BOS Field Trips and Events



Meeting - Member's Night!

Date: 9/8/2021   (Wednesday)

Location: Buffalo Museum of Science (map)

Details: (click for more)

Meet at 7 pm in the Cummings Room.

Our first meeting back after summer break. Members...please bring photos from your summer travels to share with the rest of us.

Field Trip - Woodlawn Beach SP

Date: 9/11/2021   (Saturday)

Location: 3580 Lake Shore Rd, Blasdell, NY 14219 (map)

Details: (click for more)

PLEASE TAKE NOTE -
OUR ROUTE WILL INCLUDE A CREEK CROSSING SO EITHER WEAR SANDALS OR BE PREPARED TO REMOVE SHOES/SOCKS TO CROSS THE CREEK!


Leader - Seaghan Coleman (seaghanc@gmail.com) 716-435-7753

Meet at 730am in the main parking lot.

Join Seaghan this morning as our group seeks out migrants during the busy month of September. Even without a good cold front, migrants are moving through the region nightly and you never know what the day might bring.
With its range of diverse habitats, Woodlawn offers respite to weary winged travelers in the form of sand beach, riparian woods, open lake, grassy dunes and a creek! Neotropical migrants may entertain us in the woods while various sandpipers use the beach to pick through the high water mark for food. Gull flocks that loaf on the beach may offer up more unusual species such as Franklin's or Little.
Woodlawn regularly supplies the BOS statisticians with review species. Among them are gems such as Piping Plover, American Avocet, Blue Grosbeak, White-eyed Vireo and Cave Swallow.
This will be a half day trip wrapping up around 1130. Wear footwear appropriate for walking through grassy trails and loose sand.
Photo of a Semipalmated Plover with a Piping Plover in the background by Sue Barth on 8/15/16.

Field Trip - Tifft Nature Preserve for Migrants

Date: 9/12/2021   (Sunday)

Location: Tifft Nature Preserve, 1200 Fuhrmann Blvd, Buffalo, NY 14203 (map)

Details: (click for more)

Leader - Jajean Rose-Burney (jajean.rose@gmail.com; 716-247-1255)

Meet at 730am at the first bridge past the visitor center. From here Jajean will decide which trails we will wander. Plan on this being a 1/2 day trip, wrapping up around 1130.

Tifft is one of Buffalo's premier birding hotspots. With over 250 species recorded at this urban preserve, we are sure to end up with a great checklist for the day. Tifft includes ponds, cattail marsh, riparian areas and a grassland. The trails are level and easily walk-able and there are also short boardwalk sections.

At this time of year we will be focusing on Neotropical migrants and there's always a chance at Virginia Rail or Least Bittern along the boardwalk. If water levels are low in the marsh, we will hope to cross paths with shorebirds.

Field Trip - Birding Buffalo Harbor and Niagara River Islands by Boat

Date: 9/18/2021   (Saturday)

Location: Canalside, 44 Prime Street, Buffalo, NY 14202 (map)

Details: (click for more)

Saturday, September 18 with a weather date of Sunday, September 19 (so please keep both days open).
Departure will be 6:45am and the trip will run approximately 3 hours, until 9:45am. Cost per person for the boat trip is $50 (for the boat trip only) or $75 if you’d like to include the after-event brunch at RiverWorks.

The BOS is very excited to offer a birding by boat field trip this year! We have teamed up with Rich Hilliman of Buffalo River History Tours to plan a 3-hour excursion of the Buffalo Harbor and the upper Niagara River. We will board the Harbor Queen, a 73’ catamaran vessel featuring an upper deck, accessed by stairs, with plenty of elbow room. Catamaran boats are very stable and offer a smooth ride! The Harbor Queen has a capacity of 145 people but we are limiting the number of participants to 60. Our boat offers wheelchair access, to the lower level.
Our route will take us around Donnelly’s Pier and the Reef Lighthouse and then down the Niagara River to circumnavigate Strawberry and Motor Islands, returning to Canalside via the Black Rock Canal. Leaders will be strategically positioned around the boat to help spot birds and broadcast sightings via the PA system. The list of rarities that have been seen at the locations we will be viewing include Brown Booby, Brown and American White Pelicans, Snowy Egret, American Avocet, Common Eider and Black-necked Stilt! We hope to see several shorebird species (most likely on Donnelly’s Pier sandspit) as well as Osprey and Bald Eagle (Strawberry Island nest), herons and Great Egrets at the Motor Island rookery, Common and Caspian Terns and more.
Boarding begins at 6:15am and the trip will depart Canalside at 6:45am, returning around 9:45am. Paid parking is available at any of the nearby surface lots as well as at Harbor Center - parking fees are not included in the boat trip cost.
The trip is set to embark on Saturday, September 18 with a weather date of Sunday, September 19. Please make sure to leave your social calendar open both of these days in case Saturday gets weathered out! Boat reservations are on a first come, first served basis. Your check will ensure your space!
Saturday’s trip will be followed by a brunch at RiverWorks! Whether you decide to go on the boat trip or not, please join the BOS family for a fun social brunch from 10:00am-1:00pm on Saturday the 18th. Cost per person is $25 and brunch includes eggs, bagels and cream cheese, fresh fruit, yogurt cups, home fries, sausage and more! Even if the boat trip gets weathered out, the Saturday brunch will take place rain or shine! There is no limit to the number of people joining the brunch at Riverworks but please e-mail me sooner than later so I can get an idea of the number of people interested...thank you (alechumann@msn.com)!

Option #1 - Birding by boat and brunch...$75
Option #2 - Birding by boat ONLY...$50
Option #3 - Brunch ONLY (Saturday)...$25

Please make your check out to Alec Humann and mail to:
Alec Humann
20 Queens Drive
Grand Island, NY 14072-1424

BOS October Bird Count

Date: 10/9/2021   (Saturday)

Location: BOS Study Region (map)

Details: (click for more)

Saturday, October 9th

BOS members are encouraged to participate. Please help us add to the decades of records that the BOS has collected reflecting population dynamics of the area birdlife. You can be part of a field team or simply count birds at your backyard feeder. All observations are important! If you don't know what section you live in, please contact Marcie Jacklin who will put you into contact with the correct section compiler. Thank you so much!

Compiler: Marcie Jacklin (mjacklin@brocku.ca or 905-871-2577)

More about the October Count: more info »

Meeting - TBD

Date: 10/13/2021   (Wednesday)

Location: Buffalo Museum of Science (map)

Details: (click for more)

Our October meeting topic is yet to be decided. Stay tuned for updates!

Field Trip - Lake Ontario Plains

Date: 10/30/2021   (Saturday)

Location: Tops Friendly Markets, 3949 Lockport Olcott Road, Lockport, NY 14094 (map)

Details: (click for more)

Lake Ontario Plain Field Trip for fall migrants.

Meet at 8 AM at Tops Market in Wright's Corners. This is on the east side of Route 78 and Route 104, north of Lockport.

Leader: Willie D'Anna (716-751-3637 or dannapotter@roadrunner.com)

This trip is a car caravan of sorts, plying the rural roads of Niagara County in search of late fall migrants. Every year is different, but with all of the fields and open space habitat we will check, it is reasonable to see Northern Harrier, American Kestrel, and possibly early winter arrivals such as Northern Shrike and Rough-legged Hawk. Horned Larks should be added to the day's list as well. A few stops along the Lake Ontario shore lookouts should produce Horned Grebe and several species of scoters and other diving ducks.

Meeting - Vaughan Lecture

Date: 11/10/2021   (Wednesday)

Location: Buffalo Museum of Science (map)

Details: (click for more)

Typically, we hold the Vaughan Lecture this month for our meeting topic. The topic is yet to be determined. Stay tuned for updates!

Meeting - Annual Holiday Celebration with Elections

Date: 12/8/2021   (Wednesday)

Location: Buffalo Museum of Science (map)

Details: (click for more)

Annual Holiday Celebration at 7:00 PM in the Cummings Room of the Buffalo Museum of Science.

Please bring a treat to share and enjoy an evening of birding friendship. We will also elect officers for the year 2022.

BOS Travel Trip - Costa Rica Photography Tour

Date: 1/12/2022   (Wednesday)

Location:

Details: (click for more)

UPDATE
TRIP HAS FILLED - WAIT LIST STARTED
THIS TRIP HAS DATES SET FOR JANUARY 12 - JANUARY 21, 2022.

This trip was put together at the request of a few photography buffs within the BOS family. This tour will focus on accessing the best bird photography locations in the northern half of the country where we will make use of the days' golden hours (morning and evening). This tour will be easy on your feet as there will be little walking involved, unless you want to try for field photography vs setting up at a feeder/watering oasis. Patrick O'Donnell and Alec Humann will be your guides for this trip. Locations we will visit include the feeders at the Bogarin Trail, gardens of Arenal Observatory Lodge, the artist Cope's private feeders, La Paz Waterfall Gardens, boat rides in the Cano Negro region (extensive wetlands along the northern border) as well as a boat tour on the Tarcoles River, among other stops.

BOS Travel Trip - Costa Rica Intro Tour

Date: 1/24/2022   (Monday)

Location:

Details: (click for more)

UPDATE
THIS AND ALL TRAVEL TRIPS ARE BEING TEMPORARILY SUSPENDED DUE TO COVID AND TRAVEL ISSUES. I AM STILL TAKING NAMES OF INTERESTED MEMBERS. AS SOON AS THINGS IMPROVE, I WILL MOVE FORWARD WITH PLANNING! THANK YOU FOR UNDERSTANDING.

UPDATE
WAITING LIST STARTED AS OF DECEMBER 2020.
TRIP DATES ARE SET - JANUARY 24 - FEBRUARY 4, 2022.

This trip to Costa Rica will be for those that missed out on the 2020 excursions. Please refer to the 2020 itinerary for an idea of what we will see and the places we will visit. We will again have former Niagara Falls resident and BOS member, Patrick O’Donnell, as our guide. Please email Alec asap to be added to the guest list (alechumann@msn.com).

BOS Travel Trip - Costa Rica Part Dos

Date: 2/7/2022   (Monday)

Location:

Details: (click for more)

UPDATE
TRIP DATES HAVE BEEN SET FOR FEBRUARY 7 - FEBRUARY 20, 2022.

THIS AND ALL TRAVEL TRIPS ARE BEING TEMPORARILY SUSPENDED DUE TO COVID AND TRAVEL ISSUES. I AM STILL TAKING NAMES OF INTERESTED MEMBERS. AS SOON AS THINGS IMPROVE, I WILL MOVE FORWARD WITH PLANNING! THANK YOU FOR UNDERSTANDING.

UPDATE
WAITING LIST HAS BEEN STARTED AS OF DECEMBER 2020.

This trip to Costa Rica will be for those that participated in the 2020 trips. This time around, our area of focus will be the west and southwest parts of the country including Montezuma Rainforest Preserve, Talari Mountain Lodge, Esquinas Rainforest Lodge, famed neotropical ornithologist Alexander Skutch's historical farm 'Los Cusingos', Rancho Naturalista and more!
Target birds include Turquoise Cotinga, Black-cheeked Ant-Tanager, Buffy-crowned Wood-Partridge, Spotted and Black-breasted Wood-Quail, Chiriqui Quail-Dove, Long-billed Starthroat, Snowcap, White-crested Coquette, Savannah Hawk, Azure-hooded Jay, White-eared Ground-Sparrow and so many more!

We will again have former Niagara Falls resident and BOS member, Patrick O’Donnell, as our guide. This 14-day tour will likely run February 7-19. Please email Alec asap to be added to the guest list (alechumann@msn.com).

BOS Travel Trip - Upper Texas Coast and Edwards Plateau

Date: 4/3/2022   (Sunday)

Location:

Details: (click for more)

UPDATE
THIS AND ALL TRAVEL TRIPS ARE BEING TEMPORARILY SUSPENDED DUE TO COVID AND TRAVEL ISSUES. I AM STILL TAKING NAMES OF INTERESTED MEMBERS. AS SOON AS THINGS IMPROVE, I WILL MOVE FORWARD WITH PLANNING! THANK YOU FOR UNDERSTANDING.

The Upper Texas Coast has long been a bucket-list destination for most birders, and for good reason. Northbound migrants, in their spring finery, descend upon the TX coast after a long migration across the Gulf of Mexico. Many
Neotropical migrants depart from points along Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula for a non-stop flight across the Gulf and the salt dome cheniers that dot the northern Gulf Coast are true oases for these birds as they encounter land. If the weather is fair, birds push inland from the coast. However, if the migrants encounter a cold front en route, a fallout can occur and can be the stuff of legends! This portion of the trip will span 5 full days in and around High Island.

Even if we don't experience a fallout, the general birding in the area is exceptional. We will visit High Island's Boy Scout Woods and Smith Oaks Preserve, the Bolivar Peninsula and Anahuac NWR. The varied habitats available in this small geographical region allow for a fantastic list of birds!

Neotrop migrants typically arrive midday, as it takes them about 15 hours to cross the Gulf. This will allow us to use the morning hours to study shorebirds in the agricultural fields around Anahuac or along the beaches of the Bolivar Peninsula. By 11am most mornings we will want to be in place at Boy Scout Woods to welcome the migrants as they arrive. Some days we will join the free guided walks offered by the staff of Tropical Birding Tours in conjunction with Houston Audubon Society. For the photographers in the group, accommodations can be made to reserve space in the photo blind in Boy Scout Woods. Our birding efforts will be concentrated in a small region so we will be visiting and revisiting local hotspots over our 5-day stay to maximize our time in the field.

The wader rookery at Smith Oaks Preserve offers close views into the nests of herons, egrets and Roseate Spoonbills, offering another fantastic photo opportunity. Here is a great website giving a nice overview of birding in and around High Island, https://www.birdinghighisland.com/

We will be staying in Winnie, TX which is about 20 miles from High Island. Don't worry coffee drinkers, if you've finished yours on the morning drive to High Island, FREE coffee is available every morning at the Houston Audubon house across the street from the Boy Scout Woods' parking lot! Some days we may eat lunch in the field and on other days we may take over one of the little coastal eateries on the Bolivar Peninsula so we can watch for migrants following the coast. Winnie is home to the famous Al T's Seafood and Steakhouse where we will have dinner at least once, https://www.altsrestaurant.com/Menu !

After experiencing migration at its finest along the coast, we will drive west to the Edwards Plateau region for Hill Country specialties including the Golden-cheeked Warbler and Black-capped Vireo. We will visit Lost Maples State Natural Area, Neal’s Lodge and other hot spots. During our three-night stay, we will hope to encounter birds more typical of West Texas; Black-chinned Hummingbird, Verdin, Hutton’s and Bell’s Vireos, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Hooded Oriole, Brown-crested Flycatcher, Lark and Black-throated Sparrows, Harris’s and Zone-tailed Hawks, Painted and Lazuli Buntings and others.

Potential dates for this trip are the weeks of April 3 - April 12 or April 10 - April 19, 2022. This trip will span 10 days. We will be flying in and out of Houston, TX with Alec Humann as your guide.

BOS Travel Trip - Off to Maine for Atlantic Puffins!

Date: 7/9/2022   (Saturday)

Location:

Details: (click for more)

UPDATE
Unfortunately, this trip will have to be delayed for a future time slot - hopefully July of 2022. The boat charter that takes people out to Machias Seal Island has been booked up for 2021 by rescheduled trips from summer of 2020. Apologies for this delay, but we hope to have this trip up and running in early July of 2022. There is already a waiting list, but please reach out if you are interested.


THIS AND ALL TRAVEL TRIPS ARE BEING TEMPORARILY SUSPENDED DUE TO COVID AND TRAVEL ISSUES. I AM STILL TAKING NAMES OF INTERESTED MEMBERS. AS SOON AS THINGS IMPROVE, I WILL MOVE FORWARD WITH PLANNING! THANK YOU FOR UNDERSTANDING.

***This trip is full at 15 people. Wait list has been started***

Alec is currently working out the details for this trip scheduled for mid-July 2021. This will likely be a 7-day trip (2 days land birding and 2 days birding by boat with an extra day to 'clean up') plus 2 travel days to/from WNY.

We will be planning to hire a local guide for 1 or 2 days to help us search for Maine's boreal specialties...Black-backed and Three-toed Woodpeckers, Boreal Chickadee, Spruce Grouse and Canada Jay. Breeding warblers are also well represented in Maine as well as specialty birds like Nelson's and Saltmarsh Sparrows.

We will plan on taking two boat trips. One of them will depart from Cutler Harbor and take us out to Machias Seal Island. Here we will climb ashore, weather permitting, and walk out to observation blinds. This unique opportunity allows up close and personal viewing of the hundreds of breeding Atlantic Puffins, Razorbills and Common Murres. Arctic Terns will dive bomb us as we walk out to the blinds! Keee-arrr! This experience will offer incredible photography opportunities! This is a 5-hour excursion.

The second boat trip will depart Bar Harbor with the Bar Harbor Whale Watch Co. Our route skirts the shore of Mount Desert Island and then heads offshore towards Petit Manan Island. This boat trip is entitled "Whales and Puffins" and is not dedicated solely to birding but we will search for Manx, Sooty and Great Shearwaters, Northern Fulmar, Red-necked Phalaropes, Northern Gannet and Wilson's Storm-Petrel in addition to Common Eiders and the alcids we enjoyed at Machias Seal Island. We will test our skills at picking Roseate and Arctic Terns out of the Common Tern flocks. Whale encounters could include Humpback, Finback and Minke as well as several dolphin/porpoise species. This will be a 3.5 - 4 hour excursion.
Land birding plans are still evolving but we will hope to stretch our legs at Acadia National Park, Quoddy Head State Park and Baxter State Park.
Stay tuned for more details and pricing as information becomes available. Oh, and did I mention Lobster? Not sure about you, but I will attempt to eat lobster for every one of my meals while in Maine; so long as it doesn't interrupt our birding schedule!

BOS Travel Trip - Panama’s Canopy Family

Date: 3/4/2023   (Saturday)

Location:

Details: (click for more)

UPDATE
THIS AND ALL TRAVEL TRIPS ARE BEING TEMPORARILY SUSPENDED DUE TO COVID AND TRAVEL ISSUES. I AM STILL TAKING NAMES OF INTERESTED MEMBERS. AS SOON AS THINGS IMPROVE, I WILL MOVE FORWARD WITH PLANNING! THANK YOU FOR UNDERSTANDING.

***This trip is full at 10 participants. A wait list has been started.***

This trip will take BOS members to the forests of Panama where we will be guests at the famous Canopy Tower (3 nights) and Canopy Lodge (5 nights) for a total of 8 nights. An optional 7-night extension to the Canopy Camp located in the Darien region will hopefully get us looks at an active Harpy Eagle nest. I am currently working with guide extraordinaire and friend, Carlos Bethancourt, and details are being worked out so stay tuned!
Other specialty birds that we will be searching for with local guide include Blue Cotinga, Black-crowned Antpitta, Rufous-vented Ground-Cuckoo, Gray-cheeked Nunlet, Crested Eagle, Black-breasted and Barred Puffbirds, and more. Feel free to peruse the website for The Canopy Family https://canopytower.com

BOS Travel Trip - Puerto Rico

Date: 3/2/2024   (Saturday)

Location:

Details: (click for more)

UPDATE
THIS AND ALL TRAVEL TRIPS ARE BEING TEMPORARILY SUSPENDED DUE TO COVID AND TRAVEL ISSUES. I AM STILL TAKING NAMES OF INTERESTED MEMBERS. AS SOON AS THINGS IMPROVE, I WILL MOVE FORWARD WITH PLANNING! THANK YOU FOR UNDERSTANDING.

The commonwealth of Puerto Rico hosts 18 endemic birds as well as many unique Caribbean species. We will enjoy a week-long adventure on this emerald isle during February or March of 2023. The island's vegetation and bird populations should be recovered by 2023 after Hurricane Maria decimated the island in 2017.

As we traverse the island, we will visit the legendary El Yunque rain forest preserve in the NE corner, the salt flats of Cabo Rojo in the SW and many places in between. In addition to the 17 endemic species of birds residing on Puerto Rico, we will aim to see Caribbean specialties such as West Indian Whistling-Duck, White-cheeked Pintail, American Flamingo, Key West Quail-Dove, Red-legged Thrush, Antillean Euphonia and Antillean Crested Hummingbird. We should also catch up with White-tailed Tropicbirds along the coast!!!

An option is to add an extra day to take the ferry over to the island of Vieques to try for the Bridled Quail-Dove. We will plan to hire a local guide for the entire trip so as to maximize our chances at seeing all 17 endemics plus a good number of Caribbean specialties. This will likely be a 9-day trip; 7 full days of birding with 2 travel days.