This year we are combining the field trip to Atlantic Motorsport Park for motorcycle racing with birding/bird photography on two trails very near the racetrack. Here are the details related to the PGNS Field Trip on Sunday, May 22nd. If you have any questions not answered below, please contact me by return e-mail.
See you there!
1. Motorcycle Racing
(Please note: The race schedule will be subject to change and delays due to weather/wrecks/etc.)
9:45am Arrive at Atlantic Motorsport Park – Meet in parking lot to the right, inside the main gate. Entry fee is $10 per person, children under 12 can enter for free with an adult. The trip takes 50-60 minutes from Halifax.
10:00am Parking Lot – Orientation, Safety and Rules as per racetrack officials instructions *MANDATORY*
10:10am Enjoy the races!
- DO NOT wear Yellow or Red jackets, t-shirts, etc. You will not be allowed track side. The riders can easily misinterpret a yellow t-shirt or jacket as a caution flag and may slow causing a hazard on the track. Red is worse as a red flag means the track is blocked by a hazard and stop immediately.
- ALWAYS listen to the marshals. If you hear a whistle, STOP immediately and look around. This usually means you have walked somewhere you are not allowed to be for safety/security reasons. If the marshal is yelling at you to back-up, do it immediately or you will be ejected from the track area.
- You are welcome to talk to the pit crews and riders throughout the pit area. However, only pit crews are allowed on Pit Lane. DO NOT walk along Pit Lane. It is very active and a rider can very quickly exit the track and drive down Pit Lane for any number of reasons. Serious injury can occur if you are in the way when an emergency happens.
- Tower Area. Everyone is welcome to view the racing from the bottom level of the tower. To access the tower, you need to cross Pit Lane. You can only do this at the entrance to Pit Lane and only after exercising EXTREME caution looking for hazards first.
- NEVER, cross the race track. The only access to the inner track area is via the tunnel under Turn 1.
- NO ONE is allowed anywhere on an inside or outside corner unless behind a safety barrier and the marshal knows you are there and says it is okay. Some marshals will be more easy-going than others. It is ALWAYS better to ask first rather than hear a whistle and be told to move.
- NO CHAIRS are allowed track side. If you bring one, you can only use it in specific areas behind safety barriers.
- Accidents happen and you must be able to react instantly to move out of the way. If a marshal thinks you are a hazard you will be removed. No questions or discussion.
1. Atlantic Motorsport Park is located about 15 minutes from Shubenacadie and 50-60 minutes from Halifax. Directions:
- Take Exit 10 off Highway 102, and head into Shubenacadie (2.3km)
- At the stop sign, turn hard right onto West Indian Road (watch for the sign: Indian Brook / Mill Village / McPhee’s Corner)Drive 2.6km, keep right (Look for the Motorsport Park sign)
- Drive 2km, turn right (Look for the North Salem / Atlantic Motorsport Park sign)
- After 2.6km, the road will change to gravel. Drive on gravel road for another 2.2km
- Turn Right just before the farm (Look for the Atlantic Motorsport Park sign)
- Follow this road (1.2km) until you reach the Atlantic Motorsport Park gates
2. Recommended attire – Wear sturdy (maybe waterproof) footwear and prepare for wet and dry weather. The field trip will take place regardless of the weather. Sunscreen and insect repellent are also recommended. Ticks have been reported at the track so protect yourself accordingly.
3. Lunch and snacks – Bring your own. There may be limited “canteen type” food onsite located next to the registration building. There will be approximately an hour for lunch. Take lots of water.
4. Washrooms are located at the outfield between Turn 10 and 11. Vehicles are strongly discouraged from pit road, so you will need to plan any trips to the washroom / tower / pit road area.
5. During orientation, I will collect field trip waiver forms which are required for access to the track.
6. Be prepared to walk. The track is 2.5km long and consists of 11 challenging turns and varying elevations. The infield area is also challenging to walk and covers a very large area – about 300+ acres.
1. Depending on what you hope to achieve, a dSLR is highly recommended. A fast lens is not necessary, but will significantly improve your chance of capturing a good image.
2. You will likely want at least 100mm and the longer the lens you have, the better, depending on the type of shots you want. I use a 100-400mm lens and most of my images are shot at 200mm. You will want a shorter lens for photos in the pit area.
2. Birding/Bird Photography
Two trails inside the park offer chances to see and, if the birds oblige, photograph warblers including American Redstart, Northern Parula, Yellow-rumped, Black-throated Green, Ovenbird, and Magnolia. Other birds include Hermit thrush, Northern Flicker, Song and White-throated sparrows, Blue-headed vireo, Least flycatcher, American Robin, and various year-round birds.
The pace is relaxed over mostly easy with a few challenging spots underfoot and takes approximately one to two and a half hours per trail. One trail will be covered in the morning starting after mandatory racetrack orientation which starts at 10am and the other in the afternoon starting around 1pm after lunch. Feel free to mix and match motorcycles and birds!
Take your longest lens and waterproof boots as the trails may be muddy and wet.
Your host will be Terry Boswell. He will have binoculars, a spotting scope and camera gear.