Alachua Audubon Society

A chapter of the National Audubon Society

AAS Field Trips


Below is our Fall 2022 field trip schedule. You can view the AAS Field Trip schedule and descriptions/details on each field trip in our August/September newsletter.

Upcoming Field Trips (Fall 2022)

Sunday September 25, 2022 08:00 am
Turkey Creek Preserve 6300 NW 93rd Ave, Gainesville, FL

Officially opened in 2021, this 376-acre preserve with 5 miles of trails gives us a chance to see many ecosystems. These include basin swamp, depression marsh, bottomland forest, hydric hammock, upland hardwood forest, black water streams and sinkholes.  We will take a casual 2-3-mile walk guided by Adam and Gina Kent.  Trails are well marked, mostly wide and relatively flat. Meet at the main trailhead parking lot. 

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

Saturday October 1st, 2022 9:00 am
Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Reserve 
505 Guana River Road, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

Peregrine Falcons migrate down Florida’s Atlantic Coast in fall, usually peaking in early October. Meet trip leader José-Miguel Ponciano (352-231-0997) in the GTMNERR parking lot off AIA and we will walk over to the hawk-watching platform at the north end of the park in hopes of seeing Peregrines and other migrating raptors.  During the second half of the morning, we’ll walk a woodland trail in search of fall warblers, tanagers, grosbeaks, and thrushes.  

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

Sunday October 2, 2022 8:00 am

Saturday, October 8, 2022; 8:00 am
Blues Creek Ravine Preserve

Meet Tim Hardin at the parking area on NW 71st St (off Millhopper Road). 

We will bird down 69th Avenue to the trailhead at 6710 NW 69th Ave.  Managed by Alachua Conservation Trust, this recently opened 160-acre preserve is touted to have “an almost pristine example of a north Florida upland habitat.”  Late September and early October is the period of maximum fall migrant diversity.  We will search for migrant warblers along the wooded trail, as well as thrushes, grosbeaks, tanagers, and other species.  We will have lovely views of a steep ravine and Blues Creek.  The narrow and uneven unpaved trail may have exposed roots or stumps. 

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

Saturday, October 15, 2022; 8:00 am.  
San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park – North Side of Millhopper Road (Yellow/Blue trails)

Meet Bubba Scales at the trailhead parking lot at 11101 Millhopper Road to walk the wide shady trails through sandy hammocks, pinelands, and sandhills.  We hope to see late migrating warblers such as Black-throated Blue Warbler, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, and others, and possibly some arriving winter residents. 

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

Sunday October 16th, 2022. 10:00 am to 3 pm
Pride at Prairie Creek 

Join Alachua Conservation Trust and partner orgs for Pride at Prairie Creek as we celebrate the LGBTQ+ community in the outdoors. Alachua Conservation Trust is committed to making our preserves safe spaces for all who wish to enjoy them and welcome members of the LGBTQ+ community and allies to Prairie Creek Lodge for an afternoon enjoying the preserve with friends and family.
Visit Alachua Audubon’s booth at the festival and attend an early bird walk + banding with Alachua Audubon, as well as multiple native flower plantings.

Full event listing and schedule here:


Saturday October 22, 2022. 8:00 am
Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park – La Chua Trail

Meet trip leader Felicia Lee at the La Chua Trail parking lot at 4810 Camp Ranch Road.

La Chua is historically one of the area’s best birding hotspots and it supports a tremendous bird population including wading birds, waterfowl, raptors, warblers, and others. This Hotspot is ever-changing and can provided unexpected avian surprises.  

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

Saturday October 22, 2022. 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Florida Bat Festival

“Lubee Bat Conservancy is excited to welcome everyone back to the 18th Annual Florida Bat Festival to be held Saturday, October 22nd. 2022!!

 Come celebrate with us as we continue to spread bat conservation awareness and enjoy all the batty fun festivities! Our family friendly festival promises to be a fun-filled event! Enjoy Games & Activities in the Kid Zone, Shop from Local Artisans, Sample Tasty Foods from local Food Trucks, Speak with Bat Experts While Enjoying the Worlds LARGEST bats, Local Conservation Non-Profits, & Listen to Live Music while Enjoying Unlimited Samples in the Beer Garden from Local Florida Breweries.”

Visit our Alachua Audubon booth at the festival!

Sunday October 23, 2022. 8:00 am
Saarinen Preserve  3208 NW 186 St, Newberry, FL

Meet trip leader Barbara Shea at the trailhead parking lot in Jonesville.  This 78-acre park was donated to Alachua Conservation Trust in the late 1990s by Arthur and Phyllis Saarinen. It has a mix of forest types. Some of the longleaf pine and live oaks trees are thought to be hundreds of years old.  The 2.6 miles of trails are mostly wide and flat and we hope to see a variety of migrants who are attracted to this preserve.

Driving directions: Take NW 32nd Avenue west from the Jonesville Soccer Park on 241, for about two miles, just after a sharp right turn onto NW 186 Street you will see the Preserve on the left. 

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

Saturday, October 29, 2022; 9:00 am
Dudley Farm, 18730 W. Newberry Rd, Newberry, FL

Join trip leaders Jason and Kelly O’Connor to bird at Dudley Farm, a one-of-a-kind, authentic working Florida Farm that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  The mixed habitats at Dudley Farm – wooded uplands, pastures, and brushy fence rows – offer a diversity of habitats for a variety of different birds. 

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

Additional field trips for November and December will be added soon to complete our Fall Field Trip Schedule

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 S 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 (; 352-226-2462) or Bob Carroll (; 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.


Here are some items to consider carrying on any field trip: binoculars (a must), water, bug spray, sunscreen, hat, sturdy shoes, rain gear for sudden downpours, notebook, camera, contact information

Information for Field Trip Leaders


Alachua Audubon Events Calendar

Last Updated September 19th, 2022, Tim Hardin


  1. Plan on coming to the walk this Sunday morning at the LaChua Trail. Been quite a while since I have been there. Don’t you have to stop at the main entrance to Paine’s Prairie & pay admission before you can go to the LaChua trailhead?

    • There is a fee to visit the LaChua trail. It is part of the Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park and there is a $6/vehicle fee.

  2. I would like to come out to your walk on Sunday, 8/29/2021 to Watermelon Pond. Do I need to sign up? I am a past member but need to renew my membership which I will do.
    I have a question about length of walk, both distance and time-wise.
    Thank you.
    Alice Horst

    • I apologize for the delay in responding. I missed your message. You do not need to sign up before hand. Just show up at the meeting place. We appreciate your membership but that too is not required. Everyone is welcome on the field trips. This particular trip has a time rating of “B” (so 3-4 hours all told) and a difficulty of 2 (so in the area of 1-2 miles total). Both those figures are approximate of course, sometimes you don’t make it much past the parking lot when the birding is good!

  3. Would also like to join.

    Please advise when you meet.

    • Since we are already approaching what would normally be the end of the field trip season we will not be scheduling any field trips until the cycle begins again in the fall. We will be working this summer to put together that list so keep an eye out for it.

      The only field trip that we are currently running is the Birds & Brews trip which happens the first Sunday of every month out of First Magnitude Brewing. The time fluctuates a bit but the next walk will meet at 6:15 and head out at 6:30.

      • Will you meet 7/4/21 at First Magnitude?

        • Yes we will. We debated whether or not anyone would show up but time has shown that you never can tell how many people will attend. Some of our field trips least likely to have good attendance have turned out to be our best! So we will be there.

  4. Will you be having any virtual meetings in September? Would like to join your chapter.

  5. Sorry for the very late response. I forwarded your note about the book to the authors. Yes, Bachman’s Sparrows can generally be found at Longleaf Flatwoods Reserve. Best time to find them is in spring and early summer when they perch up on shrubs and small trees and sing.

    Debbie Segal

  6. Good morning,
    I’m an old eHoosier Snowbird –
    We used to stay near Trenton but in-laws moves to Tampa area, so……
    MAIN reason for writing – while at Trenton I found a copy of Mr Rowan’s &Mr Manetz‘s
    “A Birdwatcher’s Guide to Alachua County”
    I would like to opine that it’s the Best, most complete, thorough, organized and easy to follow Guide of this type I’ve yet to find!!
    SECOND reason for writing – I’ve been rereading parts of said Guide and wonder
    “Are the Bachmans still GUARANTEED at Longleaf Flatwoods Reserve?????”
    Thanks – for the guide and a “very likely” is sufficient

  7. Unable to move the calendar past January. Any suggestions?

  8. Hello, I was wondering if there will be a field trip to see the burrowing owls this summer at Watermelon Pond? Or is it possible to locate them outside a field trip?
    Thank you,
    Cecilia Carey
    member Seminole Audubon Society

    • We’ll be holding our annual Burrowing Owl field trip on June 3rd this year. We’ll meet at Watermelon Pond at 7:30 a.m. and the county biologists will escort us across the fields to the owl colony. If you watch the “Birding Reports” on this web site ( ), or follow the Alachua Audubon Society Facebook page, you’ll see the announcement.

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