If you are looking to get out of the city without actually getting out of the city consider visiting Fort Tilden - A national park that contains both past military structures and reclaimed natural areas that are home to a variety of
species of hawks, falcons and other birds. The observation deck on Battery Harris East, a historic gun site, provides arresting views of Jamaica Bay and New York Harbor. It's a great place to practice your landscape and nature photography while still in the confines of New York City.This is a great photo safari for anytime of year because the park is open daily from dawn to dusk.
There is no parking so either park at Riis parking lot and walk along the shore or do as the hipsters do in the summer and ride the bike path in from Brooklyn! If you are in Manhattan there is ferry service from Pier 11 at Wall Street.
For more information please visit: http://nyharborparks.org/visit/foti.html