Montclair Bird Club

Field Trips

Members of Montclair High School's Friends of Rand Park club search for signs of bird life outside their school.  Montclair Bird Club's Evan Cutler and Sandy Sorkin led the students on an after-school walk through Rand Park, accompanied by faculty advisor Susan Eckert. 

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Read our Field Trips policy HERE and join us as we return to the great outdoors. 


Wednesday morning walks, continuing through the summer

with Fred Pfeifer (email to register)


May 14, 2021

with Rick Wright





January 4, 2022

with Rick Wright


Long the most reliable spot in New Jersey to find the charming harlequin duck, Barnegat Lighthouse State Park is also home in many winters to the state’s largest flock of common eiders; scoters, long-tailed ducks, and loons can be common in the inlet or just offshore, sometimes joined by a razorbill, a king eider, or other less common species. Ruddy turnstones, dunlin, and purple sandpipers roost and feed on the rocks, while a search of the dunes often turns up an Ipswich sparrow or a flock of snow buntings. Meet in the State Park parking lot beneath the lighthouse at 9:30 am (directions here). Please dress for very cold weather, and bring a notebook and pencil, binoculars, and water and lunch or a snack; if you have a scope, you will probably find it helpful. Expect to finish about 2:00 pm. Because adverse weather may result in a last-minute cancellation, you must register for this trip in advance; email



April 1–2, 2022

with Rick Wright


Farther south than Washington, D.C., Cape May sees the arrival of spring and its birds well before the rest of New Jersey. We can hope for an array of spring migrants from ruby-throated hummingbirds to yellow-throated warblers, but even if the season is late, there is always a great deal to see and to enjoy on the beaches and in the marshes and woodlands. We will devote Friday to sites south of the Cape May Canal; Saturday will find us starting the day in a more northerly locality such as Belleplain State Forest in Woodbine. Meet on April 1 in the Cape May Point State Park parking lot at 8:00 am  (directions here). Dress for the weather, which is likely to include a cold morning and evening and the chance of rain, and bring a notebook and pencil, binoculars, and water and food; if you have a scope, you will probably find it helpful. Expect to finish on April 2 in the early to mid-afternoon. 

You must register for this trip in advance; email



April 5–11, 2022

with Rick Wright


From our base at a single, centrally located hotel in McAllen, we will make day trips out into the subtropical habitats that make the lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas one of the true must-see birding destinations in the US. Among the sites we expect to visit are South Padre Island, Laguna Atascosa and Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuges, Bentsen–Rio Grande State Park, Anzalduas County Park, Edinburg Scenic Wetlands, and La Joya—but there is always the possibility of an exciting rarity disrupting our plans. Some of the regional specialties we will be looking for are the least grebe, Mexican and mottled ducks, hook-billed and white-tailed kites, gray and white-tailed hawks, crested caracara, plain chachalaca, red-billed pigeon, white-tipped dove, green parakeet, red-crowned parrot, pauraque, buff-bellied hummingbird, ringed and green kingfishers, golden-fronted woodpecker, vermilion flycatcher, great kiskadee, Couch and tropical kingbirds, green jay, Chihuahuan raven, black-crested titmouse, verdin, cactus wren, clay-colored thrush, long-billed thrasher, tropical parula, pyrrhuloxia, painted bunting, olive sparrow, Morelet seedeater, Cassin and Botteri sparrows, Sprague pipit, bronzed cowbird, and Altamira and Audubon orioles. Minimum of 4, maximum of 7 registrants. Participants are responsible for the own airfare, lodging expenses, and food. The non-refundable registration fee, covering vehicle rental and the volunteer leader’s expenses, is expected to be between $600 and $800, depending on number of participants. Register with Bill Beren, Field Trip Chair, beginning December 10.










November 8, 2022

with Rick Wright


The open waters off this Monmouth County park are a well-known but relatively little-birded highway for southbound seabirds each autumn. On a good day, scoters, gannets, and gulls pour past in impressive numbers, some of them settling on the water’s edge for good views. There is very little vegetation in the park, but the scrub pines often harbor red-breasted nuthatches, hermit thrushes, or even red crossbills, and horned larks and snow buntings are possible in the dunes. Meet in the Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park parking lot at 9:00 am (directions here). Dress for very cold, windy weather, and bring a notebook and pencil, binoculars, and water and a snack; if you have a scope, you will probably find it helpful. Expect to finish by noon. You must register for this trip in advance; email



December 20, 2022

with Rick Wright


This wide spot in the Raritan River, just upstream from Raritan Bay, is a regular wintering area for great and double-crested cormorants, bald eagles, northern harriers, and the occasional short-eared owl. The great attraction for birds and for birders is the active landfill on the north shore of the river, which has recently made the park one of New Jersey’s most productive gull-watching sites; lesser black-backed, Iceland, and glaucous gulls are regular here, though the white-winged species are, as expected, scarce. We will watch from a picnic shelter on the edge of the water, protected from any precipitation. Meet in the Ken Buchanan Riverfront Park boat ramp parking lot at 9:30 am (directions here). Dress for very cold, windy weather, and bring a notebook and pencil, binoculars and water and a snack; if you have a scope, you will probably find it helpful. Expect to finish around noon. You must register for this trip in advance; email

A Virtual Field Trip
with a Zoom "tally" at 7:30 pm, June 17, 2021


September 27 to October 14, 2022

with Rick Wright and Patrick Cardwell


We start in Cape Town and return from Johannesburg, in between visiting sites such as West Coast National Park, the Cape of Good Hope, Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden, and Kruger National Park. We will enjoy a vast range of birdlife, from penguins to rollers to cisticolas, along with many of the large mammals that South Africa is so famous for. With visits to Robben Island, the site of Nelson Mandela’s long imprisonment, and Johannesburg’s Apartheid Museum, our trip also offers insight into the history and culture of this beautiful and diverse country.


Strictly limited to 12 participants plus the two leaders, this trip is open to LSNY members, members of the Montclair Bird Club, and clients of Victor Emanuel Nature Tours. For more information and to register, please email or phone Erik Lindqvist at or (800) 328-8368.   

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