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August 18, 2018

Trip Leader:  Jim Clinton
Trip Coordinator:  Donna Seymour  845-417-1165

Cost per person:  $35

  • Depart Uptown Kingston Hannaford Plaza parking lot 6:00 a.m. (bus loads at 5:30 a.m.)
  • 6:30 Pick up passengers at New Paltz (Thruway Exit 18) Park & Ride
  • Arrive Jamaica Bay 8:45 a.m.
  • Mid-day picnic lunch at the Visitor Center
  • Depart 3:00 p.m.
  • Arrive New Paltz 5:30 p.m./Kingston 6:00 p.m.

This Trailways bus accommodates 52 passengers and has Wifi and a bathroom. This trip is open to members and non-members and early registration is strongly encouraged.

To reserve your seat on the bus:

Email   Donna Seymour the names and cell phone numbers of each person in your party; indicate where you will catch the bus (Kingston or New Paltz)

Mail     Make checks payable to John Burroughs Natural History Society ($35 per person). Mail to:

Lin Fagan, Treasurer
281 West Chestnut St.
Kingston, NY 12401

Full refund before July 1; thereafter $10 refund until August 1. Please understand, there can be no refunds after August 1.

This trip will be held rain or shine, though extreme weather conditions predicted within days of the trip will cause cancellation and warrant full refunds.

 Overview: We will explore the East and West Ponds areas of the Refuge. Proper footwear is essential for visiting the East Pond portion.  Please know that this is not a trail but a very muddy and sometimes treacherous shoreline.  The West Pond and “gardens” are much easier and have formalized trails (mostly crushed shell). For some this might be the option for the day. Others may choose to remain at the blinds on the smaller ponds when we cross the road.  Sun protection is essential as much of this is exposed viewing.

What to Bring:

Clothing: We will be outside all day. Pathways are likely to be very wet and muddy and possibly hazardous to unsteady walkers. Wear clothing suited to a changing weather conditions and biting insects, especially ticks. Wear waterproof boots with secure treads for the trails and bring casual shoes for the bus ride. The refuge provides a boot-washing station, though a small trash bag for boots is recommended.

Food: Coolers with ice will be available for bagged lunches. Also bring a thermos for hot or cold beverages, snacks, bagged lunch, and water.

Other: gratuity for bus driver ($5 suggested).

 About Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge

Tides on 8/18/18:         Low tide 8:36 a.m. High tide 3:06 p.m.

Birds of Jamaica Bay checklist and eBird Hot Spots information

Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge is one of the best places in New York City to observe migrating species. In fact, it’s a birder’s paradise with 332 bird species sighted at the refuge over the last 25 years (38 are accidental, and include several New York State records); that is nearly half the species in the Northeast. It is one of the most significant bird sanctuaries in the northeastern United States. Birding is excellent year-round.

Early fall migrants include shorebirds, flycatchers, vireos, and warblers. According to Birds of Jamaica Bay, the following are listed as Common or Abundant: Black crowned Night Heron, Glossy Ibis, American wigeon, Ruddy Duck, American Oystercatcher, Willet, Ruddy Turnstone, Red knot, Black skimmer, and Semipalmated, Western, Least, White rumped, and Pectoral Sandpipers.

The Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge is open dawn to dusk year-round. In August, the Visitor Center is open 7 days a week from 9 to 5. The Center has a bookstore, natural history exhibit area, restrooms, and lecture room. There are no entrance fees to the refuge.

The Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge is the United States Department of Interior’s only “wildlife refuge” administered by the National Park Service. All other national refuges fall under the aegis of the United States Fish & Wildlife Service. The refuge covers 9,000 acres (20 square miles) of open bay, saltmarsh, mudflats, upland field and woods, two man-made brackish ponds—117-acre “East Pond” and 45-acre “West Pond” and small fresh water ponds, including Big John’s Pond. The Wildlife Refuge is part of the Gateway National Recreation Area.


West and East Ponds Map
by R. Bourque

Click here for printable PDF map


August 18, 2018


Donna Seymour


Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
175-10 Cross Bay Blvd
Broad Channel, NY 11693 United States
+ Google Map


The field trips of JBNHS are oriented to nature study. They are free and open to the public. We do, however, sometimes visit sites that charge admission fees, which are the responsibility of the participants. Children are very welcome on field trips, but pets are not. Although there is a brief courtesy waiting period for latecomers, the meeting times are important: please arrive in time to sign up with the leader.