Field Trips

2017–2018 Hoffmann Bird Club Field Trip Schedule

The Hoffmann Bird Club is Berkshire County’s premier ornithological Hoffmann Bird Club Logoorganization. It was established in 1940 with a mission of promoting the study of birds in the county. The club was founded under the auspices of the Berkshire Museum and is named in honor of Ralph Hoffmann, a naturalist born in Berkshire County, Massachusetts.

Field Trips are led by experienced birders, and everyone, including beginners, is welcome. Field trips offer an excellent opportunity to explore first hand the bountiful nature and natural history of the Berkshire region.

Times listed are departure times; please arrive a few minutes early to meet the leader(s) and carpool when possible. When carpooling, participants are expected to contribute to gas expenses. Local trips generally last until lunch, unless otherwise noted. Participants under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.  Dress for the weather, wear proper footwear, and bring binoculars (if you have them). Please contact the Trip Leader to let her/him know you are comingUnless otherwise noted, all telephone numbers are in area code 413.

Important Trip Tips

  1. It is recommended that you contact trip leaders in advance to let them know you are coming so they are aware of how many people to expect.  Due to unforeseen circumstances, there are occasional changes in the trip schedule.  Check eNews, our website, Facebook page, or contact leader(s) for updates. 
  2. If you are taking a trip where some details are TBA, contact the leader by phone or email or check eNews for more details as the date nears. 
  3. The trips listed in this guide are those confirmed at press time in July.  During the year, other walks may be offered.  Check for additional trips and events in HBC eNews or on our website at

2017-2018 Schedule

September 2017

Fri 9/1  Potluck and Monthly Meeting  6:00 PM
Bring a dish to share, and please bring your own place settings and utensils so we can lighten the impact on the Sanctuary.
Pleasant Valley Sanctuary
427 W. Mountain Rd., Lenox 01240

Wed 9/6  Springside Park, Pittsfield  7:30 AM
Meet at the playground parking lot off of North St. (Rte. 7), Pittsfield to look for migrating songbirds and sparrows.
Leader: Noreen Mole (442-6327,

Sun 9/10 Housatonic Flats  7:30 AM
A flat, mowed 3/4 mile loop trail along the Housatonic River through flood plain forest and weedy meadow. Meet at the parking lot, 439 Stockbridge Rd., Great Barrington. Leaders: Greg and Christine Ward (, 446-7486).

Sat 9/16 Blueberry Hill Hawkwatch & Potluck Picnic  9:00 AM
(Combined event with the Allen Bird Club.)
Bring a dish to share, your favorite beverage, a scope (if you have one), and chair. Ends at 3:00 PM.  For carpool information contact:
Chris Blagdon (684-1808,
or Ann Connors (464-2238,
Rain date 9/17.

Wed 9/20 A Walk in the Woods 8:00 AM
A morning walk at a location of the leader’s choice.
Beginners encouraged.
Meet at the Lanesborough Post Office on Rte. 7.
Leader Noreen Mole (442-6327,

Sun 9/24 Linear Park, Williamstown 7:30 AM
This is one of the best locations in No. County for Fall birding.  Join us as we search for migrating sparrows, raptors and warblers.  Meet at the Linear Park parking area, walking is easy, but may be muddy.
Leaders: Carrie Jones (884-2661,,
& Chuck Johnson (978-505-9139,

Wed 9/27 Howden Farm, Sheffield  7:30 AM

A walk along field, wetland, and hedgerow.  Up to 2 mostly flat miles with some uneven terrain.  This is restricted access property and not often open to the public.  Meet at 303 Rannapo Rd.  Leaders: Greg and Christine Ward (, 446-7486).

October 2017

Mon 10/2  Monthly Meeting    7:00PM
“Birding from the Edge”
On Seal Island National Wildlife Refuge, Maine
Keenan Yakola
Guardian Life Insurance, 700 South St. Pittsfield

Wed 10/4  Springside Park , Pittsfield  7:30 AM
Meet at the playground parking lot off North St. (Rte. 7), Pittsfield.
We will look for migrant songbirds and sparrows in a variety of habitats.
Leader: Noreen Mole (442-6327,

Sun 10/8  Stafford Hill/Cheshire  7:00 AM
Half day trip to Stafford Hill and neighboring areas in search of sparrows and other migrants. Meet at Allendale Shopping Center on Cheshire Rd.
Contact leader Ed Neumuth (884-4961, for details.

Hopkins Forest Saw-whet Owl Banding Program
HBC Members are welcome at the Hopkins Forest Saw-whet Owl Banding Program that runs from early October to early November. Weather permitting, it is open evenings at the Owl Banding Station at Hopkins Forest in Williamstown. Please contact Drew Jones ( before you go.

Third Annual Berkshire Natural History Conference
Saturday October 14  9 AM – 4 PM
Hosted by Berkshire Community College
1350 West Street  Pittsfield, MA
Join us for a day of celebration of the biological diversity of Berkshire County.  An impressive list of speakers, exhibitors, and displays will reach such wide-ranging topics as Astronomy, Birds, Environmental Education, Forestry, Botany, Weather, and others. Highlighting this year’s conference is MassWildlife biologist (retired) James Cardoza, who led the team that produced the return of the American Wild Turkey after nearly 100 years.  Conservationist Bob Leverett will speak on the importance and spectacular beauty of local specimen trees and about our remaining patches of old-growth forests. Sponsored by BCC, MCLA, Green Berkshires, Orion Magazine, BEAT, Williams College Center for Environmental Studies, Mass Audubon’s Berkshire Sanctuaries, and Hoffmann Bird Club.
Contact Tom Tyning for details:

Sun 10/15    Leaders Choice  7:30 AM
Look for sparrows and other Fall migrants in Williamstown.
Meeting place will be announced the week before the trip.
Contact leaders: Chuck Johnson (978-505-9139,,
and Carrie Jones (884-2661,

November 2017

Sun 11/5  72nd Bartlett Hendricks  7:00 AM
Memorial Waterfowl Census
Join the annual census of Central Berkshire lakes and wetlands.
Meet at Berkshire Museum, Pittsfield. Bring lunch and a scope.
Trip ends around 3:00 PM.
Coordinator: Tom Tyning (236-4502,

Mon 11/6  Monthly Meeting   7:00 PM
“Birding With Rich Guthrie” presents…
“Cuba; Birds, People, Cars & Cigars”
Rich Guthrie, Host of WAMC Public Radio Talk Show
Guardian Life Insurance, 700 South St. Pittsfield

Sat 11/11    NW CT Waterfowl Census 8:00 AM
Meet at Bartholomew’s Cobble. Bring lunch and a scope.
Trip ends about 2:00 PM.
Co-leaders: Kate Ryan 
and Rene Wendell (429-5025,

December 2017

Mon 12/4    Monthly Meeting  7:00 PM
HBC Member’s Night”
Bring 10 digital images and holiday sweets to share,
and sign up for the Christmas Count!
Guardian Life Insurance, 700 South St.  Pittsfield

Sat 12/16  Central Berkshire Christmas Count
Join a team and keep the tradition going. Sign up at Members Night, or contact count leaders Holly Higinbotham (684-3724,
and Ann Connors (442-4332,
Blizzard date:12/17.

January 2018

Mon 1/1   South Berkshire Christmas Count
Join a team and welcome the new year with some winter birding.
Contact Rene Wendell (429-5025, to sign up or for more information about time and place.

Sat 1/13   Cape Ann  TBA
Sea ducks, gulls and alcids. Trip limited to 12, contact leader early.
Bring lunch and a scope if you have one.
Leader: Chris Blagdon (684-1808,

February 2018

Sun 2/4   Breakfast and Winter Birds  7:30 AM
Meet at Ozzie’s Restaurant, Maple St., Hinsdale at 7:30AM for breakfast.
We will then look for wintering birds around Hinsdale and nearby towns.
Mostly roadside birding.
Leader: Jonathan Pierce (281-2398,
Contact Tom Begley (655-0112,

Sun 2/11  Raptor Ramble  TBA
This will be a county-wide loop, beginning in Williamstown, travelling to the Sheffield area and back, with several stops along the way, in search of wintering raptors.  There will be a lunch stop, or bring your own.
Return to Williamstown will be appx. 3-4 PM.
Leader: Chuck Johnson (978-505-9139,     

 March 2018

Mon 3/5   Monthly Meeting  7:00 PM
“An Adventure in Peru”
Ed Neumuth, HBC Member
 Guardian Life Insurance, 700 South St. Pittsfield

Sun 3/25  Spring Waterfowl Search 7:30 AM
Spring is a great time to look for waterfowl on our local lakes wherever there is open water.  Meet at Farnams Causeway (off of Rte. 8) on Cheshire Lake.
Leader: Jonathan Pierce (281-2398,

April 2018

Mon 4/2    Monthly Meeting  7:00 PM
“The Bird That Owned The Sky: The Rescue of the Peregrine Falcon and Bald Eagle in New York” Darryl McGrath, Author & Professor
Guardian Life Insurance, 700 South St. Pittsfield

Sat 4/7  Stockbridge   7:30 AM
Search for early Spring migrants in Stockbridge.
Meet on Rte. 7 in Stockbridge across from the Red Lion Inn.
Contact leader Kate Ryan (528-4355, for details.   

Sun 4/8 South County  7:00 AM
A search for signs of spring in Berkshire County.
Meet at the Price Chopper parking lot on the Pittsfield/Lenox Rd.
Leader: Jonathan Pierce (281-2398,

Sat 4/28   Warner Farm, Cummington 7:30 AM
Search for American Bittern, Waterthrushes, Virginia Rails, Cuckoos & more!
Meet at The Creamery on Route 9 in Cummington.
Leader: Charles Quinlan: (413-634-0334).
Email contact: Matt Kelly (

Sun 4/29 Leader’s Choice Williamstown 7:00 AM
Join us as we look for arriving migrants at one or more hot spots in this birdy little town.   Meeting location TBA.
Contact Carrie Jones (884-2661,
or Chuck Johnson (978-505-9139,

May 2018

Sat 5/5   Annual Meeting and Banquet   5:00 PM
Join club members for a brief meeting to elect officers followed by:  TBA
Mazzeo’s Ristorante
1015 South Street, Pittsfield, Ma.
Members will receive menu and reservation details thru eNews.
Reserve early!

Sun 5/6  Post Farm Marsh 7:30 AM
Morning walk in search of spring migrants and rails.
Meet at the Price Chopper parking lot on the Pittsfield-Lenox Rd., Lenox.
Leader Gael Hurley (281-1017,

Wed 5/9  South Stream WMA, Pownal 7:00 AM
Scope out waterfowl and bullfrogs at South Stream Pond and stroll a wooded path in search of warblers.
Meet at the Willaimstown Public Library off the town green on Rte. 7.
Leader: Katharine Wiencke (458-1846,

Fri/Sat 5/11-12   Birdathon/Century Run  TBA
Join a team and continue the tradition, and  support Mass Audubon’s annual Birdathon to benefit our local sanctuary. Contacts, count format and other details will be announced in the Hoffmann eNews. Sign-up sheets will be available at the banquet.
Coordinators: Jonathan Pierce (281-2398
and Gael Hurley (281-1017,

Wed 5/16  One World Conservation Center
Bennington, Vt. 8:00 AM
Look for migrants and local nesters in a variety of habitats.
Meet at the Conservation Center, 413 Rte. 7, South Bennington.
Leader: Beth Wong (518-496-9802,

Thu 5/17   Hand Hollow Conservation Area
and Ooms Pond, East Chatham, NY  7:00 AM
Morning walk in search of warblers and other migrants.
Hand Hollow portion is an easy 2 hour walk.
Clellie Lynch (518-794-9063,
for  directions and details.

Fri 5/18 Kent Falls, Ct. 6:30 AM
A 3/4 day trip along River Road in search of Worm-eating, Hooded, and Cerulean Warblers.  Bring lunch.
Contact leader Noreen Mole for more info (442-6327,

Sat 5/19 Leader’s Choice 7:00 AM
Join us to explore a spot in the New Ashford area at the leader’s discretion.
Meet at JW Kelly’s Real Estate, Rte. 7, New Ashford.
Leader: Matt Kelly (458-3664,

Sun 5/20 Stafford Hill  6:30 AM
A search for migrant and resident birds; one of our target species will be Prairie Warbler.  Meet at  Farnam’s Rd. Causeway (off of Rte. 8) in Cheshire.
Contact leader Jonathan Pierce (281-2398,

Wed 5/23 Tyringham 7:00 AM
Search for summer residents at several sites in the Tyringham Valley.
Meet at the BigY on Rte.102 in Lee.
Contact leader Ed Neumuth (884-4961,
for additional details.

Sat 5/26 October Mountain 6:00 AM
Join our annual trip to October Mountain State Forest.
Meet at Washington Town Park on Rte. 8 in Washington.
Contact leader Ed Neumuth (884-4961,

June 2018  

Sat 6/2  South County Leaders Choice 7:30 AM
Meet Kate Ryan at the Wild Bird Store on Rt. 7 in Great Barrington to explore some of the busy bird sites of the southern Berkshires.
Contact Kate at (528-4355, for details.

Sun 6/3  Springside Park  7:30 AM
Meet at the playground parking lot off North St. (Route 7), Pittsfield to look for resident songbirds and sparrows in a variety of habitats.
Leader:  Noreen Mole (442-6327,

Fri 6/8 Picnic & Birding at Pleasant Valley
427 West Mountain Road, Lenox
5:00 PM Birding – 6:00 PM Picnic
Main courses (including a vegan option) and beverages are provided.  Bring a side dish or dessert to share.  Please bring your own place setting and utensils to help lighten the impact on the sanctuary.

Sun 6/10  Birds & Breakfast on  Mt. Greylock  6:00 AM
Meet at the Greylock Visitor’s Center, bird Rockwell Rd. and the summit, followed by breakfast at Bascom Lodge.
Leader Ed Neumuth (884-4961,

Sun 6/24  Top to Bottom Walk Williamstown 7:00 AM
June is perfect for finding active family groups, parents feeding chicks, and fledglings begging for food.  We will choose an active road, meet at the top, walk leisurely to the bottom, watch and listen to all of the rich activity taking place.  Location TBA.
Leaders: Carrie Jones (884-2661,
and Chuck Johnson (978-505-9139,

July 2018

Sat 7/7 Hopper Rd./Money Brook Trail  7:00 AM
Meet at Hopper Rd. off Green River Rd./Rt. 43 in Williamstown to look for nesting and juvenile birds (Bobolinks!) in fields along Hopper Rd., then through the woods and along Money Brook.
Leaders: Marina Brodskaya (458-0309, cell # 207-2872, and Katharine Wiencke (458-1846, cell # 884-3621,


Our walks and other events are greatly enhanced by our association with the Berkshire Natural Resources Council (BNRC), Mass Audubon, Allen Bird Club, and The Trustees.  These organizations have similar events that may be open to the public.  We try to alert you to these events in the HBC eNews.

The Guardian Life Insurance Co. graciously provides us with excellent meeting facilities equipped for making outstanding presentations.

The Marilyn Flor Day Camp Scholarship Fund is sponsored by the Hoffmann Bird Club. Annually,  the club supports scholarships for aspiring young local naturalists to Mass Audubon’s Summer Camp Program at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary in Lenox.

Join The Hoffmann Bird Club!

The Hoffmann Bird Club is Berkshire County’s premier ornithological organization.  It was established in 1940 with a mission of promoting the study of birds in the county.. The club was founded under the auspices of the Berkshire Museum and was named in honor of Ralph Hoffmann, a naturalist born in Berkshire county.

Membership in Hoffmann Bird Club is open to anyone interested in birds and bird study. Membership runs from September through the following August.  If you join after April 1,  your membership is extended through the following year.

Meetings are held from September through May and are open at no charge to anyone interested in birds and bird study.

Check for updates and more detailed information on field trips and presentations in this schedule, along with links to birding-related sites on the Web.