If you enjoy bird watching, make sure to visit Long Island’s Shelter Island. Shelter Island is just a short Ferry ride from the village of Greenport, NY is a perfect location to bike and watch birds. If you don’t plan to bring your own bike, do not worry as rentals are available at the Mobile Station not far from the North Ferry dock. Although bird watching can be done from about any location on Shelter Island, one of the favorite locations is Mashomack Preserve, known as a nature lovers’ delight.
Mashomack Preserve is considered one of the richest habitats in the Northeast. The preserve contains 2,039 acres, which is about 1/3 of the island. Among the riches to be found are tidal creeks, oak woodlands, fields, and freshwater marshes. The preserve is often referred to as the “Jewel of the Peconic” and is edged in white by 10 miles of coastline. Mashomack Preserve is open 9 A.M. to 5 P.M., March through September, and 9 A.M. to 4 P.M. October through February.
For those seeking birds, you will not be disappointed. Many birds are year around residents of Shelter Island and the list is long. It includes Cedar Waxwing, Blue Jay, Black-capped Chickadee, American Goldfinch, Northern Cardinal, Mourning Dove, American Robin, House Finch, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, and Carolina Wren. Migrating birds throughout the Spring and Fall include Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Purple Finch, Indigo Bunting, Canada Warbler, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Palm Warble, Black-throated Green Warbler, and others. Lastly, there are the Summer visitors. They can be a mixed variety but Scarlet Tanager, Baltimore Oriole, Common Yellowthroat, Eastern Phoebe, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Red-winged Blackbird, Common Grackle, Great-crested Flycatcher, Black-and-white Warbler, Piping Plover, Least Tern, and Osprey. I think that covers the birds, but let us know if we missed any!