Field Trips

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

Field Trip Schedule

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.

COVID-19 Guidelines for Field Trips


If you’ve been vaccinated, you don’t need to wear a mask. If you haven’t been vaccinated, you may need to mask up, depending on the latest guidelines.

August

August 21, Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge: Meet Joyce Depew (978-9952) at the Owen’s Station Road parking area at 8:00 am for egrets, ibis, Least Bittern, and who knows what else.

August 28, Black Dirt region: Meet Karen Miller (381-3283) in the parking lot of The Jolly Onion in Pine Island at 8:00 am. We’ll hope to find some Buffed-breasted Sandpipers.

September

September 11, Stewart State Forest: Meet Bill Fiero (728-5208) at the North Ridge Road parking area at 8:00 am. Perhaps a Yellow-breasted Chat?

September 18, Winding Waters Trail, Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge: Meet Kathy Ashman (421-5478) in the trailhead parking lot 8:00 am, and maybe we will be lucky with a Connecticut Warbler.

September 25, Bashakill Wildlife Management Area (Sullivan County): Meet Scott Baldinger (888-2333) at the deli fields at 8:30 am. Philadelphia Vireo and Gray-cheeked Thrush are likely!

Pileated Woodpecker. Photo by Karen Miller.

October

October 2, Hudson Highlands Nature Museum Outdoor Discovery Center (formerly Kenridge Farm): Meet Amy Greher (774-9399) at the main parking lot at 8:30 am. Lincoln’s Sparrow and Palm Warbler are likely!

October 6, Wednesday, Stonykill Farm, Fishkill (Dutchess County): Meet Bruce Nott (542-0583) and Carlotta Shearson (234-8314) at the visitor center parking area at the farm at 8:30 am for a good mix of sparrows and warblers.

October 9, Goosepond Mountain State Park: Meet Bob Slechta (541-8210) in the parking lot of the strip mall next to the Chester McDonald’s at 8:00 am, and we’ll head to the park to hunt for thrushes, sparrows, and warblers.

October 16, Croton Point County Park (Westchester County): Meet Jodi Brodsky (282-1058) at the Croton-Harmon train station boat launch at 8:30 am, and we’ll see whether we can top last year’s 35 Palm Warblers.

October 23, Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge: Meet Joyce Depew (978-9952) at the Oil City Road platform at 8:30 am. Let’s hope the Sandhill Cranes and their offspring are still there.

Yellow-crowned Night Heron. Photo by Bill Fiero.

November

November 6, Black Dirt region: Meet Dave Baker (440-4030) at The Jolly Onion in Pine Island at 8:30 am, and we’ll search for Horned Larks, American Pipits, and maybe Vesper Sparrows.

November 20, Eastern Orange County lakes: Meet Bruce Nott (542-0583) and Carlotta Shearson (234-8314) in the northwest corner of the Newburgh Walmart parking lot (on Route 300) at 8:30 am for ducks, ducks, and more ducks.

November 26, Friday, Southern Orange County lakes (plus): Meet Kathleen Ashman (294-6140) in the parking lot of the strip mall next to the Chester McDonald’s at 8:30 am for more ducks on different lakes.

November 27, Shawangunk Grasslands National Wildlife Refuge (Ulster County): Meet Jane Vecchione and Tom Crepet (443-5440) at the refuge at 4:00 pm for Short-eared Owls.

December

December 3–5, Friday–Sunday, Cape Ann, Massachusetts: Call Jodi Brodsky at 282-1058 or email her at jsbbirder@gmail.com for details about this always rewarding trip, with many birds that we don’t get in Orange County during the winter.

December 18, Northeast Orange County Christmas Bird Count: If you’ve never participated and want to join in, give Karen Miller a call (381-3203) and be part of this nationwide event.

January

January 15, New York State Winter Waterfowl Count: If you want to join in, contact Bob Slechta (541-8210).

January 29, Eagle Trip I: Meet Gerhard Patsch (258-0620) at the Iona Island overlook on Route 202/6 (“the Goat Trail”) at 9:00 am for 100+ Bald Eagles and other goodies.

February

February 12, Black Dirt Trip I: Meet Bob Slechta (541-8210) at The Jolly Onion in Pine Island at 9:00 am for larks, buntings, and Rough-legged Hawks.

February 19, Eagle Trip II: Meet Gerhard Patsch (258-0620) at the Iona Island overlook on Route 202/6 (“the Goat Trail”) at 9:00 am, and we’ll see if we can top the January eagle trip.

March

March 5, Rye, New York, and Greenwich, Connecticut: Meet Bob Slechta (541-8210) at the Rye Playland parking lot at 9:00 am for wintering Brant, loons, grebes, and ducks.

March 12, Black Dirt Trip II: Meet Bob Slechta (541-8210) at The Jolly Onion in Pine Island at 8:30 am for longspurs, larks, and thousands of blackbirds.

March 26, Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge: Meet Kathleen Ashman (421-5478) at the platform on Oil City Road at 8:30 am for large numbers of waterfowl—especially Northern Pintails and Green-winged Teal.

March 30, Wednesday, Eastern Orange County lakes: Meet Bruce Nott (542-0583) and Carlotta Shearson (234-8314) in the northwest corner of the Newburgh Walmart parking lot (on Route 300) at 8:30 am for a good mix of waterfowl and maybe some swallows.

Notes

The trip leader’s phone number is included so that you can call the night before or the morning of if you have any questions. You can also check the Mearns Groups.io site for last-minute changes. If you lead a trip, you are responsible for sending a write-up to Richard Van Tieghem at rich.w2vt@gmail.com.