WCAS Forum

 

Field Trips - Winter 2014/15

For more information or notification of cancellation of field trips, call Field Trip Chair Brad Merritt 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.


November Nov Dec>
Under Rocks and Logs
SB-MWA Staff Saturday, November 1, 1:00-2:30PM
map
See map.
     

Get out the day after Halloween and search for real creepy crawlies. On this family hike explore life under logs and rocks from the tiny to the furry. Denizens we meet could include the familiar sow bugs and millipedes as well as click beetles and meadow voles readying for winter. Families (children 5yo+), $5 per person. Please call the Buttinger Nature Center to register and for directions, 609-737-7592. This program is co-sponsored by the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association.

Mid-Autumn at the Abbott Marshlands
Mary Anne BorgeSaturday, November 1, 9:30 - 11:30 AM
map
See below
Fauna List
Fauna List

Experience the colors of autumn and look for signs of the season as the plants and animals of the marsh prepare for winter. All are welcome. The pace of the walk will accommodate photography. Guide: Mary Anne Borge, naturalist and photographer. Contact/ information: 732-821-8310. (Optional visit to nature center follows.) (Cosponsors Friends for the Marsh, Mercer County Parks, D&R Greenway Land Trust).

Directions: Coming from Trenton on South Broad St., turn right into Sewell Avenue shortly after the Lalor St. intersection. Proceed to the end of Sewell Ave. (watch out for stop signs) and follow the dirt road to the left down the hill to parking area.

Beaver Walk at the Hamilton/Trenton Marsh
Joe SchmeltzFriday, November 7, 6:30-8PM
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See map
  

Participants will be looking for beavers at Spring Lake, Roebling Park with Mercer County Naturalist Joe Schmeltz. For more information, call 609-895-5420. This trip is co-sponsored by Mercer County Parks, Friends for the Marsh, D&R Greenway Land Trust, and Trenton City Smile. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Directions: Coming from Trenton on South Broad St., turn right onto Sewell Avenue shortly after the Lalor St. intersection. Proceed to the end of Sewell Ave. (watch out for stop signs) and follow the dirt road to the left down the hill to parking area.

Beaver

See Friends for the Marsh website (www.marsh-friends.org) for listings of additional outings and canoe trips that complement those of WCAS.

 

Birds of Shark River
Brad Merritt and Mary Doscher Saturday, November 15, 9:00 AM - 12:30 PM.
map
See map
    Fauna List
Fauna List

Migratory birds from northern climates more frigid than New Jersey’s head our way to spend the winter in the warmer, open, and fish-filled waters they find here. Mary Doscher helps us see these winter arrivals as they add beauty and interest to the fresh, brackish, and salt waters along the Jersey shore.

Directions: Take I-295 to I-195 to Route 35, and meet at the Marina, Route 35 in Belmar. Bring lunch and beverage, and dress for the weather. Call Brad at (609) 921-8964 one or two days prior to the trip date for time and directions.

December <Nov Jan>
Winter Bird Walk
Jeff Hoagland, SB-MWA Buttinger Center Saturday, December 6, 9:00 - 11:00 AM mapSee map.

Join Education Director Jeff Hoagland on a hike of the Watershed Reserve in search of wintering birds. Bring binoculars and dress for possibly muddy walking conditions. This program is co-sponsored by the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association. Please pre-register for this program by calling (609) 737-7592 — directions will be provided. $5 suggested donation per person to SB-MWA.

The Marshlands - In the Footsteps of the Lenape
Stephanie Fox
Vicki Chirco
Saturday, December 6, 1:00-3:00PM
map
See below
Fauna List
Fauna List

Guides: Stephanie Fox, Naturalist, and Vicki Chirco, Historian, will lead this walk. Contact/information, (732) 821-8310 or (609) 924-5705. (Cosponsors Friends for the Marsh, Mercer County Parks, D&R Greenway Land Trust).

Directions: Meet at Stanton Ave. (Rt. 206 S, south of interstate I-195; take first right after Pointe Breeze apartment complex. Note: the street sign may be missing).

115th Annual Christmas Bird Count
B Merritt, & L Larson,
M Doscher & B Merritt
Sunday, December 14 (Princeton) &
Saturday, December 27 (Trenton)

National Audubon Society urges volunteers in central New Jersey to participate in one of Audubon’s great traditions, the annual Christmas Bird Count. WCAS sponsors both the Princeton Count, which this year will be held on Sunday, December 14, and the Trenton Count, to be held this year on Saturday, December 27.

This year marks the 115th anniversary of the Christmas Bird Count, since 27 conservationists in 25 localities, led by ornithologist Frank Chapman, changed the course of history. On Christmas Day 1900, the group initiated an alternative to the traditional holiday ‘side hunt,’ in which teams competed to see who could shoot the most birds. Instead of hunting, the group counted the birds they saw and founded a century-old institution.

Today, over 50,000 volunteers from all 50 states, every Canadian province, parts of Central and South America, Bermuda, the West Indies, and Pacific islands will count and record every individual bird and bird species encountered during one calendar day. About 1800 individual Christmas Bird Counts will be held during a two-and-a-half week period. Each count group has a designated circle 15 miles in diameter - about 177 square miles - where they try to cover as much ground as possible within a 24-hour calendar day.

Christmas Bird Count serves as an up-to-the-minute bird census. Counters catalogue every bird and bird species they see over one calendar day, from midnight to midnight. Growing in popularity since its inception, the count serves an important scientific function as well. Birds are one of the first groups of animals to be affected by environmental threats like pollution and habitat destruction, and CBC data provide indispensable information, not only on long-term health of bird populations, but also the status of the environment that birds share with all living things.

Apart from its attraction as a social, sporting, and competitive event, the annual count reveals interesting and scientifically useful information on the early-winter distribution patterns of various bird species and the over-all health of the environment.

The Christmas Bird Count is the longest running ornithological database. It continues to grow in importance as a means to monitor the status of resident and migratory bird populations across the western hemisphere. The CBC is 100% volunteer generated data that, over the years, has become a crucial part of the United States Government’s natural history monitoring database. Count data from 1900 to the present are currently available through BirdSource , a cooperative project of the National Audubon Society and the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology.

All counts are open to birders of all skill levels. For more information, contact

Princeton:

Brad Merritt, P.O. Box 178, Rocky Hill, NJ 08553 609-921-8964, balmerritt@aol.com
Laurie Larson, 91 Sycamore Lane, Skillman, NJ 08558

Trenton:

Mary E. Doscher, 147 Gary Drive, Trenton, NJ 08690 609-586-3185, doschem@msn.com
Brad Merritt, P.O. Box 178, Rocky Hill, NJ 08553 609-921-8964, balmerritt@aol.com

January <Dec Feb>
Winter Birds at Barnegat Light
Brad Merritt and
Mary Doscher
Saturday, January 3, 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM.
map
See map
Fauna List
Fauna List

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.

Directions: Call Brad at 609-921-8964 one or two days prior to the trip date for time and directions.

Roebling Park - Gateway to the Abbott Marshlands
Brad Merritt; Andrew Bobe;
and Charles and Mary Leck
Saturday, January 10, 10:00 AM - Noon
map
See map
Fauna List
Fauna List

Roebling Park is a Mercer County park adjacent to the Abbott Marshlands. We plan to follow the trails and see how the marsh and its wildlife adjust to the cold weather. In case of inclement weather, contact Brad Merritt at 609-921-8964.

Directions: Coming from Trenton on South Broad St., turn right into Sewell Avenue shortly after the Lalor St. intersection. Proceed to the end of Sewell Ave. (watch out for stop signs) and follow the dirt road to the left down the hill to parking area.

Please see the Friends for the Marsh website (www.marsh-friends.org) for listings of additional outings and canoe trips that complement those of WCAS.

Winter Ducks I
Jenn RogersSunday, January 11, 1:00 - 3:00 PM
map
See map

This walk will focus on Wintering Ducks. Meet at Spring Lake - Roebling Park (end of Sewell Ave., Hamilton). For information: 609-303-0700 x226. (Cosponsors: Mercer County Parks, Friends for the Marsh, Washington Crossing Audubon, D&R Greenway Land Trust) Please see the Friends for the Marsh website (www.marsh-friends.org) and D&R Greenway Land Trust (www.drgreenway.org) for listings of additional outings that complement those of WCAS.

Return to Shark River
Mary Doscher
& Brad Merritt
Saturday, January 31, from 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
weather permitting
map
See map
Fauna List
Fauna List

The Shark River area - about one hour away, east on I-195 - allows us to visit a number of interesting habitats (bay, ocean, and fresh water ponds). We can compare the list of birds we saw in November with the birds that decide to stay for the winter.

Directions: Take I-295 to I-195 to Route 35, and meet at the Marina, Route 35 in Belmar. Bring lunch and beverage, and dress for the weather. Call Brad at (609) 921-8964 one or two days prior to the trip date for time and directions.

February <Jan Feb
Groundhog Day
SB-MWA StaffSunday, February 1, 1:00 - 3:00 PM
mapSee map

Celebrate Groundhog Day with the Teacher-Naturalists the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Reserve in Pennington! We will visit several groundhog burrows and learn about the natural history of these furry weather forecasters. If the weather allows, join us in playing a game about hibernation. After the hike, come inside to warm up by our fire, enjoy a hot beverage and make a Groundhog Day craft! This program is co-sponsored by Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association (SB-MWA); all are welcome, but pre-registration is required with a $5 suggested donation per person. To register or for more information, please call SB-MWA at (609) 737-7592.

Round Valley Reservoir
Mark WitmerSunday, February 7, 8:30 AM - 12:00 PM
map
See map
Fauna List
Fauna List

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. It is also a prime time to look for owls which frequently roost or nest in the area. Depending on weather conditions, we will combine this with a tour of the adjacent Cushetonk Mountain Nature Preserve or nearby Spruce Run Recreation Area. For further information, or notice of trip cancellation due to weather, call Mark Witmer at (609) 730-0826.

Winter Ducks II
Jenn RogersSunday, February 15, 1:00 - 3:00 PM
map
See map

This walk will focus on Wintering Ducks. Meet at Spring Lake - Roebling Park (end of Sewell Ave., Hamilton). For information: 609-303-0700 x226. (Cosponsors: Mercer County Parks, Friends for the Marsh, Washington Crossing Audubon, D&R Greenway Land Trust) Please see the Friends for the Marsh website (www.marsh-friends.org) and D&R Greenway Land Trust (www.drgreenway.org) for listings of additional outings that complement those of WCAS.

Upcoming Fieldtrips
Sun.Mar81 PMWinter Ducks (Part III)
Sat.Mar148:30 AMAssunpink WMA
Sun.Mar151:30 PMWashington Crossing SP
Fri.Mar207 PMBeaver Walk (THB Marsh)
Sat.Mar289 AMCumberland County
Sat.Apr48 AMPole Farm
Sun.Apr129 AMPeace Valley PA
Sat.Apr258 AMTHB Marsh
Sat.May27:30 AMGarrett Mountain
Sun.May38 AMHamilton Veterans Park
Sat.May9All DayWCAS Birdathon
Sat.May168 AMPrinceton Institute Woods
Sun.May178 AMPrinceton Institute Woods
Sat.May238 AMNegri-Nepote
Sun.May249 AMBaldpate Mountain
Sat.May307 AMDelaware Water Gap
Sat.Jun68 AMPole Farm
Sat.Jun138:30 AMWashington Crossing SP
Sat.Jun208 AMAssunpink WMA
Sat.Aug229 AMJohnson Sod Farms
Suggestions to WCAS If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact us at:   contact.wcas@gmail.com

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Last revision: Friday, January 3, 2014