Keep Those Binoculars Handy: November Programs

by Nov 2, 2021News0 comments

November 2021 Programs

Two Important Bird Areas (IBA) in one day? YES!
Join Naturalist Tait Johansson for a Field Trip to Milford Point and Silver Sands State Park. Milford Point is one of Connecticut’s most-visited bird viewing areas as the marsh, sandbars, and barrier beach are some of the most important shorebird migratory stopover areas on Long Island Sound, providing foraging areas and resting areas for tens of thousands of shorebirds each year. Among many possibilities, we should see Brant, Northern Harrier, hundreds of Dunlins and Sanderlings, and probably Horned Larks and Snow Buntings here. Silver Sands is comprised of woodland edge, grassland, beach and restored salt marsh and dune areas. It is also an IBA for wintering and nesting birds. Its areas of dense cover provide good habitat for songbirds, especially sparrows.
Sunday, November 14, 8:00am-1:00pm. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy-Moderate. Meet at 8:00am at Milford Point Road or meet at Bylane to caravan at 6:45am. Bring lunch. Registration is limited and required by emailing Susan at or by calling 914-302-9713.

This November, go on “a journey that is every bit as mythic as it is scientific, as sacred as it is historical, as clever as it is wise” (Elizabeth Gilbert).
Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teaching of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer, is a New York Times and Washington Post bestseller, and comes highly recommended by several of our members and our new executive Director! Give it a read, then join Melanie Brocklehurst at the Bylane Book Club discussion  of it.

As a botanist, Robin Wall Kimmerer has been trained to ask questions of nature with the tools of science. As a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, she embraces the notion that plants and animals are our oldest teachers. In Braiding Sweetgrass, Kimmerer brings these lenses of knowledge together to show that the awakening of a wider ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgment and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world. For only when we can hear the languages of other beings are we capable of understanding the generosity of the earth and learn to give our own gifts in return.
Monday, November 15, 7:00pm. Cost: Free. Registration required by emailing Susan at or by calling 914-302-9713. The discussion will take place on Zoom: a link will be emailed to participants ahead of the meeting. This book is available to borrow from the Westchester Library System or is available to purchase across a variety of platforms in print, electronically and on audio.

Coming up at the farm…
Hilltop Hanover Farm, that is! Have fun making native wildflower seed bombs! Garden Director and wildflower expert Mathew McDowell will join Emily Rauch, Hilltop Hanover’s Native Plant Program Manager for a Seed Bomb Workshop. This program is a great hands-on activity for kids and families, and a fun way to sow native wildflowers that support our pollinator and insect populations. Seed bombs make great holiday gifts! Stay afterwards and enjoy a picnic on the farm.
Saturday, November 20, 9:30am or 11:30 (one-hour sessions). Cost: $40 per family of up to five people or $25 per person. Register through Hilltop Hanover HERE.

Don’t miss our autumn walk at a birding hotspot!
Join Naturalist Tait Johansson in marking the passing of the seasons and changing of birds on our monthly Third Thursday’s Bird Walk. There is usually something exciting to see, and it’s a great way to start the day whether you are an experienced birder or just starting out.
Thursday, November 18, 7:30-9:30am. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy. Register by emailing Susan at or by calling 914-302-9713.

Last call to check out Chestnut Ridge Hawkwatch!

Lead Counter Rich Aracil and Interpreter Abbey Butler are still at it – but not for much longer! So far this season, 9,800 raptors have been observed, including 2,400+ Turkey Vultures.

More Hawkwatch data here>>

Hawkwatch takes place daily through November 24, 9:00am-5:00pm (weather permitting). Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy to Moderate (due to the uphill walk up to the viewing platform). The Arthur Butler Sanctuary is located at 265 Chestnut Ridge Road, Mount Kisco. Look for the Hawkwatch sign to enter the trail to the platform. Registration is not necessary, but please abide by current Covid-19 guidelines based on your vaccination status.


Photo: Double-crested Cormorant (AdobeStock)


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