is the beginning of the intense migration period when birds head north to summer haunts. With favorable weather and winds, some species get a head start and we plan to greet them! Visit places known for their great diversity of migrants to see them in nuptial plumage and listen to their spring songs. Trip departs from Essex.
Leader: Matt Bell.
Fee: $90. Members: $75.

May

Central Park in Spring
Saturday, May 7     6:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Located in the heart of New York City, Central Park is also a well-known birding destination. With little green space around, migrants drop into the park after a night of exhausted flying. Visit the city by train, and then enjoy a mile-long walk to the park down 5th Ave. Search for recently arrived warblers and other species welcoming spring back. Departure will be from New Haven. Train tickets are not included in the cost of the trip.
Leader: Jim Sherwonit.
Fee: $100. Members: $85.

Annual Lyme Loop
Sunday, May 8     6 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Travel through Lyme and Nehantic State Forest in search of neotropical migrants. The habitats of the state forest includes wetlands, streams, and ponds, all excellent places for the morning chorus of warblers, vireos, and other songbirds. Focus will be on learning bird songs.
Leader: Andy Griswold.
Fee: $90. Members: $75.

Wood-Warblers of Cockaponset State Forest
Saturday, May 21     6 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Cockaponset State Forest, named after an Indian chief buried in the Ponset section of Haddam, is the second largest forest in the state forest system, encompassing over 16,000 acres. It offers great habitat for migrating songbirds and provides for a busy morning of warblers, vireos, thrushes, and more.
Leader: Andy Griswold.
Fee: $90. Members: $75.

Fishers Island: Spring Migration
Monday, May 23     6 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Spring is an excellent time of year to witness arriving migrants on this secluded New York island. Lying at the eastern entrance of Long Island Sound, Fishers Island is a connecting link between Rhode Island and Long Island that offers stopping places for a variety of songbirds on their journey north towards the boreal breeding grounds.Times may change depending on the spring ferry schedule.
Leader: Matt Bell.
Fee: $130. Members: $115.

Beginner Birding at Nehantic State Park
Saturday, May 28     7 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Nehantic State Forest in Lyme is a fabulous place for beginners to be introduced to spring birding. This forest is a well-used stopover for migrating songbirds who will be showing off their colorful plumage and cheery songs. Learn skills needed for identifying birds by both eye and ear! Expect good looks at many warbler species, vireos, and tanagers.
Leader: Matt Bell.
Fee: $90. Members: $75.

June

Breeding Birds of Boston Hollow
Saturday, June 11     6 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Boston Hollow is both a geologically and biologically significant location within Connecticut. Located near Ashford, this ancient fault provides habitat for many migrants that typically breed farther north, including up to 17 species of warblers! Come explore the northeastern portion of the state as we search for migrant breeders and learn more about the geologic history of Connecticut.
Leader: Matt Bell and Jim Sherwonit.
Fee: $100. Members: $85.

Hunt for the Golden-winged Warbler
Sunday, June 12     5:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Although just across the border in New York, Sterling Forest State Park is home to a wealth of species that are uncommon in Connecticut. Hooded, Cerulean, and Golden-winged warblers are all fairly common breeding species at the site and should all be seen on this adventure. The expansive forest has a wealth of different habitats, making it a paradise for birders.
Leader: Matt Bell.
Fee: $110. Members: $95.

Rhode Island’s Woodlands
Thursday, June 16     6 a.m. – 3 p.m.

With over 14,000 acres of mostly forested land, Arcadia Management Area in Rhode Island is the state’s largest recreational area. With miles of trails to explore, this little-birded corner of Rhode Island is ripe for discovery! Search for breeding warblers, thrushes, and other neotropical migrants as they defend their territory and begin to lay eggs. Other destinations may include George B. Parker Woodland Wildlife Refuge and Maxwell Mays Wildlife Refuge, properties owned by the Audubon Society of Rhode Island.
Leader: Matt Bell.
Fee: $110. Members: $95.

July

North Fork Wineries
Wednesday, July 13     8 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Back by popular demand! Join us on a trip to Long Island’s beautiful North Fork. Did you know that this area has over 30 vineyards? Visit two of our favorites, Duckwalk Vineyards and Osprey’s Dominion (of course). Take a tour of one or more of these vineyards and enjoy wine tastings as well as an introduction to the world of enology (wines and wine-making). Other vineyards we hope to have time to visit include Lenz, Croteaux, and Paumanok.
Leader: Andy Griswold.
Fee: $170. Members: $155.Times may change depending on the ferry schedule.

Ripley Waterfowl Conservancy
Saturday, July 16     7 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Located in Litchfield, the Ripley Waterfowl Conservancy is one of the largest collections of birds in North America. With over 80 species, the center specializes in breeding rare and endangered species to help encourage genetic diversity. Join us for a guided tour to learn more about the birds and history. Enjoy rare and elegant birds up close, including Nene and Baer’s Pochard!
Leader: Matt Bell.
Fee: $110. Members: $95.

August

Coastal New England
Saturday, August 6     7 a.m. – 3 p.m.

The birds that gather along the Connecticut and Rhode Island shorelines each August are a sign that migration is underway and the winter months are close at hand. Shorebird numbers are increasing, and large flocks of terns are beginning to congregate off the coast. Join us as we adventure along the coastline, in search of migrants fattening up before their southward push.
Leader: Matt Bell.
Fee: $110. Members: $95.

September

Paddling Great Island
Thursday, September 1     10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Join CAS staff as they lead a paddle around Great Island Wildlife Management Area in Old Lyme to view Osprey and other birds of the marsh. Great Island provides paddling in secluded back channels, side rivers, and coves that parallel the lower Connecticut River near its mouth. Wind through 10-foot-tall marsh reeds enjoying late summer serenity. Must be a swimmer to attend this event and bring your own kayak.
Fee: $110. Members: $95.Kayaks may be available to rent for an additional fee.

Long Island Shorebirds
Saturday, September 10     7 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Each fall, shorebirds flock to Long Island on their journey south. Large flocks gather both at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge and Jones Beach State Park, depending on water levels. Jamaica Bay, located on western Long Island within Brooklyn and Queens, is one of the most important urban wildlife refuges, hosting a variety of habitats, including salt marsh, fresh and brackish pools, and an open expanse of bay and islands. Jones Beach is home to staging areas for hundreds of American Oystercatchers, ducks, and more! Join us as we enjoy the signs of fall.
Leader: Matt Bell.
Fee: $110. Members: $95.

October

Concord and Walden Pond
Friday, October 21     8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Enjoy exploring Concord, Massachusetts, the village in which Henry David Thoreau grew up. Learn about Thoreau’s extraordinary insights into life, nature, and social responsibility. He believed in living deliberately, practicing simplicity, and exploring new ideas for positive change. Thoreau’s writings inspired respect for nature and even, some consider, the birth of the conservation movement. After a guided tour of the Thoreau Farm (his birthplace), the group will have a picnic lunch at Walden Pond and enjoy a trail walk of the surrounding Walden Woods.
Leader: Jim Sherwonit.
Fee: $110. Members: $95.

Boat Trips

Eagle and Osprey Cruise
Saturday, April 30, 2022 10 a.m. and 2p.m.

Connecticut Audubon Society EcoTravel will again offer boat cruises to search for Bald Eagle, Osprey, and other bird species migrating and nesting along the Connecticut River. Bald Eagle can be found along the lower river, a habitat that hosts a transient winter population as well as nesting residents. Naturalists are on board the vessel to share information about the Connecticut River, the birdlife, and natural history. The vessel has a heated cabin, restrooms, and three decks for optimal viewing. Tours are approximately three hours in length and depart from Eagle Landing State Park in Haddam.
Fee: $45 for members and nonmembers. Eight years of age and over.

Swallow Cruise
Sundays in September        CALL FOR INFORMATION ON SEPTEMBER 2022 DEPARTURES!
Witness one of the most spectacular avian events when thousands of Tree Swallows congregate on the lower Connecticut River at sunset to settle in on a giant communal roost during their fall migration. Birds come from miles away, creating a ballet of synchronized flight before settling down. Renowned ornithologist and artist Roger Tory Peterson wrote that “the tornadoes of Tree Swallows eclipsed any other avian spectacle I have ever seen.” Join naturalists as we journey first by steam train and then by boat to see the awe-inspiring display. Enjoy picturesque scenery from a 70-foot Mississippi-style river boat’s three decks. Food, a full bar, and restrooms are on board. If you take only one trip this fall, make sure it’s this one! Tours are about three and a half hours in length and range in departure from 3:30-5:00 p.m. (The later in the month, the earlier the departure time).
Fee: $45 for members and nonmembers. Eight years of age and over.
Reserve now! Trips sell out quickly. Call 860-767-0660.
A GREAT GIFT IDEA!

Rarity Expeditions

Have you ever wanted to search for a rare bird in a nearby state, but couldn’t find directions or were concerned about going alone? Here’s your chance to join EcoTravel’s Rarity Expeditions! We’ll provide the transportation, driver, pleasant company, experienced leadership, and logistical arrangements. Expeditions range from a full day of chasing to the possibility of a one night stay near the target bird. While there’s no guarantee the bird will be seen, the thrill of the chase and the camaraderie that comes with it make every trip an exciting experience!

Here’s how it works: first, use this form to sign on. Then, when a “bird of significance” is in the area, EcoTravel will contact you through text and email with the chance to join the adventure. You’ll have the option of coming along or waiting for the next big rarity. The fee will be determined by how far we’ll have to drive for each bird, and the number of people participating.

Wondering what a “bird of significance” is? The main targets will be species rare to North American, such as European Vagrants. Other species may include otherwise hard-to-see birds, including rare owls and regional species that are highly localized. For a list of species seen recently that fit the criteria, click here.

For Gift Certificates: 860-767-0660

Click here for a printable version of our Full Newsletter.

 

 

 

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