Weekend Van Tours 2016

We've put together a few weekend getaways "close to home" that focus on seasonal hotspots.  Scheduled to coincide with traditional three-day holiday weekends, these trips are a great way to take a mini-vacation without the expense of extensive air travel.  Tours will focus on birds as well as the unique natural history of the area.


June 17 to 20, 2016  --
Click here for tour report and species list

Join Scott Barnes and Linda Mack for a long weekend of great birding and natural history. The northern Adirondack Mountains provide one of the last, unspoiled wilderness areas in the northeast. Over 6,000 square miles of rugged peaks, rocky slopes, pine/spruce forests, and wetlands are both beautiful and bird-rich. From our base in Saranac Lake, we'll day trip to nearby bogs, boreal forests, and mountains in search of Black-backed Woodpecker, Boreal Chickadee, Gray Jay, Olive-sided & Yellow-bellied Flycatchers, Mourning Warbler, and "winter" finches. We'll also focus on boreal flora, alpine plants, and butterflies like fritillaries, tortoiseshells, and checkerspots. Participants will also have a chance to visit Lake Placid and the Adirondack Interpretive Center at Paul Smith's.

Package includes: Round trip van transportation from Bernardsville, NJ to upstate NY, three nights' accommodations, tour leadership and entrance fees.

November 11 to 14, 2016
Click here for tour report and species list

Late autumn is a wonderful time to visit the bird-rich Delmarva Peninsula.  We’ll visit Bombay Hook and Prime Hook NWR’s in Delaware where huge flocks of waterfowl reside, Bald Eagles hunt, and late-season migrants such as pipits, larks, and perhaps a longspur may be found.  From our base in Chincoteague, Virginia, we’ll spend two days birding Virginia’s Eastern Shore at places like Kiptopeke State Park and Chincoteague NWR.  Kiptopeke is strategically situated at the bottom of the Delmarva Peninsula and funnels migrants just like Cape May.  We should expect to see a large variety of waterbirds, raptors, Brown-headed Nuthatch, and perhaps a rarity or two.  Last year’s trip recorded American White Pelican, Rough-legged Hawk, Sandhill Crane, White-winged Dove, Cave Swallow, and Yellow-headed Blackbird, among others.  Expect approximately 140 species of birds, plus the Chincoteague ponies, Sika Deer, other mammals, and late-season butterflies and odes. Scott Barnes and Linda Mack lead.

Package includes: Round trip van transportation from NJ Audubon's Plainsboro Preserve in Cranbury, NJ to Virginia, 3 nights lodging in Chincoteague, tour leadership and entrance fees.

Our days in the field usually begin about 7:00 a.m. and will end about 6:00 p.m. The trips involve easy walking on flat ground and some moderately strenuous hikes on hilly terrain, depending on the habitat focus of the tour.

Additional information about the tour, with specific meeting times, a list of participants, addresses of motels, lists of things to bring, a reading list, a list of probable/possible birds, further information about weather, dress, etc., will be mailed to all participants well in advance of the tour.

TOUR SIZE:  Travel during these tours will be in vans, with no more than 7 participants plus a leader in one "12 person" van. Tour size is limited to 12 participants.
All weekend getaways include transportation by van from New Jersey.

PRICE:  The price for the four-day/three night weekend is approximately $595 per person, based on double occupancy.  Single supplement (if you request single occupancy, or we are unable to locate a suitable roommate for you) is $95.  A deposit of $50, along with a completed registration form, will secure your space.  Final payment is due 30 days prior to departure date.  See individual tour descriptions above for details on each tour.

NJ Audubon Eco-Travel
c/o Center for Research and Education
600 Route 47 North
Cape May Court House, NJ  08210

Please make checks payable t New Jersey Audubon

 by email to travel@njaudubon.org

:  Scott Barnes is Bird Programs Director for NJ Audubon's "All Things Birds" and Assistant Director of Eco-Travel.  He has led birding trips to the Adirondacks and Delmarva regions for 15 years.  Linda Mack is an Associate Naturalist, Eco-Tour leader, and board member with NJ Audubon.  Linda also has many years experience birding New York, Delaware and Virginia.

If you have specific questions about the weekend van tour itineraries, please contact Scott Barnes directly at Plainsboro Preserve, 609-897-9400, or by email at


For tour itineraries, to register, or for more information contact:

NJ Audubon Eco-Travel at: (609)-400-3852
c/o NJ Audubon Center for Research and Education
600 Route 47 North
Cape May Court House, NJ 08210
or email 

If you are not a member, consider Joining New Jersey Audubon.  

Photos courtesy of NJ Audubon Staff and Archives, unless otherwise noted.