WCAS Forum

 

Field Trips - Winter/Spring 2016

For more information or notification of cancellation of field trips, call Brad Merritt (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.


February <Jan Mar>
Round Valley Reservoir
Mark WitmerSunday, February 6, 8:30 AM - 12:00 PM
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Join us for a mid-winter trip to search for waterfowl and visitors from the north. Round Valley Recreation Area (RVRA) in northern Hunterdon County features a huge lake, covering over 4,000 acres, and is more than 180 feet deep. Winter is a good time to search for bald eagles, hawks, owls, gulls, and waterfowl including ducks, loons, and grebes. In addition to the lake, RVRA contains forest and edge habitats, and numerous hiking trails, if not heavily snow covered, may allow us to search for other winter migrants, including various sparrows. The field trip will start at Round Valley Recreation Area, and depending on recent winter weather conditions, may also include a visit to nearby Spruce Run Recreation Area, or the Alpha Grasslands, approximately 15 miles to the west. Please meet in the northwest corner of RVRA, at the main boat launch area. The entrance to the boat launch is 0.8 miles north of the main entrance on County Route 629, Lebanon Stanton Road. For further information, or notice of trip cancellation due to weather, call Mark Witmer at (609) 730-0826, or (609) 558-7086.

Winter Tree Exploration
SB-MWA Buttinger CenterSaturday, February 13, 2:00 - 3:30 PM
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Join this outdoor exploration to learn about life in the forest by uncovering the secret lives of trees. Discover the many ways that trees provide for others in the forest community from tiny gall flies, the chickadee, turkey tail and wild grape. Families (children 8yo+), $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.

 

March<Feb  Apr>
Woodcock Watch
SB-MWA Buttinger CenterSaturday, March 5, 6:00 - 7:30 PM
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Discover the local avian harbinger of spring, the woodcock, on a short hike on the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Reserve trails in Pennington with SBMWA Education Director Jeff Hoagland. Join us at dusk as we watch and learn more about their spring courtship dance and fascinating life. This program is co-sponsored by Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association (SB-MWA); and Families (children 6 and older), pre-registration is required. To register or for more information, please call SB-MWA at (609) 737-7592. Fee: $5 suggested donation per person.

 

Assunpink Wildlife Management Area
John Maret &
Andrew Bobe
Saturday, March 12, 8:30 - 11:30 AM
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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
Franta Broulik &
Wayne Henderek
Sunday, March 20, 1:30 - 3:30 PM
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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. If additional information is needed, Call Brad Merritt (609) 921-8964.

 

Cumberland County Birding Jaunt
Charles Brine
Brad Merritt
Saturday, March 26
We plan to leave the Princeton area at 7:30 AM.
Location(s) TBA.

This trip to Cumberland County in South Jersey for early spring migrants involves driving to numerous stops, so we would like to car pool to minimize the number of cars. The first stop/rest stop in Cumberland County is about 1 1/2 hours from Princeton. Please register with Brad Merritt (609) 921-8964 prior to the trip for car pooling instructions.

 

April<Mar May>
Mercer Meadows (Pole Farm)
Sharyn MageeSaturday, April 2, 8:00-11:30 AM
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Fauna List

This park was known for years as the AT&T Overseas Transmission Station, or more familiarly as "The Pole Farm." It is adjacent to Rosedale Park, which is now part of the new Northwest Park. Come with us as we walk the paths and compare the flora and fauna to that of Rosedale.

Directions: From the traffic light at Manors Corner shopping center on Pennington-Lawrenceville Road take Keefe Road toward Princeton for 1.1 miles to the bend where it meets Cold Soil Road. At that bend, the entrance is on the left through a chain link gate. There is a white barn on the left inside the gate. Go straight on the macadam road to the parking area. If starting in Princeton, take Cold Soil Road, go 1.1 miles past Blackwell Road to the bend, and look for the entrance on right.

 

Peace Valley Prowl
Brad Merritt and Margie RutbellSunday, April 10, 9:00-11:30 AM
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Fauna List

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 the Nature Center. Contact Brad Merritt (609) 921-8964 if more information is needed.

 

Walk the Pipeline at Baldpate
Brad Merritt and Margie RutbellSunday, April 17, 9:00-11:30 AM
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You've heard about the Penn-East pipeline, but have you seen first-hand what is at risk on Baldpate Mountain, home to threatened species of birds and plants? During the early spring migration season, we'll explore important habitat for resident and migratory birds, wildlife, trees and wildflowers. Learn more about how pipeline construction would affect this unique and special place.

Directions to Baldpate: Meet at Baldpate's Pleasant Valley Parking Lot of the Ted Stiles Preserve. For more information, email contact.wcas@gmail.com. Please check the WCAS website for updated trip details; www.washingtoncrossingaudubon.org, select Field Trips.

 

The Puddle Garden—Family Story and Hike
SB-MWA Buttinger CenterSaturday, April 2, 1:00-2:30 PM
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Jared Rosenbaum of Wild Ridge Plants, LLC will read from his children's book, The Puddle Garden. Learn how to invite wildlife to your home by introducing native plants into the landscape. Followed by a Q&A session and a visit of the Watershed Center's 'puddle gardens'. This program is co-sponsored by Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association (SB-MWA); and pre-registration is required. To register or for more information, please call SB-MWA at (609) 737-7592. This program is Free!

 

Abbott Marshlands (Roebling Park)
Brad Merritt, John Maret,
Mary Leck & Andrew Bobe
Saturday, April 30, 8:00-11:30 AM
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Fauna List
Red-winged Blackbird

Roebling Park is a Mercer County park adjacent to the Hamilton/Trenton Marsh. We plan to follow trails in this rejuvenated park and look for migrating warblers and marsh birds. If you have not been in this area recently, we think you will be surprised by the improvements in the park. Cosponsor: The Friends for the Abbott Marshlands.

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.

Please see the Friends for the Abbott Marshlands website for listings of additional outings that complement those of WCAS.

 

May<Apr  May
Garret Mountain Reservation
Brad MerrittSaturday, May 7, 7:30 AM - 2:00 PM
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 Fauna List
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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.

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 an army tank and the 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 about 40 miles. Bring a lunch. We may also visit Rifle Camp Park, which is adjacent to Garret Mountain. If additional information is needed, call Brad Merritt (609) 921-8964.

 

Sun Power—Green Plants, Solar Balloons and the Watershed Center
SB-MWA Buttinger CenterSaturday, May 7, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
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Learn how the Watershed Center and the plants on our Reserve are powered by the same energy source—the sun. We'll explore practical and creative uses of the sun's energy including our solar balloon launch and solar bug race. This program is co-sponsored by Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association (SB-MWA); and pre-registration is required. To register or for more information, please call SB-MWA at (609) 737-7592. This program is Free!

 

Princeton Institute Woods
Mark Witmer
Brad Merritt
Sunday, May 8, 8:00-11:30 AM
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 Fauna List
Fauna List

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 (May 21st is the next one) so that you can pick 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 the Rogers Wildlife Refuge. Contact Brad Merritt (609) 921-8964 if additional information is needed.

 

Join Us for Birdathon ’16 on Saturday on May 14 ! ! !
Diane CarlinoSaturday May 14 - All day!Fauna List
Fauna List

This is the first call for our 2016 Birdathon, to be held on Saturday, May 14! Spring will be here sooner than we know and WCAS Birdathon ’16 will take place at the height of spring migration. Our sole fundraiser of the year will bring together people who love birds and the environment for a friendly competition to spot as many species as possible in a day.

We will be asking our members, friends and neighbors for donations, which will all go toward support of local educational outreach, research and conservation efforts. Your generous Birdathon donations fund programs and research that will further our understanding of both our resident and migrating bird species and enable us to share birding insights with you in a variety of community offerings.

Participate! We want to build on last year’s team effort. You can join a guided team in heading to hot spots such as Baldpate, The Pole Farm, or the Princeton Institute Woods. Look for more information in the next newsletter.

Become a team leader Naturalists who will head out into the field and lead a small group of members and friends around your favorite Birdathon locations. We’ll help coordinate your team and support donation collection.

If you would like to volunteer or lead a team, email Juanita Hummel at contact.wcas@gmail.com.

Join us in bringing the fun of Birdathon to everyone ... enjoy a day outdoors and tally bird species and help us reach our $7,500 goal for Birdathon ’16!

This is the only fund raiser for WCAS. The money collected goes for several of our educational and environmental programs such as:

  • Workshops and field trips for families
  • Monthly program meeting with informative speakers
  • Hannah Suthers’ bird banding on Featherbed Lane, Hopewell
  • and much more.

Mark your calendars for Saturday, May 9th and come join the fun as a participant or as a sponsor.

 

Upcoming Fieldtrips
Sat.May218:00 AMPrinceton Institute Woods
Sun.May229:00 AMBaldpate Mountain
Sat.May288:00 AMNegri-Nepote
Sat.June47:00 AMDelaware Water Gap
Sat.Jun118:30 AMWashington Crossing  SP
Sat.Jun188:00 AMAssunpink WMA
Sat.Jun258:00 AMMercer Meadows (Pole Farm)
Sat.Aug209:00 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: Sunday, February 7, 2016