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Beginning Birdwatchers Workshop I: Waterfowl

More than two-dozen species of waterfowl can be found in East End waters in fall, winter and spring. The Group for the East End invites you meet them all.

Join them indoors at the Downs Farm Nature Center in Cutchogue to be introduced to the varieties of local ducks, geese and swans. Then head outside to several locations in Southold to observe waterfowl in the field.

Reservations are required as space is limited to 12 participants.  Program fee: $10 per person.

For reservations or more information, please contact Steve Biasetti at 631-765-6450 ext. 205 or sbiasetti@eastendenvironment.org.

Pine Barrens Sleuthing Hike

Hike 1.5 miles of the Pine Barrens in search of the elusive Buck Moth, one of the East End’s most endangered wildlife. Perhaps you’ll see the Pine Warbler, Eastern Towhee, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Golden-crowned Kinglet and many other birds along the way.

Hosted by the Group for the East End.

For reservations or more information, please contact Aaron Virgin at 631-765-6450 ext. 218 or acvirgin@eastendenvironment.org.

The Shorecrest Bed and Breakfast Events Calendar – Your Most Up-to-Date Guide to Things to Do on the East End of Long Island, New York

At Shorecrest Bed and Breakfast in Southold, New York, keeping up with local events is imperative to our guests ultimate comfort and experience on Long Island. For this very reason, we keep a regular scheduled list of events available to our guests and views here on our BnB blog.

Long Island Events Calendar

If you check over to the right of this page where the arrows point, you will see that the top arrow shows Next Event, which indicates the events that are going on in the Southold area of Long Island currently.  Click on the More Info tab to see a more robust listing. The arrow pointing down shows you the Upcoming Events listed in our area along with the date of the event. Use these helpful tips to help you plan your trip to the North Fork of Long Island at the Shorecrest Bed and Breakfast Inn.

A map on the Shorecrest Bed and Breakfast site will show you all of the local entertainments to be found here.

North Fork Entertainment

There are many things to do while staying over in the North Fork, Long Island area.

Arts and Culture

The Arts in Southold Town

The folks of North Fork and Shelter Island enjoy participating in the appreciation of  The Arts in Southold Town. The priority of The Arts is to reach and help to stimulate as many as possible to visit and participate in a great and reliable arts feature in the community.

Visit The Arts in Southhold Town – Phone: 631 734-6320

The North Fork Community Theater

The North Fork Community Theater has been an integral part of the North Fork community for over 50 years.

Visit North Fork Community Theater – Phone: 631 734-6320

Dining

North Fork Table and Inn

Try the North Fork Table and Inn for some delectable Long Island fare. Don’t forget The Lunch Truck too that sells exquisite food created by Chefs Fleming and Hayden from 11:30 to 3:30, 4 days per week, closed Tuesday thru Thursday

Visit the North Fork Table and Inn or the Lunch Truck – 631.765.0177

A Lure Restaurant

Welcome to A Lure where the food is fresh, fantastic and what Long Island dining is all about. Visit their location on Long Island during your next visit to Shorecrest BnB.

Visit A Lure Restaurant – 631 876-5300

Heritage Sites

Custer Institute and Observatory

Enjoy the beauty of the vast open night sky from the Custer Institute and Observatory. Long Islands oldest public observatory has many special events throughout the year.

Visit the Custer Institute and Observatory -  631-765-2626

Wineries

Corey’s Creek Vineyards

Corey’s Creek Vineyard offers a tasting room and gift shop in an open airy, barn-like structure with glass doors that open to an outdoor deck. When staying at Shorecrest BnB check out Corey Creek.

Visit Corey Creek Vineyards – 631- 765-4168

Duck Walk North Vineyard

Creating award winning, distinctive wines on the North Fork, Duck Walk North Vineyard is another nearby winery option.

Visit the Duck Walk North Vineyard – 631- 765-3500

News from Shorecrest BandB: A Winter Wonderland photo diary of the North Fork of Long Island

The path to the Shorecrest inlet beach: a winter wonderland in a blanket of new snow

Always a fan of the great natural beauty of the North Fork, its open fields and miles of beaches, I am particularly enamored of its winter glory. The area is looking especially beautiful at present in its white winter coat of snow and offers great photo opportunities for the camera buff. I am equally fond of the local wildlife which, if not in hibernation might need some extra help during this kind of harsh winter weather. The birds at my feeder just outside my window are a constant source of entertainment as they brave the storm to supplement their winter diet.Over the summer we could hear the call of a red fox in the nights and spotted him a few times dashing across route 48 in the late evening or early morning hours. Now we know where he goes as we can spot his tracks in the snow from his nightly hunting forays. I hope he manages to find and make a meal of some of the sleeping voles that were eating my bulbs and perennial flower roots last spring! Gardeners quickly lose any sentimental feelings over pesky rodents, and anyway, I’m a big admirer of handsome Mister Fox.

Large amounts of snow can be a burden in an urban setting; and not pretty as soon as it turns from pristine white to a dirty gray color, then black, in a very short time.  Piled high on every corner, it makes getting around a chore in the city as I remember well from when I worked in Manhattan. But on the sparsely populated North Fork the snow remains white and pristine on all but the busiest main roads and its beauty a pleasure. Driving the back roads, visiting the creeks and vineyards or hiking the nature preserves and beaches, the stunning views just take your breath away.

If you want to regain that feeling of childhood, when a snow storm was a magical event that transformed the landscape and made everything beautiful, take a little break and come stay with us for a couple of days. We are only just over two hours from Manhattan and a less than fifteen minutes from the Orient Point Ferry. Visit the ‘Area Attractions’ page of our website to see our map and lists of things to do and see while you are here. Bring your Valentine , any time through the end of March, and be treated to a complimentary champagne picnic or wine class included in the cost of a two night stay. Visit our website and click on the ‘check availability BnB rooms’ for rates and calendar.

News updates from Shorecrest

Each winter I choose a couple of projects to improve the comforts and amenities of the BnB for my guests. This year I tackled extending the central heating and cooling system that serves the rest of the house to the west porch and improving the insulation of the storm windows. The result has been that guests have been able to sit out there, play chess, scrabble or just read on even cold days this winter. It is also now usable for far more days of the year for in house massage, and is large enough for either a single person or couple to receive their treatment. There is nothing so relaxing as a semi outdoor massage with natural daylight and a view of the gardens and water of the inlet beyond.

We are offering special stay packages with massage and/or wine classes included throughout the winter and early spring. Please visit our website to check availability, special offers and discount on massage with a two night stay or more.

Shorecrest waterfront houses available for summer rentals

Summer is coming and isn’t it time to think about a vacation for you and yours? If you are limited for time, traveling far by plane can cut so much time from your much needed holiday and so exhausting, you need another vacation to recover when you get back! Isn’t it fortunate then that there is so much to do on the North Fork for all ages and it is amazing that such an idyllic place could be just a short journey from large Metropolitan areas as Manhattan by road, train or bus and Boston and Connecticut via the Cross Sound Ferries from New London or Bridgeport. We are also only 45 minutes from Long Island’s McArthur airport and two hours from JFK or La Guardia for those coming from further away and who need to fly. Great for families with children and even pets, Shorecrest Property Management has four waterfront houses still with availability for rent this coming summer. Please visit our Property Management website  for photos and details and links to our reservation calendar for house prices and availability.

I look forward to welcoming you to Shorecrest and the North Fork soon!

Greenport, North Fork, Long Island – a nature walk and birding by iphone at the Arshamomaque Preserve.


Warm days in April are some of the best times to walk the trails of the  Arshamomaque nature preserve on Chapel Lane in Greenport, Long Island, a two minute drive from the Shorecrest Bed and Breakfast on the way to Greenport village.

The preserve is 51 acres, part of the Long Island Pine Barrens Maritime Reserve and listed for protection because of its exceptional scenic, biological and recreational resources and at this time of year offers a rare and brief opportunity to see and photograph the Vernal ponds .

Reflections in a vernal pond

This week the weather was perfect, mild but with a crispness in the air, and as the trees had not yet leafed out there was nothing to restrict the view of the magical reflections in the ponds, which cover a large area of the preserve at the end of winter.

Swamp Cottonwood in early Spring

These expanses of water which only exist for a short time as a result of the snows and rains of winter will dry up entirely as the weather warms but not before the many animals that depend on them, especially for breeding will have completed one important cycle of their lives. Most of these animals such as frogs, toads, turtles, and salamanders spend a majority of their life in the nearby wetlands but migrate to breed or feed in these productive vernal pools. Fingernail clams and air-breathing snails live their entire life in vernal pools and must burrow beneath leaves and mud when the pool dries until the water returns. Fairy shrimp produce eggs that remain in the dry pool after the adult’s death and hatch after the pool refills.

Wood anenomes carpet the forest floor in April

Arial photographs indicate that sixty percent of the preserve was once farmed. Over time fields were left fallow and resulted in the mixed stages of plant succession that you can see as you pass along the trails. Some meadow like areas are at early stages of development and still dominated by grasses and perennial herbs, providing food and cover for white tailed deer, bobwhite quail and eastern cottontails.

A grassy meadow within the preserve

A large area is at the shrub land stage where eastern red cedar and northern bayberry prevail, providing cover for animals to sleep, roost and escape predators. Finally stands of black locusts, a fast growing deciduous tree represent a more advanced stage of succession, and these will eventually, in many years give way to beeches, oaks and hickories.

Reflections in the Marsh

The preserve also includes an example of a swamp cottonwood forest, rare in NY State, also mixed with other swamp hardwoods which support specialized bird and animal populations.

The short or the long trail- you choose

The blue trail will take you to the bird observation tower, a tree house like structure with a view over the marsh.

Bird spotting from the tree house blind

I brought my iphone with the ‘chirp!USA’ app, a bird song and photograph identification tool that I have used in my back yard to attract different species to my feeders. This time I played the Redwing blackbird song and sure enough, within minutes an interested male of the species was checking out the source – of  a rival or possible mate? – not being a bird, I really had no way to tell!

Male Redwing blackbird checking out my iphone

Arshamomaque is only one of many preserves on the North Fork which offer such quiet and tranquil beauty all year round including the National Audubon Society preserve just a few minutes from the Shorecrest . I will be writing about the others soon in this blog and reporting back as they change with the season.

Cattail Marsh from the bird blind

Cattail Marsh viewed from the bird blind

I hope you will find the time to visit and enjoy them too, and ask us about our special discounts for National Audubon and Garden Conservancy members for off season and mid week stays, and a private tour of the Shorecrest gardens.

March view from the bird blind

The Shorecrest Bed and Breakfast gardens are predominantly planted up with perennials and a generous dose of annuals, mostly self seeded from the previous year, to maintain color and fill in gaps when the perrenial borders aren’t quite up to par.

I’ll be writing about them in my next blog post  and following up with progressive articles as they change throughout the year

We look forward to welcoming you to Shorecrest soon and would love to be your guide and helper as you explore the natural beauty of the North Fork.

Bird Watching on the North Fork of Long Island

The North Fork Audubon Society is one of our favorite locations to bird watch on Long Island.  Located in Greenport, New York this chapter of the National Audubon Society continues to maintain a diverse trail system which covers over 1 ½ miles of trails over 50 acres of land.  The trails have a variety of terrain including woodlands, an inlet pond, trails along the beach of Long Island Sound, and a fresh water pond.  Trails are open daily for hiking and bird watching from dawn to dusk.

If you prefer to have guided tours, most Sundays and Tuesdays they offer Family Nature Walks.  This is an opportunity to learn about birds, plants, and animals that live on the North Fork.  Be sure to check their calendar for their up-to-date schedule.  For the remainder of October the walks are scheduled for October 18, 20, 25, and 27th.

Every third Tuesday of the month features “Tuesdays with Tom”.  He is sure to entertain as he guides you along the North Fork to enjoy a little hiking and bird watching.  On Tuesday, October 20th he will visit Jamaica Bay in search for migrating hawks and falcons.  He notes that merlins can also be found along this route.  Make sure to save the date of November 17th for another of his guided days.

Programs and Presentations are also in abundance at the North Fork Audubon Society.  Friday, November 18th will host a presentation on the Calverton Grasslands. Calverton Grasslands is home to many protected species and will discuss how they utilize the grassland habitat.

The North Fork Audubon Society offers guests of the Shorecrest Bed and Breakfast year around activities.  We know you will enjoy them!

Shelter Island, a Nature Lovers’ Delight

Shelter Island is just a short Ferry ride from the village of Greenport, NY is a great place to watch birds and for biking.    Just a short walk up the hill from the North Ferry dock you will find a Mobil station which provides bicycle rentals.   Shelter Island is ideal for biking and we recommend a visit to Mashomack Preserve as it is 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!

Make sure to put Shelter Island on your list of places to visit when you are enjoying Shorecrest Bed & Breakfast!

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