Field Trips

American Kestrels, from “Birds of New York” (1914), Cornell University Library

Birders of ALL levels—from beginner to expert—are welcome on Mearns Club field trips. Please join us!
In January 2009, the Mearns Club adopted the American Birding Association Code of Birding Ethics. Please keep the tenets of the code in mind when participating in Mearns Club field trips.

Information, including maps, for the birding locations mentioned in the list of field trips here can found on the pages of the Birding Areas section of this website (see the navigation menu).

The leader’s phone number is included for each trip so that you can call the night before or the morning of the trip if you have any questions. You can also check the Mearns Groups.io site for any last-minute changes.

If you lead a trip, you are responsible for sending a write-up to Richard VanTieghem at rich.w2vt@gmail.com.

COVID-19 Guidelines for Field Trips

Please check the CDC website for COVID-19 guidelines. The current guidelines are based on COVID-19 community levels. You can find the community level for any county in the Unites States by using the widget below.

Please do not attend a field trip if you aren’t feeling well or are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms.

Field Trip Schedule through September 2024

February

February 17, Saturday, Eagle Trip II, Putnam/Westchester Counties: Meet Gerhard Patsch (845-258-0620) at the Iona Island overlook on the Goat Trail (US 6/US 202) at 9 am. This trip is so popular that we run two every winter — especially because river ice and weather conditions can vary so much and produce quite different outcomes.

March

March 3, Sunday, March 2, Saturday, Black Dirt Region, Orange County, New York: Meet Bob Slechta (845-541-8210) in the parking lot of the Jolly Onion restaurant in Pine Island, New York, at 9 am for larks, buntings, longspurs, and Rough-legged Hawks.

March 17, Sunday, March 9 Saturday Long Island Sound: Meet Bob Slechta (845-541-8210) in the Rye Playland parking lot at 9 am for Purple Sandpipers, Long-tailed Ducks, loons, and much more!

March 23, Saturday, Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge, Pine Island, New York: Meet Joyce Depew (845-978-9952) at 9 am at the refuge platform on Oil City Road for hundreds of ducks of multiple species!

March 30, Saturday, Eastern Orange Lakes, Orange County, New York: Meet Bruce Nott (845-542-0583) in the northwest corner of the Newburgh Walmart parking lot on Route 300 at 8:30 am, and we’ll search various lakes in Eastern Orange County for the wide range of waterfowl species that can be found at this time of year.

April

April 6, Saturday, or April 7, Sunday, Pop-up Trip: Keep your eyes on the Mearns Club Groups.io site for a pop-up trip to be posted!

April 20, Saturday, Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge, Pine Island, New York: Meet Johanna Bloomfield (541-778-1754) at the refuge platform on Oil City Road at 8:30 am for ducks, grebes, gallinules, and, hopefully, Sandhill Cranes!

April 27, Saturday, 6 1/2 Station Road, Goshen, New York: Meet Liz McKnight (201-400-1428) at 8 am where the Heritage Trail crosses 6 1/2 Station Road for waterfowl, swallows, kinglets, and warblers.

Yellow-crowned Night Heron. Photo by Bill Fiero.

May

May 1, Wednesday, Goosepond Mountain State Park, Chester, New York: Meet Bob Slechta (845-541-8210) in the parking lot next to the Chester McDonald’s at 8 am to bird this often-neglected location.

May 4, Saturday, Bashakill Wildlife Management Area, Wurtsboro, New York: We’ll bird this premier location with Joyce Depew (845-978-9952) to see if we can top 60 species for the day! Meet at the first (Department of Environmental Conservation) parking area on Haven Road before you get to the bridge over the Bash.

May 8, Wednesday, Stewart State Forest, Montgomery, New York: Meet Bill Fiero (845-728-5208) at the north Ridge Road parking area at 8 am for an easy walk as spring migration heats up.

May 11, Saturday, Hudson Highlands Nature Center (formerly Kenridge Farm), Cornwall, New York: Meet Amy Greher (845-774-9399) at the Cornwall dog park on Muser Drive at 8 am for a phenomenal mix of warblers, thrushes, and sparrows.

May 17–18, Friday–Saturday, Break 100! Your team (at least two people) can pick any continuous 24-hour period from Friday to Saturday to see how many birds you can identify in Orange County! A countdown potluck will follow on Sunday. Contact Karen Miller (845-381-3203) for details, and also watch the Mearns Groups.io site.

May 25, Saturday, Shawangunk Grasslands National Wildlife Refuge, Wallkill, New York: Meet Tom and Jane (845-443-5440) at the refuge at 8 am for for grassland species like Grasshopper Sparrow, Bobolink, and Meadowlark, to name a few.

June

June 8, Saturday (tentative date), Mearns Club Picnic: Join fellow club members for a picnic at Winding Hills County Park in Montgomery. Check the Mearns Groups.io site for details as the date nears.

Pileated Woodpecker. Photo by Karen Miller.

August

August 24, Saturday, Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge, Pine Island, New York: Meet Johanna Bloomfield (541-778-1754) at the refuge platform on Oil City Road at 8 am for migrating shore birds and local breeders like coot and gallinule.

September

September 7, Saturday, Black Dirt Region, Pine Island, New York: Meet Dave Baker (845-440-4030) in the parking lot of the Jolly Onion Restaurant in Pine Island at 8:30 am, and we’ll see what shore birds we can find on the turf. A Buff-breasted Sandpiper would be nice!

September 14, Saturday, Bashakill Wildlife Management Area, Wurtsboro, New York: Meet Joyce Depew (845-978-9952) at 8:30 am at the first (Department of Environmental Conservation) parking area on Haven Road before you get to the bridge over the Bash. Philadelphia Vireo and Gray-cheeked Thrush are possible.

September 21, Saturday, Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge, Winding Waters Trail, Pine Island, New York: Parking for the trail is located 1/2 mile west of the refuge platform on Oil City Road. Meet Rich Van Tieghem (201-370-2721) in the parking lot at 8:30 am. We should find a good mix of birds, including, with luck, a Connecticut Warbler!

September 28, Saturday, Stony Kill Farm, Wappingers Falls, New York: Meet Ernie Welch (845-518-8441) at 8:30 am for a good variety of species, especially sparrows and warblers. Stony Kill Farm is a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation property located at 79 Farmstead Lane, Wappingers Falls.