Connecticut Audbon Society


EcoTravel Day Trips

EcoTravel 125th Anniversary Celebration

Eastern Long Island Sound Lighthouse Cruise
Saturday, October 21, 2023
3-6:30 p.m

Board the Celia Ann, a 143-foot catamaran, in New London for a tour of the Sound’s eastern lighthouses, including lights at Old Saybrook, Little Gull Island, Race Rock, Plum Island, and the famous Bug Light near Greenport, New York. The vessel has two comfortably appointed interior passenger areas in addition to an full outdoor sundeck. Interior areas include panoramic windows to enhance viewing. The vessel has lots of space and cruises very smoothly on its double hull. The addition of a computer-controlled ride control system enhances passenger comfort. Included in the celebration are catered hors d’oeuvres, interesting narration, complimentary parking, and a cash bar. Call or book your reservation on our website.
Fee: $75. Reserve early!

For reservations, click here:

October 21  

Or call us at 860-767-0660.

Eagle/Osprey Boats May 2023 – DATE CHANGE!

Image Andy Morffew.

Saturday, May 6, 2023    DATE CHANGE!
10 a.m. and 2 p.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 at 10am and 2pm from Eagle Landing State Park in Haddam. Appropriate for children eight years old and over. Enjoy the beauty of the Connecticut River in spring!
Fee: $45 for members and nonmembers.

 For reservations, click here:

May 6     10 a.m.  
May 6     2 p.m.  

Or call us at 860-767-0660.

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.


Block Island Day Trip
Friday, January 6     8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Enjoy Block Island, Rhode Island, and the birds that inhabit it at a time of year when you have the place to yourself and the island spirit is easygoing. The tourists may have left, but the seasonal birds remain. Focus on winter specialties and the occasional pelagic bird. Travel by ferry from Point Judith and spend the day taking in the island’s birding hot spots, varied habitats, and stupendous ocean vistas.
Leader: Andy Griswold.
Fee: $170. Members: $155. Ferry fees included.

Shawangunk Owls
Saturday, January 14     12 p.m. – 8 p.m.
When the winter months get long and tiring, join us on an adventure to Shawangunk National Wildlife Refuge in New York as we search for Short-eared Owls, Northern Harriers, and other winter specialties. If we’re lucky, we may even find a rare Gyrfalcon! Sundown is the best time to view these beautiful birds as they bounce over the open grassland.
Leader: Matt Bell.
Fee: $100. Members: $85.

Harlequins of Newport
Thursday, January 19     9 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Harlequin Duck, the fashion plate of the winter seas, is a rare sight in Connecticut. However, travelers are nearly guaranteed to see some at Sachuest Point in Rhode Island, where a large percentage of the dwindling North American population spends the winter. Look for Harlequins and other winter ducks at the point, and take a tour of additional spots around Newport. Stop for dinner at a favorite local eatery before heading home. Meal not included.
Leader: Jim Sherwonit.
Fee: $100. Members: $85.


Birding the Rhode Island Coast
Wednesday, February 8     9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Spend the day cruising the Rhode Island coast, visiting Charlestown Breachway and Napatree Point. Take the opportunity to see this summertime destination without the tourists. These two locations are always full of birdlife.
Leader: Andy Griswold.
Fee: $100. Members: $85.

Hunt for Snowy Owls
Saturday, February 18     7 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Snowy Owls are one of the most sought-after birds in New England during the winter months. During an irruption year, it’s not uncommon for multiple birds to be found on coastlines throughout the region. Join us on an adventure to locate some of these tundra masters, observed from a safe and ethical distance. Locations may include Plum Island, Massachusetts, or the south shore of Long Island.
Leader: Matt Bell.
Fee: $170. Members: $155.


Ducks of Jamaica Bay
Saturday, March 25     7 a.m. – 5 p.m.
It may be a popular spot for shorebirds in fall, but Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge has great birding year round. In early April, waterfowl migration is underway when late stragglers and new arrivals use the pools as a northbound stopover. Join us as we scan the flocks for the rare and unusual, welcoming migration back with open arms.
Leader: Matt Bell.
Fee: $110. Members: $95.


Early Spring Migrants
Thursday, April 27     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.


Central Park in Spring
Saturday, May 6     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 in the surrounding area, 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 Avenue. Search for recently arrived warblers and other species welcoming spring back. Departure will be from New Haven.
Leader: Jim Sherwonit.
Fee: $100. Members: $85. Train tickets are not included in the cost of the trip.

Annual Lyme Loop
Thursday, May 11     6 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Travel through Lyme and Nehantic State Forest in search of neotropical migrants. The habitats of the state forest include 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
Thursday, May 18     6 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Cockaponset State Forest, named after a Native American 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 22     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 boreal breeding grounds. Meeting place is Westbrook or New London. Times may change depending on the spring ferry schedule.
Leader: Matt Bell.
Fee: $130. Members: $115.

Hunt for the Golden-winged Warbler
Saturday, May 27     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.

Connecticut Audubon’s Croft Preserve
Monday, May 29     6 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Located in Goshen, Connecticut Audubon’s Croft Preserve is within one of the largest continual forest blocks in the state. The fantastic mix of habitats found throughout the preserve is home to uncommon and rare breeding species, including Ruffed Grouse and Northern Goshawk. Since the property is managed primarily for wildlife, the trails are steep and challenging to navigate.
Leader: Matt Bell.
Fee: $100. Members: $85.

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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