EcoTravel Day Trips
Eagle/Osprey and Swallow Boat Cruises for 2019
Eagle and Osprey Cruises
Saturday, April 27, 2019 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Connecticut Audubon Society EcoTravel will again offer a number of 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. Cruises depart from Eagle Landing State Park in Haddam, Connecticut. Appropriate for children eight years old and over. Food and drink available on board. Enjoy the beauty of the Connecticut River in spring! Fee: $45 for members and nonmembers.
CALL 860-767-0660 FOR AVAILABILITY AND WAIT LIST.
RESERVATIONS ARE NOT REFUNDABLE.
Sunday, September 1, 8, 15, and 22, 2019 5pm to 830pm
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. Fee: $45. Eight years of age and over.
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RESERVATIONS ARE NOT REFUNDABLE.
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(Day Trips include transportation from a central meeting spot)
Intro to Nature Photography
Saturday, April 20 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Spend a spring afternoon learning the basics of digital photography in Essex with experienced photographers. Learn about different modes and settings, how to frame shots, how light affects an image, and more. From landscapes to portraits to macro and everything in between, now is the chance to further your skills! Perfect for beginners or those who want to sharpen their images. Leaders: Matt Bell and Joe Sina. Fee: Members $85/Nonmembers $95.
Early Spring Migrants
Thursday, April 25 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: Members $75/Nonmembers $85.
Annual Lyme Loop
Thursday, May 9 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: Members $75/Nonmembers $85.
Wood-Warblers of Cockaponset State Forest
Wednesday, May 15 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 offers 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.
Beginner Birding at Nehantic State Park
Sunday, May 19 7 a.m. – 2 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 some of the skills needed for identifying birds by both sight and ear! Leader: Matt Bell Fee: Members $75/Nonmembers $85.
Hunt for the Golden-winged Warbler
Wednesday, May 22 5:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Although just across the border in New York, Sterling Forest 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 in decent numbers. The expansive forest has a wealth of different habitats, all of which make it a paradise for birders. An afternoon stop at Shawangunk Grasslands for grassland species can be expected. Leader: Matt Bell. Fee: Members $95/Nonmembers $105.
Breeding Birds of Boston Hollow
Saturday, June 1 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. Fee: Members $85/Nonmembers $95.
Exploring Barn Island and Bluff Point
Thursday, June 6 7 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Travel to Barn Island Wildlife Management Area in Stonington and to Bluff Point State Park in Groton for late spring exploration. Barn Island is the state’s largest coastal forest, providing a diversity of habitats, including uplands and tidal wetlands. Both locations are along the water and offer fabulous walking trails. Leader: Andy Griswold. Members $75/Nonmembers $85.
Garden in the Woods
Wednesday, June 12 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 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: Matt Bell. Fee: Members $85/Nonmembers $95.
Connecticut Audubon’s Croft Preserve
Saturday, June 15 7 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Located in Goshen, Connecticut Audubon Society’s Richard G. Croft Memorial Preserve is within one of the largest continual forest blocks in the state. The fantastic mix of habitats found throughout is home to uncommon and rare breeding species, including Ruffed Grouse and Northern Goshawk. This property is managed primarily for wildlife, and as such the trails can be steep and challenging to navigate with no infrastructure in place. Leader: Matt Bell. Fee: Members $85/Nonmembers $95.
Paddling Selden Neck State Park
Wednesday, June 5 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Sunday, June 23 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Join Connecticut Audubon Society Staff and Scott McRae of Soulful Sojourns as they lead a paddle around Selden Island State Park in Lyme. Accessible only by boat, Selden Island is the largest island in Connecticut. Explore the waters around the island in search of wildlife, and if time allows hike some of the trails in search of the abandoned quarry that once provided paving blocks for the streets of New York City. Participants can bring their own kayak or canoe and PFD, or rent one for an additional cost. Must be a swimmer to attend this event. Fee: Bring your own: $75 / with rental: $95.
McLean Game Refuge
Saturday, July 6 7 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Located in the towns of Simsbury and Granby, McLean Game Refuge was owned by former Connecticut governor and U.S. senator George McLean and was used as an escape from the pressures of political life. Former Presidents Coolidge, Taft, and Hoover all spent time fishing and hunting the land. Join us as we explore the diverse habitats, trails, and scenery of this 3200-acre refuge. Leader: Matt Bell. Fee: Members $85/Nonmembers $95.
Concord and Walden Pond
Saturday, July 20 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: Members $85/Nonmembers $95.
Paddling Great Island WMA
Wednesday, August 14 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Saturday, August 24 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Join Connecticut Audubon Society Staff and Scott McRae of Soulful Sojourns 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. Participants can bring their own kayak or canoe and PFD, or rent one for an additional cost. Must be a swimmer to attend this event. Fee: Bring your own: $75 / with rental: $95.
Shorebird Photography 101
Saturday, August 31 6 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Spend a late summer morning learning how to photograph some of the most accessible bird species in the state. Learn how to watch bird behavior and frame a shot, and what to look for when searching for photography locations. Exact locations visited will depend on where the birds are and weather conditions. Expect to get low to the ground in potentially wet conditions. Leaders: Matt Bell and Joe Cala. Fee: Members $85/Nonmembers $95.
Sunday, September 1, 8, 15, and 22
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 depart from Essex at approximately 4:30 p.m.. Fee: $45. Eight years of age and over.
Reserve now! Trips sell out quickly. Call 860-767-0660.
Or reserve online at www.ctaudubon.org/ecotravel and then click on Day Trips.
Jamaica Bay Shorebird Extravaganza
Saturday, September 7 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 $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!