2017 Cape May Spring Festival

Cape May, New Jersey
Thursday, May 18, 2017

Trolley Trips/Boat Trips/Special Walks

Trolley Trips

Choose from Leader's Choice, Shorebird Express and Wildlife Habitat Trolley Trips. Trolley trips are open to registrants only and most are at a cost $35 per person with a limit of 26 participants. The Special Trolley Trip with Doug Tallamy and Pat Sutton on Saturday is limited to 20 people at a cost of $50 per person. All trips end at the departure location.

6:30 am to 9:30 am, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
Leader's Choice trips depart from the Grand Hotel and it will be up to your leader to decide where the best spots for birding are going to be that morning. The timing of these trips are designed to get you back to the Grand Hotel by 9:30 am, so you can dash off to a 10:00 am activity. Our leaders are:
Friday: Richard "The Brit" Crossley, creator of the Crossley ID Guides
Saturday: Tom Reed, Cape May native, tour leader, record-breaking birder extraordinaire
Sunday: Mark Garland, a birder, a gentleman and a scholar

You can't lose with any of these leaders, and you never know who else might be coming along...

2:30 pm to 5:30 pm, Saturday - DEPARTING FROM THE GRAND HOTEL
1:30 to 4:30 pm, Sunday - DEPARTING FROM THE GRAND HOTEL
The Shorebird Express departs from the Center for Research and Education on Friday, and from the Grand Hotel on Saturday and Sunday.  It will visit some of Cape May County's best shorebird viewing locations on both the Atlantic side and the bay side.  Spots may include Nummy Island, Stone Harbor, Reed's Beach, Cook's Beach and Kimble's Beach.  Leaders include some of Cape May's finest:
Friday - from CRE: David La Puma
Saturday - from the Grand Hotel: Glen Davis
Sunday - from the Grand Hotel:  Brett Ewald

Please note: If you select the Saturday Trip, you may be late to one of our Cape May Sunset Experiences at   6:00 pm. But don't worry, they are all at locations where the group will be easily found, especially Sunset Beach and Cook's Beach.

Saturday, 2:45 pm to 5:15 pm, departing from the Grand Hotel
Spend some quality time with two of the best wildlife habitat experts in the US, and visit (mostly private) certified Community Wildlife Habitat Gardens around Cape Island. It will stop at the wildlife-friendly Plant Sale at the Nature Center of Cape May (pictured below) before returning to the Grand Hotel. This exclusive trip is limited to 20 people at $50 per person.


Sunday, 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm, departing from the Center for Research and Education.  Pat Sutton and The Wildlife Gardener, Josh Nemeth, will show you several wildlife gardens and natural habitats.  Visit sites rich in native plants and enjoy birds, butterflies, wildflowers, and more with two key players in wildlife habitat gardening. This trip is limited to 28 people at a cost of $35 per person. A great way to end your Spring Festival weekend.

Boat Trips

The Osprey Back Bay Birding by BoatTM will depart Miss Chris Marina, 1218 Wilson Drive, twice daily (one being a sunset trip on Saturday evening). See the Agenda and/or registration for times. Explore beautiful Cape Island Creek Preserve, New Jersey's southernmost salt marsh and a critical migration stopover.  The Osprey is a stable, roomy, covered pontoon boat with a fully glass enclosed cabin, railed front deck, bench seating, and toilet facilities onboard. Join Captain Bob Lubberman and CMBO naturalists and cruise the back bays, harbors and sounds of Cape May for close looks at a variety of water birds including secretive rails, migrating shorebirds, herons, egrets, other waterfowl and marsh birds. Dress for the weather; spotting scopes on tripods are welcome. Advance registration is required and the $30 cost is in addition to daily fees.  The trips are open to festival registrants only.

Special Walks

Bird the Meadows with Pete Dunne and Brett Ewald
Saturday, 7:00 am to 9:00 am
Meet in the Parking Lot on Sunset Boulevard
This trip is open to registrants only at a cost of $35 and is limited to 25 people.
The South Cape May Meadows just might be Pete Dunne's favorite place to bird in all of Cape May, and it's always a pleasure to spend time with him there. He will be joined by Brett Ewald, Cape May Bird Observatory's Program Director, for a walk where waterfowl, gulls and raptors are likely to be seen, and rarities often are found.

Birding by Impression with Kevin Karlson and Dale Rosselet

Saturday, 7:00 am to 9:00 am
Meet in Cape May Point State Park at the East Shelter, adjacent to the Hawkwatch Platform. 
This trip is open to registrants only, at a cost of $35 and limited to 25 people.
Learn from the experts, Kevin Karlson and co-author and wife Dale Rosselet, authors of Birding by Impression: A Different Approach to Knowing and Identifying Birds, their book in the Roger Tory Peterson Reference Series at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishers (April 2015). The idea is a more holistic approach to birding that includes right and left brain strengths to enhance your birding skills as well as a greater awareness of birds' behavior and natural history rather than just a check on your personal list. This exciting ID approach concentrates on basic impressions of size, body shape, structural features and motion to form an accurate first impression of birds, with analysis of plumage details and bare parts to follow. You will leave this walk a better birder!

Exclusive Birding Opportunities at the Cape May US Coast Guard Station
10:00 am to 12 noon Saturday
2:45 pm to 4:45 pm, Saturday
10:00 am to 12 noon Sunday
Meet at the entrance to the Coast Guard Station, 1 Munro Ave.
These walks are open to registrants only, at a cost of $35 and limited to 15 people.
Join Coast Guard staff who are also local birders in one of the least birded places in Cape May. The habitat is that of a coastal maritime forest, with dunes, beach, a rock jetty, juniper stands and open fields, all of which is typically off limits to the public.

Please note, your name will be provided to the Coast Guard one week in advance and you must bring a photo ID. There can be no changes or substitutions to these walks after one week in advance. 


Contact Information

  • If you have questions, please contact Deb Shaw, deb.shaw@njaudubon.org or 609-400-3836.

Payment Instructions

  • If paying by check please make payable to NJ Audubon and send to:

    Cape May Spring Festival
    Cape May Bird Observatory
    600 Route 47 N
    Cape May Court House, NJ 08210
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