WCAS Forum


Field Trips - Fall 2016

For more information or notification of cancellation of field trips, call Field Trip Chair Brad Merrit at (609) 921-8964; if the trip is described as co-sponsored with the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association (SB-MWA), advance registration is required. To register for such trips or to get more information on them call SB-MWA at (609) 737-7592. There is no fee for most of our field trips; exceptions are noted in the trip description.

Edwin Forsythe NWR (Brigantine)
A field trip on Saturday, September 10, at 9:00 AM, led by Brad Merritt.

We start our fall field trip season at the fascinating location of Brigantine, located off Rt. 9 in Oceanville. The Brig offers great viewing access to migrating shore birds, terns, raptors, waterfowl, herons and egrets. The occasional uncommon bird is always a possibility! For more info, call Brad Merritt (609) 921-8964.

Directions: Garden State Parkway south to exit 48, Rte. 9 south for approx. 5 miles. Look for Brig Forsythe NWR sign at light. Turn left onto Great Creek Road and meet in the Visitor Center parking area at 9am.

Bird Banding at Featherbed Lane
A trip on Sunday, September 11, at 8:00 AM, led by Mark Witmer and Hannah Suthers. Registration is required and limited to 12 persons. Call Brad Merritt (609) 921-8964 to register.

To experience the excitement of seeing beautiful birds, such as black-throated blue or magnolia warblers, in the hand, join us for this unique field trip. This trip will expose you to the ongoing research conducted by Hannah Suthers and her volunteers during fall migration. For over 35 years, Hannah has been banding on this site during the nesting season through fall migration and has documented the progression of habitat from fields to forest. Youll see the entire process of bird banding, learn about the data collected, and find out more about the common birds you see daily. As time permits, we will also explore the wooded habitat for other migrants.

Directions: Registered participants will meet at Featherbed Lane. From Rt. 518 in Hopewell, head north on Greenwood Avenue. In approximately 1.5 miles, turn right onto Featherbed Lane, continue 0.5 miles to the banding area, and park along the right side.

Trailside Nature Mandala
A field experience on Saturday, September 17, 10:00-11:30 AM, led by Brooke Shaffer, SBMWA.

A mandala is a symbolic pattern, often in the form of a circle, which can frequently be used for meditation. While on a walk of the Reserve trails, families will join Teacher-Naturalist Brooke Shaffer to reflect on the change of seasons and natures beauty. Your unique creativity will be encouraged as we collect natural materials and arrange them in the form of a mandala. Families, children 5yo+. Free to SBMWA members; $5 Non-member. Register by calling the SBMWA Education Dept, 609-737-7592. Co-sponsored by Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association (SBMWA.)

St. Michaels Preserve, Hopewell
A field trip on Saturday, September 17, at 8:00 AM, led by Sharyn Magee, Juanita Hummel and Brad Merritt.

Join us in exploring the Saint Michael's Farm Preserve for fall migrants such as sparrows, raptors and other passerines associating with open space. This is an excellent place and time for a fall nature walk. For more info, call Brad Merritt, 609-921-8964.

Directions: From Rosedale Road, turn right on Carter Road and continue four miles to find parking lot on the right just before entering Hopewell Borough. From 206, go west on Route 518, continue six miles and turn left on Princeton Avenue in Hopewell Borough at the traffic light. The main parking lot is .5 mile out Princeton Avenue on the left.

Paddle and Walk the Abbott Marshlands on World Rivers Day
A field trip on Sunday, September 25, at 9:00 AM, led by Mary Leck and Charlie Fisher.

Commemorate World Rivers Day, a global celebration of the worlds waterways. This trip will highlight the array of threats faced by our local rivers, increase awareness of rivers around the world, and promote involvement of citizens to ensure the health of rivers in the years ahead. Bring lunch; rentals are not available. Call 609-259-3734 or leona@pineypaddlers.com to register. Location and directions with registration. WCAS co-sponsors this Friends for the Abbott Marshlands trip.

Fiddlers Creek Preserve at Baldpate Mountain
A field trip on Saturday, October 1, at 8:00 AM, led by Sharyn Magee.

The Fiddlers Creek Preserve is the old Hollystone Farm across Fiddlers Creek Road from Baldpate. The main field and hedge rows support numerous species of sparrows during fall migration, making the reserve a hot spot.

Directions: From Pennington, go west on Pennington Titusville Rd and turn right on Bear Tavern Road (Route 579.) Take the first left onto Church Road; then turn right onto Fiddlers Creek Road. Continue 1.3 miles to the main Baldpate Mountain Preserve parking lot on your right. We will meet here and walk across the road to the Fiddlers Creek Preserve.

In Search of Natures Oddballs
A field walk on Saturday, October 1, 10:00-11:30 AM, led by Stefanie Paeg, SBMWA.

Did you know that daddy-long-legs are not spiders? How does a millipede move without tripping on its many feet? How do some insects turn their host plants into a home and food? Join Teacher-Naturalist Stefanie Paeg as she searches the Watershed Reserve trails for some of these unusual creatures natures oddballs. Families, children 5yo+. Free to SBMWA members; $5 Non-member. Register by calling the SBMWA Education Dept, 609-737-7592. Co-sponsored by Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association (SBMWA.)

Negri-Nepote Native Grassland Preserve
A field trip on Saturday October 8, at 8:00 AM, led by Brad Merritt.

The Negri-Nepote Native Grassland Preserve is 164 acres of grasslands and woodlands in western Somerset Co.

Sensitive species found on this site include the Grasshopper Sparrow, Cooper's Hawk and American Kestrel (New Jersey state threatened species), and the Eastern Meadowlark (New Jersey special concern species). The American Kestrel remained at this location throughout the breeding season. With different bird houses located throughout this site, opportunities to view nesting American Kestrels, Wood Ducks, Bluebirds and Purple Martins may be present in any given year.

Directions: From 206 at Woods Tavern take 514 East (Amwell Road). Turn right on 615 South (South Middlebush Road). Turn left on Skillmans Lane. Entrance off west side of Skillmans Lane, between the two 90 degree curves.

Birds of Mercer County Park Central
A field trip on Saturday, October 15, at 8:00 AM, led by Mark Witmer.

Mercer County Park central is a 2,500 acre public park with fields, forests, and a 300 acre freshwater lake. We will walk for two to three hours along Lake Mercer. Bring binoculars and a field guide, and dress for the weather.

Directions: Enter park from Hughes Drive or Old Trenton Road (Route 535). Meet at the boathouse parking lot. For more information, contact Mark Witmer at (609) 730-0826.

Cold Brook Reserve
A field trip on Saturday, October 22, at 8:00 AM, led by Brad Merritt.

Cold Brook Reserve is comprised of 180 acres of Hunterdon County parkland and is a great place to observe fall migrants, especially sparrows and other grassland birds.

Directions: From I-78 east, take exit 24, Oldwick, and proceed north on Route 523 towards Oldwick. Continue straight on Route 517 when Route 523 turns to the right. After passing through the center of Oldwick, the park entrance will be on the left. A gravel parking lot is located on the right side of the driveway. For more information, contact Brad Merritt (609) 921-8964.

Upcoming Trips
Nov 12, 2016, 9AMShark River
Nov 19, 2016, 9AMAbbott Marsh CleanUp
Dec 3, 2016, 1:30 PMAbbott Marshlands
TBAPrinceton CBC
TBATrenton Marsh CBC
Suggestions to WCAS If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact us at:   contact.wcas@gmail.com

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Last revision: Saturday, August 20, 2016