Field Trips

2016–2017 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. Our walks and other events are greatly enhanced by our associations with the Berkshire Natural Resources Council (BNRC), Mass Audubon, the Allen Bird Club, and Trustees of Reservations. These organizations have similar events that may be open to the public. We try to alert you to these events in the HBC eNews (member’s newsletter).

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 coming.

Our Birding Beyond Your Backyard trips will continue this year. Contact Doug Bruce (499-0596, to learn how they can expand your birding enjoyment. Check our website or The Berkshire Eagle for details.

Unless 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 (member’s email newsletter), 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 (member’s email newsletter),  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 (member’s email newsletter).

4. Please feel free to use the trip list bird form to keep track of your bird sightings HBC Trip List Form

Hoffmann Bird Club Field Trip Schedule

September 2016

Friday 9/2/2016 Potluck and Monthly Meeting 5:00 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

Saturday 9/3/2016 Explore Lanesborough 7:30 AM
We’ll check pond, trails, caves, and springs for migrant songbirds and raptors. Meet at the old Brodie Ski Touring Center, 770 Rte. 7, Lanesborough. Leader: Matt Kelly (458-3664,

Wednesday 9/7/2016 Springside Park 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,

Sunday 9/11/2016 BNRC’s Alford Springs 7:30 AM
Join us on this 2.4 mile walk through a variety of habitats as we search for migrant and resident songbirds. Meet at the Price Chopper on Stockbridge Rd. in Great Barrington. Leaders: Greg Ward (, 446-7486), Christine Ward (

Saturday 9/17/2016 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 9/18/2016.

Tuesday 9/20/2016 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,

Sunday 9/25/2016 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,

October 2016

Saturday 10/1/2016 The Meadows 7:30 AM
Half-day trip to the Hadley/Northampton area to search for migrant sparrows and hawks. Meet at Allendale Shopping Center on Cheshire Rd. Pittsfield. Please contact leader for carpool info. There will be a lunch stop, or bring your own. Leaders: Tom Begley (655-0112,, Noreen Mole 442-6327,

Wednesday 10/5/2016  Springside Park 8:00 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,

Sunday 10/9/2016  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.

Mid October to Early November
Hopkins Saw-whet Owl Banding Program

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

November 2016

Saturday 11/5 /2016 (storm date Saturday 11/19/2016)
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Second Annual Berkshire Natural History Conference
Hosted by the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts
Church St. Center @ MCLA, N. Adams

Join fellow naturalists, conservationists, students of all ages, and citizens, for a day of celebration of the biological diversity of Berkshire County. In the summer of 2014 we lost one of our noted field naturalists, Dave St. James. He was a biologist for the Massachusetts DFW and an indefatigable recorder of the plants and animals that live in remote corners of the Berkshires. An avid reader of historical text, an ardent chronicler of natural events, and a truly selfless sharer of knowledge, Dave was one of a long line of great Berkshire naturalists. A well-attended celebration in his memory was the impetus for the idea of an annual conference celebrating Berkshire Natural History and the past naturalists that have contributed to conservation efforts to preserve and protect our little corner of the planet. Support this year comes from Berkshire Community College, MCLA, Hoffmann Bird Club, Orion magazine, Green Berkshires, Center for Environmental Studies (Williams College), and the Berkshire Environmental Action Team.

Tom Tyning for details:

Sunday 11/6 /2016   71st Bartlett Hendricks  Memorial Waterfowl Census  7:00 AM
Join the annual census of central Berkshire lakes and wetlands. Meet at Berkshire Museum, Pittsfield. Bring lunch and a scope. Trip ends around 3:00PM. Coordinator: Tom Tyning (236-4502,

Saturday 11/12/2016  NW CT Waterfowl Census 8:00 AM
Meet at Bartholomew’s Cobble. Bring lunch and a scope. Trip ends about 2:00PM. Co-leaders: Kate Ryan (528-4355, and Rene Wendell (429-5025,

December 2016

Saturday 12/17 /2016 Central Berkshire Christmas Count
Join a team and keep the tradition going. Sign up at Members Night, or contact count leaders Holly Higinbotham and Bob Wood (684-3724, Blizzard date:12/18

January 2017

Sunday 1/1/2017 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.

Saturday 1/14/2017   North Shore 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 2017

Sunday 2/5/2017  Breakfast and Winter Birds 7:30 AM
Meet at Ozzie’s Restaurant, Maple St., Hinsdale at 7:30 AM 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,

Sunday 2/12/2017  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 2017

No field trips planned.

April 2017

Birding Beyond your Backyard begins!

“Birding Beyond Your Backyard” is designed for beginning birders who would like to expand their birding knowledge.  The Hoffmann Bird Club partners with local conservation groups and knowledgeable birders for sponsorship of the BBYB trips.  Please contact the trip leader with questions.

These walks will help take you from feeder birds (blue jays, chickadees) to the birds of field and forest. Can’t tell a robin from a crow?  No shame – we’ll show you how we do it.  After just one walk you’ll amaze your friends with cheap birding tricks!

Dates, locations, and times are listed below. For further information regarding BBYB trips, please click the PDF link below.

Birding Beyond Your Backyard 2017

BBYB Field Trips

April 21, 2017, Friday, Great Barrington
BNRC’s Housatonic Flats, 8 am
Christine Ward,, 528-4061

April 26, 2017, Wednesday, Stockbridge
BNRC’s Jackson Pond, 8 am
Doug Bruce,, 499-0596

May 5, 2017, Friday, Great Barrington
BNRC’s Thomas and Palmer Reserve, 7 am
Doug Bruce,, 499-0596

May 10, 2017, Wednesday, Lenox
Parsons Marsh, 7 am
Doug Bruce,, 499-0596

May 16, 2017, Tuesday, Great Barrington
BNRC’s Housatonic Flats, 7 am
Doug Bruce,, 499-0596

May 21, 2017, Sunday, Alford
BNRC’s Alford Springs, 8 am
Christine Ward,, 528-4061

June 2, 2017, Friday, Lanesboro,
BNRC’s Constitution Hill, 7 am
Doug Bruce,, 499-0596

June 3, 2017, Saturday,
Richmond, BNRC’s Hollow Fields, 7 – 11 am
Doug Bruce,, 499-0596

June 4, 2017, Sunday,
Monterey, Bidwell House, 9 – 11am
Barbara Palmer,, 528-6888

Saturday 4/8/2017  Monterey 7:30 AM

A 1/2-day trip, including Bob’s Way and Diane’s Trail, to find early spring migrants. Meet at the Price Chopper parking lot in Great Barrington Contact leader Kate Ryan ( for details.

Sunday 4/9/2017  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,

Sunday 4/23/2017  Leader’s Choice Williamstown 7:00 AM
Join us as we look for arriving migrants at one or more hotspots in this birdy little town. Meeting location TBA. Contact Carrie Jones (884-2661, or Chuck Johnson (978-505-9139,

Saturday 4/29/2017   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 (

May 2017

Sunday 5/7/2017 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,

Friday/Saturday  5/12-13 /2017   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,

Thursday 5/18/2017   Hand Hollow Conservation Area 7:00 AM and Ooms Pond, East Chatham, NY
Morning walk in search of warblers and other migrants. Hand Hollow portion is an easy 2 hour walk. Contact Cellie Lynch (518-794-9063, for directions and details.

Saturday 5/20/2017   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,

Sunday 5/21/2017   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,

Wednesday 5/24/2017  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.

Saturday  5/27/2017  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,

Sunday 5/28/2017   Hilltown Ramble 6:30 AM
A search for migrating song birds. We’ll start in Windsor and make our way to Hawley Bog. Meet at Moran Wildlife Management Area, Rt.8A in Windsor. Contact Leaders Bob Wood and Holly Higinbotham (684-3724,

June 2017

Saturday 6/3/2017  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.

Sunday  6/4/2017  Springside Park 7:30 AM
Meet at the playground parking lot off North St. (Rte. 7), Pittsfield to look for resident songbirds and sparrows in a variety of habitats. Leader: Noreen Mole (442-6327,

Friday 6/9/2017   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 to help lighten the impact on the sanctuary.

Saturday 6/10/2017  Steepletop 7:30 AM
A ½ day tour of BNRC’s 1,200-acre Steepletop Reserve in New Marlboro. Meet at 648 New Marlboro-Monterrey Rd. From there, we’ll walk a 2-mile loop and then drive/walk to some of the birding hotspots nearby. Highlights include extensive wetlands and 6-year-old clearcuts. Contact leader Doug Bruce (499-0596;

Sunday 6/11/2017  Mt. Greylock Birds & Breakfast 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,

Saturday 6/24/2017   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 2017

Saturday 7/8/2017 South Stream WMA Pownal, Vermont 7:00 AM
Look for nesting and juvenile birds in woods and alongside pond and stream. Meet at the Williamstown Library off the town green, Rte 7. Leaders: Marina Brodskaya (458-0309, and Katharine Wiencke (458-1846,