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.

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).

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.

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): “Instead of meeting at the Chester Plaza as originally planned, we will meet at Wickham Woodlands/Wickham Lake in the Town of Warwick at 8:30 am. The water level is high at the lake and the shoreline is flooded. I strongly advise wearing waterproof footwear. My planned route is Wickham Lake, Warwick Town Hall, Greenwood Lake, Walton Lake, Round Lake, and 6 1/2 Station Road Sanctuary. I checked this route yesterday, and sadly waterfowl are few and far between. Here’s hoping they will burst upon the scene over the next 48 hours. My cell phone number is 845-421-5478.” Kathleen Ashman, Trip Leader 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.

Pileated Woodpecker. Photo by Karen Miller.

December

December 10–12 (note date change from December 3–5), Friday–Sunday, Cape Ann, Massachusetts: Call Jodi Brodsky at 845-282-1058 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 (845-381-3283) 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 (845-258-0620) 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 ( 845-541-8210) 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 ( 845-258-0620) 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 ( 845-541-8210) 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 ( 845-541-8210) 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 ( 845-421-5478) 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 ( 845-542-0583) and Carlotta Shearson ( 845-234-8314) 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.

Yellow-crowned Night Heron. Photo by Bill Fiero.

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.