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A day trip from New York, October (1 Viewer)

pandachris

Well-known member
Hi

My partner might have a business trip to New York in early October and we're hoping that I can go at the same time so we can add a few nights holiday at the end.

If things work out, I will have several days to myself when she's working. She's done quite a lot of birding in the city at different times due to several trips there in recent years and we both went for a city break in October 2017 and spent a day each in Central Park and Prospect Park where we saw plenty of commoner migrants and a few others.

I would expect that I will spend a day at Jamaica Bay, but it would be interesting to go somewhere a bit further out. Any suggestions for a day trip with plenty of birds, easy access and up to say 2 hours each way by train? I know that travel time is dependent upon where we are staying and I don't know that yet, but not far from Grand Central Station is a possibility.

Also, we might for reasons that I don't need to go into, spend a night in/close to Islip. Is there anywhere around there for an hour or two's birding in the morning?

No target species, although she saw a Bald Eagle on her last-but-one trip so that would be nice.

Thanks in advance.
 

etudiant

Registered User
Supporter
Think the New York Audubon web site would be useful for planning your trip.
http://www.nycaudubon.org/home/
Bald Eagles are found along the Hudson, although they are most reliable in winter, when they can find fish most reliably in the river.
There are several reserves along Long Island, so provided you have a car you will find lots of migrants, including late shorebirds and sea birds.
Do remember the Forsythe NWR is just off Atlantic City to the south, an easy day trip, with excellent birding.
https://www.facebook.com/ForsytheNWR
There are pelagics run from Islip afaik, but look to NYC Audubon for the details.
 

dacol

Well-known member
My suggestion is a bit outside of your parameters but Cape May in New Jersey is a 3 hour drive from New York City. Early October is still a very good time to enjoy the concentration of migrants that CM attracts.
 

pandachris

Well-known member
Thanks both. I don't think we're likely to be renting a car during our visit so I'll be reliant on public transport plus walking. I'll have a look into the suggestions you've proposed. Cape May would be fascinating, I'm sure, but probably out of reach. It looks like the pelagics don't continue beyond August.
 

Jeff Hopkins

Just another...observer
United States
If you're not renting a car, your options will be rather limited. Trains in the US are fairly limited as to where they go, and most of them are for commuters, so they won't have other public transport at the far end when you get there.
 

etudiant

Registered User
Supporter
Thanks both. I don't think we're likely to be renting a car during our visit so I'll be reliant on public transport plus walking. I'll have a look into the suggestions you've proposed. Cape May would be fascinating, I'm sure, but probably out of reach. It looks like the pelagics don't continue beyond August.

Cape May is easily reached by public transport, with a cheap express bus to Atlantic City (mostly for the gamblers, they give you a $25 coupon for chips too) plus the local bus to Cape May. Main issue is that this local takes a long time, 14 stops before Cape May, so you need to think of it as a two day jaunt. That is why I recommended Forsythe NWR, just a cheap cab ride outside Atlantic City.
That aside, even in NYC the refuges are usually off slow trains, so expect to spend hours getting there. Long Island has lots of shore points accessible by the Long Island railroad commuter links plus local cabs, cheaper that a car but much slower.
 

etudiant

Registered User
Supporter
I saw a Bill Oddie programme where he travelled to a small wetland at the end of The A Train route?

That is the Jamaica Bay NWR. It has tidal shore and two substantial pools managed to expose large expanses for foraging shorebirds, plus plenty of trees and shrubs supporting breeding passerines. Ticks and poison ivy are abundant as well, so bird with care.
Alternatively, from the very end of the A train route, you can go forward and reach the actual Atlantic shore off Breezy Point, Loons, Scoters and Eiders as well as varied terns and sometimes Gannets.
 

Pinewood

New York correspondent
United States
Hello,

The nearest Metro Station is Beach Channel, then a walk of more than a km, if you do not meet a 'bus going north on Cross Bay Blvd. You must be on a Rockaway or Beach Channel bound A train, rather before 8AM, as the train frequency is rather infrequent after that hour. For the return trip inquire about the best route for the time of day.

Happy bird watching,
Arthur Pinewood :hi:
 

Jeff Hopkins

Just another...observer
United States
Cape May is easily reached by public transport, with a cheap express bus to Atlantic City (mostly for the gamblers, they give you a $25 coupon for chips too) plus the local bus to Cape May. Main issue is that this local takes a long time, 14 stops before Cape May, so you need to think of it as a two day jaunt. That is why I recommended Forsythe NWR, just a cheap cab ride outside Atlantic City.
That aside, even in NYC the refuges are usually off slow trains, so expect to spend hours getting there. Long Island has lots of shore points accessible by the Long Island railroad commuter links plus local cabs, cheaper that a car but much slower.

Forsythe is OK, but to really appreciate it you need a car. The wildlife drive is 8 miles long, and you do not want to walk it because of the green-head flies. They weren't horrible today, but do you really want to take that chance?
 

pandachris

Well-known member
Thanks for the additional info. Jamaica Bay is definitely on my 'to do' list and an early start is not a problem. I think a two day trip to Cape May whilst my partner is working will be seen as taking the mickey a bit :)

Greenhead Flies look like something worth avoiding.
 
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