BOS Field Trips and Events



Non-BOS Event: 29th annual Bird of Prey Days Festival

Date: 4/28/2017

Location: Braddock Bay Hawk Watch (map)

Details: (click for more)

April 28-30, 2017

Braddock Bay Raptor Research in Rochester, NY invites everyone to the 29th annual Bird of Prey Days Festival. Consider joining for a weekend of fun on the shores of Lake Ontario. At this location, we see an incredible spring migration of 14+ species of raptors, as well as countless other bird species!

Field Trip - Dunkirk Harbor and Point Gratiot

Date: 4/29/2017

Location: Dunkirk Harbor (map)

Details: (click for more)

Leader: Gale VerHague

Meet at 8am at the city pier at Dunkirk Harbor.

Join Gale for an insider's tour of her local patch. Long time hotspots, Dunkirk Harbor and Point Gratiot have a healthy list of rarities discovered between the two of them.

We are hoping to enjoy a multitude of migrant water birds in Dunkirk Harbor this time of year. Recently returned Caspian Terns and Purple Martins will be a welcome sight. Point Gratiot should give us a taste of things to come with recently arrived Neotropical migrants. Red-headed Wooodpeckers nest here and we hope to enjoy their distinctive calls as the pairs settle in to nest in the oaks and cottonwoods.

Meeting - Braddock Bay Bird Observatory Presentation

Date: 5/10/2017

Location: Buffalo Museum of Science (map)

Details: (click for more)

Wednesday, May 10th at 7PM: BOS Meeting in the Cummings Room of the Buffalo Museum of Science.

Topic to be announced.

Field Trip - Tifft Nature Preserve

Date: 5/13/2017

Location: Tifft Nature Preserve (map)

Details: (click for more)

Tifft Nature Preserve
Leader - Dave Spiering
Meet at 8am by the Visitor Center.

Join Dave on a half day trip of the region's premier birding location from 8-12. Currently, Tifft boasts a total of 255 species of birds that have been identified within this urban sanctuary. Regional rarities seen at Tifft over the years during May include Kentucky, Worm-eating, Connecticut and Yellow-throated Warblers, Yellow-breasted Chat, Tricolored Heron, Sedge Wren and one year on a BOS walk, a Boreal Owl. This trip will focus on the multitudes of Neotropical Migrants that will be moving into the area at this peak time during spring migration. What will be found this spring? Come join us and find out firsthand!

May Bird Count

Date: 5/21/2017

Location: BOS Count Area

Details: (click for more)

Sunday, May 21st.

All BOS members should participate in the 81st Annual May Bird Count.

For more information or to volunteer your help, visit our May Count webpage:

May Count Info  

Annual June Picnic

Date: 6/14/2017

Location: Tifft Nature Preserve (map)

Details: (click for more)

Wednesday, June 14th at 6 PM: our annual June picnic will be held at Tifft Nature Preserve (off Furman Blvd.). The picnic will be followed by a short field trip of Tifft Nature Preserve.

Bring your own food and we will eat at 6:00 PM near the Visitor Center.

Field Trip - Breeding Birds at Iroquois NWR

Date: 6/17/2017

Location: Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge, Basom, NY 14013, United States

Details: (click for more)

Saturday, June 17th: 7:30 AM to 12:00 PM (rain date of Sunday, June 18th)

Please join the BOS and leader, Celeste Morien, for a field trip at the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge.

Meet on Meadville Road south of Rt. 77 by the little bridge. This will involve a walk back to the end of the first woods, maybe a .2 miles distance. This will be a carpool tour focusing on nesting Prothonotary Warblers, Purple Martins at Headquarters, Osprey, and hopefully Bald Eagles at Ringneck Marsh, Black Terns at Cayuga Pool, and American Kestrel on Sour Springs Road. Other possible nesting species to observe will be a focus and locations may change accordingly.

If you'd like, bring a lunch to the Visitor's Center picnic tables at the end of the trip.

Leader: Celeste Morien (Ph: 585-721-8202, E: celeste.morien@gmail.com)

Field Trip - Tillman Road WMA

Date: 6/24/2017

Location: (map)

Details: (click for more)

Leader: Seaghan Coleman
Meet at 7:30am in the parking lot at 10343 Tillman Road.
Join Seaghan for a half day walk through the Tillman WMA. We will focus on seeing the locally rare Upland Sandpiper and Grasshopper Sparrow. These species nest in the grassland portion of the preserve. Other species of interest include Bobolink, American Kestrel and Eastern Meadowlark.
We will also take a walk through the wooded portion of the preserve which features wetlands. Bring bug repellent for the mosquitoes!

Travel Trip - Adirondacks - Boreal Specialties and Bicknell's Thrush

Date: 7/8/2017

Location: Adirondack State Park

Details: (click for more)

This trip will focus on the specialty birds of the Adirondacks (Boreal Chickadee, Black-backed Woodpecker, Gray Jay) and will include a very early morning trip to the top of Whiteface Mtn for Bicknell's Thrush. We will be hiring Joan Collins of Adirondack Avian Expeditions & Workshops, LLC as our guide. I will set up an organizational meeting once we get close to, or fill, our trip quota of 20 participants. As with the Cape May trip, travel to/from the ADK park will be on an individual basis, as will be making lodging accomodations. This is a bit tricky because of the plan for Bicknell's Thrush. If we get weathered out on Sunday and Monday and need to plan for Tuesday to go up Whiteface, that means booking three nights...Sat-Mon. Even though we are hiring Joan for two days, she has built in a third day to accomodate our trip up Whiteface if needed. This topic will be covered during the organizational meeting so everyone is well-informed. Since we will be hiring Joan for two of the days, the remainder of birding forays will be led by Alec Humann.

This trip will span Saturday, July 8 - Monday July 10; with a possible add on of a Tuesday morning if we get weathered out of our trip up Whiteface Mountain for Bicknell's Thrush .

Day 1 (Saturday)
Arrive to ADK and check in to wherever you made a reservation. Your drive from Bflo to the Long Lake area will take approx 5.5 hours. We will bird as a group this afternoon for a few hours at a tbd location (Sabbatis Circle Road, Newcomb area, Tupper Lake). Group dinner.

Here are Joan's itineraries for the two days we have her (Sunday and Monday; Tuesday if we need a weather day). Please keep in mind that these itineraries are interchangeable depending on weather!

Day Two: (Sunday with Joan) Dawn Tour up Whiteface Mountain to see the elusive Bicknell’s Thrush and other high elevation boreal birds. Joan will meet the group at our hotel and we will plan to drive up the Whiteface Veterans Memorial Highway at 4:30 a.m. Birding will be at roadside stops with short walks along the road. Typically, we are off the mountain before the road opens to the public. (It opens at 9 a.m.) We will continue birding in mixed forest and lowland boreal habitat areas (including a bog) west of Whiteface Mountain. Birding will be at roadside stops and along several (fairly short) walks on level terrain (paved road, dirt road, and wide dirt trail).

Day Three: (Monday with Joan) Visit a scenic, remote boreal habitat area such as Spring Pond Bog (an Important Bird Area) and the Tupper Lake Marsh; or Blue Mountain Road (Santa Clara); or several central Adirondack areas such as Sabattis Bog in Long Lake (Whitney Wilderness Area – also an Important Bird Area), the Roosevelt Truck Trail and rail bed in Minerva. These locations offer wonderful birding. The birding location(s) chosen will depend on species of interest to the group, physical ability of the participants for walking, and weather conditions. At all three locations, walks are on mostly level dirt roads or trails, except the Roosevelt Truck Trail which has hilly terrain on an old dirt road trail. We can plan another early start – Joan suggests we be at the birding destination by 5 a.m.

The itineraries can be swapped depending on weather conditions. Bicknell’s Thrush becomes extremely quiet in rain or high wind conditions, so we should pick the best weather day for the Dawn Tour up Whiteface. Joan will also have Tuesday, July 11, 2017 available as an option if we need that morning for Whiteface. Joan can also suggest places for food stops.

Joan's guiding fee per day for the tour group is $500. (This is a flat rate that includes guiding fee and mileage.) There is a toll to go up the Whiteface Veterans Memorial Highway. Last year, the toll was $11 per car and driver, and $8 for each additional person. Occasionally, they raise the rates by one dollar. Joan will know the exact rate for 2017 soon and will collect the toll and send ORDA (Olympic Regional Development Authority – organization that manages the highway) a weekly check since the toll booth is not open when we go up.

This trip will be limited to 20 participants and is limited to BOS members only. I feel this trip will fill up quickly and with 20 participants, guiding services will amount to a mere $50/person. This is extremely reasonable! I will probably bump the guiding fee up to $60/person to allow for a tip for Joan's services. There is also the nominal fee for being able to drive up Whiteface Mtn, about $10/person. We will be staying in the Long Lake area and I will contact interested people with lodging options. Interested members please email me at: alechumann@msn.com so i can add your name to the list.

Travel Trip - Adirondack Park

Date: 7/9/2017

Location:

Details: (click for more)

Day 2

Travel Trip - Adirondack Park

Date: 7/10/2017

Location:

Details: (click for more)

Day 3

Field Trip - Knox Farm State Park

Date: 7/15/2017

Location: Knox Farm SP, East Aurora, NY (map)

Details: (click for more)

Leader: Matthew Nusstein

Meet at 8am in the parking lot at the visitor center. ***This trip will have a cost of $1/person as Matt will be leading our group during his scheduled work day.

Park naturalist, Matt Nusstein, will be guiding us to the scenic waterfalls located within the park. Typically the ridge where the falls is located is good for a number of different warblers and vireos and occasionally a Barred owl roosting in the Hemlocks.

The walk to the falls passes through a field that always has strong numbers of Bobolinks. We also hope to view Eastern Meadowlark, Eastern Bluebird, and Savannah Sparrow in the grassland habitat.

Field Trip - Canadian Shoreline of Lake Erie - Shorebirds

Date: 7/30/2017

Location: Rock Point Provincial Park (map)

Details: (click for more)

Meet at 7am at the corner of Vermont St and Busti in Buffalo.

***Proper identification required to cross the border into Canada! There is an entrance fee for this park.

Join Doug Happ along the NE shore of Lake Erie to seek out migrant shorebirds. Rock Point has treated viewers to regionally rare species like Red Knot, Western Sandpiper and Willet in years past. Orchard Orioles have bred in this park and may still be present during the July trip. We will hopefully cross paths with migrant warblers as well! After Rock Point, we will continue on to the nearby sod farms to search for 'grasspipers' that prefer this different habitat. Piping Plover and Whimbrel have graced this sod farm in the past. Be prepared to walk over rocky, exposed lake bed when at Rock Point as well as a staircase down to the shore. Bring drinks and a lunch as there aren't amenities other than bathrooms within the park.

Leader: Doug Happ (dhapp@msn.com)

Field Trip - Canadian Shoreline of Lake Erie - Shorebirds

Date: 8/27/2017

Location: Rock Point Provincial Park (map)

Details: (click for more)

Meet at 7am at the corner of Vermont St and Busti in Buffalo.

***Proper identification required to cross the border into Canada! There is an entrance fee for this park.

Join Doug Happ along the NE shore of Lake Erie to seek out migrant shorebirds. Rock Point has treated viewers to regionally rare species like Red Knot, Western Sandpiper and Willet in years past. Orchard Orioles have bred in this park and may still be present during the August trip. We will hopefully cross paths with migrant warblers as well! After Rock Point, we will continue on to the nearby sod farms to search for 'grasspipers' that prefer this different habitat. Whimbrel and Piping Plover have graced this sod farm in previous years. Be prepared to walk over rocky, exposed lake bed when at Rock Point as well as a staircase down to the shore. Bring drinks and a lunch as there aren't amenities other than bathrooms within the park.

Leader: Doug Happ (dhapp@msn.com)

Field Trip - Fort Erie Hotspots

Date: 9/3/2017

Location: Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada (map)

Details: (click for more)

Leader: Marcie Jacklin
Meet at 8am in the parking lot at the south end of Crescent Road. From here we can carpool if necessary.

This trip will focus on southbound migrants, both passerines and shorebirds. The north shore of Lake Erie just west of Buffalo has many great little migrant traps and Marcie knows them well. This trip will probably visit Jaeger Rocks (near historic Old Fort Erie), the foot of Kraft Road and the rocky shore at Windmill Point. There is also a woodlot where the old Erie Beach Casino used to stand, now a communal roost of Red-headed Woodpeckers stages here before migrating south and we hope to enjoy their company!

Remember to bring proper identification to cross the border!

Field Trip - Purple Martin Fall Roost Site Field Trip

Date: 9/9/2017

Location: Buckhorn Island State Park (map)

Details: (click for more)

At 6:45 PM, the BOS and the NYS Purple Martin Project are leading a Purple Martin Fall Roost Site Field Trip. The event is at Buckhorn Island State Park on Grand Island, NY (map link below).

Meet at the large parking lot on East-West Park Rd. Thousands of martins typically congregate before going to roost in the reed bed in the Niagara River. Join us and see this exciting event!

Directions: For people coming from points south: take the Long Road exit on the northbound 190. This exit will take you to Grand Island Blvd. Turn left and drive 100 feet or so to the 4-way stop. This is the intersection of Long Rd and Grand Island Blvd. At this 4-way stop, turn right onto Long Rd. Take Long Rd all the way to Baseline and turn left onto Baseline. Take Baseline to East River Rd and turn left. Find the large parking lot on the north side of East River Rd.

A non-strenuous, short walk is required. NOTE: There are no restroom facilities available at Buckhorn Island State Park.

This link provides a map of the park showing the reed bed we will be viewing in the Niagara River:

Buckhorn Island BCA Map

Field Trip - Times Beach and the Seaway Slip

Date: 9/10/2017

Location: Buffalo Outer Harbor (map)

Details: (click for more)

Leader: Jajean Rose-Burney

Meet at 8am in the Times Beach Parking Lot next to Wilkeson Point Park.

Join Jajean for a stroll through the wood lot at Times Beach Preserve. There are several blinds that look out over the pond and cattail marsh as well as an elevated boardwalk through the Cottonwood trees. This is a gem of a preserve and has a long list of rarities that have been discovered here over the years. This will be a half day trip looking for fall migrants.

After walking Times Beach, the group will drive over to the Seaway Slip and look specifically for migrant Black-bellied and American Golden-Plovers. The short grass field here has been fairly reliable for these species over the last few years.

Field Trip - Tifft Nature Preserve

Date: 9/24/2017

Location: Tifft Nature Tifft Nature Preserve (map)

Details: (click for more)

Leader - Joe Mitchell
Meet at 8am at the footbridge just past the Visitor's Center.

Tifft is one of Buffalo's premier birding hotspots. With over 200 species recorded at this urban preserve, we are sure to end up with a great checklist for the day. Tifft includes ponds, cattail marsh, riparian areas and a grassland. The trails are level and easily walkable and there are also short boardwalk sections. At this time of year we will be focusing on Neotropical migrants and there's always a chance at Virginia Rail along the boardwalk. If water levels are low in the marsh, we will hope to cross paths with shorebirds.

Field Trip - Batavia WWTP

Date: 10/8/2017

Location: Batavia Wastewater Treatment Plant, Batavia, NY

Details: (click for more)

Leader: Doug Beattie
Meet at 9am outside the admin building.

Join Doug for a drive through this freshwater treatment complex. This is an easy drive with little walking involved through one of the best rarity magnets in the region! The list of fabulous birds found here in the past include Piping Plover, Northern Wheatear, Tufted Duck and Bohemian Waxwing! This is also THE place to catch up with the locally rare Eared Grebe. This species has been reliable at this location for many years and we will make a concerted effort to find one. Another bird that seems to show up here with regularity is Red-necked Phalarope.

At the very least, we should enjoy flocks of dabbling ducks with numbers of Ruddy Duck and Northern Shoveler peaking this time of year.

October Bird Count

Date: 10/14/2017

Location: BOS Count Area

Details: (click for more)

Saturday, October 14th.

All BOS members are encouraged to participate in the October Bird Count.

For more information or to volunteer your help, visit our October Count webpage:

October Count Info  

Field Trip - Lake Ontario Plain

Date: 10/28/2017

Location: Route 78 and Route 104 (map)

Details: (click for more)

Lake Ontario Plain Field Trip for fall migrants.

Meet at 8 AM at Tops Market in Wright's Corners. This is on the east side of Route 78 and Route 104, north of Lockport.

Leader: Willie D'Anna 751-3637 or dannapotter@roadrunner.com.

This trip is a car caravan of sorts, plying the rural roads of Niagara County in search of late fall migrants. Every year is different but with all of the fields and open space habitat we will check it is reasonable to see Northern Harrier, American Kestrel, and possibly early winter arrivals such as Northern Shrike and Rough-legged Hawk. Horned Larks should be added to the day's list as well.
A few stops along the Lake Ontario shore lookouts should produce Horned Grebe and several species of scoters and other diving ducks.

NYSOA Annual Conference

Date: 11/10/2017

Location: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Niagara Falls New York (map)

Details: (click for more)

The BOS is proud to host the 2017 Annual NYSOA Conference! This 3-day event (Nov. 10-12) will be centered in Niagara Falls, NY during peak gull season.

More details to follow as they become available.

NYSOA Annual Conference

Date: 11/11/2017

Location:

Details: (click for more)

Day 2

NYSOA Annual Conference

Date: 11/12/2017

Location:

Details: (click for more)

Dday 3