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
- Garret Mountain Reservation A field trip on Saturday, May 5, at 7:30 AM–2:00 PM, led by Brad Merritt. 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. We may visit nearby Rifle Camp Park. Bring a lunch. Directions: Take I-287 to I-80 east to exit 56A (Squirrelwood Road). Turn right on Rifle Camp Road, then left on Mountain Ave. On the left, you’ll find entrance to Garret Mountain Reservation. Turn right and continue up the hill to a large parking area. For additional information, call Brad Merritt at 609-921-8964.
Princeton Institute Woods A field trip on Sunday, May 6, at 8:00 AM, led by Mark Witmer, Brad Merritt and Andrew Bobe. The Institute Woods near the Institute for Advanced Study is an excellent place to observe the spring migration of warblers and other songbirds. Two dates are offered; select the most convenient for you. 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.
Join Us for Birdathon ‘18 Saturday, May 12 This is the first call for Birdathon ’18! The main event will take place on Saturday May 12 (rain date Sunday May 13), with guided walks to local hotspots in Mercer and Hunterdon counties. New for this year will be additional events planned for the week leading up to The Big Day – look for details in our spring newsletter! The Birdathon is our sole fund raiser each year, and we’ll be asking our members, friends and neighbors for donations, which all goes to support of local educational outreach, research and conservation efforts. Your generous donations fund programs and research that will further our understanding of our resident and migrating bird species and enable us to share birding insights with you in a variety of community programs that are free to all.
Princeton Institute Woods A field trip on Saturday, May 19, at 8:00 AM, led by Andrew Bobe and Brad Merritt. See details from field trip on May 6.
Ted Stiles Preserve at Baldpate Mountain A field trip on Sunday, May 20, 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 26, at 8:00 AM, led by Sharyn Magee and Brad Merritt. This 164-acre property between Skillmans Lane to the east, Bennetts Lane to the north, and the Six-mile Run Reservoir site to the west and south, contains 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 Lane. For more info, call Brad Merritt at 609-921-8964.
Delaware Water Gap, North Jersey A field trip on Saturday, June 2, led by Brad Merritt. Leave Princeton at 7:00 AM for the Stokes State Forest. 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 or at Stokes State Forest Office, one mile north of Culvers Lake. You must register with Brad Merritt, (609) 921-8964.
Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space Beginner Birder Workshop for National Trails Day! A FREE indoor workshop with outdoor field trip on Saturday, June 2 from 8 AM–11 AM led by Tyler Christensen with assistance from Juanita Hummel. Learn the secrets of birding! We will supply binoculars and everything you need. Enjoy coffee & bagels as we start with a short presentation inside our office at Strawberry Hill Mansion at Baldpate Mountain. Tyler Christensen will instruct beginner birders on selecting and using gear, such as optics, a field guide or bird ID application and how to begin recognizing major groups and common bird species. Then birders will then head outdoors to apply what we have learned to find birds using field references on Baldpate Mountain. Event is FREE, but registration with FoHVOS is REQUIRED either online or email email@example.com or phone 609-730-1560. Co-sponsored by Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space and WCAS.
Washington Crossing State Park A field trip on Saturday, June 9, at 8:30 AM, led by Wayne Henderek and Franta Broulik. We will walk trails looking for spring migrants and resident birds in wooded areas and adjacent fields. Directions: Off Washington Crossing–Pennington Road in Titusville. Follow signs to the Nature Center parking lot. For more info, call Brad Merritt at 609-921-8964.
Assunpink Wildlife Management Area A field trip on Saturday, June 16, at 8:30 AM, led by John Maret and Andrew Bobe. We will seek resident birds, such as blue grosbeaks, orchard orioles, and cedar waxwings, and butterflies. Directions: Take I-195 exit 8, head north on CR 539, Old York Rd. Turn right on Herbert Rd, then right on Sharon Station Rd. Parking lot is on left in Union transportation Trail lot. May also visit Mercer Corporate Park nearby so no end time. Please contact Brad Merritt 609-921-8964 to register.
Mercer Meadows Pole Farm A field trip on Saturday, June 30, 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: Take Keefe Rd to Cold Soil Rd. At that bend, entrance on left. For more information, call Brad Merritt at 609-921-8964.
Allentown Sod Farm A field trip on Saturday, August 25, at 9:00 AM, led by Brad Merritt. Join us as we look for migrating shorebirds. We hope to see some splendid shorebirds, such as Baird’s, Pectoral, Upland and Buff-breasted Sandpipers, Golden and Black-bellied Plovers, in addition to sparrows and Horned Larks. Directions: Take I-195 exit 8, head north on CR 539. Turn left on Herbert Rd, then left on New Sharon Rd. Parking lot on left. Please contact Brad Merritt 609-921-8964 to register.
We are looking for additional team leaders—naturalists who can head out into the field and lead a small group of members and friends around your favorite natural location(s). We’ll help coordinate your team and support donation collection. If you would like to volunteer or lead a team, please email Juanita Hummel or Brad Merritt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
More outings in 2018
Sat, May 19, 8 AM | Princeton Institute Woods
Sun, May 20, 8 AM | Baldpate Mountain
Sat, May 26, 8 AM | Negri-Nepote Grasslands
Sat, Jun 2, 7 AM | Delaware Water Gap
Sat, Jun 9, 8:30 AM | Washington Crossing SP
Sat, Jun 16, 8 AM | Assunpink WMA
Sat, Jun 23, 8 AM | Mercer Meadows Pole Farm
Sat, Aug 25, 9 AM | Allentown Sod Farms
Sort Calendar by “FIELD TRIPS” category on left; Sort by “MONTH”, “WEEK” and “AGENDA” views on the right
Garret Mountain Reservation 7:30 am
Princeton Institute Woods 8:00 am
Princeton Institute Woods @ Rogers Wildllife Refuge next to Princeton Institute Woods
May 6 @ 8:00 am – 12:00 pm
A field trip on Sunday, May 6, at 8:00 am, led by Mark Witmer, Brad Merritt and Andrew Bobe. The Institute Woods near the Institute for Advanced Study is an excellent place to observe the[...]
Princeton Institute Woods 8:00 am
Princeton Institute Woods @ Rogers Wildllife Refuge next to Princeton Institute Woods
May 19 @ 8:00 am – 12:00 pm
A field trip on Saturday, May 19, at 8:00 AM led by Andrew Bobe and Brad Merritt. The Institute Woods near the Institute for Advanced Study is an excellent place to observe the spring migration of warblers[...]
Ted Stiles Preserve at Baldpate Mountain 8:00 am
Ted Stiles Preserve at Baldpate Mountain @ Ted Stiles Preserve at Baldpate Mountain
May 20 @ 8:00 am
A field trip on Sunday, May 20, 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[...]
David Wheeler: New Jersey’s Rare Wildlife 8:00 pm
David Wheeler: New Jersey’s Rare Wildlife @ Stainton Hall at Pennington School
May 21 @ 8:00 pm – 9:15 pm
David Wheeler: New Jersey’s Rare Wildlife Monday, May 21, 2018, at 8:00 PM In “New Jersey’s Rare Wildlife,” David Wheeler explores the unparalleled biodiversity in the Garden State. Far from the popular stereotypes, New Jersey’s[...]
Negri-Nepote Native Grassland Preserve 8:00 am
Pole Farm at Mercer Meadows at corner of Cold Soil and Keefe Rds.
GPS: 40.312911, -74.737523
Deer management in winter
Baldpate Mountain, Fiddler's Creek Entrance
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
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
Rogers Wildllife Refuge next to Institute Woods
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.
Pole Farm Federal City Rd./Reed Bryan entrance
St. Michaels Preserve
Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association
31 Titus Mill Rd, Pennington, NJ 08534
Mercer County Park
Negri-Nepote Native Grassland Preserve
Washington Crossing State Park Nature Center
355 Washington Crossing Pennington Rd, Titusville, NJ 08560, USA
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.
Cumberland County Heislerville WMA
Dikes on Matts Landing Rd, Leesburg, NJ 08327, USA
Peace Valley Nature Center
42-64 N Chapman Rd, Doylestown, PA 18901, USA
Mt. Rose Preserve
Mount Rose Preserve, Carter Rd., Hopewell Township, NJ 08540, USA
Please confirm parking on west or east side of Carter Rd.
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.
Round Valley Reservoir Boat Launch
County Rd 629, Lebanon, NJ 08833, USA
Pryde's Point Trail
Pryde’s Point Trail Conservation easement area is adjacent to the Alexauken Creek Wildlife Management Area. It has a wonderful wooded area with vistas of Hunterdon County. The terrain is steep in spots but allows for a leisurely walk to experience a remote area of West Amwell.
Park on 23 Gulick Rd., Ringoes, NJ:
GPS: 40.407954, -74.870407
Don’t park at the WMA entrance for Pond Trail on Rocktown-Lambertville Rd. Pryde’s Point Trail map on NJ Trails website: http://njtrails.org/trail/prydes-point-alexauken-creek/