|Field Trips - Spring 2014|
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.
|Roebling Park - Gateway to the Hamilton/Trenton Marsh|
|Brad Merritt, John Maret,|
and Mary Leck
|Saturday, April 26, 8:00 AM|
|Garret Mountain Reservation|
|Brad Merritt and Charles Brine||Saturday, May 3, 7:30 AM - 2:00 PM|
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.
|Hamilton Veteran’s Park|
|Mark Witmer||Sunday, May 4, 8:00 AM||
Join us for a trip to a popular recreational park in Hamilton Township. Veteran’s Park has a nice diversity of habitat including a lake, streams, open fields, and woods; these support a diversity of bird life. In the past few years, wood ducks, tree and barn swallows, red-tailed hawks, cedar waxwings, orchard and Baltimore orioles, red-eyed vireos, scarlet tanagers, and indigo buntings are just some of the birds that have been spring and summer residents of the park. While we won’t see all these birds, we should see many, along with some unexpected migrants, as spring migration season will be in full swing. Call Mark Witmer (609) 730-0826 if you have any questions.
Directions: we will meet at the north entrance to the park, which is along Klockner Road, just east of Hamilton Square-White Horse Road, across the street from Steinert High School. As you enter the park drive to the back of the parking area; we will gather there.
|BIRDATHON 2014 IS COMING on May 10 ! ! !|
|Brad Merritt||Saturday May 10 — All day!||
On May 10, 2014, Washington Crossing Audubon birders will be out scouring New Jersey hot spots to observe as many species as possible in one day. This year more birding teams will be out observing species and soliciting donations and pledges. We also are encouraging more non-board members to solicit donations. Do you live in a special neighborhood or community that might form a good birder-solicitor team? To participate in Birdathon 2014 please contact Barbara (soliciting) or Brad (birding) at the email addresses below. We will help you get started if you need us.
This year, instead of sending out a separate mailing we are enclosing a printed remittance envelope in this issue of The Crossing. Bird-a-thon is Washington Crossing Audubon’s only fundraiser; your support is an important way to demonstrate that you care about the mission of WCAS and its support of education and conservation in Central New Jersey. We are asking everyone who can to give this year. Please be generous! Why not increase the proceeds by soliciting donations yourself (you can use the form to the right and a plain envelope addressed to WCAS). To increase the competition, why not name your favorite birder or solicitor as sponsor? You may donate a fixed amount or pledge an amount per species (the grand total or those observed by the birder you sponsor). Prizes will be awarded.
Part of 2013 Birdathon receipts went to support two exciting avian research projects: Hannah Suthers’ bird banding station on Featherbed Lane in Hopewell and another led by Tyler Christensen at two locations on Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica. WCAS will soon embark on two promising new educational initiatives: a beginner birding course (announced in this issue of The Crossing) and a program in 2014-15 to introduce more kids in our area to the wonders of nature. Birdathon proceeds are particularly desirable as they are unrestricted and can be used where your board believes they will make the biggest difference.
The deadline is May 10th! Thank you in advance for your generous support.
|Princeton Institute Woods|
|Saturday, May 17, 8:00 AM|
Sunday May 18, 8:00 AM
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 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.
|New! Negri-Nepote Native Grassland Preserve|
|Sharyn Magee, Brad Merritt and Charles Brine||Saturday, May 24, 8:00 AM|
The Negri-Nepote Native Grassland Preserve is a 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. There are 111 acres of grassland and 53 acres of woodland.
Sensitive species found on this site include the Grasshopper Sparrow and Cooper’s Hawk (both New Jersey state threatened species), and the Eastern Meadowlark and American Kestrel (both 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 on Skillmans Lane. Contact Brad Merritt (609) 921-8964 if additional information is needed.
|Ted Stiles Preserve at Baldpate Mountain|
|Pat Sziber and Franta Broulik||Sunday, May 25, 9:00 AM|
We plan to visit this Mercer County Park located north of the New Jersey Washington Crossing State Park. We plan to have the gate open so that you can drive to the top of the mountain and have time to explore this interesting area.
Directions: From Pennington-Washington Crossing Road (Route 546) go past Washington Crossing State Park to the intersection with Route 29. Turn right and go two miles to Fiddler's Creek Road. Turn right and go 0.2 miles to a parking area on the left. You can also take Church Road from Bear Tavern Road (Route 579). Follow Church Road and make your first right onto Fiddler’s Creek Road. Follow Fiddler's Creek Road 1.4 miles and watch for the parking area on your right hand side. Contact Pat Sziber at (609) 737-1189 for more information.
|Great Strem Exploration of the Stony Brook|
|SBMWA Naturalist||Saturday, May 31, 9:30 AM for Adults|
Join Jeff Hoagland, Education Director, for an enlightening look at the ecology, geology and human history of this unique forest in Princeton. During this hike, discover life and death in the forest while examining a myriad of adaptations in various species. This hike courses through mature forest, along old stonewalls, across small streams and through a memorable boulder field including Devil’s Cave. 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.
|Delaware Water Gap, North Jersey|
|Sharyn Magee and Charles Brine||Saturday, May 31,|
leave the Princeton area at 7:00 AM
This trip involves driving to numerous stops after we reach the Stokes State Forest area, so we would like to car pool to minimize the number of cars. The trip route is straight up Route 206 from Princeton about 60 miles to a meeting place/rest stop at Stokes Forest Office about one mile north of Culvers Lake. Please register with Brad Merritt (609) 921-8964 prior to the trip.
|Mercer County Park Northwest|
|Brad Merritt||Saturday, June 7, 8:00 AM|
This new 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 bend, look for entrance on right.
|Washington Crossing State Park|
|Wayne Hendrick and Fronta Broulik||Saturday, June 14, 8:30 AM|
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, Titusville, NJ. Enter the park and follow signs to the Nature Center. Park at Nature Center parking lot. If additional information is needed, call Brad Merritt (609) 921-8964.
|Assunpink Wildlife Management Area|
|Brad Merrit, John Maret and Brad Merritt||Saturday, June 21, 8:00 AM|
We will be looking for resident birds such as blue grosbeaks, orchard orioles, and cedar waxwings. We also will be looking for butterflies.
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.