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.

Field Trip Schedule


January 18, New York State Winter Duck Count: If you would like to participate in the count, contact Bob Slechta (541-8210).

January 25, Eagle Trip I: Meet Gerhard Patsch (255-5840) at the Bear Mountain Scenic Overlook on Route 202/6 (the Goat Trail) at 8:30 AM for this very popular trip. We had 140 Bald Eagles last year!

Yellow-crowned Night Heron. Photo by Bill Fiero.


February 1–3, Cape May, New Jersey: Contact Warren Cairo ( or 845-800-0506) for a great weekend of winter specialties along the New Jersey coast. Contact Warren at least a month ahead of the trip, and he will get in touch with you a week prior with the details—this trip is weather-dependent. Keep the subsequent weekend (February 8–10) open as well, in case the first weekend is a no-go.

Update 1/8/2020: Dates have changed for the Cape May trip. Warren will meet everyone noon on Friday, January 31, 2020, at Brigantine, and the trip will end at noon on Sunday, February 2, 2020. Please let Warren know if you are planning on going on this trip.

February 15, Eagle Trip II: Meet Gerhard Patsch (255-5840) at 8:30 AM at the Bear Mountain Scenic Overlook on Route 202/6 (the Goat Trail) for another hunt for eagles, and whatever else pops up.

February 22, Black Dirt: Meet Karen Miller (381-3283) in the parking lot of The Jolly Onion in Pine Island at 8:30 AM to look for larks, buntings, falcons, and so on.

Pileated Woodpecker. Photo by Karen Miller.


March 7, Rye Playland and Greenwich: Meet Bob Slechta (541-8210) at the Playland parking lot at 9:00 AM and scour Long Island Sound for wintering ducks, loons, grebes, and so on.

March 14, Black Dirt II: Meet Karen Miller (381-3283) in the parking lot of The Jolly Onion in Pine Island at 8:30 AM for another try at larks, buntings, and longspurs, as well as the arrival of large flocks of blackbirds and maybe our first Killdeer.

March 21, Oil City Road: Meet Kathy Ashman (294-6140) at the Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge platform at 8:30 AM for large numbers of ducks—hundreds of Northern Pintails and Green-winged Teal.

March 25, Southern Orange lakes: Meet Kathy Ashman at the Chester McDonald’s at 8:30 AM for a mix of waterfowl to be found on area lakes and ponds.

March 28, Eastern Orange lakes: Meet Bruce Nott and Karen Miller (381-3283) at the northwest corner of the Newburgh Walmart parking lot (near the automotive department) at 8:30 AM for another look at waterfowl in northeastern Orange County.

March 28, Shawangunk Grasslands National Wildlife Refuge: Meet Tom and Jane (255-0565) at the refuge at 7:00 PM for woodcock and hold-over Short-eared Owls and Northern Harriers. This trip in March should be better than past April trips.


A phone number is given for each trip leader. If you have any doubts about whether a trip is happening (owing to the weather, say), CALL the leader—either the night before or in the morning. The leader will be up checking the weather too, so CALL! You can also check the Mearns site for trip cancellations or changes.

If you lead a trip you, are responsible for sending a write up to Jan Fitzpatrick, 1 Keith Place, Campbell Hall, NY 10916 or Please send your write-up soon after you lead the trip: include the number of species seen, number of participants, weather conditions, and highlights of the trip. If you post the trip online, please send an expanded report fleshing out the details of the online posting. A complete listing of species seen is not necessary. Thank you!