Field Trips

Field Trip Institute Woods

Field Trips to local birding “Hot Spots” and beyond

Experienced birders from WCAS lead regular birding field trip to some of the region’s top birding hotspots in Central New Jersey, the Delaware Water Gap, Delaware Bay, the New Jersey shore, and eastern Pennsylvania. Field trips are free, open to the public, and most require no advance registration. Participants of all experience levels are welcome. If there are field trips you would like to see added to WCAS field trip offerings, please feel free to contact us.

For more field trip information, contact our Field Trip Chair, Brad Merritt, 609-921-8964. If the trip is co-sponsored, please note the registration request in the trip description. In case of inclement weather, please check this website or contact Brad for field trip cancellation updates by 10:00 p.m. the night before.

Check our Event Calendar below for details and contact information

  • Assunpink Wildlife Management Area: A field trip on Saturday, March 11, at 8:30 am, led by John Maret and Andrew Bobe. This is the time to start looking for migrating waterfowl and other northern-bound birds in this productive local wildlife management area. Directions: East on I-195 to exit 11, Imlaystown. North on Imlaystown Road 2.6 miles to parking area at Lake Assunpink. Contact Brad Merritt (609) 921-8964 if additional information is needed.
  • Washington Crossing State Park: A field trip on Sunday, March 19, at 1:30-3:30 PM, led by Wayne Henderek and Franta Broulik. We will walk a few of the many trails in the park looking for spring migrants and resident birds in wooded areas and adjacent fields. Directions: Washington Crossing State Park is located off of Washington Crossing–Pennington Road in Titusville, NJ. Enter the park and follow signs to the Nature Center. Park at the Nature Center parking lot. For additional information, call Brad Merritt at 609-921-8964.
  • Cumberland County:  All day field trip on Saturday, March 25, led by Brad Merritt. We leave at 7:30 am from the Rite-Aid in the Princeton Shopping Center. This trip to Cumberland County in South Jersey for early spring migrants involves driving to numerous stops, so we would like to carpool to minimize the number of cars. The first stop/rest stop in Cumberland County is about 1½ hours from Princeton. Please register with Brad Merritt, 609-921-8964, prior to the trip for carpooling instructions.
  • Mercer Meadows Pole Farm: A field trip on Saturday, April 1, at 8:00 am, led by Sharyn Magee. Come with us as we walk the paths and compare the flora and fauna to that of Rosedale Park. Known for years as the AT&T Overseas Transmission Station, it is more familiarly called The Pole Farm. Directions to Mercer Meadows: From the traffic light at Manors Corner shopping center on Pennington-Lawrenceville Rd, take Keefe Rd toward Princeton for 1.1 miles to the bend where it meets Cold Soil Rd. We will meet at the entrance located at the intersection of Keefe and Cold Soil Roads. For additional information, call Brad Merritt at 609-921-8964.
  • Vernal Pools of the Sourland Mountains with Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed: A hike on Saturday, April 8, at 10:00-11:00 am. Join Senior Naturalist Allison Jackson on an exploratory hike of vernal pools in the Sourland Mountains. Waterproof boots/shoes are necessary. This program does not meet at the Watershed Reserve. Directions to meet up site and parking will be given to registered participants. Register with SBMWA, call 609-737-7592. Co-sponsored with Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Reserve.
  • Peace Valley Prowl, PA: A field trip on Sunday, April 9, at 9:00 am, led by Brad Merritt. We’ll walk the trails in this Bucks County park looking for waterfowl, raptors, and early migrating warblers. Directions: Route 202 South toward Doylestown. Right onto route 313, proceed west for 4 miles. Left on New Galena Road, then first left onto Chapman Road. Go to the parking lot across from Nature Center. For more information, call Brad Merritt at 609-921-8964.
  • SPLASH Steamboat Birding Cruise on the Delaware April 22, 2017 @ 8:00 am – 10:00 am joint field trip on the river with SPLASH and WCAS departing from SPLASH, 11 Bridge St., Lambertville, NJ 08530. See calendar for directions. Field trip is sold out.

  • Abbott Marshlands A field trip on Saturday, April 29, at 8:00 am, led by Brad Merritt, Mary Leck, John Maret. Roebling Park is a Mercer County park adjacent to the Hamilton/Trenton marsh. We will see how the marsh and its wildlife come out for spring. For more info, contact Brad Merritt at 609-921-8964. Directions: From South Broad St., turn onto Sewell Ave. At end, turn left and continue to parking lot. Please see the Friends for the Abbott Marshlands website (www.marsh-friends.org) for additional outings. Cosponsor: The Friends for the Abbott Marshlands.

  • Mt. Rose Preserve A field trip on Sunday, April 30, at 7:00 am, led by Sharyn Magee and Juanita Hummel. Mt. Rose Preserve, in Hopewell Township, can be an excellent spot in the spring for songbirds. Directions: The Preserve is located off Carter Road, south of the Cherry Valley Rd intersection. Entrance will be found on west side of Carter Rd. Cosponsor: The Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space.
  • Garrett Mountain Reservation A field trip on Saturday, May 6, at 7:30 am–2:00 pm, led by Brad Merritt and Sharyn Magee. Garret Mountain Reservation, a Passaic County Park, located just south of Paterson, NJ, can be an excellent spot in the spring for the songbird migration.
  • Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Natural Craft FUN-shop  An event on Saturday, May 6, at 10:00-noon. Join us for a short walk on the Reserve to collect natural materials such as acorns, pinecones, pods and vines, which we will then use to create fanciful and whimsical crafts! Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Reserve, 31 Titus Mill Road, Pennington. Register with SBMWA, call 609-737-7592. Co-sponsored with Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Reserve.
  • Princeton Institute Woods  A field trip on Sunday, May 7, at 8:00 am, led by Mark Witmer and Brad Merritt.  Two trips are offered to the Institute Woods, an excellent place to observe the spring migration of warblers and other songbirds. The second trip is Saturday, May 20. Directions: From Princeton take Alexander Street toward Route 1. At the bend before the canal turn right on West Drive. Go a short distance on West Drive and park near the entrance to Rogers Wildlife Refuge.
  • Birdathon 2017: Saturday, May 13 rescheduled for Sunday, May 14 (see Birdathon page)
  • Princeton Institute Woods  A field trip on Sunday, May 20 at 8:00 am, led by Mark Witmer and Brad Merritt.  Two trips are offered to the Institute Woods, an excellent place to observe the spring migration of warblers and other songbirds. Directions: From Princeton take Alexander Street toward Route 1. At the bend before the canal turn right on West Drive. Go a short distance on West Drive and park near the entrance to Rogers Wildlife Refuge.
  • Ted Stiles Preserve at Baldpate Mountain   A field trip on Sunday, May 21, at 8:00 am, led by Pat Sziber and Franta Broulik. Directions: Pennington-Washington Crossing Road (Rt. 546) to the intersection of Route 29. Turn right, go two miles to Fiddler’s Creek Road. Turn right to parking area. Or, from Church Road and Bear Tavern Road (Rt. 579), follow Church Road to right onto Fiddler’s Creek Rd. Continue to the parking area on your right. For more information, contact Pat Sziber at 609-737-1189.
  • Negri-Nepote Native Grassland Preserve  A field trip on Saturday, May 27, at 8:00 am, led by Sharyn Magee and Brad Merritt. This 164 acre property is between Skillmans Lane to the east, Bennetts Lane to the north, and the Six-mile Run Reservoir site to the west and south. There are 111 acres of grassland and 53 acres of woodland.  Directions: From Rte 206, take Rte 514 East (Amwell Rd). Turn right on Route 615 South (S. Middlebush Rd), then turn left on Skillmans Lane. Entrance off west side of Skillmans Ln, between the two 90 degree curves on Skillmans Ln. For more info, call Brad Merritt at 609-921-8964.
  • Delaware Water Gap, North Jersey  A field trip on Saturday, June 3, led by Sharyn Magee and Brad Merritt. Leave Princeton at 7:00 am for the Stokes State Forest area. This trip involves driving to numerous stops near the Stokes State Forest; carpool is available to minimize the number of cars. Either meet at Princeton Shopping Center off Harrison St. or a meeting place at Stokes State Forest Office, one mile north of Culvers Lake. You must register with Brad Merritt, (609) 921-8964.

Click on calendar entries below for field trip locations

Clicking on the field trip you wish to join will bring open up the trip’s details including a Google Map and GPS coordinates. You may also visit our birding “Hot Spots” page for a map of local hot spots.

 

Field trip leader Brad Merritt (middle) © Tyler Christensen

Check our event calendar below for individual program details. If there are field trips you would like to see added to WCAS field trip offerings, please feel free to contact us. All photos © Tyler Christensen except lower right © Diana Hayes.

Birding Baldpate Summit © Diana Hayes

More outings in 2017

Sat. May 6, 7:30 am | Garret Mountain

Sat. May 6, 10:00 am | Natural Craft FUN-shop

Sun. May 7, 8 am | Princeton Institute Woods

Sat. May 13, 8 am | Birdathon

Sat. May 20, 8 am | Princeton Institute Woods

Sun. May 21, 8 am | Baldpate Mountain

Sat. May 27, 8 am | Negri-Nepote Grasslands

Sat. Jun 3, 7 am | Delaware Water Gap

Sat. Jun 10, 8:30 am | Washington Crossing SP

Sat. Jun 17, 8 am | Assunpink WMA

Sat. Jun 24, 8 am | Mercer Meadows Pole Farm

Sat. Aug 19, 9 am | Allentown Sod Farms

Sort Calendar by “FIELD TRIPS” category on left; Sort by “MONTH”, “WEEK” and “AGENDA” views on the right

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
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Garret Mountain Reservation 7:30 am
Garret Mountain Reservation @ Garret Mountain Reservation
May 6 @ 7:30 am – 2:00 pm
A field trip on Saturday, May 6, at 7:30 am–2:00 pm, led by Brad Merritt and Sharyn Magee. Garret Mountain Reservation, a Passaic County Park, located just south of Paterson, NJ, can be an excellent[...]
Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Reserve Natural Craft FUN-shop 10:00 am
Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Reserve Natural Craft FUN-shop @ Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed
May 6 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
An event on Saturday, May 6, at 10:00-noon Join us for a short walk on the Reserve to collect natural materials such as acorns, pinecones, pods and vines, which we will then use to create[...]
7
Princeton Institute Woods 8:00 am
Princeton Institute Woods @ Rogers Wildllife Refuge next to Princeton Institute Woods
May 7 @ 8:00 am – 12:00 pm
A field trip on Sunday, May 7, at 8:00 am, led by Mark Witmer and Brad Merritt. Two trips are offered to the Institute Woods, an excellent place to observe the spring migration of warblers[...]
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Birdathon
Birdathon
May 14 all-day
***Birdathon 2017 rescheduled for Sunday, May 14!*** Join us at the height of spring migration on International Migratory Bird Day, Saturday May 13. Our only fundraiser of the year brings together people who love birds and[...]
15
Frank Gill: Bird Species Taxonomy 2017 8:00 pm
Frank Gill: Bird Species Taxonomy 2017 @ Stainton Hall at Pennington School
May 15 @ 8:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Frank Gill: Bird Species Taxonomy 2017 @ Stainton Hall at Pennington School | Pennington | New Jersey | United States
Frank Gill: How many bird species? Major changes in bird taxonomy are being driven by the application of evolving species concepts and robust DNA-based phylogenies. The higher classification and sequences of major bird groups will[...]
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BioBlitz Mt. Rose Preserve with New Jersey Conservation Foundation 6:00 am
BioBlitz Mt. Rose Preserve with New Jersey Conservation Foundation @ Mount Rose Preserve
May 20 @ 6:00 am – 2:30 pm
Schedule: www.njconservation.org/MountRosePreserveBioblitz.htm https://donate.njconservation.org/2017-mount-rose-bioblitz   Join experts as they identify as many plant and animal species as possible! All hikes will begin at our tent near the preserve entrance BIRDS 6-8am with Sharyn Magee of Washing Crossing Audubon[...]
Princeton Institute Woods 8:00 am
Princeton Institute Woods @ Rogers Wildllife Refuge next to Princeton Institute Woods
May 20 @ 8:00 am – 12:00 pm
A field trip on Saturday, May 20, at 8:00 am, led by Andrew Bobe and Brad Merritt. Two trips are offered to the Institute Woods, an excellent place to observe the spring migration of warblers[...]
21
Ted Stiles Preserve at Baldpate Mountain 8:00 am
Ted Stiles Preserve at Baldpate Mountain @ Ted Stiles Preserve at Baldpate Mountain
May 21 @ 8:00 am
A field trip on Sunday, May 21, at 8:00 am, led by Pat Sziber and Franta Broulik. Directions: Pennington-Washington Crossing Road (Rt. 546) to the intersection of Route 29. Turn right, go two miles to[...]
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Negri-Nepote Native Grassland Preserve 8:00 am
Negri-Nepote Native Grassland Preserve @ Negri-Nepote Native Grassland Preserve
May 27 @ 8:00 am
A field trip on Saturday, May 27, at 8:00 am, led by Sharyn Magee and Brad Merritt This 164 acre property is between Skillmans Lane to the east, Bennetts Lane to the north, and the[...]
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Pole Farm at Mercer Meadows at corner of Cold Soil and Keefe Rds.

Known now as the “Red Barn” entrance at Cold Soil & Keefe Rds. Most birders enter Pole Farm from both this corner or Federal City Rd. entrance aka Reed/Bryan Farm. Can also park at Maidenhead Trail entrance on Keefe Rd. or at Blackwell Rd. entrance.
GPS: 40.312911, -74.737523

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deer management in winter

Baldpate Mountain, Fiddler's Creek Entrance

Fiddler’s Creek Entrance Parking lot for birding the Summit Trail (blue) and driveway on the left
Mercer County Website lists address as 327 Fiddlers Creek Road, Titusville, NJ 08560
Baldpate formerly known as Kuser Mountain
GPS: 40.317418, -74.889530

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check for Deer Management closing dates in winter

Abbott Marshlands

Abbott Marshlands formerly Hamilton- Trenton – Bordentown Marsh

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Use Sewell Avenue entrance to Roebling Park section of the Abbott Marshlands and park by Spring Lake. Be mindful that this natural area is located in an urban setting. Use caution when visiting. Don’t leave your camera or valuables lying about. Report any suspicious behavior to the Hamilton (609-581-4000) or Bordentown Township (609- 298-2800) Police. In an emergency, call 911.

GPS Coordinates: N40 11.714 W74 43.923  

Baldpate Mtn., Pleasant Valley Rd. entrance

Pleasant Valley Rd. entrance to Ted Stiles Perserve at Baldpate Mountain formerly known as Kuser Mountain
40.330450, -74.871657

Rogers Wildllife Refuge next to Institute Woods

Charles Rogers Wildlife Refuge entrance to Institute Woods, Princeton

Directions: From Princeton take Alexander Street toward Route 1. At the bend before the canal turn right on West Drive. Go a short distance on West Drive and park near the entrance to Rogers Wildlife Refuge.

GPS:
40°19’38.5″N 74°39’33.6″W
40.327353, -74.659342

Pole Farm Federal City Rd./Reed Bryan entrance

Reed Bryan section of the Pole Farm at Mercer Meadows also known as Federal City entrance with gray barn and “Last pole standing.”
GPS: 40.316586,-74.758068

St. Michaels Preserve

St. Michaels Preserve, Princeton Ave. aka Carter Road entrance.

Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association

Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association

GPS:
40°21’06.3″N 74°46’21.3″W
40.351751, -74.772571

Mercer County Park

West Windsor

Negri-Nepote Native Grassland Preserve

Caution: Hunting in Fall

Washington Crossing State Park Nature Center

Washington Crossing State Park Nature Center
355 Washington Crossing Pennington Rd, Titusville, NJ 08560, USA

GPS:
40°18’49.5″N 74°51’46.6″W
40.3137529, 
-74.86295740000003

Assunpink Wildlife Management Area

Assunpink Wildlife Management Area Boat Launch parking lot
Intersection of Imlaystown-Hightstown Rd & Clarksburg-Robbinsville Rd, Millstone, NJ 08535, USA
Directions: East on I-195 to exit 11, Imlaystown. North on Imlaystown Road 2.6 miles to parking area at Lake Assunpink.

GPS:
40°12’54.9″N 74°31’00.7″W
40.215254, -74.516866

Cumberland County Heislerville WMA

Heislerville Wildlife Management Area in Maurice River Twp., Cumberland County, NJ
Dikes on Matts Landing Rd, Leesburg, NJ 08327, USA

GPS:
39°14’02.9″N 75°01’34.5″W
39.234133, -75.026264

 

Peace Valley Nature Center

Peace Valley Nature Center
42-64 N Chapman Rd, Doylestown, PA 18901, USA

GPS:
40°20’23.8″N 75°10’16.2″W
40.339942, -75.171179

Mt. Rose Preserve

Mount Rose Preserve, Carter Rd., Hopewell Township, NJ 08540, USA
Please confirm parking on west or east side of Carter Rd.

GPS:
40°21’41.4″N 74°44’15.4″W
40.361489, -74.737621

Garret Mountain Reservation

Garret Mountain Reservation
2 Mountain Ave, Woodland Park, NJ 07424, USA  (near Patterson)

Directions: Take I-287 to I-80. Go east to exit 56A (Squirrelwood Road). Go to the stop sign and turn right on Rifle Camp Road. Go up the hill about 0.5 miles to Mountain Ave., which comes in from the left. Turn left on Mountain Ave. (look for army tank and reservoir on the left) and go 0.3 miles to the entrance to Garret Mountain Reservation. Go right up the hill for a short distance to a large parking area. The distance from Somerville on I-287 and I-80 to exit 56A is 40 miles.

GPS:
40°54’08.5″N 74°10’54.5″W
40.902367, -74.181791

Round Valley Reservoir Boat Launch

Round Valley Reservoir Boat Launch
County Rd 629, Lebanon, NJ 08833, USA

GPS:
40°37’54.9″N 74°50’57.5″W
40.631908, -74.849302