Activities and Walks

Monthly Walks

Please join us on our monthly Second Saturday bird walks held at Avalon Park and Preserve in Stony Brook and Frank Melville Park in Setauket.  These walks are free for all; no registration is required.  Binoculars are recommended.

Avalon Walk:  Meet in front of the Stony Brook Grist Mill next to Stony Brook Pond at 8 a.m. (November through March walks are held at 9 a.m.)  

Frank Melville Park Walk:  Meet at the Setauket Post Office located at 101 Main Street at 11 a.m. 

The walks usually last 1 to 2 hours. Note that the walks may be canceled due to cold weather, rain, or snow.  Please wear appropriate attire for the weather conditions.

Upcoming Walks and Events


Sunday, December 10, 2017 – 1:30 – 3:30 p.m.                                                                                                 Holiday Family Fun Day – Free and open to all!

Bates House

 Celebrate the winter holiday season with Four Harbors at the Bates House located at one Bates Road in Setauket for a day of fun and education for all ages.  Enjoy a Nature Talk and Walk and learn about the local birds and wildlife that share out community in winter.  Create a clamshell ornament, bird feeder ornament, or a tic-tac-toe game to keep or give as a gift.  See a Screech Owl up close! Warm cider and cookies for all!  Come for all or part of the day.  Free and open to all!  For additional information: email


Wednesday, December 13, 2017, 9 a.m. – Wednesday Walks at West Meadow

This walk has been cancelled. The town has temporarily closed West Meadow Beach due to an ongoing dredging project. Therefore, we will have to cancel our December 13th bird walk. At this time, the January 10th walk is still on – It is anticipated that the beach will be reopened sometime after January 1st. Check for updates on our Facebook page or on the website.


 Wednesday, December 27, 2017 – Christmas Bird Count

Join us for the nation’s longest running citizen science project…the Christmas Bird Count!  The Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is a long-standing program of the National Audubon Society, with over 100 years of citizen science involvement. It is an early-winter bird census, where thousands of volunteers across the US, Canada and many countries in the Western Hemisphere, go out over a 24-hour period on one calendar day to count birds.

You may join a team or watch and count your feeder birds and email in your count to Luci Betti-Nash at  or text it to 631-766-3893 before 5:00 PM on Wednesday. Please be sure to include where and when you counted so we avoid double counts. Remember to count the number of each species you see, but try not to double count. Contact for additional information.


Saturday, January 6, 2018 – Owl Prowl

Time and location to be determined.  Check website and Facebook for information as it becomes available.


Wednesday, January 10, 2018, 9 a.m. – Wednesday Walks at West Meadow

Enjoy a weekday bird walk at West Meadow Wetlands Reserve, Meet at kiosk at entrance to Trustees Road


Saturday, January 13, 2018:

  • Avalon Park & Preserve Bird Walk, 9 a.m.
  • Frank Melville Memorial Park/Mill Pond Bird Walk, 11 a.m.


Winter Waterfowl Count, Sunday January 14th and Monday, January 15.  Inclement weather dates Saturday, January 20 and Sunday, January 21


  • Saturday, January 14 – Salt water, waterfowl counts at: Sunken Meadow State Park, Short Beach, Long Beach, Nissequogue Bird Sanctuary, Smithtown Boat Basin.
  • Sunday, January 15 – Fresh water, waterfowl counts at Blydenburgh south and north entrances, Caleb Smith, and Landing Avenue Park.

Please contact if you would like to participate, and bring a scope if you have one. 


Montauk Field Trip, Saturday, January 20, 2018

John Turner will lead a trip to Montauk Point.  Meet at 9 a.m. at the Exit 63 Park & Ride parking lot to carpool and drive out together, shooting to be at the park at about 10:30-10:45. For those going straight, we’ll meet in the upper parking lot. Based on a review of the website it does not appear that there is an entrance fee although I’m not positive, so folks should be prepared to fork over $8 if need be. We’ll bird the tip and then head west stopping to walk the seal haul-out trail. On the way back, we can make additional stops to look for reported highlights.  Please reserve:


Four Harbors Lecture Series, General Members Meeting and Presentation:  Tuesday, January 23, 2017                                                                                                                      Madagasgar – Island of Magnificent Beauty and Silent Suffering

Presented by Four Harbors Board Member, Patricia Paladines, at Emma Clark Library, Setauket

Madagascar is the fourth largest island on Earth. Archaeological evidence reveals that it existed unexplored by humans until around 2000 BC. Austronesian people arrive to settle the island sometime between 350 BC and AD 550. Bantu migrants from East Africa arrived on the west coast at around AD 1000. Malagasy ethnic groups are divided into 18 tribes.    Before human arrival, Madagascar’s plants and animals had been evolving in relative isolation since the island split from the Indian peninsula around 88 million years ago. Primate ancestors of the lemurs and avian ancestors of vangas arrived at some point and diversified to fill available ecological niches with very little competition or threat from predators. Approximately 103 species of lemurs have been identified so far, and around 22 species of vangas. Both groups of animals are found nowhere else in the world. If Charles Darwin had arrived on Madagascar instead of the Galapagos he would have been equally or even more fascinated by the island’s extraordinary diversity of endemic species. 

 Madagascar is also one of the poorest countries in the world. Out of need and desperation, the people continue to destroy their unique natural heritage. Malnutrition is one of the silent killers affecting many Malagasy children.

FHAS board member Patricia Paladines will share photographs taken while working in Madagascar with efforts relating to conservation of the island’s biodiversty and humanitarian causes.

Light refreshments will be served. 

Free and open to all, Reservations required.  Email 

6:30 – 7:00: refreshments and meeting; 7:00: Presentation, to be followed by question and answer period.


Saturday, February 10, 2018:

  • Avalon Park & Preserve Bird Walk, 9 a.m.
  • Frank Melville Memorial Park/Mill Pond Bird Walk, 11 a.m.


Sunday, February 11, 2018

Off the Beaten Path, Arthur Kunz County Park,

Landing Avenue and Landing Road, San Remo.  Park on road.  Join us for a scenic walk through local Oak/Hickory woodlands and marsh to look for local resident birds and migrants along the low glacial ridge and saltmarsh by the Nissequogue River and along the edge of the Smithtown Landing Country Club. 


Wednesday, February 14, 2018, 9 a.m. – Wednesday Walks at West Meadow

Enjoy a weekday bird walk at West Meadow Wetlands Reserve, Meet at kiosk at entrance to Trustees Road


Great Backyard Bird Count, Friday, February 16 – Monday, February 19, 2018

The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is a free, fun, and easy event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of bird populations. Participants are asked to count birds for as little as 15 minutes (or as long as they wish) on one or more days of the four-day event and report their sightings online at Anyone can take part in the Great Backyard Bird Count, from beginning bird watchers to experts, and you can participate from your backyard, or anywhere in the world. Each checklist submitted during the GBBC helps researchers at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society learn more about how birds are doing, and how to protect them and the environment we share. Last year, more than 160,000 participants submitted their bird observations online, creating the largest instantaneous snapshot of global bird populations ever recorded.

Orange County “Black Dirt” Region Field Trip – Saturday, February 17, 2018

Meet at the Exit 49 Park & Ride of the Long Island Expressway (on the westbound service road on the north side of the LIE between Pinelawn Road and Route 110) at 8 a.m. We’ll travel north to bird the northern part of the Wallkill River NWR looking for winter raptors and songbirds, and then move north through the Black Dirt region eventually ending up at Shawangunk Grasslands NWR to look for wintering raptors including short-eared owls. We’ll stop for dinner and then head home! 

Leader:  John Turner

Reservations Required:


Saturday, February 24, 2018, 9:30 a.m.

Off the Beaten Path – Nissequogue River State Park

Learn the less well-known bird walks at Nissequogue River State Park.

Meet at Administration Building on steps.  799 Saint Johnland Rd, Kings Park, NY 11754.


See current newsletter for additional FHAS activities

Directions to Avalon Park and Preserve – 200  Harbor Road. Stony Brook NY.

From the Long Island Expressway:
Take EXIT 62 (C.R. 97, or Nicolls Road) NORTH until it ends at 25A in Stony Brook. Turn LEFT onto 25A and proceed approximately 1.5 miles to Main Street. Immediately before the stoplight, bear RIGHT onto Main Street. One block ahead on the LEFT is Harbor Road. Parking is available along Main Street, on Harbor Road, and in the village shopping center just past the park on Main Street. The park’s boardwalk entrance is on Harbor Road.
Trail maps are available in the kiosk at the Harbor Road entrance.