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

October

October 15, Saturday, Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge: Meet Don Aitchison (845-281-3220) at the refuge platform on Oil City Road in Pine Island, New York, at 8:30 am. Le Conte’s Sparrow and Sandhill Crane are possible.

October 22, Saturday, Croton Point Park: Meet Jodi Brodsky (845-282-1058) in the parking lot of the Croton Point Park Campground (note change in meeting location) at the railroad station boat launch at 8:30 am to see what turns up at this southbound migrant trap.

Pileated Woodpecker. Photo by Karen Miller.

November

November 12, Saturday, Black Dirt Region: Meet Dave Baker (845-440-4030) in the parking lot of The Jolly Onion restaurant in Pine Island, New York, at 9 am, and we’ll look for Horned Larks, Snow Buntings, and pipits.

November 19, Saturday, Eastern Orange Lakes: Meet Bruce Nott (845-542-0583) in the northwest corner of the Newburgh Walmart parking lot at 8:30 am for ducks, ducks, and more ducks.

December

December 3, Saturday, Shawangunk Grasslands National Wildlife Refuge: Meet Tom and Jane (845-443-5440) in the refuge parking lot at 4 pm (or 5 pm if we are still on Daylight Saving Time) for Short-Eared Owls.

December 9–11, Friday–Sunday, Cape Ann, Massachusetts: Call or email Jodi Brodsky (845-282-1058, jsbbirder@gmail.com) for details (lodging, gathering location, etc.) about this always-rewarding trip. Harlequin Ducks, scoters, and eiders are likely.

December 17, Saturday, Audubon Christmas Bird Count: If you want to participate in this traditional event, contact Karen Miller (845-381-3203).

Yellow-crowned Night Heron. Photo by Bill Fiero.

January

January 14, 2023, Saturday, New York State Waterfowl Count: Contact Bob Slechta (845-541-8210) if you want to help out with Orange County’s contribution to this annual event.

January 28, Saturday, Eagle Trip I: Meet Gerhard Patsch (845-258-0620) at the Iona Island overlook on Route 202/6 (“the Goat Trail”) at 9 am for 100+ Bald Eagles.

February

February 11, Saturday, Black Dirt Region I: 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, and maybe Rough-legged Hawks.

February 18, Saturday, Eagle Trip II: Meet Gerhard Patsch (845-258-0620) at the Iona Island overlook on Route 202/6 (“the Goat Trail”) at 9 am for another great winter trip—especially if you missed the January trip.

March

March 4, Saturday, Rye and Greenwich, Connecticut: Meet Bob Slechta (845-541-8210) in the Playland parking lot (at the north end, near the lake) at 9 am for loons, grebes, and northern ducks (but closer to home).

March 11, Saturday, Black Dirt Region II: Meet Bob Slechta in the parking lot of The Jolly Onion restaurant in Pine Island, New York, at 9 am for lots of blackbirds plus Horned Larks, sparrows, and who knows what else.

March 18, Saturday, Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge: If you want to see large numbers of ducks, especially Northern Pintails and Green-winged Teal,  meet Joyce Depew (845-978-9952) at the refuge platform on Oil City Road in Pine Island, New York, at 8:30 am.

March 25, Saturday, Eastern Orange Lakes: Meet Bruce Nott (845-542-0583) in the northwest corner of the Newburgh Walmart parking lot at 8:30 am for a good mix of ducks, as well as our first phoebes and swallows.