2016/2017 Cost :: 4-days/3-nights
$1,350 from Philadelphia, PA :: Prices are per person, double occupancy.
If a single room is preferred, a single supplement fee of $300 will be charged.
Although we will eat meals as a group, meal costs are not included in the tour cost. For light to moderate eaters, this will certainly save money!
Included in the Tour Cost
All ground transportation, including transfers from arrival airport. All accommodations. All entrance fees.
Not Included in the Tour Cost
Air travel, passport fees, luggage fees, meals, trip insurance, alcoholic beverages, bottled beverages, departure taxes, phone calls, laundry, or other items of a personal nature.
Day One, South Jersey
Arrive by noon on February 24; depending on arrival times and other circumstances we may bird our way to the shore from the airport. We should pick up Fish Crow and maybe Black Vulture on our way south and east. We will spend the sunset hours searching for Short-eared Owls in the spartina and phragmites of the Barnegat Bay. Night near Tom’s River.
Day Two, Barnegat Lighthouse
Today we will visit Barnegat Inlet and search for most of our primary target species. This is among the “go-to” winter birding spots for locals, and with good reason. We will be on the lookout for Purple Sandpiper, Long-tailed and Harlequin Ducks, Great Cormorant, and Common Eider as well as Razorbill and King Eider, each of which are recorded annually. We will spend the afternoon birding the back bays and marshes of the Barnegat Bay or chasing rarities. Night near Tom’s River.
Day Three, New Jersey Shore
Today will be a “leader’s choice” day. We will either use today as another opportunity to visit Barnegat Light or other local spots to pick up targets which have eluded us thus far, or we will chase the latest reports of species of interest. These could include things like Iceland Gull, Eurasian Wigeon, Lapland Longspur or other regional or even national rarities! With specialized local experience we could see quite a few species on our final full day of birding. Night near Philadelphia.
Day Four, Philadelphia and departure
This morning we will bird the Philadelphia area before heading to the airport and our departing flights.
Good standard motel(s) with en-suite facilities.
The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America (2nd Edition, 2016, Knopf)
by David Allen Sibley
- only available as a book, but The Sibley eGuide to Birds App covers all of North America.
This trip is for non-smokers only. Smoking is not permitted at any time during our tour.
Arrival: Please plan to arrive at the Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) around noon on February 24.
Departure: Please arrange to depart from Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) NO EARLIER than the early afternoon on the 27th.
Physical Requirements (Walking, Pace of the Tour)
A reasonable degree of fitness is required as the jetty at Barnegat Light is uneven, slippery and has gaps and elevation changes between its boulders. Walking will be on rocky jetties, sandy beaches and dirt roads and gravel paths. There will likely be several miles of walking each day. The length of the Barnegat jetty is almost a mile. We will be at or near sea level for all of this trip. Participants should be aware of possibly walking in snow and icy conditions.
Please pack relatively light, we will have to fit all of us and our bags in the vehicle, after all. Although this tour has minimal driving please make plans to manage any possible motion sickness, if you are susceptible. This is a rain-or-shine trip and the Jersey Shore can have tough winter weather; it can also be very mellow at times, when a light jacket might suffice. Pack accordingly, with layers, gloves, and a pull down hat and plan for cold wind and the potential for precipitation (rain or snow, or both!).
The group is limited to a maximum of 7 people plus your leader.
Detailed General Information will be sent to each registrant upon booking. Final Information about the trip, including lodgings, contacts, meeting locations, etc., will sent about 2-3 weeks prior to the trip departure, or after final payment is received for late registrants.
As with all tours, we highly recommend purchasing Travel Insurance to cover your investment. Please see our section on Travel Insurance on the main page of our website.
This is our first year offering this tour, so no trip reports are available yet, but we can expect to see about 110 species!
Expect about 110 species!