June 2023 Programs

Step into Nature this Month!

Registration is required for all programs by emailing Susan at info@bedfordaudubon.org unless otherwise specified.

Let’s go wild for wildflowers!
We’re thrilled to reconnect with Mathew McDowell, Wildflower Island Curator, for a Bedford Audubon Tour Wildflower Island. Because the island is virtually inaccessible to deer and is less vulnerable to invasives, it has become a sanctuary for woodland wildflowers like lady’s slipper orchids, trillium, wild columbine, and other native species that are in decline. May brings a fanfare of blooms including pink lady’s slippers, creeping phlox, foamflower, bluebells, and the parade of blooms continues into June with pinxter azalea, twinflower, rose mallow to name a few.
Thursday, June 1, 10:00am. Cost: $20.00 ($15.00 for Teatown members). Cost includes fees required by Teatown. Purchase tickets online here. To pay by cash or check, please  email Susan.

Let’s get drunk on birds from the ‘gunk…
We’re talking about Tait’s Field Trip to Bashakill Marsh and Shawangunk Grasslands, of course. We’ll spend a full day of birding at this designated Bird Conservation Area that is home to 200+ species of birds including nesting Bald Eagles and Ospreys. Bashakill supports wetland-dependent breeding species such as Virginia Rail, Sora, Common Gallinule, bitterns, cuckoos, and a large array of songbirds. The National Wildlife Refuge has breeding populations of Bobolink, Grasshopper Sparrow, and Upland Sandpiper.
Saturday, June 3, 7:30am-3:00pm. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Moderate. Email Susan to register.

New for you… the great escape!
We’re excited to welcome local Reiki Master Practitioner, Catherine Downs, to our program line-up this month for Meditation in the Garden. Catherine has been working with Lewisboro Land Trust since the start of the pandemic, and we are pleased that she will be offering a series of Nature Meditations in the garden and surrounding sanctuary at Bylane in the coming months. Escape the bustle of your day for an hour and join Catherine in the native garden at Bylane for an immersive nature walk that focuses on using the senses to connect to the natural world around us. Based on the Japanese practice of Forest Bathing (Shinrin-Yoku), it will include a seated, guided reiki inspired meditation, dedicating focus to each of the five senses.
Tuesday, June 6, 10:00-11:00am (rain date is Thursday, June 8). Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy. Email Susan to register at info@bedfordaudubon.org.

This walk might be a repeat performance but won’t be the same old same old.
Here we are again at Dean’s Bridge in Somers, checking on what has arrived, departed, and stayed put in the last month! Join Naturalist Tait Johansson on our First Wednesday’s Bird Walk as we track the changes of the seasons through bird sightings and sounds. Nesting birds will be the main attraction this month – what will we see?  Breeders here include Wood Duck, Yellow-throated Vireo, Blue-winged Warbler, and Indigo Bunting.
Wednesday, June 7, 7:30-9:30am. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Moderate. Email Susan to register.

What only happens once a year?
The Bedford Audubon Annual Meeting of the Members! Please join us for this important evening. We’ll begin by sharing highlights from our year and hold board elections. This year, two new candidates are up for election to our board of directors, and one current board member is up for re-election. You must be a Bedford Audubon in good standing to vote in our board elections. If you can’t attend the meeting, you can vote by proxy. Please email executivedirector@bedfordaudubon.org  to obtain a proxy. To join Bedford Audubon or renew your membership online, please click here or call the office at 914-232-1999.

The business portion of the meeting will be followed by a presentation from students whose science research projects have won the Bedford Audubon Award at the Regeneron Westchester Science and Engineering Fair (WESEF). The award goes to two scholars whose research project’s best exemplify Bedford Audubon’s mission and purpose “to promote conservation and protection of wildlife through education, advocacy, nature study, and/or ornithology.” Julien Amsellem will present A Study of Birds of Hillside Woods: A Comparative Analysis and Michael Stoica will present A Novel Approach to Diagnosing Ash Borer Infestation: The Use of a Portable Gas Sensor to Measure VOC Emissions of Ash Trees. We hope you’ll join us!

Thursday, June 8, 6:30pm (Annual Meeting); 7:00pm (Lecture). Katonah Village Library Garden Room.

Visit an unbroken, deep forest habitat with us!
Sign up for our Field Trip to Sterling Forest in the New York-New Jersey Highlands, where Naturalist Tait Johansson will be on the lookout for Golden-winged, Hooded, and Cerulean Warblers, as well as many other breeding forest birds. This state park comprises nearly 22,000 acres of nearly pristine natural refuge amidst one of the nation’s most densely populated areas. Its habitat is important for the survival of many resident and migratory species, including black bears, several kinds of hawks and songbirds, rare invertebrates and rare plants.
Tuesday, June 13, 7:30am-12:00pm. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Moderate. Email Susan to register.

Do you have a rough time telling swallows apart?
Fear not… Tait will surely be able to help you on this month’s Third Thursday’s Bird Walk. Yep back to the dam we go! Cross River Dam, that is, the starting point for popular walk. We’ll be on the lookout for breeders at this location including colonies of Cliff Swallow and Northern Rough-winged Swallow, the dam’s own Common Ravens, Spotted Sandpiper, Blue-winged Warbler, Pine Warbler, Louisiana Waterthrush, and Eastern Towhee. This is a friendly walk and perfect for beginner and experienced birders alike.
Thursday, June 15, 7:30-9:30am. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: EasyEmail Susan to register.

We’re heading north to the largest state park in the Taconic region – and you’re invited!
Join Naturalist Tait Johansson on a Field Trip to Fahnestock State Park. Did you know that Fahnestock Bird Conservation Area (BCA) represents one of the largest areas of contiguous forest in the lower Hudson Valley? The deciduous and mixed forests support a diverse group of forest-dependent bird species bird community, and some of the breeders in this area include Ruffed Grouse, Acadian Flycatcher, Purple Martin, Blackburnian Warbler, and Canada Warbler.
Saturday, June 17, 7:30am-12:30pm. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Moderate. Email Susan to register.

School’s out for summer!
Do you have some free time on your hands? Get some exercise and fresh air by joining Naturalist & Properties Committee Chair Steve Ricker for our monthly Habitat Renewal Day.  You’ll learn about invasive plants, including identification and their negative effect on the ecosystem while working to remove the invasives in our sanctuary and gardens. Tools and gloves will be provided, or you can bring your own. (Loppers and hand pruners are the most used tools). Plants with thorns, and poison ivy may be present.
Saturday, June 24, 11:00am-12:30pm. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy-moderate. Email Susan to register.

What’s more exciting than fireworks?
All the birds you could see on a brand-new extended summer trip! Naturalist Tait Johansson is hard at work planning an Adirondack Birding Weekend on Fourth of July weekend. We’ll be looking for some Adirondack specialties, including Black-backed Woodpecker, Canada Jay, Boreal Chickadee, Bicknell’s Thrush, and hoping to find the elusive Spruce Grouse. Highlights to include Tait’s expertise for a full birding weekend; a welcome reception on Friday evening, an optional group dinner on Saturday evening, bonding over daily recaps. This is an easy-going trip with lots of flexibility!
Friday, June 30-Monday July 3Cost: $150.00 per person for members; $185.00 for non-members (non-member price includes a one-year membership). This fee does not include hotel, transportation, or meals; you pay those as you go along. Register online HERE or email Susan for more details including hotel information. UPDATE: As of June 1, this trip is full; waitlist only.

PHOTO CREDIT: Snowy Egret by Mick Thompson.