Connecticut Audbon Society
EcoTravel

EcoTravel

EcoTravel Day Trips

Swallow Boat Cruises for 2020


Swallow Cruises       
Sunday, September 20, 2020     Prompt 4 p.m. departure

Please Note: Due to COVID we have temporarily decreased our trip schedule to a single date
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 by boat from Eagle Landing State Park in Haddam to see the awe-inspiring display. Enjoy picturesque scenery from a 70-foot Mississippi-style river boat’s three open-air decks. Restrooms are on board. If you take only one trip this fall, make sure it’s this one! The cruise is about four and a half hours in length. Fee: $45. Eight years of age and over.

Reservations are now full. Please call for the wait list. An additional date may be added if enough people are on the list.

Call for Reservations. 860-767-0660. 
RESERVATIONS ARE NOT REFUNDABLE. 

To Register for Day Trips other than the boat trips, call us at
860-767-0660 or email us at ecotravel@ctaudubon.org with the name of the trips you are interested in joining. 

Click here for a printable version of our Full Newsletter.

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Self-Drive Day Trips
Classic Day Trips
Boat Trips

EcoTravel COVID-19 Disclaimer
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Self-Drive Day Trips

Our new trips in the COVID era, these Self-Drive offerings are early morning hikes to under-visited locations throughout eastern Connecticut. Hikes range from 3-5 miles, and aim to end before 12 p.m. Locations include properties owned by Connecticut Audubon, local land trusts, The Nature Conservancy, and more. A perfect chance to see what EcoTravel is all about!

September

Rock Spring Preserve
Wednesday, September 9     7 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Another underbirded preserve, Rock Spring is located in Scotland and owned by The Nature Conservancy. The trail leads past kettle ponds, geologic remnants of the once expansive glaciers that covered the state during the last Ice Age. A wide variety of trees can also be found in this mixed forest habitat. If time allows, a visit to James L. Goodwin State Forest, north of the preserve, will be included.
Estimated Hiking Distance: 3 miles.
Fee: Members $85/Nonmembers $95.

Babcock Pond Wildlife Management Area
Wednesday, September 23     7 a.m. – 12 p.m.
A State-owned Wildlife Management Area, Babcock Pond encompasses 1,524 acres of land along the East Haddam/Colchester border. With miles of trails to explore, there are unquestionably hidden wonders just waiting to be discovered by an intrepid nature lover. We’ll keep our eyes and ears open, and wander the trails to find birds and other wildlife that call this area home.
Estimated Hiking Distance: 5 miles.
Fee: Members $85/Nonmembers $95.

October

Walden Preserve
Wednesday, October 21     7 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Our first visit to Walden Preserve in Salem was while the breeding birds were active and their songs filled the air. Now, we return as fall begins and migration is underway. The expansive fields are prime habitat for multiple species of sparrows and other scrubland species, and the chance for rarities cannot be understated!
Estimated Distance: 5 miles.
Fee: Members $85/Nonmembers $95.

Lay Preserve
Wednesday, November 4     7 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Old Lyme Land Trust’s newest preserve, the Lay Preserve is home to a mix of habitats from wetlands to scrub-covered ridges to old growth woods. While most migrants have passed through at this time, stragglers are sure to remain and winter visitors will be setting up territory. Enjoy the changing leaves, cool weather, and friendly adventuring as we hike the trails of Old Lyme’s hidden gem.
Estimated Distance: 5 miles.
Fee: Members $85/Nonmembers $95.

Classic Day Trips

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

(Day Trips include transportation from a central meeting spot)

September

Jamaica Bay Shorebirds
Saturday, September 12     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 of 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.
Leader: Matt Bell.
Fee: Members $95/ Nonmembers $105.

October

Sparrows of Smith Richardson
Wednesday, October 7     8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Connecticut Audubon’s Smith Richardson Preserve is one of the best places in the state to see multiple species of sparrows as they head south towards their wintering grounds. Species we can see include White-crowned, White-throated, Lincoln’s, Song, Swamp, and Chipping, along with potential rarities such as Clay-colored and Lark sparrows. Other migrants can be expected. It’s a great way to welcome fall!
Leader: Matt Bell.
Fee: Members $95/ Nonmembers $105.

Fishers Island: Hawks and More
Friday, October 23     9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
October is an excellent time of year to witness hawks migrating over 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 hawks and songbirds of all kinds on their southerly migration.
Leader: Matt Bell.
Fee: Members $95/ Nonmembers $105.

November

Autumn in Litchfield Hills
Thursday, November 5      8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Enjoy some of New England’s most charming towns and natural preserves. We’ll cross a covered bridge, enjoy a nature walk along the Appalachian Trail and Housatonic River, picnic at Kent Falls, and meander along the Connecticut Wine Trail past pristine farms, lakes, and forests.
Leader: Matt Bell.
Fee: Members $85/Nonmembers $95.

December

Coastal Birding Holiday
Wednesday, December 9     11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Join Andy Griswold, EcoTravel Director and expert birder, for an annual favorite as your birding group searches for early winter migrants and coastal birds from Madison to Groton. After this pre-holiday adventure, your group will stop for dinner at one of the fine eateries in the area. Bring a friend to help kick off the holiday season!  
Fee: Members $75/Nonmembers $85.
Meal is not included in price.

January

Block Island Day Trip
Saturday, January 23     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: Members $155/Nonmembers $165.
All ferry fees included.

Harlequins of Newport
Thursday, January 28     9 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Harlequin Duck, the fashion plate of the winter seas, is a rare sight in Connecticut, but travelers are nearly guaranteed to see some at Sachuest Point in Rhode Island, where a large percentage of the 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.
Leader: Jim Sherwonit.
Fee: Members $85/Nonmembers $95.
Meal is not included in price.

February

Birding the Rhode Island Coast
Wednesday, February 3     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: Members $85/Nonmembers $95.

Milford Point Shorebirds
Saturday, February 6     8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Milford Point supports an amazing diversity of winter ducks. From different parts of the point you’ll see ducks and other waterfowl, have a chance to learn your gulls, and might even spot Snow Buntings or a Harbor Seal! Stops at other winter birding sites can be expected. Make sure to be on the lookout for the out-of-the-ordinary!
Leader: Jim Sherwonit.
Fee: Members $75/Nonmembers $85.

Shawangunk Owls
Saturday, February 27     12 p.m. – 8 p.m.
When the winter months get long, join us on an adventure to Shawangunk National Wildlife Refuge in New York as we search for Short-eared Owl, Northern Harrier, 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: Andy Griswold.
Fee: Members $85/Nonmembers $95.

March

Birding the North Fork
Wednesday, March 10     7 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Enjoy a trip to the North Fork of Long Island, New York, to enjoy the spectacle of large numbers of wintering waterfowl as they begin to move north with the coming spring. On the ferry ride across, look for alcids, gulls, and more. Take in the north tip of Long Island before tourist beach season begins. If you’ve always wanted to explore Eastern Long Island, you don’t want to miss this opportunity! There might even be a stop at one of the local vineyards.
Leader: Andy Griswold.
Fee: Members $155/Nonmembers $165.
All ferry fees included.

Boat Trips

Swallow Cruise
Sunday, September 20     Prompt 4 p.m. departure
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 by boat from Eagle Landing State Park in Haddam to see the awe-inspiring display. Enjoy picturesque scenery from a 70-foot Mississippi-style river boat’s three open-air decks. Restrooms are on board. If you take only one trip this fall, make sure it’s this one! The cruise is about four and a half hours in length. Fee: $45. Eight years of age and over.
Reserve now! Trips sell out quickly. Call 860-767-0660.
A GREAT GIFT IDEA!

Eagle and Osprey Cruise
Saturday, April 24, 2021     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 from Eagle Landing State Park in Haddam. Appropriate for children eight years old and over. Food and drinks available on board. Enjoy the beauty of the Connecticut River in spring! Fee: $45 for members and nonmembers. Reserve online or call us at  860-767-0660. A MEMORABLE HOLIDAY GIFT!

For Gift Certificates: 860-767-0660

Click here for a printable version of our Full Newsletter.

 

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!

 

 

 

 

 

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