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KEY TO
PHYSICAL DIFFICULTY
Easy - Trails are level to slight grades usually paved - .5-3 miles of walking
Moderate - Trails can be uneven with some hills. 2-4 miles of walking.
Strenuous - Trails vary greatly. 4+ miles of walking.
* - Trails are handicapped accessible.
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Field Trip Etiquette
To ensure everyone on the field trip has a productive and enjoyable outing here are a few things to keep in mind.
Contact the leader.
Be on time.
Carpool whenever possible.
Offer to chip-in for gas.
Wear muted colors.
Silence is golden.
Turn cell phones off or to vibrate.
Stay with the group.
Stay behind the leader.
Don't monopolize someone else's scope.
Avoid blocking other people's view.
Help the leader make sure everyone gets to see a bird.
So, the next time you are out birding with a group, whether it’s an MAS field trip or not, keep these things in mind. They will help you see more birds and be more relaxed which is exactly what we want.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

												
Field Trips
AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC | JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN
Mecklenburg Audubon field trips are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted. Please remember to contact the Field Trip Leader to let him/her know you are coming. This will ensure that you are notified of any changes in meeting locations/times and/or cancellations. Plus it is less likely they will leave without you. Please read our Bird Walk guidelines.
All dates are subject to change so please make sure you contact the person listed for the trip to verify date, time and meeting place.
April 2019
Friday, April 5th: Cane Creek Park (Union County)
1/2 Day • Moderate • Contact: Martina Nordstrand [fishycats@msn.com] • MAP
This county park is a favorite of Martina's and she'd like to share it with the rest of us. It is a mixed use park that encompasses 1,050 acres of land surrounding a 350-acre lake. The trails are natural and well maintained. Who knows we might even take a quick canoe ride. We will meet at 8:00 AM at the Park. Martina will tell you where exactly. There are plenty of facilities available.
Saturday, April 6th: Congaree National Park
Full Day • Moderate • Contact: Ron Clark [waxwing@bellsouth.net] • MAP
Did you know we have a great National Park only 100 miles to our south? If you didn't, then you are in for a treat. Congaree National Park preserves the largest tract of old growth bottomland hardwood forest left in the United States and is located just outside of Columbia, SC. We will be primarily looking for warblers such as the Hooded and Prothonotary who breed in the park. But there should be a good number of others migrating through.

We will meet at 6:30 AM in the Food Lion parking in Ft. Mill, SC (1046 Regent Pkwy., Fort Mill, SC 29715). Bring snacks, water, and lunch. It can get buggy so bring spray as well. The trail is an elevated boardwalk through the swamp. We will be walking about 3 miles.

Wednesday, April 10th: Clark's Creek Nature Preserve
1/2 Day • Easy • Contact: Judy Walker [birdwalker@me.com] • MAP
Spring migrants should be arriving to the popular preserve in the northern part of the county. We will be walking about 1.5 miles on mostly flat, smooth, dirt trails. Meet in the parking lot on Hucks Rd. at 8:00 AM. There is a port-a-john.
 
 
Saturday, April 20th: Latta Plantation Prairie
1/2 Day • Moderate • Contact: Judy Walker [birdwalker@me.com] MAP
Traditionally neotropic migrants like indigo buntings, tanagers, prairie warblers begin arriving in this preserve around the 15th of the month. We'll see if they are on target for this year. Resident birds should also be feeding young, so birds should be active. Meet at 8:00 AM in the parking lot of the Nature Center, just inside the main gate. The 2 mile prairie walk is on a gravel road which can be steep and uneven at times. There are bathrooms available at the nature center and lake parking lot.
Latta Park (Dilworth)
Tuesday, April 23rd and Thursday, April 25th

1/2 Day • Easy • Contact: Judy Walker [birdwalker@me.com] MAP
It's that time of the year again - the warblers are coming. There will be several walks at this spring migrant hot spot. Judy will be at the park on the dates listed above. We'll probably stroll about 1 mile on mostly paved trails but there will be a bit of hill climbing and a lot of standing looking up at the tops of the trees. There are bathrooms. Meet in the parking area by the gazebo at 8:00 AM.
Saturday, April 27th: Spring Count
Full Day • Moderate/Strenuous • Contact: Jeff Lemons [birdsalot@gmail.com]
There's nothing more exciting and rewarding than wondering the various greenways, parks and special birding haunts in Mecklenburg County during our Annual Spring Bird Count. Like the Charlotte Christmas Bird Count (CBC), the roots of this count go way back - the 1940s. And like the CBC, we spend the day within a specific circle with a 7.5 mile radius with the intersection of Woodlawn and South Blvds. Several new greenways have opened with in the cirlce so we need as many folks as possible to make sure we find all those neotropic migrants as well as our resident birds.

Jeff Lemons coordinates this count and will be assigning folks to various teams. Even if you can only help for a couple of hours, every pair of eyes are helpful. Also, if your yard is within the circle, you can count birds in your yard. Jeff will explain how to do this. There will be a tally-up dinner, which includes a fabulous salad created by Jeff, at Wing Haven Gardens. So contact him to get your assignment.

Sunday, April 28th: Catawba College Ecological Preserve
1/2 Day • Moderate • Contact: Steve Coggin [scoggin@catawba.edu] • MAP
We will be birding on the Catawba College Ecological Preserve. This 189 acre natural area has a creek, mature swamp forest, ponds and upland forest.  The swamp has a healthy population of nesting Prothonotary Warblers.  We can expect to see other summer resident and migratory warblers, flycatchers, vireos, thrushes and more.  Meet at 8:30 AM in the circle by the Chapel. Take exit 76 Off I-85. Drive 2.9 miles north on Innes Street to Catawba College. Turn RIGHT on Faculty Staff Circle.
Tuesday, April 30th: Pee Dee NWR
Full day • Moderate • Contact: Judy Walker [birdwalker@me.com] • MAP
We tend to focus on Pee Dee in the winter because of all the ducks that come to the refuge, but spring is also an amazing time to bird there. Early spring migrants should be arriving and lingering winter migrants should also be around to provide an wider variety of species. Although we will be doing a lot of driving from one section to another, we'll probably walk 2-3 miles as well on gravel roads and dirt trails. We will meet at 8:00 AM at the main entrance bathrooms on Rt. 52. Depending on how many folks come, we will car pool onto the refuge from there. Remember to bring a water, lunch, snacks and bug spray (just in case). Sunscreen & hat might also be helpful.
May 2019
Latta Park (Dilworth)
Thursday, May 2nd and Tuesday, May 7th

1/2 Day • Easy • Contact: Judy Walker [birdwalker@me.com] MAP
It's that time of the year again - the warblers are coming. There will be several walks at this spring migrant hot spot. Judy will be at the park on the dates listed above. We'll probably stroll about 1 mile on mostly paved trails but there will be a bit of hill climbing and a lot of standing looking up at the tops of the trees. There are bathrooms. Meet in the parking area by the gazebo at 8:00 AM.
Saturday, May 4th: Beginning Bird Walk
1/2 Day • Moderate • Contact: Bill & Laura Blakesley [lclemons@mindspring.com] • MAP
Latta Plantation is a great place to begin learning about birds and birding. Although folks of all levels are welcome, we will concentrate on helping folk new to birding learn the basics of using binoculars, spotting a bird, and identification. This will be a two-mile walk on dirt/gravel roads including several moderately steep hills. We’ll have power line right-of-way, woods and prairie/field. We’ll start at 8:30 AM in the parking lot to the right just inside the gate of Latta Nature Preserve. There are bathrooms at the Nature Center.
Tuesday, May 7th: Wing Haven (Senior MAS members Only)
10-11:15 AM • Easy • Contact: Patty Masten [pmasten31@gmail.com]  • MAP
Do you love nature and birds? Whether you are a novice or bird expert, you are sure to find delight in this special bird walk experience led by Mecklenburg Audubon Society volunteers. MAS has partnered with Wing Haven to offer these special, guided bird walks for Mecklenburg Audubon members. Wing Haven has many benches to sit and observe the birds, brick pathways to stroll and seek, as well as wooded areas to explore. A number of the pathways are ADA compliant and conducive to walkers and wheelchairs. The entire property is about 3 acres. Bring your binoculars and meet/pay at 10:00 AM at the main Garden Gate! The cost is $5/person - seniors only! To register, call 703.331.0664 or register online.  
Saturday, May 11th: Latta Park (Dilworth)
1/2 Day • Easy • Contact: Ron Clark [waxwing@bellsouth.net]MAP
Late spring migrants like the Blackpoll warbler should be moving through the park. We'll probably stroll about 1 mile on mostly paved trails but there will be a bit of hill climbing and a lot of standing looking up at the tops of the trees. There are bathrooms. Meet in the parking area by the gazebo at 8:30 AM.
Thursday, May 16th: Landsford Canal, SC
Full Day • Moderate • Contact: Janet Palmer [jgailpalmer@gmail.com] • MAP
Have you birded Landsford Canal State Park in SC yet?  If not, consider joining us in this beautiful spot where we are likely to see Prothonotary Warblers and Northern Parula!  We will walk two trails beside the river and along the remains of a canal used in the early 19th Century, with a little luck seeing one of the nesting Bald Eagles.  Our timing puts us early in the blooming season of the Rocky Shoals Spider Lily—a spectacular sight!
We will meet at 7:30AM in the Food Lion parking in Ft. Mill, SC
 (1046 Regent Pkwy., Fort Mill, SC 29715). Bring snacks, water, lunch and a $5 park fee per person.  It may get buggy so bring spray as well. We will be walking about 3 miles on woodland trails that are well maintained but could be muddy.
Saturday, May 18th: Blue Ridge Parkway
Full Day • Moderate • Contact: Judy Walker [birdwalker@me.com]
We will explore a variety of habitats along the BRP as well as take a stroll around the Valle Cruses municipal park. We will be looking for nesting warblers, a variety of flycatchers and other birds unique to this environment. We will meet at 7:30 AM at the Bojangles in Boone (1141 Blowing Rock Rd.). You will need to pack a lunch. There are a number of local hotels if you want to come up on Friday night. Otherwise it is about a 2 hr. drive from Charlotte. Warning - temperatures can vary greatly as we go up and down in elevation so bring a jacket just in case.

Friday-Sunday, May 31st; June 1st-2nd: Charleston, SC area
Weekend Trip • Moderate • Contact: Ron Clark [waxwing@bellsouth.net]
The Charleston area trip is back. For those who can get there on Friday, we’ll meet at 1:00 PM at Botany Bay Plantation Heritage Preserve (1066 Botany Bay Rd. Edisto Beach, SC ). We’ll do the driving loop and walk some trails, one to the beach.

On Saturday, we’ll visit Bear Island and Donnelley Wildlife Management Areas. We’ll start on Sunday with the Edisto Nature Trail, and then finish at Caw Caw County Park around lunch time. Last year, we had 100 species for this trip. Some of the ones we’ll be looking for are Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, Painted Bunting, Mississippi and Swallow-tailed Kites, Swainson’s, Kentucky and Prothonotary Warblers, Least Bittern, Bachman’s Sparrow and King Rail. Bring lunch for Saturday. Bug spray is a good idea. At a couple of spots, the mosquitos are banging at your window before you leave your car.

The trip is limited to 20 people. Lodging info will be sent out soon. As we get closer, Ron will let you know starting time and place for the two mornings, close to that area. Drive home on Sunday afternoon.

June 2019
Tuesday, June 4th: Wing Haven (Senior MAS members Only)
10-11:15 AM • Easy • Contact: Patty Masten [pmasten31@gmail.com]  • MAP
Do you love nature and birds? Whether you are a novice or bird expert, you are sure to find delight in this special bird walk experience led by Mecklenburg Audubon Society volunteers. MAS has partnered with Wing Haven to offer these special, guided bird walks for Mecklenburg Audubon members. Wing Haven has many benches to sit and observe the birds, brick pathways to stroll and seek, as well as wooded areas to explore. A number of the pathways are ADA compliant and conducive to walkers and wheelchairs. The entire property is about 3 acres. Bring your binoculars and meet/pay at 10:00 AM at the main Garden Gate! The cost is $5/person - seniors only! To register, call 703.331.0664 or register online.
 
 
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jackson park field trip
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