Oil City Road

Pine Island, New York

Black Tern, from “Coloured illustrations of British birds, and their eggs” 1842, Biodiversity Heritage Library

November 11, 2019: The Winding Waters Trail will be closed for the New York firearm hunting season from November 16 to December 17, 2019.

There are several spots for birding on Oil City Road in Pine Island, including Liberty Marsh Loop and the Winding Waters Trail (map) on the 6000-acre Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge (brochure).

The various habitats of the refuge—swamp/marsh, floodplain forest, grassland, shrubland, and, of course, the river—host migrating and breeding waterfowl (29 species), shorebirds, grassland birds, raptors (including Golden Eagles, Bald Eagles, and Broad-wing Hawks), and woodland birds. More than 260 species have been recorded on the refuge. In June 2017, birders were treated to a visiting Black Tern!

August 2019: Be aware that it has been confirmed that Liberty Lane (the unpaved road across Oil City Road from the Liberty Loop platform) is privately owned and is OFF LIMITS to birders. The right of way is for use only by refuge staff, to access refuge property across from Liberty Loop.

Update September 2019: From club member Curt McDermott: “I have spoken with the officer in charge of the refuge, Mike McMenamin. Mike spoke to the refuge manager, Mike Horn. Mr Horn states that the road in question (Liberty Lane) is a shared-access road to the end of the refuge. Visitors to the refuge may access the road as far in as the end of the refuge. Beyond that, trespassing may become an issue. Mike will be checking to see if there is currently signage defining the border. If there is none (which may be the case), I will urge them to post them.”