Field Trips

2019–2020 Hoffmann Bird Club Field Trip Schedule

  Please note that we have had to cancel many of our events due to the coronavirus guidelines.  Please feel free to reach out to trip leaders, officers or any member of the Executive Committee for more information!                                                                                                                                  

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 is named in honor of Ralph Hoffmann, a naturalist born in Berkshire County.


Monthly Meetings are held at Guardian Life Insurance, 700 South St., Pittsfield, MA or Pleasant Valley Sanctuary, 427 W. Mountain Rd., Lenox, MA. See the schedule for specific dates and locations. Most meetings begin at 7:00PM. They are free and open to everyone interested in birds. Come enjoy the scheduled program and light refreshments. Bring a friend.


Field Trips: 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.

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, 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


2019-2020 Schedule

Note:  You can also access a PDF version of our field trips via the following link:  Hoffmann Bird Club Trip Guide 2019-2020

Contact information for trip leaders is included in the PDF version. 

TBA = To Be Announced


September 2019


Sun 9/8 Housatonic Flats 7:30AM

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.


Mon 9/9 Monthly Meeting  7:00 PM

“Conserving Grassland Birds in New England”

Jon Atwood, Director of Bird Conservation at Mass Audubon

Guardian Life Insurance Co.

700 South St., Pittsfield 01201


Sat 9/14 Blueberry Hill Hawkwatch & Potluck Picnic 9:00AM                                  

(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.  Rain date 9/15.


Berkshire Bioblitz

Sat 9/14 – Sun 9/15

Springside Park, Pittsfield, Ma

The public is welcome to attend this 24 hour biological survey.  Birders are encouraged to help with the avian census.  Hours are 12 PM on Sat. until 12 PM on Sun.


Sun 9/22 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, directly across Rte.2 from Maple Terrace Motel to end of road.  Walking is easy, but may be muddy.  Leaders: Carrie Jones & Chuck Johnson .

Wed 9/25 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.


October 2019


Sun 10/6  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 for details.


Mon 10/7  Monthly Meeting   7:00PM

“Foresters for the Birds–Realizing Habitat and Broader Conservation Goals”

Jeff Ritterson, Field Ornithologist at Mass Audubon

Guardian Life Insurance Co.

700 South St., Pittsfield 01201


Sun 10/13    Leaders Choice 7:30 AM

Look for sparrows and other Fall migrants in Williamstown.  Meet at Williamstown Public Library,  1095 Main St. Contact leaders: Chuck Johnson,  and Carrie Jones.


November 2019


Sun 11/3 74th Bartlett Hendricks Memorial Waterfowl Census  7:00AM                  

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.


Mon 11/4  Monthly Meeting   7:00PM

“Ospreys 2019–The Revival of a Global Raptor”

Alan Poole, Associate of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Guardian Life Insurance Co.

700 South St., Pittsfield 01201


Sat 11/9    NW CT Waterfowl Census 8:00AM

Meet at Bartholomew’s Cobble. Bring lunch and a scope. Trip ends about 2:00PM. Co-leaders: Kate Ryan and Rene Wendell.


Sat 11/16  Fifth Annual Berkshire Natural History Conference

9 AM to 4 PM

Hosted by Williams College and held at the Clark Art Institute

Williamstown, Ma.


Come help celebrate the incredible diversity of Berkshire County, once again. The great mix of speakers, exhibitors, displays, and participants (you!) have come to make this enjoyable and educational.

Featured this year are many of North County’s natural treasures.  Speakers include Hank Art (Grace Greylock Niles), Ron Bassar (native trout), Lauren Stevens (Greylock), student Mya Wiles (small snake study), Will Ouimet (Williamstown stone walls and charcoal sites), and other local and regional speakers.

In addition, don’t forget the fabulous Natural History Quiz, organized by Rene Wendell and Jacob Morris-Siegel, and the incredible Silent Auction that has been supporting speakers and students since day one.


PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED.  Contact Tom Tyning for details:


December 2019


Mon 12/2  Monthly Meeting  7:00PM

“HBC Member’s Night”

Bring 10 digital images and holiday sweets to share, and sign up for the Christmas Count!

Guardian Life Insurance Co.

700 South St.,  Pittsfield 01201


Sat 12/14  Central Berkshire Christmas Count

Join a team and keep the tradition going. Sign up at Members Night, or contact count leader Holly Higinbotham.  Blizzard date:12/15.


January 2020


Wed 1/1   South Berkshire Christmas Count   

Join a team and welcome the new year with some winter birding.  Contact Rene Wendell to sign up or for more information about time and place.


Raptor Ramble  TBA

The timing of this trip will be weather dependent and will take place on a Sunday in Jan. or Feb.  It will be announced in the eNews.  This will be a county-wide loop, beginning in Williamstown, traveling to the Sheffield area and back, with several stops along the way, in search of wintering raptors.  There will be a lunch stop.  Return to Williamstown will be approx. 3-4 PM.  Leader: Chuck Johnson.


February 2020


Sun 2/2   Breakfast and Winter Birds   7:30AM

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.


March 2020


 Mon 3/2   Monthly Meeting  7:00PM

“Birding Across Taiwan”

Jonathan Pierce and Rene Wendell, HBC Members

Guardian Life Insurance Co.

700 South St., Pittsfield 01201



Cancelled – Sun 3/22  Spring Waterfowl Search  7:30AM

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.


April 2020


Cancelled – Sat 4/4  Monterey   7:30 AM

Search for early Spring migrants in Monterey.  Meet at the Roadside Store on Rte. 23 approx. 2.8 miles over the Monterey line.. Contact leader Kate Ryan for details.


Cancelled – Sun 4/5 South County  7:00AM

A search for signs of spring in Berkshire County. Meet at the Price Chopper parking lot on the Pittsfield/Lenox Rd.. Leader: Jonathan Pierce.


Cancelled – Mon 4/6 Monthly Meeting   7:00 PM

“The Evergreen Archipelago: Ecology and Evolution of Birds at the Edge of the Boreal Forest”

Jeremy Kirchman, Curator of Birds at the New York State Museum in Albany

Guardian Life Insurance Co.

700 South St., Pittsfield 01201


Cancelled – Sun 4/26 Leader’s Choice Williamstown  7:00AM 

Join us as we look for arriving migrants at one or more hotspots in this birdy little town.  Meet at the Williamstown Public Library, 1095 Main St.  Contact Carrie Jones or Chuck Johnson.


May 2020


Changes – May 2    Annual Meeting and Banquet   5:00 PM

Join club members for a brief meeting to elect officers followed by:

Speaker and location TBA

Members will receive menu and reservation details thru eNews.   Reserve early!

Changes – The banquet gathering has been cancelled.  The Annual Meeting will take place on Zoom scheduled for May 9 at 6 pm and voting will be done during that time or via email (from May 2 through May 10).  Details will be sent to current members via the eNews.  If you have ANY questions, please reach out to any of the Officers of Executive Committee Members.


Cancelled – Sat 5/2   Warner Farm, Cummington  7:30AM

Search for American Bittern, Waterthrushes, Virginia Rails, Cuckoos & more!  Meet at The Creamery on Route 9 in Cummington. Leader: Charles Quinlan. Email contact: Matt Kelly.


Cancelled – Wed 5/6  South Stream WMA, Pownal 6:45AM

Scope out waterfowl and bullfrogs at South Stream Pond and stroll wooded paths in search of warblers.  Meet at the Williamstown Public Library, 1095 Main Street, to carpool.  Leader: Katharine.



Cancelled – Sat 5/9 Leader’s Choice 7:00AM

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.


Cancelled – Sun 5/10  Post Farm Marsh  7:30AM

Morning walk in search of spring migrants and rails. Meet at the Price Chopper parking lot on the Pittsfield-Lenox Rd., Lenox. Leader: Rene Wendell.


Fri/Sat 5/15-5/16 Massachusetts Audubon Birdathon

This event will take place with a different format from previous years.  We urge our HBC members to take part in the Birdathon.

Postponed Century Run to September 11/12

Join a team and continue the tradition. Contacts, count format and other details will be announced in the Hoffmann eNews. Coordinator: Jonathan Pierce.


Cancelled – Sun 5/17 Stafford Hill 6:30AM

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.


Cancelled – Wed 5/20         Tyringham 7:00AM

Search for summer residents at several sites in the Tyringham Valley. Meet at the BigY on Rte.102 in Lee.  Contact leader Ed Neumuth for additional details.


Cancelled – Thu 5/21  Hand Hollow Conservation Area and Ooms Pond, East Chatham, NY  7:00AM       

Morning walk in search of warblers and other migrants. Hand Hollow portion is an easy 2 hour walk.  Contact Clellie Lynch for directions and details.


Cancelled – Sat 5/23 October Mountain 6:00AM

Join our annual trip to October Mountain State Forest. Meet at Washington Town Park on Rte. 8 in Washington.  Contact leader Ed Neumuth).


June 2020 


Cancelled – Picnic & Birding at Pleasant Valley

427 West Mountain Road, Lenox

5:00 PM Birding – 6:00PM 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.


Cancelled – Sun 6/7  Birds & Breakfast on Mt. Greylock 6:00AM                                   

Meet at the Greylock Visitor’s Center, bird Rockwell Rd. and the summit, followed by breakfast at Bascom Lodge.  Leader Ed Neumuth.


Cancelled – Sun 6/21  Top to Bottom Walk Williamstown 7:00AM

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 and Chuck Johnson.


July 2020


Cancelled – Sat 7/11 Hopper Rd./Money Brook Trail, Williamstown 7:00 AM                                  

Meet at the Hopper Rd. parking lot near the trailhead, off Green River Rd./Rt. 43 in Williamstown to look for nesting and juvenile birds (Bobolinks!)  We’ll walk past fields down to Hopper Brook, then through the woods and along Money Brook.Leader: Katharine Wiencke.

Fri/Sat 9/11-9/12 —  Century Run

Join a team and continue the tradition during fall migration. Contacts, count format and other details will be announced in the Hoffmann eNews. Coordinator: Jonathan Pierce.


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.