2009 Sussex County Birding and Nature Festival
The fourth annual Sussex County Birding and Nature Festival will be held on June 6th and 7th. Our host site is The Appalachian at Mountain Creek in Vernon Township (State Highway 94) where field trips to find all manner of flying creatures will take off from. Whether you love birds, butterflies, dragonflies or nature in general, this is where you want to be the first weekend in June! Our field trips run for 1/2 day (mornings or afternoons - check the website for registration information) and the leaders are all experts. The Festival trips will highlight many of our public lands including High Point and Kittatinny Valley State Parks, Stokes State Forest and the Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge. If you just want a shorter introduction to nature, there will be impromptu "Top of the Mountain" gondola trips from 9-3 all weekend long with leaders to point out interesting species during a walk around a mountain lake. On Sunday afternoon, to top off the festival, join us for nationally acclaimed speaker, author and birding expert, Pete Dunne from New Jersey Audubon. He'll be talking about "25 Things That Changed Birding". This should be a fun opportunity to hear how birding has become a "mainstream sport". There will also be a Green Marketplace for people to visit all weekend at The Appalachian to learn about Ecotourism and Agritourism opportunities and check out products that will help keep Sussex County green!
Although it's the tail end of migration for birds, we hope to find some good nesting species in our woods and grasslands. With the warmth of upcoming summer, the butterflies and dragonflies should be abundant. Did you know that Sussex County has more dragonfly species than any other county in the United States? Be prepared to be fascinated with upclose looks at these amazing dragonflies during the Saturday walks. Also on Saturday, you'll be able to "Compare our Bogs" with a morning field trip to Kuser Bog at High Point State Park and then an afternoon walk to the NJ Nature Conservancy's Mashipacong Bog. This is a great opportunity to see the diversity of species in a close geographical area. Bring binoculars and cameras and prepare to be wowed with the natural beauty Sussex County has to offer.
This is a joint project between the New Jersey Audubon Society/Sandy Hook Bird Observatory (www.njaudubon.org) and the County of Sussex. For registration details for field trips and the Sunday luncheon speaker, visit either the NJ Audubon website or www.sussex.nj.us. Download the registration form.