Field Trip Locations


Assunpink Wildlife Management AreamapSee map   Fauna ListFauna List

This is an excellent location to looking for migrating waterfowl and other migratory 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.

Barnegat Light - Winter BirdingmapSee map.   Fauna ListFauna 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. Call the leader at (609) 586-3185 in the evening one or two days prior to the trip for date, time, and directions.

Bird Banding At Featherbed Lane mapSee map.   Fauna ListFauna List

On Sunday morinings from late Spring until late Fall, Hannah Suthers and her intrepid crew of bird banders capture, study, band and release a wide variety of species. If you go, you may experience the excitement of seeing beautiful birds such as black-throated blue or magnolia warblers in the hand. Hannah has been banding on this site for more than 20 consecutive years, and has observed the progression of habitat from fields to forest. In the process, she has learned a tremendous amount about birds and their lives. You will see what goes on during the entire process of bird banding, learn what information is obtained from these efforts, and probably learn a few things about common birds you have seen many times. During the Spring and Fall migrations, you are likely to see a variety of species, including warblers, thrushes, wrens, and Hannah's favorite, the catbird. As time permits, we will also explore the wooded habitat along Featherbed Lane for other migrants.

Forsythe (Brigantine) National Wildlife RefugemapSee map   Fauna ListFauna List

Brigantine's 20,000 acres of salt marsh, bays, freshwater impoundments, fields, and forests are known for their abundant waterfowl during autumn migration. Bring binoculars, field guide, lunch, and beverage, as well as money for the Refuge entrance fee. Meet at the parking lot by the visitor center, where rest rooms and checklists are available.

Directions: Garden State Parkway south to exit #48 (or detour if it is still posted on the Parkway. Drive south on Route 9 for 6 miles to Oceanville. Turn left on Great Creek Road ( there is a stoplight and a small sign for the refuge). Pre-registration is required because the trip may be cancelled due to bad weather or other reasons. To register, call Lou Beck (609) 737-0070.

Garret Mountain ReservationmapSee map.   Fauna ListFauna List

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 also sometimes visit Rifle Camp Park, which is adjacent to Garret Mountain.

Hamilton Veteran's ParkmapDriving map. Park map.   Fauna ListFauna List
Take 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, 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.

Directions: Enter 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, explore the wooded area to the west and follow the path around the lake and through the swamp on the western edge of the park. Click here for a detailed park map.

Heylar ParkmapSee map.   Fauna ListFauna List

This property of Cook College has a small but beautiful old forest, and adjacent display gardens. We will look for some early migrant birds, and enjoy spring flowers as well as a diversity of trees.

Directions: Take Route 1 north to the Cook / Douglass Campus of Rutgers University, New Brunswick. Shortly after a large Cook College sign on the left of Route 1, take the next exit (to the right) onto Ryders Lane. Almost immediately after getting on Ryders Lane there is a sign for a left turn onto Log Cabin Road and the college's Display Gardens. (Be careful making the turn because of traffic.) Contact Charlie Leck at (732) 821-8310 if more information is needed.


Mercer County Park CentralmapSee map.   Fauna ListFauna List
Mercer County Park central is a 2500 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 field guide, and dress for the weather.

Directions: Enter the park from Hughes Drive or Old Trenton Road (route 535). Meet at the parking lot for the boat house.

Mercer County Park Northwest (Pole Farm)mapSee map.   Fauna ListFauna List

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 the bend, and look for the entrance on the right.

Palmyra NJ Nature Cove ParkmapSee map.   Fauna ListFauna List

This Palmyra park is located off Route 73 just under and south of the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge. The park has been exceptional for various species including warblers and sparrows. The park has a variety of habitats including marsh, deciduous trees, conifers, and bush/vines. It is located along the Delaware River.

Directions: Travel time is about 45 minutes from the Princeton area. Go south on Rt. 295 to Rt. 73/Palmyra (Exit 36). Go five miles west on Rt. 73 to just before Tacony-Palmyra Bridge. Take Souder Ave off to teh right and follow signs behind the buildings, then back under the bridge (Eastbound side) to the Palmyra Cove Park parking area.

Peace Valley ProwlmapSee map.   Fauna ListFauna List
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 parking lot across from Nature Center.

Plainsboro PreservemapDriving map. Preserve Map.   Fauna ListFauna List

Plainsboro Preserve is a 630 acre parcel that was recently acquired by Middlesex County and Plainsboro Township. It includes farmlands, woodlands, and wetlands surrounding McCormack Lake.

Directions: From Route 1, go east on Scudders Mill Road, turn left onto Dey Road (4th light), turn left onto Scotts Corner Road (1st light), and left into the preserve after about a mile.

Princeton Institute WoodsmapSee map.

We plan to walk through the Rogers Wildlife Refuge and the Princeton Institute Woods looking for a variety of birds as well as other things that might turn up in a mature forest. Past excursions have shown us Great Horned Owls, Pileated Woodpeckers, and a wonderfully energetic male hummingbird who looped around in attempts to attrack a mate! We have also seen a number of warblers, a nesting Rose-breasted Grossbeak, Wood Thrushes and many other species in the varied habitats within and adjacent to this wonderous area.

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.

Roebling Park - Gateway to the Hamilton/Trenton MarshmapSee map.   Fauna ListFauna List

Roebling Park is a Mercer County park adjacent to the Hamilton/Trenton marsh. We plan to follow trails and see how the marsh and its wildlife adjust to the cold weather

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.

Round Valley ReservoirmapSee map.

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.

Shark RivermapSee map.

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.

Stony Brook - Millstone Watershed Association (SB-MWA) Watershed ReservemapSee map.

Search the Watershed Reserve for birds year-round. You may observe sparrows scratching the earth for seeds, chickadees and titmice foraging the trees for tiny meals, and vultures soaring far above. Bluebirds, owls, hawks, and pheasants are also possible.

SB-MWA Woodcock Watch (late Winter Feb/Mar)mapSee map.

Discover the whimsical harbinger of spring, the woodcock or timberdoodle. Every spring male woodcocks perform their highly unusual courtship flight to impress the female of their species. You too will be impressed by this magical design in nature. The optimal time to view this behavior is at dusk at the Watershed Reserve.

Hawk Watching in New Jersey
Suggested Hot Spots to View the Fall MigrationMap Links Below
Cape May PointmapSee map.

Try to include a trip to Cape May Point to visit an important observation area for migrants, especially hawks and eagles. Cape May Bird Observatory has a representative on the observation platform near the lighthouse during the fall and plenty of birders who can answer questions and help you identify the birds going by. Cape May Point is also a bird banding station and banders normally give a demo on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Call Cape May Bird Observatory (609-884-2736) for time - they show you birds they have recently banded and tell you about the birds - a great experience to see these wild birds so close.

Chimney RockmapSee map.

Another closer area for hawk watching is Chimney Rock, a Somerset County Park. Chimney Rock is most easily accessible from Interstate 287. From the north or south, take 287 to exit 10 (Route 22 east). Follow Route 22 east for approximately one mile and exit at Vosseller Avenue. At the end of the exit ramp, make a left, and cross Route 22. Proceed up the big hill until you reach the peak in the road. Once you have reached this point, immediately start looking for Miller Lane on your left. (If you have started descending the hill, turn around and go back. You've gone too far.) Turn down Miller Lane (mostly a gravel road) and proceed down to parking area near lookout. It's a short walk to the lookout. They normally have experienced hawk watchers at the lookout who can help you identify the hawks.

Sunrise MountainmapSee map.

Sunrise Mountain, Stokes State Forest, is a location for watching hawks migrate along the ridges in the northern part of the state. Take 1-287 to 1-80 to Rt. 15 to Rt. 206 or take Rt. 206 all the way. On Rt. 206, after you pass Culver's Lake, look for Culver's Lake Lower North Shore Rd. Take the next right turn. Route 636, Upper North Shore Road. Go 0.2 miles, and then take next left turn, Sunrise Mountain Road. Drive about 4 miles until you see the sign for Sunrise Mountain, turn right and go to the top. From the parking lot, take the trail up to the summit pavilion.

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Last revision: Monday, June 06, 2006 - 9:45 PM