AAS Field Trips

 

Please join us! Non-members are always welcome. 

All AAS field trips are free to all – membership is not required.  Some locations have an entrance fee which is the responsibility of the attendee. Participants are required to sign our waiver/release form. A contribution to our liability insurance of $1-$2 per person is optional. Please note the difficulty levels at the end of each field trip description. Here are some items to consider carrying on any field trip: binoculars (a must), water, insect repellant, sunscreen, hat, sturdy shoes, rain gear for sudden downpours, notebook, camera, contact information.

Below is our Fall 2022 field trip schedule. View the AAS Field Trip schedule and descriptions/details on each field trip in our calendar (below) and in our latest newsletter.


Upcoming Field Trips (Fall 2022)

Information for Field Trip Leaders

 

Friday, November 11th, 2022; 8:00 am
UF/”Hague” Dairy…Sparrows edition! PLUS Cellon Creek Boulevard

Fresh off his recent discovery of the only Dickcissel reported in North Central Florida this year, trip leader and super-sharp local birder Ben Fick will show us around one of the county’s best spots for sparrows, blackbirds, and raptors–and occasionally rare western vagrants like Yellow-headed Blackbird, Vermillion Flycatcher, and Western Kingbird.

Many sparrows have already arrived for the winter so we’ll aim to spot Lincoln’s Sparrow, Grasshopper Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, and several other sparrow species. We may also see some lingering Fall migrants in addition to the ducks and shorebirds that are hanging around the (locally) famous (or infamous?) “lagoon”. We will likely end up with 60+ species by the time the trip is over. When we finish there, you’re invited to join us at nearby Cellon Creek Boulevard a short 7-minute drive away for follow-on birding, with the highlight being a beautiful rare Vermillion Flycatcher currently drawing birders and photographers from all over the region.

We’ll meet up at the usual designated grassy parking area near the classroom (exact location via Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/dSFWvPxyw4y3hBim6) on the western side of the complex, demarcated with a sign reading “Classroom parking”, right across from the painted sign that has a gator milking a cow.
 
Difficulty: 2 (Walking over uneven ground or distances of 1-2 miles)
 

Sunday, November 13th, 2022; 8:00 am
San Felasco Park (NOT San Felasco Hammock State Park)

Possessing unusual dual talents for both advanced birding AND wildlife photography, trip leader and ornithologist Roxy Ohanyan will guide us around this very under-birded hotspot which boasts prime habitat for many species favoring its pine flatwoods, cypress swamps, and mixed hardwood forests, such as Kinglets, Pine Warblers, Swamps Sparrows, Towhees, and other woodland species.

Meetup is at the parking lot/playground/restrooms at 6400 NW 43rd Way, Gainesville, FL 32653 (just north of Devil’s Millhopper).
This location has produced rare Golden-crowned Kinglets, Brown Creepers, and Fox Sparrows in the past so we’ll keep our fingers crossed that something unexpected will turn up. Maybe even a daytime Woodcock! You never know…
 
This trail is rather comfortable and flat, with significant portions having improved/hard surfaces.
 
Along the powerline cut we should see mixed foraging flocks of warblers, vireos, and the usual suspects, as well as several sparrow species like Song Sparrow in the wide grassy margins.
 
 
Difficulty: 1-2 (Walking over uneven ground or distances of 1-2 miles)
 

Saturday, November 19th, 2022. 8:00 am
Cones Dike trail–South trailhead (from Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park visitor center)

Meet trip leader Tim Hardin at the Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park Visitor Center parking lot. Tim is the Alachua County Big Year record holder (263 total species in 2021) and an eBird reviewer for Alachua County.

First we will scope Paynes Prairie from the observation tower at the visitor center to spot our resident endangered Whooping Crane, as well as wintering ducks, wading birds, and other waterfowl. Then we’ll enter the Cones Dike trail, which goes out into the grasslands and marshes on the east side of Paynes Prairie. We’ll see Northern Harriers, Snail Kites, several duck species, and possibly Meadowlarks, Bobwhite, and Wild Turkey. We’ll also see several types of sparrows and other newly arrived winter birds (although some late fall migrants may still be lingering) to go with typical winter mixed flocks of warblers and vireos.

The Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park entrance is at 100 Savannah Blvd, Micanopy, FL 32667. Once you enter the park and pass the ranger station, continue straight all the way until Savannah Blvd ends at the visitor center parking lot where we will meet.

Difficulty: 3 (elevation change, uneven ground, and/or distances greater than 2 miles)

 

Saturday December 3, 2022 
Lake City Treatment Wetlands

Meet trip leader and Alachua Audubon chapter president Debbie Segal in the parking lot of Hitchcock’s grocery store on US-441 in Alachua to carpool to the treatment wetlands near Lake City (you can also meet us at 8:30 at the SS Food Store a block west of I-75 at Exit #423).

The Lake City Treatment Wetlands, opened in 2016, is a series of nine wetland cells constructed to treat Lake City wastewater.

We hope to see a plethora of waterfowl, wading birds, and perhaps some rarities walk the dikes separating the cells. This site is not open to the public and the gate will be closed after we enter the site, so please don’t be late!

Difficulty: 2 (Walking over uneven ground or distances of 1-2 miles)

Sunday, December 18, 2022, SPECIAL EVENT
Gainesville Christmas Bird Count

Contact count organizers Andy Kratter (kratter@flmnh.ufl.edu; 352-226-2462) or Bob Carroll (gatorbob23@yahoo.com; 352-281-3616) if you’re interested in participating in this all-day event. Please sign up early.

Difficulty: various, depending on location.


 

Our guided Wednesday bird walks at Sweetwater Wetlands Park are held each Wednesday morning beginning at 8:30 am from September 1st through the end of May.

Alachua Audubon Events Calendar