EcoTravel Day Trips
Swallow Boat Cruises 2018
Sunday, September 9, 16, and 23 4:30-8:15 p.m.
Witness the most spectacular avian event when during fall migration thousands of Tree Swallows congregate on the lower Connecticut River at sunset to settle in on a giant communal roost. Birds come from miles away, creating a ballet of synchronized flight before settling down to roost. 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 spectacular, 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 depart from Essex at 4:30 p.m. Fee: $45. Eight years of age and over
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Family Membership Only $55!
(Day Trips include transportation from a central meeting spot)
Wood Warblers of Cockaponset State Park
Wednesday May 23 6 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Cockaponset State Forest, named after an Indian chief who’s buried in the Ponset section of Haddam, is the second largest forest in the state forest system, encompassing over 16,000 acres. The forest is a great habitat for migrating songbirds and provides for a busy morning of warblers, vireos, thrushes, and more. Leader: Andy Griswold. Fee: Members $75/Nonmembers $85.
Garden in the Woods
Thursday, June 7 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Garden in the Woods in Framingham, Massachusetts is a naturalistic botanical garden of rare and native plants, set on 45 acres. Two miles of paths meander over glacier-sculpted ridges and through narrow valleys. A pond, a wooded bog, several springs, and a brook bring a diversity of wildlife into the garden. A great spot for bird and botany lovers. Leader: Rami Haxhi. Fee: Members $85/Nonmembers $95.
Bridge of Flowers & Butterfly Garden
Saturday, June 16 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Enjoy the day as we head north to the lovely Berkshire Mountains of western Massachusetts. Stops include Shelburne Falls’ famous Bridge of Flowers, Magic Wings Butterfly Sanctuary, 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: Rami Haxhi. Members: $85/Nonmembers $95.
Sachuest Point and a Topiary Garden
Thursday, July 12 8 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 shorebirds and later stroll along the Newport’s Cliff Walk. After lunch we’ll visit Green Animals 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: Rami Haxhi. Members $85/Nonmembers $95.
North Fork Wineries
Wednesday, July 18 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 (the study of wines and wine-making). Other vineyards we hope to have time to visit include Lenz, Croteaux, and Paumanok. Leaders: Andy Griswold and Jim Denham. Members $95/Nonmembers $105.
Concord and Walden Pond
Saturday, July 28 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: Rami Haxhi. Members $85/Nonmembers $95.
Glass Flower Exhibit in Harvard
Saturday, August 11 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Visit Harvard’s Peabody Museum in Cambridge, Massachusetts, for a unique collection of over 3,000 models created by glass artisans Leopold Blaschka and his son, Rudolph. The commission began in 1886 and continued for five decades, the collection representing more than 830 plant species. An amazing exhibit! Leader: Rami Haxhi. Members $85/Nonmembers $95.
Thursday, August 16 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
When a rare bird shows up somewhere unexpected, many birders drop everything to go see it. One can chase a bird in a neighboring town, but a true chase involves sometimes traveling a longer distance on short notice. Rarities Chases are one of the most exciting aspects of birding. Will we get there in time? What other birds will we find? This is a one-day chase, so it is likely the group would not go any farther than three hours from our EcoTravel home base of Essex. Leader: Andy Griswold. Fee: Sliding scale $80-$200 depending on destination and how many participants we have.
Milford Point Shore Birds
Saturday, August 18 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Check out the shorebirds of Milford Point to see with what species the migration has graced our shores. Stops at other birding hot spots are on the itinerary, including Mondo Pond and the Connecticut Audubon Society Milford Point Coastal Center. Enjoy a warm summer day by the water, with hopes of a cool breeze. Leader: Jim Sherwonit. Members $75/Nonmembers $85.
Saturday, August 25 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Jamaica Bay, located on western Long Island within Brooklyn and Queens, is one of the most important urban wildlife refuges, hosting a variety habitats, including salt marsh, several fresh and brackish pools, and an open expanse of bay and islands making this destination a fabulous location for shorebirds. This trip is scheduled at this time in hopes of capturing the southern migration of shorebirds. Leader: Will Haffey. Members $85/Nonmembers $95.
Georgia O’Keeffe: Visions of Hawai‘i
Saturday, September 1 8:00 a.m. – 5 p.m.
A trip for plant lovers, bird lovers, and art lovers alike! Join us as we head to the world famous New York Botanical Gardens to discover Georgia O’Keeffe’s little-known depictions of the Hawaiian Islands—and the plants and landscapes that inspired them. This lush exhibition in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory explores the remarkable beauty and variety of Hawaiian flora, as well as its complex botanical and cultural history. Leader: Rami Haxhi. Members $85/Nonmembers $95.
Swallow Boat Cruises
Sunday, September 9, 16, and 23 4:30-8:15 p.m.
Witness the most spectacular avian event when during fall migration thousands of Tree Swallows congregate on the lower Connecticut River at sunset to settle in on a giant communal roost. Birds come from miles away, creating a ballet of synchronized flight before settling down to roost. 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 spectacular, 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 depart from Essex at 4:30 p.m. Fee: $45. Eight years of age and over. Reserve now! Trips sell out. Call 860-767-0660. Or reserve online at www.ctaudubon.org/ecotravel and then click on Day Trips.
Hawk Watch on Fishers Island
Thursday, October 4 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
October is an excellent time of year to witness hawks migrating over this secluded New York island. Fishers Island, lying at the eastern entrance of Long Island Sound, is a connecting link between Rhode Island and Long Island, which affords stopping places for hawks of all kinds on their migration southward. Leader: Andy Griswold. Members $95/Nonmembers $105.
Central Park Colors and Audubon Bird Murals
Saturday, October 20 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Spend a fall day full of nature exploration as we walk among the maples, oaks, and elms, just a few of the tree families that create a spectacular backdrop in New York City’s Central Park. Head to the Ramble, where migrating birds make their southward stop among the park’s arches, bridges, statues, and memorials surrounded by the beautiful colors of autumn. Take a driving tour of the fabulous bird murals along Broadway presented by New York Audubon. Leader: Rami Haxhi. Fee: Members $85/Nonmembers $95.
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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!