Connecticut Audbon Society
EcoTravel

EcoTravel

EcoTravel Day Trips

Swallow Boat Cruises for 2021


Swallow Cruises       
Sunday, September 5, 12, 19, 26, 2021 

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). Returns to the dock at approximately 8:30pm.

September 5 Wait List.

September 12 Wait List. 

September 19 Wait List. 

September 26 Wait List.

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

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!

Stay Tuned for New Adventures!

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, 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.

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

October

Fishers Island: Hawks and More
Friday, October 8     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 offering stopping places for birds on their southerly migration.
Leader: Matt Bell.
Fee: Members $115/Nonmembers $130.

North Fork Wineries
Wednesday, October 13     8 a.m. – 7 p.m.     New Date!

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. 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.
Leader: Andy Griswold.
Fee: Members $155/Nonmembers $170.
Times may change depending on ferry schedule. Tasting fees not included.

Sparrows of Smith Richardson
Wednesday, October 20     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 $110.

Concord and Walden Pond
Saturday, October 23     8 a.m. – 5 p.m.     New Date!

Explore Concord, Massachusetts, the village in which Henry David Thoreau grew up. Learn about Thoreau’s extraordinary insights into life, nature, and social responsibility. 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: Members $85/Nonmembers $100.

November

Autumn in Litchfield Hills
Thursday, November 4     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 $100.

New England Aquarium
Saturday, November 13     8 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Explore the New England Aquarium in Boston, home to nearly 600 species highlighting the world’s oceans and rivers. From the Amazon to the Gulf of Maine and the depths of the unknown, the aquarium is sure to capture your imagination and awe! Afterwards, a visit to Faneuil Hall Marketplace and Quincy Market is always a treat on this fall foray into Beantown!
Leader: Matt Bell.
Fee: Members $110/Nonmembers $125.

December

Coastal Birding Holiday
Wednesday, December 8     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, stop for dinner (meal not included) at one of the fine local eateries. Bring a friend to help kick off the season!
Fee: Members $85/Nonmembers $100.

January

Shawangunk Owls
Saturday, January 8     12 p.m. – 8 p.m.

When 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 time to view these beautiful owls as they cruise over the open grassland.
Leader: Matt Bell.
Fee: Members $85/Nonmembers $100.

Harlequins of Newport
Thursday, January 20     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 in additional spots around Newport. Enjoy dinner at a favorite local eatery (not included).
Leader: Jim Sherwonit.
Fee: Members $85/Nonmembers $100.>

Block Island Day Trip
Saturday, January 29     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 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 $170.

February

Birding the Rhode Island Coast
Wednesday, February 2     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 $100.

Milford Point Shorebirds
Saturday, February 12     8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

This spot 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! Stop at other winter birding sites. Make sure to be on the lookout for the out-of-the-ordinary!
Leader: Jim Sherwonit.
Fee: Members $85/Nonmembers $100.

Boat Trips

Swallow Cruise
Sunday, September 5, 12, 19, 26
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

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