A female gray seal on the beach in Amagansett. KYRIL BROMLEY
Though virtually every museum in the area, including the South Fork Natural History Museum (SOFO) in Bridgehampton, is closed until further notice due to concerns over COVID-19, there’s still a chance to enjoy nature thanks to SOFO’s outdoor programs and walks which, at this time, will continue as scheduled. In addition, all the trails behind the museum will remain accessible from the museum's parking lot.
Here is a list of scheduled outdoor events, but be sure to check SOFO’s Facebook, Instagram or website (sofo.org) for announcements and changes. If you have any questions, call 631-537-9735 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Birding with Frank — Pond & Bay Waterfowl: Adults/Teens
Saturday, March 21, at 10 a.m.
Walk Leader: Frank Quevedo, SOFO’s executive director
Southampton’s Dune Road is the perfect place to see a variety of freshwater and saltwater birds that prefer the calmer waters of the South Fork ponds and bays — rather than the ocean’s fury — this time of year. Mergansers, grebes, canvasbacks, and gadwalls will be on the list to see, as well as many other species. Bring binoculars and a field guide to birds of the eastern United States (if you have one).
Andy Sabin’s Annual Spotted Salamander Search: All Ages
Saturday, March 21, at 8 p.m.
Walk Leader: Andy Sabin, SOFO board of directors president
On this walk to local vernal ponds, participants will be searching for the spotted salamander, one of four native mole salamanders. This salamander is a beauty, with a shiny black body and bright yellow spots. It, like the eastern tiger salamander and the blue-spotted salamander, as well as the early-autumn breeding marbled salamander, is called a mole salamander because it spends most of its time underground.
Please bring a flashlight and wear boots, as late winter rains will make the ground soggy. This walk will take place only if there have been heavy rains.
SOFO Young Birders Club: Ages 8 to18
Sunday, March 22, at 10 a.m.
Club Leader: Miles Todaro, SOFO environmental educator
Birding is a great way to make new friends, learn about the environment, and get outside. SOFO’s Young Birders Club meets from 10 a.m. to noon on the third Saturday of every month and is open to anyone ages 8 to 18 who is interested in learning about birds.
Please bring binoculars if you have them and a field guide to birds of the eastern United States. This is a free program.
Third Winter Seal Walk at Cupsogue Beach County Park: Adults/Children 6+
Sunday, March 22, at 1:30 p.m.
Walk Leader: SOFO environmental educator
In winter, many northern animal visitors come to the shores of Long Island to find food — among them pinnipeds, or seals. The three most common species of seals that visit Long Island at this time of year are harbor seals, grey seals, and harp seals. Join SOFO on a walk toward the ocean at Cupsogue Beach County Park, where at low tide you can expect to see some of these seals sunning themselves on the distant sandbar. It may be cold and windy, so please bundle up.
Advance reservations are required for all events. For more information, reservations, and directions to meeting places, call 631-537-9735.
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