Summer Departures: September Events
Are you ready for a break from this hot and dry summer weather? The lack of rain means some trees are dropping their leaves already, which is a reminder that fall is just around the corner. Birds don't need a reminder - some species have already begun to migrate, and we're already on the lookout for them! Read on for September's programs, including the return of our Weekend Birding Trip to Cape May and of course, Hawkwatch.
The bird walk must go on…
Join us for our First Wednesday’s Bird Walk in Somers where we track the changing seasons through the numbers and species birds we see in the different habitats we explore, including water, wetland, grasslands, and woodland birds. Tait will be on vacation so our walk will be led by long-time Bedford Audubon member, John Hannan. John has been a serious bird watcher and amateur ornithologist for 30+ years. He has been a part of the Audubon family at all levels, on staff at National Audubon, a past Chair of the Audubon NY State Chapters’ Council, and a past president of Bedford Audubon’s Board of Directors. He states he is now an amateur nature photographer, ornithologist, parent, and husband trying to get better at all four, though not necessarily in that order!
Wednesday, September 7, 7:30-9:30am. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Moderate. Email Susan to register.
“The sturdy, steadfast oak is the perfect tree for troubled times.” — Washington Post
We have loved his previous books, so our September read is sure to be a popular choice. Join the Bylane Book Club to discuss Douglas Tallamy’s The Nature of Oaks, a revealing look at one of the most essential members of the plant kingdom. Oaks support more life forms and interactions than any other tree genus in North America, sustaining everything from acorn-collecting woodpeckers to caterpillars that dazzle like jewels. Tallamy uncovers the busy hub of life in an oak tree through the seasons, and once again turns the nature that surrounds us into a source of wonder and discovery. This book is available to borrow from Westchester Library System and is also available for Kindle and as an audiobook.
Monday, September 12, 7:00pm. Cost: Free. Email Susan to register. The meeting will take place on the patio at Bylane (weather permitting). Sips and snacks will be provided!
A birder’s guide to dealing with bears…
You don’t have to be a birder to come learn about living and dealing with bears in your neighborhood. We’ll give you the scoop at our Monthly Lecture: How to Avoid Conflict with Bears in your Everyday Life with Budd Veverka. Budd is the Director of Land Management at Mianus River Gorge. Previously, Budd spent over 10 years working as a wildlife biologist in several states across the South and Midwest; most recently in Indiana where his research focused on farmland wildlife, and he authored the National Wildlife Pheasant Conservation Plan. Today, Budd focuses his work on invasive species management, northeastern forest restoration, suburban black bear activity, white-tailed deer management, and student mentorship. He is the organizational representative to the Lower Hudson Partnership for Invasive Species Management and the New York State Hemlock Initiative and is an active member of The Wildlife Society.
Wednesday, September 14, 7:00pm. Cost: Free. The program will be held in the Garden Room of the Katonah Village Library. Please join us for refreshments at 6:30pm; the lecture begins at 7:00. No registration is necessary– see you there! And please bring a reusable mug to reduce your ecological footprint.
How many migrating warblers will we see this month?
Participants at last month’s Third Thursday’s Bird Walk were treated to 33 species of birds, including a single Blue-winged Warbler. We expect to catch a glimpse of many other warblers at September’s walk, which will take place at the peak of fall migration for warblers. Join Tait for this popular monthly walk that begins at the Cross River Dam in Katonah. Perfect for new and experienced birders.
Thursday, September 15, 7:30-9:30am. Cost: Free.Level of Difficulty: Easy. Email Susan to register.
Perch with us for a bird’s-eye view of migrating raptors and spectacular views.
Learn about the scientific data our team is collecting by joining us for Chestnut Ridge Hawkwatch this month. Each spring and fall, Broad-winged Hawks and other birds of prey migrate by the thousands in large flocks called “kettles”, soaring on thermals to and from their breeding grounds and winter habitat thousands of miles away. Lead Counter Rich Aracil, and of course Tait Johansson will be on hand to give you all the details from a viewing platform that is perched high above I-684 with spectacular views at the Arthur Butler Sanctuary. Who knows, this might be a day when thousands of hawks could be spotted!
Sunday, September 18, 10:00am-12:00pm. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Moderate (due to the hillside trail to the viewing platform). Register by emailing Susan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Grab your camera and say “cheese!”
We love seeing bird and garden pictures that our members share! Step up your game in capturing wildlife images by registering for a Guided Photography Workshop at Bylane Farm. Professional photographer Gabe Palacio will work with all participants to achieve the best results from their available personal equipment whether it’s a cell phone or digital camera. We’ll start with an outdoor guided photography session and then move inside to share our images and discuss techniques. Gabe will share some of his own work and give a creative photography technique presentation.
An editorial and commercial photographer for 25 years, Gabe has been the principal photographer at The Caramoor Center for Music and Arts since 2005. His editorial work has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Sports Illustrated, and Fortune.
Saturday, September 24, 8:00am-1:00pm. All skill levels are welcome, and instruction will be catered to individual needs. Bring your own photography equipment. (Cell phones acceptable). Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy. Email Susan to register.
Let’s get ready for raptors!
One of the most fun and challenging aspects of hawk watching is identification. Learn how to tell the difference between various raptors by joining Tait Johansson for a new two-part Raptor Identification Workshop. The program will begin with an info session at Bylane Farm during which Tait will guide you through various traits and behaviors of raptor families that will help you identify them in flight. The group will then head to a viewing platform at the Nature Conservancy’s Arthur Butler Memorial Sanctuary where you can put your new skills into practice. This event is timed to coincide with the peak migration of raptors such as Broad-winged Hawk, American Kestrel, Osprey, and Sharp-shinned Hawk. Don’t miss this exciting event!
Sunday, September 25, 9:00am-2:00pm. Cost: $20 (members)/$25 (non-members) and includes a packet material to take home including a laminated raptor ID cheat sheet. Level of Difficulty: Moderate (due to the hillside trail to the viewing platform). CLICK HERE to purchase tickets or Email Susan to pay by cash or check.
Central Park is an 843-acre rectangle and was designated as an Important Bird Area (IBA) in 1988.
It’s also a welcoming place for birds migrating along the East Coast find Central Park to rest and store up energy for the next leg of their journey. Check out fall migration with Naturalist Tait Johansson on his Field Trip to Central Park. It’s a popular stopover for fall-migrating warblers, thrushes, sparrows, and other songbirds.
Wednesday, September 28, 7:15am-2:00pm. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy. Email Susan to register. The group will meet at 7:15am at 72nd Street and Central Park West, the entrance to Strawberry Fields. We’ll stop at the boathouse for lunch or bring your own.
Our birding extravaganza is back! .
After a two-year hiatus, we’re heading back to Cape May for a weekend of birding. Fall is the best season to visit this world-class birding hotspot, and our Naturalist-in-Residence, Tait Johansson, will maximize your experience on this Special Field Trip: Cape May Migration Bonanza! Tait will lead you to a variety of habitats in search of migrating raptors, and migratory and resident passerines and shorebirds, which all occur here, sometimes in staggering numbers. Register early as this is sure to be a popular trip.
Friday, September 30-Monday, October 3.
Friday, September 30-Monday, October 3.
Cost: $105 (members); $140 (non-members and we’ll credit $35 toward a membership) plus your cost for lodging and meals. We will provide hotel recommendations upon request.
Level of Difficulty: Easy-moderate. Email Susan to register.
Photo of Kestrel (Pixabay)