5th Annual Sussex County Birding and Nature Festival
The fifth annual Sussex County Birding and Nature Festival will be held on June 5th and 6th. Our host is The Appalachian at Mountain Creek (www.mountaincreek.com - mention the Festival when making arrangements for overnight stays) in Vernon Township on State Highway 94. All field trips seeking flying creatures will take off from The Appalachian. Whether you love birds, butterflies, dragonflies or nature in general, this is where you want to be the first weekend in June! Each field trip runs for a ½ day mornings or afternoons .Check the website at www.sussexbirdingandnature.com or www.sussexcountyboardofagriculture.org for registration information. All of our leaders are experts in their fields. The Festival trips will highlight many of our public State and Federal lands. 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 acclaimed nature photographer Phil Echo. He'll be presenting "The Eagles of Homer, Alaska". This is an amazing showcase of bald eagle images showing every behavior of these magnificent birds. Prior to the keynote, there will be a field trip Sunday morning to seek out eagles on their nests in Sussex County. 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, New Jersey's Greenest County green! Registration is easy - check www.sussexbirdingandnature.com for details.
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 up close looks at these amazing critters during the Saturday walks. Our partner, The Nature Conservancy, will be leading a nature walk to their Muckshaw Preserve on Saturday. Our other partner, the NJ Audubon Society, will be highlighting the working relationships they have with some of our farmers with a walk at DanaRay farm. This Festival is a great opportunity to enjoy the diversity of species in a small geographical area. Bring binoculars and cameras and prepare to be wowed with the natural beauty Sussex County has to offer.
The Sussex County Birding and Nature Festival is a partnership between the County of Sussex (www.sussex.nj.us), The Nature Conservancy (www.tnc.org), New Jersey Audubon Society (www.njaudubon.org) and the Sussex County Board of Agriculture (www.sussexcountyboardofagriculture.org). Registration is easy - on line, mail in or at the event.