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New York – Montauk Point – Winter

from $2,772
  • Reviews 0 Reviews
  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    Bird Watching, Wildlife
  • Activity Level Moderate
  • Group Size Medium Group
All about the New York – Montauk Point – Winter Tour.

Lots of good birding at Montauk Point will produce eiders, all three scoters, gannets, loons, and grebes, plus give us excellent opportunities for alcids, kittiwakes, jaegers, and even a few shearwaters. On a past tour we had FOUR Parasitic Jaegers in less than an hour. Hope for an east wind! There are typically some unusual gulls in the area, and vagrant sparrows, warblers, and flycatchers can sometimes be found.

On our way to and from Montauk we will visit many additional Long Island locations such as Jamaica Bay, Shinnecock Inlet, Point Lookout, Jones Beach, and Sagaponack Pond. Here we may add Eurasian Wigeon, Northern Saw-whet Owl, Harlequin Duck, American Bittern, Snowy Owl, and Northern Shrike. Rarities from past tours have included Northern Lapwing, Yellow-billed Loon, Sandhill Crane, Varied Thrush, Dickcissel, Lark Sparrow, Pink-footed Goose, and Tufted Duck. We stay in Montauk for three of our five nights, with great dinners at the Shagwong Inn and O’Murphy’s Pub.

We will take a maximum of eight participants. On rare occasion we may extend the maximum to ten participants.

Duration: 6 days
Limit: 4 – 8
Date: We only run this trip by special request currently
Start: Queens, NY
End: Queens, NY

US$2772 per person sharing assuming 4 – 8 participants
Single supplement: US$478

We can run the same trip at a price similar to the larger group price for 2 tour participants, if they rent their own vehicle and pay for fuel – please e-mail [email protected] for details.

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.
  • Meals
  • Accommodation
  • Guiding fees
  • Entrance fees
  • All transport while on tour
  • Tolls
Whats not included in this tour.Items that are not included in the cost of tour price.
  • Domestic and International flights
  • Items of a personal nature, e.g. gifts
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Personal insurance
  • Laundry Service
  • Gratuities
  1. Day 1 Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge

    Participants that arrive at our hotel near JFK International Airport by early afternoon of the first day of the tour (or October 31st, the day before the tour begins) will be treated to some great birding at nearby Jamaica Bay
    Wildlife Refuge (JBWR).

    Overnight: near Jamaica Bay

  2. Day 2 Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge

    After breakfast we will return to JBWR, as it has much to offer. Some of the target birds there include Eurasian Wigeon, Brant, Northern Saw-whet Owl, and late shorebirds and herons. There is sometimes a Tufted Duck in the NYC area.

    We’ll bird our way east on Long Island, looking for sea ducks, gulls, falcons, and bitterns. We’ll dine at the Shagwong Restaurant and spend the first of three nights in the village of Montauk.

    Overnight: Montauk

  3. Day 3 Montauk Point

    After a hearty breakfast at Mr. John’s Pancake House, we’ll enjoy the maritime scenery, Harbor Seals, and thousands of ducks at famed Montauk Point. Migrant seabirds may include shearwaters, kittiwakes, and alcids. Parasitic Jaegers may be seen close to shore.

    Montauk has a great reputation for western vagrants that may include sparrows, warblers, flycatchers, and unusual finds such as a Dickcissel or Lark Sparrow. Dinner at O’Murphy’s Pub, on-the-green in Montauk.

    Overnight: Montauk

  4. Day 4 Montauk Point

    We have another full day at Montauk Point to search for King Eider among the numerous Common Eiders, Razorbill, Black-legged Kittiwake, and additional pelagic species. Songbirds may include Snow Bunting, Blue-headed Vireo, Nashville Warbler, or a flock of Red Crossbills.

    The woods at the recycling center often have large numbers of Hermit Thrushes, one or two lingering warblers, and perhaps a Clay-colored Sparrow. We may find an unusual gull such as Little, Black-headed, or Iceland in Montauk Harbor. Hopefully there will be a rarity to chase.

    Previously we have observed Northern Lapwing, Varied Thrush, Sandhill Crane, Pink-footed Goose, and Yellow-billed Loon on Long Island. These are very impressive finds from our previous early November tours.

    Overnight: Montauk

  5. Day 5 Shinnecock, Jones Beach, Point Lookout, and Jamaica Bay

    As we drive west toward New York City, we’ll look for American Bittern along Dune Road at Shinnecock, rare gulls at Sagaponack Pond, and Snowy Owl at Jones Beach. Point Lookout is renowned for its Harlequin Ducks, an occasional Eared Grebe, Northern Gannet, and a nice flock of Bonaparte’s Gulls that has contained Little and Black-headed Gull.

    Our next stop will be decided upon according to the local bird reports. We’ll spend our final night near Jamaica Bay, in the same motel that we used on the first night of the tour.

    Overnight: near Jamaica Bay

  6. Day 6 Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge and Heading Home

    We’ll have some of the morning to return to Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge for more songbirds, waterfowl, and another opportunity for Northern Saw-whet Owl and crossbills. The possibilities there are almost endless. If time allows, we’ll visit nearby Fort Tilden, Breezy Point, or the Gateway National Recreation Area. These areas often hold late migrants and a vagrant or two, and provide good vantage points for scoping seabirds. We’ll then return to JFK for your afternoon flights home.

Your Guide: Jacob Roalef

Tours: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Maine, Minnesota, Ohio, Texas, Wyoming, Birding Ecotours (Worldwide)


5-9 November 2009

Top 10 lists are voted upon by the participants at the completion of each tour.

1 – PINK-FOOTED GOOSE – this is a very rare goose in North America that breeds in Greenland and Iceland, winters in northern Europe. We had satisfying scope views at Sunken Meadows State Park as it went to roost.
2 – Yellow-billed Loon – very rare on the Atlantic Coast, only the 4th record for New York State. We found it in the ocean off of Montauk Point and saw it well in comparison with numerous Common Loons.
3 – Snow Bunting – even though we saw several flocks of 10-20 birds, our best view was of a lone female. She was at very close range at the edge of a sand dune.
4 – American Oystercatcher – a flock of 350 [!!!!] at the Jones Beach Coast Guard Station. Very impressive, whether perched on a sandbar or in flight.
5 – Long-tailed Duck – after so-so looks here and there, three drakes at close range and good light finally gave us the view we had all hoped for. This was also at the Coast Guard Station.
6 – Brant – an impressive little goose that none of us see much at our inland home birding locations.
7 – Orange-crowned Warbler – fantastic views at close range, near the horse farm at Montauk.
8 – Common Eider – many, many, great looks at this large sea duck, both swimming and in flight. We even watched some as they hunted for crabs and molluscs underwater.
9 – Cackling Goose – this is a very small Canada-type goose that was recently split to a separate species. It was in the water just a few geese away from the Pink-footed Goose.
10 – Northern Gannet – large numbers, some of them quite close to shore. We watched them fly, dive for fish, and perch on the ocean.

  1. Will we do any birding the first day?

    Yes! We have birding planned if time allows and everything is on schedule.

  2. How should I dress for the tour?

    Check the weather for the destination as close to your departure date as possible, and dress accordingly for your comfort level. You can also review our What to Bring page for more information.

  3. Besides clothes, what do I need to bring?

    There are many items the will be useful to you while on a Bird Treks tour. We have put together our list of recommendations on the What to Bring page.

  4. What language are tours conducted in?

    Our tours are all conducted in English, but we do have some experience working with client that don’t speak English well – Some English would be needed for safety reasons. In locations where another language is predominately spoken, a native guide may accompany the tour.

  5. Can you help me book flights?

    Yes, we will always try our best to help with anything at all! We’re here to serve you. However, it is usually easier if you book your flight through your own travel agent as we can’t always get the best deals from your particular country. But we will help whenever needed!

  6. Can you book accommodation for us the night before the tour starts or the night the tour ends?

    While Day 1 is usually a travel (arrival) day, and the last day of the tour is usually also a travel day (departure), many people do like to arrive early and/or leave late. We can indeed book extra nights before and after the trip, and we in fact recommend you let us book them, as it avoids confusion and allows us to book the accommodation that is most convenient for the tour.

    NOTE: Most often it is the same hotel or lodge that you use on the first night of the tour, but in some instances, it could be an airport hotel or an accommodation establishment where the guide is staying.

  7. Do you provide trip insurance?

    No, we do not. We find that it is better for trip participants to purchase their own medical, trip cancellation, and baggage insurance through their own insurance provider in the country they reside in. We expect all tour participants to have comprehensive insurance, and we encourage everyone to send us a copy of their insurance documents.

  8. Are meals included?

    For most tours, meals are included in the tour price. This may include a hotel-provided breakfast, or guide-provided box lunches. For dinners, we strive to find interesting and delicious local restaurants – this allows us to give back to the local economy, and find exciting new place to eat.