The Gloucester County Nature Club invites people of all ages to participate in the 16th annual Gloucester County Bird Quest. Novices and experienced birders are welcome. Bird Quest is family and child friendly.
Bird Quest 2015 is Saturday, May 2, from 7 a.m. to 12 noon, and will take place throughout the county.
Bird Quest starts with a morning of birding. The rules are simple: Identify as many different bird species as you can — by sight or sound — between 7 a.m. and 12 noon, staying in Gloucester County.
You can participate by forming a team of your own, riding on buses led by a bird expert or joining any or all of three guided walks led by a bird experts who will help identify bird species.
At 12:30 p.m. all participants gather at Scotland Run Park, 980 East Academy St., Clayton, NJ, 08322 to report results, and for free lunch, t-shirts and prizes.
A series of informal Bird Quest trainings are offered in April to help you brush up on your birding skills: Junior Birding — a great start for kids, Birding Basics — bird guides, binoculars and bird identification, Birding by Ear —identify birds by their songs, and plenty of informal hikes in some of the prettiest places in the county.
Participants are invited to attend of any of these free trainings in the evenings, mornings and weekends before the Bird Quest. Training sessions are listed at: gcnatureclub.org — click on “Birdquest 2015.”
For more information go to: gcnatureclub.org.
Up-to date Field Trip information can also be found on the Meetup website: http://www.meetup.com/Gloucester-County-Nature-Club
Bird Quest Training Sessions
April 13 (Monday) 6 – 7:30 p.m.
Junior Birding Alcyon Lake Park — Track Ave, Pitman 08071 (off W. Holly Avenue)
This field trip is designed to introduce young birders to the sport. Binoculars to borrow will be available to all participants on this trip. As they enjoy all the birds, young birders will be shown how to locate and identify birds through binoculars and in field guides. This is a great first field trip for a child that is interested in birding. Depending on the age and size of the group of the birders we can divide the group by age or ability. This trip will be designed to be fun and engage children with the goal of introducing them to the activity. However, any level of interest is welcome. Questions are encouraged. Directions: Drive past sports fields; meet at the pavilion. Leaders: Paula Hayes and Maria Keefe
April 18 (Saturday) 7 - 8:30 a.m.
Forest Edge Habitat.
Chestnut Branch Park — 545 Main Street, Mantua, 08051
Find the hidden habitat in any location. This multiple use park has some great birding spots around and among the ball fields. Find species that like the edge like indigo buntings, mockingbirds, and yellow-rump warblers.
Directions: Meet at the wildflower garden, beyond the basketball courts.
Leaders: Bob Duke and Jay Hoffecker
April 19 (Sunday) 6 – 7:30 p.m.
Alcyon Lake Park — Track Ave. Pitman, 08071 (off W. Holly Avenue)
Learn the basics of good birding and the tools of the trade. Discover the world of birding from bird guides to binoculars, birding etiquette to bird song and of course bird identification. Any level of interest is welcome. Questions are encouraged. A walk around the park will let you use your newfound —or refreshed — skills. Directions: Drive past sports fields; meet at the pavilion.
Leaders: Rich Dilks, Mike and Suzan DeLozier
April 20 (Monday) 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Birding by Ear — An Introduction to Birdcalls in a Classroom Setting. — Part 1
Wenonah Community Center, (historic train station) Corner of East Mantua Ave. and North East Ave., Wenonah, 08090.
In an indoor setting, learn mnemonics and “tricks of the trade” to identify birds by their songs and calls. This is a great session for novices and those that would like to brush-up on their “Birding by Ear” skills.
Leaders: Brian Hayes and Jayne Rhynard
April 21 (Tuesday) 7 – 8 a.m.
Birds Of Local Waterways
Old Pine Natural Lands Trust — 400 Rankin Ave., Deptford, 08096
Open views of the water provide good opportunity for sighting water birds like ducks, herons, red wing blackbirds and mergansers. Wooded section could produce woodpeckers, nuthatches, warblers, chickadees, and tufted titmouse. Directions: Access from Good Intent road (Rt.534), turn onto Rankin Ave. Follow to end and park. Walk down woods road to the Big Timber Creek.
Leaders: Ed & Millie Cleary
April 22 (Wednesday) 6 - 7:30 p.m.
Birding at Glassboro Woods
Glassboro Wildlife Management Area, Carpenter Avenue, Clayton, 08312
A deciduous wetland forest with streams and some cleared fields offers opportunities to view birds in different habitats. This is a good “birding by ear” destination most of the year because of the dense understory of mountain laurel and highbush blueberry. Look for migrating warblers,
ovenbird, red-shoulder hawk, and white-eyed vireo. Directions: Carpenter Ave. is on the east side of Delsea Drive, just north of the Gloucester County Clayton Complex.
Leader: Dan Ceravelo
April 24 (Friday) 7 – 8:30 p.m.
Woodland Birds and Birdcalls.
Ceres Park Nature Preserve, Main Street/Alternate Route 553, Mantua Township, 08080
Learn your woodland birds like wood thrush, scarlet tanagers, ovenbirds, water thrush, black and white warblers, and pine warblers. Birds will be identified by sound, sight or both. Directions: Meet in the Main Street parking lot.
Leaders: Barry Bengel and Jayne Rhynard
April 25 (Saturday) 7 - 8:30 p.m.
Forest Edge and Riparian Habitat.
Triple Oaks Nursery, 2359 Delsea Drive, Franklinville, 08322
Great access to Scotland Run riparian habitat and forest edge birding at Triple Oaks.
Directions: Triple Oaks Nursery is on the west side of Rt. 47 (Delsea Drive,) half a mile south of the center of Franklinville.
Leader: Kris Mollenhauer
April 26 (Sunday) 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Forest Edge and Swamp Habitat.
Railroad Avenue, Elk Township — Meet at Elk Township Recreational Complex Park, Recreation Drive, Monroeville 08343
Established trees line this quiet lane that follows the Elephant Swamp Trail, part of the Rails to Trails Conservancy. Gnatcatchers, woodpeckers and some early warblers can usually be seen.
Directions: Meet in the paved lot of the Recreational Complex.
Leaders: Ron and Linda Kegel
April 27 (Monday) 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Birding by Ear — An Introduction to Birdcalls in a Classroom Setting — Part 2.
Wenonah Community Center (Historic Train Station)
Corner of E. Mantua Avenue and N. East Avenue, Wenonah, 08090.
Learn more mnemonics and “tricks of the trade” to identify birds by their songs and calls. You need not have attended Part 1 to enjoy Part 2. This is another great session for novices and those that would like to brush-up on their “Birding by Ear” skills.
Leaders: Brian Hayes and Erik Mollenhauer
April 29 (Wednesday) 6 - 7:30 p.m.
Delaware River Riparian Habitat.
Wheelabrator Refuge — 600 Crown Point Rd, Westville, 08093
At the intersection of the Delaware River and Big Timber Creek, the wide-open space behind the Wheelabrator plant is great habitat for swamp, meadow and river birds. Trails and old roads make access easy. Bob White can be heard here. Directions: Access from Rt. 130 (Crown Point Rd,) opposite Hazel Ave in Westville, just south of Big Timber Creek. Meet at the pavilion in parking lot.
Leaders: Kris Mollenhauer and Marilyn Henry
April 30 (Thursday) 6 - 7:30 P.M. RiverWinds Park
1000 Riverwinds Drive, Thorofare, NJ 08086
Riverside shrubs and forested areas along the Delaware River make for great birding here. Start at the at the West Deptford Scenic Trail and, if time allows, continue along the Delaware River. Look for migrating warblers, scarlet tanagers, hawks and maybe a bald eagle! Directions: Turn left onto RiverWinds Drive. Go approx. 1,000 feet, then turn right onto the first dirt road. Park in the lot.
Leaders: Gary Lizzi and Gale Cannon