Washington Crossing Audubon Society offers free field trips to birding hot spots
Experienced birders from WCAS lead regular birding field trips to some of the region’s top birding hotspots in Central New Jersey, the New Jersey shore, the Delaware Bay, Delaware Water Gap. and eastern Pennsylvania. Field trips are free and open to the public. 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.
If the trip is co-sponsored, please note the registration request in the trip description. In case of inclement weather, please check this website.
PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED FOR ALL FIELD TRIPS
Trips are free, but participation may be limited to 20-25 participants. COVID state guidelines in place at the time of the trip will be followed. Masks are optional for those who are vaccinated, and we ask that you not participate if you are not feeling well on the day. Group size may be limited, to ensure safety and a good birding experience for everyone. You will receive a sign-up confirmation and an additional message a day or two ahead of time to confirm the trip is a “go” or if a cancellation is necessary (e.g. inclement weather). Any questions please feel free to contact WCAS.
Sign up online for as many trips as you would like via Sign-Up Genius. Details of meeting places, contact numbers and leader names will be supplied in follow-up emails to those who sign up.
- Barnegat Lighthouse a field trip on Saturday, January 14 at 9 AM. Barnegat Light, located at the north end of Long Beach Island, is a great site for wintering birds. The inlet, beach, and jetties are well known for unusual visitors, including at times the beautiful Harlequin Duck. Bring lunch and beverage, and dress warmly. Pre-registration is required.
- Abbott Marshlands a field trip on Saturday, January 21 at 9:00 AM. Roebling Park is a Mercer County park adjacent to the Hamilton/Trenton marsh. We plan to follow the trails and see how the marsh and its wildlife adjust to the cold weather. Co-sponsored with Friends for the Abbott Marshlands. PLEASE REGISTER DIRECTLY with Friends of the Marsh
- POSTPONED TO SUNDAY, February 5 due to frigid weather!
Birds of Shark River A field trip on Saturday, February 4 at 9 AM. Shark River area allows us to visit a number of interesting habitats along the bay, ocean, and fresh water ponds. Pre-registration is required.
- Beginner Bird Walk with Mark Manning a field trip on Sunday, February 12 at 8:15 AM – 11:15 AM. Join WCAS member Mark Manning for a beginner bird walk at Veteran’s Park in Hamilton, NJ. Veteran’s Park is a 330-acre park that includes a variety of habitats that host a number of interesting bird species. Our focus will be on identifying year-round and winter resident birds that are found within the park, and will include some entry level information on natural history and identification by ear. If you have little to no experience and always wanted to begin birding, or if you are a backyard bird watcher who would like to take the next step, this program is for you!
Location: Veteran’s Park West Entrance, 1778 Whitehorse-Hamilton Square Road, Hamilton
Ages: All ages welcome! (under 16 should be accompanied by a parent)
Target Audience: This family-friendly walk is geared towards beginner and novice birders, those who would like to learn how to but have not yet begun, and backyard birders who want to expand their knowledge base.
- Round Valley Reservoir a field trip on Saturday, February 18 at 8:30 AM. This reservoir in northern Hunterdon County covers over 4,000 acres, is more than 180 feet deep, and is a popular recreational site year-round. Winter is a good time to search for bald eagles, various waterfowl, and gulls. Depending on weather conditions, we will combine this with a tour of the adjacent Cushetunk Mountain Nature Preserve or nearby Spruce Run Recreation Area. Pre-registration is required.
- Assunpink WMA a field trip on Saturday, March 4 at 8:30 AM. We will seek wintering waterfowl, raptors and land birds. Other bird sightings may include a Snipe, Rusty Blackbird, a variety of ducks and sparrows, and early arrivals. Pre-registration is required.
- *** POSTPONED TO SUNDAY, March 26 due to rainy weather! *** The Pole Farm at Mercer Meadows a field trip on Saturday, March 25 at 8:00 AM. Join us for a fascinating walk around the Pole Farm of Mercer Meadows. We will be on alert for raptors, woodpeckers, migration fly-overs, early migrating songbirds and have hopes of spotting a Bald Eagle. Pre-registration is required.
- NEW! Watershed Reserve a field trip on Sunday, March 26 at 8:30 am to be led by Jeff Hoagland. Meet at the Watershed Center for a walk through field and forest, exploring spring birds on the Watershed Reserve. We will search for courting bluebirds, swallows and red-wings, resident raptors, and early spring migrants. Our walk will include the new boardwalk trail as well as some wet trails. All birders are welcome, but pre-registration is required and is now open for registration!
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 at email@example.com
Vsit our birding “Hot Spots” page for a map of local hot spots.
If there are field trips you would like to see added to WCAS field trip offerings, please feel free to contact us.
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
Entrance to parking lot on west 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
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/