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Birding in the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts

Program Number: 19891RJ
Start and End Dates:
5/13/2013 - 5/16/2013;
Duration: 3 nights
Location: Deerfield, Massachusetts
Price starting at: $597.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Birding Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 8; 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 2 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Gluten Free    

In the Connecticut River Valley of Western Massachusetts — the Pioneer Valley to locals — discover a beautiful agricultural region where a diversity of avian species has given rise to a long history of birding and bird recordkeeping. Join local birding experts in the nooks and crannies of the Pioneer Valley to search for species both rare and common.




Highlights

• At the Westover Air Force Base, view one of the largest populations of Upland Sandpipers in New England, as well as the Grasshopper Sparrow and Bobolink.
• After a field trip to the Great Falls Discovery Center on the Connecticut River, walk the woodland shore of the river where there are nesting Bald Eagles.
• Walk Pocumtuck Ridge for spectacular views of the Deerfield River as you try to spot Hermit Thrush, Black-throated Green Warbler, Ovenbird and more.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to three miles on a variety of terrain, some steep stretches. Walk at Westover Air Force Base requires Social Security number and driver’s license.



So you can get the most out of your experience, all of our Birding programs have a maximum participant-to-instructor ratio of 14:1.



Coordinated by Historic Deerfield.




Deerfield

With a history encompassing both native inhabitants and European colonists, Deerfield offers a portrait of New England in its earliest days. This quintessential western Massachusetts village is surrounded by working farms and rolling cornfields, and its museum houses contain one of the best public collections of art and antiques in America.



Accommodations
Charming inn with individually decorated rooms with historical theme.
Meals and Lodgings
   Clarion Hotel
  Northampton, MA 3 nights
 Clarion Hotel
Type: Hotel
  Description: Clarion Hotel & Conference Center, a Northampton hotel near Smith College. Ideally located off Interstate 91, the Clarion Hotel® & Conference Center welcomes you to the culturally rich city of Northampton, the beautiful Connecticut River Valley and the famous Five Colleges area, home to the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass Amherst), Hampshire College, Smith College, Amherst College and Mount Holyoke College. Northampton is a perfect vacation spot for everyone! There are several unique attractions for families near this Northampton, MA hotel, including Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory & Gardens, Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Dr. Seuss Museum and one of the largest dinosaur footprint collections in the world at the Amherst College Museum of Natural History. For sports fans, the hotel is a short drive from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, MassMutual Center (home to the Springfield Falcons hockey team), and the Mullins Center (home to UMass Amherst basketball & hockey teams), offering a variety of entertainment options including concerts, theatrical performances and family shows. For those who love to shop, the area offers Thornes Marketplace, the nearby Holyoke Mall at Ingleside (one of western New England's largest shopping destinations) and several antique shops along the way to Historic Deerfield. Many other attractions are found in the area including golfing, the fairgrounds, parks, museums and other concert venues.
  Ship Information: 1 Atwood Dr., Northampton, MA 01060
  Contact info: 1 Atwood Dr
Northampton, MA 01060 USA
phone: 413-586-1211
web: www.clarionhotel.com/hotel-northampton-massachusetts-MA117?sid=xp7XyM.rYes9gaZJ.15&&sarea=&sname=&slon=-72.622192&slat=42.303322&schain=&scountry=&sstate=&type=&sradius=&sstate_country=&scity=
  Room amenities: Cable/Satellite TV Free Hi Speed Internet Free Local Calls Free Newspaper Mon-Fri Free Wireless High Speed Internet Access Hair Dryer In-Room Air Conditioning In-Room Coffee Maker In-Room Desk Individual A/C & Heat Iron & Ironing Board Non-Smoking Rooms Available Room Service * Voice Mail Wake-Up Service
  Facility amenities: Hotel Services and Amenities: Bus Parking Business Center Lounge/Bar * Free Handicap Parking on Premises Game Room * Government Travelers: FEMA Approved Guest Use Copy Machine * Guest Use Fax Machine * Hi-Speed Web Access Horseshoes Indoor Heated Pool Lit Outdoor Tennis Courts Meeting Room * Outdoor Parking Pet-friendly Hotel Rental Refrigerator * Restaurant * Seasonal Outdoor Pool Secretarial Service * Sun Deck Truck Parking Valet Cleaning Service * Volleyball Services/Amenities in All Rooms:
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: starting at $205/night + tax will finalize with hotel and enter this later = by Thursday March 1
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: starting at $205/night + tax will finalize with hotel and enter this later = by Thursday March 1
  Check out time: 11:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
3:00 pm You will be staying at Clarion Hotel that night.
  End of Program:
1:00 pm You will be staying at Clarion Hotel the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. For possible field trip to Westover Air Force Base: Driver's License required for security clearance
  Parking availability:
Plentiful parking in the lot by Clarion Hotel.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Northampton, MA
  Nearest city or town:  Springfield, MA
  Nearest highway: Interstate 91 and MA Route 2
  Nearest airport:  Bradley International Aiport Hartford/Springfield
  From End of Program
  Location: Northampton, MA
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Hartford

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Seemo Shuttle
phone: 800-908-2829
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

~$55/person shared shuttle or $100/ ride private service
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

.75 

 

Distance:

 

40 miles

   

Seemo offers both a per person shared shuttle that picks up at the airport on a rotating schedule or a private service. When travel with 2 or more people, it is best to get the private service.

 

Northampton

 

From Bus Terminal

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
Cool Rides
phone: 413-218-9054

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$10.00
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

10 minutes 

   

Peter Pan bus lines to Northampton. For schedules and rates call: 800-237-8747

 

Hartford

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Cool Rides
phone: 413-218-9054
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

~$100/ride (if two or more people ride is still ~$100)
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1.25 

   

Cool Rides offers door to door service with no other passanger pick ups or drop offs. Visit company website: www.coolridesnorthampton.com/index.htm

 

Hartford

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Valley Transporter
phone: 800-872-8752
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

~$65/person
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1.25 hours or more depending on # of other passengers 

   

Valley Transporter offers a shared ride shuttle. Reservations can be made online at valleytransporter.hudsonltd.net/res

 
Driving Directions
  Bradley Int'l Airport Hartford/Springfield Exit Airport, follow signs to Interstate 91 a north on 91 towards Springfield, stay on 91 passed Holyoke to exit 18. Turn right off ramp to go southbound on Rt 5. The Clarion entrance road is the first right from the exit ramp. Car rentals available at the airport.
  From 1-91 Northbound in Massachusetts North on 91 to exit 18. Turn right off ramp to go southbound on Rt 5. The Clarion entrance road is the first right from the exit ramp.
  From 1-91 Southbound in Massachusetts South on 91 to exit 18. Turn right off ramp to go southbound on Rt 5. The Clarion entrance road is the first right from the exit ramp.
  From I-90 - Massachusetts Turnpike Eastbound or Westbound Exit 4 - I-91. Follow I-91 Northbound, towards Holyoke from tollbooth. Follow directions for I-91 Northbound
Equipment Requirements: binoculars, good hiking footwear suitable for both hills and wetlands, bird book, bug repellent, water bottle, sun/ran hat
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Welcome to the Pioneer Valley - Learn about Our Bird World
(Monday, May 13)

Note: “A Sense of Place in the Connecticut Valley: What to Expect in our Bird World” John Green, Naturalist & Photographer, who has over 35 years of experience of birding in the Pioneer Valley and many other locations around the world.



   
 Arrive To: Program registration: After you have registered for your room at the Clarion Hotel, registration for program will be held in breakfast service area of the hotel where you'll receive your arrival packet containing the most up-to-date schedule. At 4:30 the group leader will provide an orientation in the breakfast area to the logistics of the week and participants will get acquainted with each other. Please be aware that the program is subject to change based on local conditions and unforeseen circumstances. Participants will be notified a soon as possible. Thank you for your understanding. Dinner: Dinner is in the breakfast area at the Clairon Hotelt featuring traditional New England fare that will highlight the bounty of local farms’ seasonal harvests. Vegetarians and special dietary restrictions can be accommodated with prior notice; please be sure to indicate you needs on your health and safety form.
 Evening: Evening: Hear a fascinating and animated introductory lecture: "A Sense of Place in the Pioneer Valley: What to Expect in our Bird World" by John Green, local naturalist and nature photographer with 38 years of experience walking the nooks and crannies of the valley. In previous sessions of this program, the group spotted over 50 different species on the walks led by John.
   
Accommodations: Clarion Hotel

Day 2: Birds of the Quabbin Reservoir and Deerfield
(Tuesday, May 14)

Note: Planned walks on the Norwottuck Rail Trail from Amherst, the Quabbin Reservoir in Belchertown, Historic Deerfield - with a tour of a historic museum house, and the Great Falls Discovery Center and Barton Cove on the Connecticut River. Final routes for all field trips will be evaluated by bird guides to assess the current bird activity to maximize the number of species viewed. In the evening Scott Surner will provide a lecture on the history of Westover and an introduction to its habitat.



   
 Breakfast: The day starts with continental breakfastt Clarion Hotel at 5:00 a.m. The group will board a van for early field trip at 5:30 a.m. The group will meet birding guide, John Green, at Norwottuck Rail Trail and the move to the Quabbin Reservoir for a long walk. The week prior to the program John will evaluate the best route for the most species of the birds based on local seasonal conditions. Possible species that could be sited are Yellow-throated and Blue-headed Vireos; Blue-gray Gnat-catcher; Chestnut-sided , Pine, Black-and-white, Black-throated Blue, Black-throated Green, Blackburnian, and Cerulean Warblers; Ovenbird, Hermit and Wood Thrush; Least Flycatcher, Eastern Wood-Pewee; Eastern Towhee; and Rose-breasted Grosbeak. After the walk, participants will have a hot and hearty brunch the Hawley Family Restaurant in Belchertown.
 Morning: After brunch, participants will board the van and travel to Rattlesnake Gutter Road in Leverett or other birding location of note and of seasonal interest for a short, scenic walk with John Green which can offer a wide variety of birds including: Pileated Woodpecker, Winter Wren, Veery, Common Ravens, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Golden-crowned Kinglet, and Dark-eyed Junco.
 Lunch: Early lunch/brunch at Hawley Family Restaurant in Belchertown
 Afternoon: The afternoon will start with a tour of the Well-Thorn House of Historic Deerfield that interprets the history of the village through time from 1740 to 1850. There will be short free time for a self-guided bird walk around the village or to visit other museum houses. After two hours of time in the village the group will board the van again for a field trip to the Great Falls Discovery Center located in Turners Falls on the Connecticut River. Here they will enjoy an exhibit that interprets the habitats of the entire Connecticut Valley from the Connecticut lakes in Northern New Hampshire to the river delta marshes near New Haven, Connecticut. Expert center staff will orient participants to the exhibits and tell to story of the creation of the Silvio O. Conte National Wildlife Refuge that protects key habitats in the Connecticut River watershed. After the visiting the center, participants will travel back to Greenfield to enjoy a scenic walk at Poet's Seat Tower to overlook the valley and view a variety of warblers and other species.
 Dinner: The Clarion Hotel will provide a hearty meal.
 Evening: Participant will learn more about the threats and challenges facing bird habitats in the Valley with a lecture from Scott Surner, President of the Hampshire Bird Club. Scott, a lifelong birder, is passionate about local birds and will share is commitment to conserving the habitats of the valley. Scott will also provide a brief history of the Westover Airforce Base and why it continues to be one the best birding destinations in the Pioneer Valley. The evening will end early to give people enough rest for a 5:30 a.m. departure Wednesday morning.
   
Accommodations: Clarion Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Birds of Lower Pioneer Valley and Overview of the Entire Connecticut River Valley
(Wednesday, May 15)

Note: Westover Air Force Base*, Chicopee *Alternate if security disallows Westover will be Fannie Stebbins Wildlife Refuge, Longmeadow. At Westover, please be mindful that ticks are present in the grassland environment and come prepare, in the morning - home of one of the largest populations of Upland Sandpipers and Grasshopper Sparrows in New England. In the afternoon a hilltown birding destination based on local species activity. In evening John Green will provide slideshow bird and nature photo



   
 Breakfast: The day starts with continental breakfast at the Clarion Hotel at 5:00 a.m. The group will board a van for early field trip at 5:30 a.m. The group will meet their expert guide at the Westover Air Force Base in Chicopee (which requires security clearance and can not be confirmed until about a month before the trip, the necessary information from participants will be collected in the event that access for the field trip is approved by the local Air Force superintendent). At Westover, participants will be able to view one of the largest populations of Upland Sandpipers in New England as well as the Grasshopper Sparrow and Bobolink. During the 2011 session of this program, participants spotted 45 and 2012 session spotted 31 different species on the field trip. If Westover is unavailable due to unforseen circumstances the group will meet their guide at the Fannie Stebbins Wildlife Refuge along the Connecticut River in Longmeadow The species that can be viewed at Fannie Stebbins are Great Blue and Green Heron, Wood Duck, Belted Kingfisher. After the morning bird walk, participants will have a hot and hearty breakfast/lunch at the Bernie's Dining Depot in Chicopee (if birding at Westover) or Christo's in Agawam (if birding in Longmeadow).
 Lunch: The group will receive a hearty brunch after walk at the Westover Air Force Base at Bernie's Dining Depot in Chicopee. Bernie's is a local institution that the locals frequent and bring their out-of-towns guest to.
 Afternoon: After a brief free time for clean up after the field trip to Westover, the group will head to a hill town destination for birding in the higher woodland area of the Pioneer Valley. Final destination will be based on the local bird activity in habitats.
 Dinner: The Clarion Hotel will provide a hearty dinner .
 Evening: John Green will share his many years of nature photography from around the world and early to bed to rest for 5:30 a.m. departure for morning field trip.
   
Accommodations: Clarion Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Birds of the Arcadia Wildlike Sanctuary in Easthampton.
(Thursday, May 16)

Note: Final Bird Walk at the Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary in Easthampton where participants will find a large Blue Heron rookery along the Connecticut River oxbow.



   
 Breakfast: The day starts with continental breakfast Clarion Hotel at 5:00 a.m.
 Morning: At 5:30 the group will board the van for a final field trip to the Arcadia Wildlike Sancturary on the Oxbow of the Connecticut River in Easthampton. Participants will find a large Blue Heron Rookery at the location.
 Lunch: The Clarion Hotel will provide a box lunch upon return from field trip for participants to take with them on their way home.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Northampton, MA Chaning Blake Foot Path
Free time activity in Old Deerfield. A fully accessible footpath open seasonally, the Channing Blake Foot Patth takes visitors past a working farm and through meadows to the Deerfield River. Interpretive panels along the one-third mile walk describe local geology, natural history, and Native and European presence. For additional information, visit www.historic-deerfield.org/outdoors
  Historic Deerfield Cooks' Garden
Free time activity in Old Deerfield. This kitchen garden serves as a source of fresh ingredients for the museum’s open hearth cooking demonstrations and classes. The garden contains an assortment of useful plants commonly found in New England during the 18th and early 19th centuries. The Cooks’ Garden was dedicated in 2006 in memory of Margaret Quinn Orloske, a member of the museum who enjoyed open hearth cooking and gardening, and with thousands of others died on September 11, 2001. Funds from the Margaret Quinn Orloske Endowment are used to replenish heirloom plants, for general garden maintenance, and for support of the open hearth cooking program
  Historic Deerfield Museum Store
Free time activity in Old Deerfield Historic Deerfield Museum Store offers a wide array of gifts and books. Find a variety of American crafts, jewelry, and reproductions as well as souvenirs. The bookshop features thousands of titles on art, history, craft, and architecture. A children’s book section offers books for young readers of all ages. For additional information, visit www.historic-deerfield.org/museum-store-page
  Magic Wings
Free time activities in Deerfield accessible by personal car. Enjoy other local attraction along Deefield main artery - routes 5 & 10. Magic Wings Butterfly conservatory, 8,000-square foot conservatory is home to nearly 4,000 free-flying butterflies from all over the world! Summer hours 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Spring, Fall and Winter hours: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admissions are not included. For additional information, visit www.magicwings.com/
  Memorial Hall Musuem
Free time activity in Old Deerfield. Museum hours: 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.The village museum, Memorial Hall, is one of New England's oldest museums. When Deerfield Academy's original 1798 school building became available, antiquarian George Sheldon organized the collection of artifacts he was assembling and in 1880, Memorial Hall opened. The museum's extraordinary collection of furnishings, paintings, textiles and Indian artifacts is "the finest collection of local antiquities in New England and one of America's oldest museums." Admission not included For additional information, visit www.deerfield-ma.org/
  Memorial Libraries
Free time activity in Old Deerfield The libraries of Deerfield’s two museums, Historic Deerfield and the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, are housed together in one building, known as the Memorial Libraries. The Henry N. Flynt Library serves primarily as a research center for Historic Deerfield’s collections and programs. Holdings are particularly strong in the decorative arts, architecture, and material culture of early New England, and include approximately 21,000 printed volumes, numerous periodicals, and more than 2,000 microforms accessible through an online catalog. The Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association Library collections document the life and thought of Deerfield from the close of the 17th century to the 20th. The library’s 24,000 books, many with histories of local ownership, include literature, sermons, history, travel, biography, and works on agriculture, animal husbandry, and domestic economy. The library also has an extensive manuscript collection, rich in material on families and local history. Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tuesday - Friday For additional information, visit www.historic-deerfield.org/library
  Yankee Candle
Free time activity in Deerfield accessible by car. Flagship store for Yankee Candle, based in South Deerfield, Massachusetts. World's largest candle store. It's a candle lover's dream - over 160 of our famous, true-to-life scents, plus beautiful accessories, accents and collectibles. Come experience Wax Works - The newest area of Yankee Candle Village! Enjoy wax hands, wax souvenirs, wax art and so much more. Candlemaking Museum. Ever wonder how Colonial Americans lit their homes? See fascinating, free daily demonstrations of nineteenth-century candlemaking.Open everyday 10:00 a.m to 6:00 p.m. For additional information, visit www.yankeecandle.com/cgi-bin/ycbvp/ycContent.jsp?page=%2fNavigation%2fNon+Product+Left%2fAbout+Yankee+Candle%2fVisit+a+Flagship+Store%2fFlagship+Store
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


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