Field Trips

Our club offers year-round biweekly local trips and also schedules trips to birding areas in nearby states. In some cases, such as the Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge walks, the leaders will normally be members of the Sussex Bird Club. Most of our local walks are open to nonmembers, and pre-registration is usually not required. Sussex Bird Club members can also take part in many bird walks and trips offered by other organizations. Click here for a partial list of walks in our area. Be sure to double check the time, date, and other essential information pertaining to all walks and field trips!

A description of the next Sussex Bird Club field trip is posted below. SBC members will be sent an email with details and leader contact information prior to each field trip. A schedule of future trips can be found on our Calendar page or by clicking on the box above. If you have questions about any of the SBC field trips, or if you have suggestions for future trips, please contact Rob Blye, our field trip coordinator. Happy birding!

Thursday, November 7, 2019   8-11 a.m.

We'll meet at the James Farm Ecological Preserve at 8:00 a.m. We'll bird the woods and bay on foot then drive to Quillens Point to observe the Indian River Bay.

No fees or permits required. Targets: sparrows, late neotropical migrants, waterfowl, raptors, early winter birds.

 Thursday, October 24, 2019   7:00 a.m.

We will carpool from Lowes (Lewes) to the boat ramp at Phillips Landing with a planned arrival time of 8 AM. We will bird around the boat ramp and the short trail to the stream and back.
              From Phillips Landing we will make the short drive to Nanticoke Wildlife area and bird the Big Field area. Depending on time and interest we may visit one or two other spots at Phillips landing and depart for Lowes about 10:30 AM.

Targets: sparrows, late neotropical migrants, waterfowl, raptors, early winter birds.

Conservation Access Pass required to park at Nanticoke WA; bring yours if you're driving.

Registration required!
(Photo © Dick Plambeck)

Field Trip Thursday, October 10, 2019

Meet at Prime Hook Refuge HQ at 8:00 a.m. We will carpool from there to Fowler Beach looking for sparrows and other migrants along the way. We may walk to the bay for savannah sparrows and horned larks. Then on to Slaughter Beach and the Marvel Saltmarsh Preserve, possibly birding at the DuPont Nature Center before returning to Prime Hook HQ. Our targets are: sparrows, late neotropical migrants and shorebirds, raptors, and early winter birds.

(Photo of Song Sparrow © Dick Plambeck)

Thursday, September 26  @  8:00 a.m.

Join Sussex Bird Club on a special opportunity to visit member Bob Edelen's spectacular property near Anderson's Corner, Harbeson. Assemble at Bob's property at 8 a.m. The woods can be wet depending on weather but we will spend most of our time watching Bob's feeder area and bird creek/mister. If we are lucky we will see several species of warblers bathing in the shallow water at close range. 

Photo of black-throated blue warbler © Bob Edelen

We will be traveling to Cape May, NJ for an overnight field trip September 17-18, 2019. We will carpool to NJ on the Tuesday 8:45 a.m. ferry and return on the 6:00 p.m. ferry Wednesday. Meals and lodging are at participants' choice and expense. Participants also have the option of making it a day trip, returning on the Tuesday 6 p.m. ferry.

Birding plans: Cape May Point State Park CMBO Hawk Watch Platform and trails on Tuesday. Higbee Beach, Cape May Meadows, The Beanery and elsewhere as time and interest permit. Early morning start on Wednesday (daybreak for migrating passerines).  Registration with Rob Blye is required for ALL participants!

Tuesday, September 10 field trip to Middle Run Natural Area near Newark, DE. We will carpool to Middle Run in time to join the bird walk (8-10 a.m.) led by a naturalist from Delaware Nature Society. Middle Run is a fall migrant trap often with abundant warblers, vireos, flycatchers, thrushes and sparrows. Don't miss this great opportunity to see some exciting birds after Hurricane Dorian passes north! Meet at Lowes in Lewes at 6:00 a.m. to carpool. Must register with Rob Blye. Depending on group interest and migrant activity we may bird on the way home: White Clay Creek, Greer's Pond, Ashton Tract, Penn Tract, Bombay Hook or ??

Join Sussex Bird Club on a field trip to Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia on Tuesday August 27, 2019. Meet at Lowes (Lewes) parking lot by 6:00 am, or meet at the Queen Sound (VA) boat ramp at 7:45 am. After birding Queen Sound we'll grab a quick breakfast in Chincoteague. Then we'll bird the refuge by car and brief walks on refuge trails. Lunch will be in Chincoteague before Wildlife Drive opens at 3:00 pm, and we will drive that loop then head home with expected arrival about 6:30 pm. This trip should be great for ponies, shorebirds, herons, gulls, terns and early passerine migrants.

Registration (for all) required by noon on Monday. Email rwblye@gmail.com.
(Photo © Dick Plambeck)

 Thursday, August 15, 2019   8:00 a.m.

Meet at the lower Herring Point parking lot. We will walk the Gordons Pond Trail or the Walking Dunes Trail in search of early fall migrants.

Entrance fee or park pass required.

Friday, August 2, 2019   8:00 a.m.

SBC will conduct a field trip at Prime Hook NWR. Meet at the Refuge HQ parking lot. We will choose birding locations within the refuge based on recent sightings and the desire of the group. No need to register.


It is likely we can find the resident dickcissels along the entrance road and indigo bunting, blue grosbeak, field sparrow and a migrating bobolink or eastern meadowlark for good measure. Shore bird migration will be in full swing so we may carpool to Broadkill or Prime Hook marshes for newly arrived sandpipers or gulls and terns. (Photo © Sharon Lynn)

On Thursday July 18, SBC will travel to Bombay Hook NWR to observe the early fall migrant shorebirds, hopefully still in breeding plumage. 
We will meet at Lowes in Lewes at 8:30 AM to carpool, arriving at the Refuge HQ around 10:00 AM. Low tide is at 8:16 AM and high tide is 2:05 PM so we should catch a rising tide forcing the birds into the freshwater side of the dikes. We should see 15 or more species of shorebirds plus herons, raptors and song birds. In years past we have found little egret, little gull, ruff, peregrine falcon, gull-billed tern plus lots of other interesting things. We will bird at least until noon, more likely 1 PM if the birds, bugs and weather cooperate. Contact Rob Blye to carpool. Vehicle fee/pass required at Refuge.

(Photo © DPlambeck)

Friday, June 28, 2019   8:00 a.m.

Meet at Refuge HQ for our first excursion of summer. We will likely bird up the entry road to look for the dickcissel and other grassland birds; both bobolink and grasshopper sparrow have been seen recently. Blue grosbeak and indigo bunting should be present. Then we may walk the boardwalk loop looking for nesting great-crested flycatcher, flicker, cedar waxwing and house wren. Lastly we may bird Turkle and Fleetwood ponds to find a prothonotary warbler, or we may head to Broadkill Marsh for shorebirds, skimmers, terns and herons. It may be too early for shorebirds although rumor has it that early returning dowitcher and yellowlegs are present We should be finished by 11 a.m. (Photo © Sharon Lynn)
 

Thursday, June 20, 2019 6:30 a.m.

Sussex Bird Club's final spring trip is to Cecil County, Maryland--just west of Newark, DE.
Fair Hill NRMA hosts breeding bobolinks (85 nests in 2015) and meadowlarks; this is prime time to see the grassland fledglings as we walk through the many acres of managed grassland habitat.  Grasshopper and savannah sparrows should be within close view from numerous groomed trails.  Excellent photographic opportunities abound within a short walk from the parking area. We will walk less than one mile yet see as many as 60+ species. Registration is required if you want to carpool! Contact Rob Blye.
   (Photo © Sharon Lynn)

Thursday, June 6, 2019   7:00 a.m.

Join leaders for a breeding season walking tour of The Nature Conservancy's 908-acre Ponders Tract. This large forest is excellent habitat for breeding birds including summer and scarlet tanagers, yellow-billed cuckoo, worm eating warbler, common yellowthroat, prairie warbler, black and white warbler, blue grosbeak, indigo bunting and many others. We are meeting at Ponders (Rt. 16 west of Milton) at 7:00 a.m to beat the heat, and we should be finished by 10:00.

Sussex Bird Club will venture almost to the Maryland border on Thursday May 30, 2019 to investigate the very birdy Phillips Landing area and Nanticoke Wildlife Area. Meet at the Giant in Long Neck at 7 a.m., or at Phillips Landing by 8. We will bird the parking lot, Broad Creek and the woodland trail near the boat ramp. Then we make our way via several brief stops to the "Big Field" area of the Nanticoke WA and walk the paths and field edges. We plan to return to the Giant by noon. Please register with Rob Blye via email or phone. (Photo © Kevin Moore)

Thursday, May 23, 2019   8:00 a.m.

Come bird the Milford Neck and Big Stone Beach areas on Thursday, May 23, 2019 to catch late migrants and early breeding birds. With some luck we may see or hear least bittern, Virginia rail and marsh wren in addition to breeding warblers, orioles and tanagers. Meet at Lewes Lowes @8:00 or Milford Bay Rd. Valero @8:30.

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© 2019 by Sussex Bird Club. All rights reserved.

Field Trip contact info:

Rob Blye

rwblye@gmail.com
(610-213-2413)(Mobile)

Dues:

Treasurer, Sussex Bird Club

PO Box 177

Lewes, DE  19958