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

Yellow-crowned Night Heron. Photo by Bill Fiero.

March

March 7, Rye Playland and Greenwich: Meet Bob Slechta (541-8210) in the Rye 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 Restaurant in Pine Island, New York, 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.

April

April 4, Rye Playland: Meet Bob Slechta (541-8210)) at the Rye Playland parking lot at 8:30 AM for Osprey, egrets, loons, grebes, Long-tailed Ducks, Purple Sandpipers, Palm Warblers, and more.

April 11, Oil City Road: Meet Carlotta Shearson (234-8314) at the Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge platform at 8:30 AM. There should still be ducks, especially Blue-winged Teal, plus Wilson’s Snipe, swallows, some warblers, and, hopefully, Sandhill Cranes.

April 18, 6 1/2 Station Road: Meet Carlotta Shearson (234-8314) at the 6 1/2 Station Road Audubon Sanctuary parking lot (not the usual meeting place by the Heritage Trail) at 8:30 AM for early warblers, kinglets, swallows, ducks, and sparrows.

April 25, Bashakill Wildlife Management Area: Meet Scott Baldinger (888-2333) at the Stop Sign Trail at 8:00 AM for a rewarding day at this renowned birding hotspot as migration starts heating up.

April 26, Sunday, Storm King Art Center: Bird Orange County’s world famous sculpture park. Meet Bob Slechta (541-8210) in the north parking lot at 8:30 AM. Admission will be free.

Pileated Woodpecker. Photo by Karen Miller.

May

May 2, Glenmere Lake: Meet Kathy Ashman (294-6140) in the parking lot of the park at 8:00 AM. Last year’s trip to this interesting location was rewarding in terms of both variety and numbers.

May 6, Wednesday, Hudson Highlands Nature Museum Outdoor Discovery Center (formerly Kenridge Farm): Meet Amy Greher (783-6363) in the Cornwall Dog Park parking lot off Angola Road at 7:30 AM for what should be a very birdy day.

May 9, Bashakill Wildlife Management Area: Meet Joyce Depew (978-9952) at the Stop Sign Trail at 7:30 AM for a stupendous day of birding, 70 species minimum and lots of warblers!

May 13, Wednesday, Goosepond Mountain State Park: Meet Bill Iannone (783-7467) at the Route 17M boardwalk trail at 7:30 AM. Goosepond has turned out to be a very productive birding location over the years.

May 15 and 16, Break 100! Create a new team or join an existing one and see how many birds you can identify in Orange County from 4:00 PM on Friday to 4:00 PM on Saturday. Afterwards, there will be a countdown potluck at the Fitzpatricks (496-7718) at 5:00 PM on Saturday. Let them know how many are in your party and what you’re bringing. Ask a club member if you want to know more about the Break 100.

May 20, Wednesday, Stewart State Forest: Meet Bill Fiero (728-5208) at the North Ridge Road parking lot at 8:00 AM. White-eyed Vireo or Mourning Warbler? Perhaps.

May 23, Ironwood Drive: Meet Bob Slechta (541-8210) at the end of Ironwood Drive (Sterling Forest area) at 8:00 AM. We’ll look for Golden-winged Warblers and other goodies.

May 23, Oil City Road: Meet Bob Slechta (541-8210) at the Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge platform at 4:00 PM (afternoon) to see what we can turn up late in the day.

May 30, Shawangunk Grasslands National Wildlife Refuge: Meet Tom and Jane (255-0565) in the parking lot at 7:30 AM for grassland birds and, if we’re lucky, a Henslow’s Sparrow.

June

June (date TBD), Mearns club picnic: More information to follow. Check the Mearns Club Groups.io site.

Summer Break

August

August 22, Oil City Road: Joyce Depew (978-9952) will be at the Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge platform at 7:30 AM. Least Bittern maybe? There will be lots of egrets for sure.

August 29, Black Dirt: Meet Dave Baker (446-4030) in the parking lot of the Jolly Onion Inn Restaurant in Pine Island, New York, at 8:30 AM and scour the turf farms for Buff-breasted Sandpipers and American Golden Plovers.

September

September 12, Black Dirt II: Meet Karen Miller (381-3283) in the parking lot of the Jolly Onion Inn Restaurant in Pine Island, New York at 8:30 AM for another chance at Buff-breasted Sandpipers and American Golden Plovers and open land birds.

September 19, Bashakill Wildlife Management Area: Meet Scott Baldinger (888-2333) at the Deli Fields at 8:30 AM. We hope for Swainson’s and Gray-cheeked Thrushes and Philadelphia Vireos.

September 26, Winding Waters Trail (Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge): Meet Kathy Ashman (294-6140) in the parking lot for the Winding Waters Trail (Oil City Road) at 8:00 AM and see if we can find a Connecticut Warbler or Dickcissel.

September 30, Wednesday, Stewart State Forest: Meet Bill Fiero (728-5208) at the North Ridge Road parking lot at 8:00 AM. Little Blue Heron? Lincoln’s Sparrow? Yellow-breasted Chat?

Notes

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 Groups.io 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 fjfitz@frontiernet.net. 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!