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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.

Bird Walks and 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.
August 2019
Sunday, August 25th - Orangeburg Sod Farms
Full Day • Easy • Contact: Judy Walker [birdwalker@me.com] • MAP
This is our annual trek to the coastal plain in search of hard to find, migrating shorebirds like Upland and Buff-bellied Sandpipers. Since it can be hot pretty
quickly in these open fields with no shade we try to get down there as early as possible. We will meet at 5:45 AM in an attempt to leave the 6 AM in the Food Lion (1046 Regent Pkwy, Fort Mill, SC 29715) parking lot on Hwy. 21. Take a left at the Carowinds exit from I-77. The Food Lion will be on your left in one mile. Bring plenty of water, a hat, bug spray and sun screen. Snacks and lunch are recommended.
September 2019
Tuesday, September 3rd - Col. Francis Beatty Park
1/2 Day • Easy • Contact: Judy Walker [birdwalker@me.com] • MAP
There have been several good sightings from this park in the southeastern part of the county. Dennis Kent birds there regularly and thinks it's great. So we will start the fall off by wandering its paths to see what might be found. Considering the temperatures lately don't forget to bring water and sunscreen. Meet in the parking lot by the baseball diamonds at 8:30 PM. Most of the trails are dirt and there may be a little bit of uneven ground. There are facilities at the park.
Wednesday, September 11th - McAlpine Creek Park/Greenway
1/2 Day • Easy • Contact: Judy Walker [ birdwalker@me.com] • MAP
McAlpine Creek Park and Greenway have a variety of habitat: fishing pond, open grassy areas, edges, woods, creeks and even a beaver pond. Over the years it has produced some pretty amazing birds, including this past May two Black-bellied Whistling Ducks. The walk will be on wide dirt/gravel paths. Depending on what trails we take it will be predominately on flat terrain. The hill trail near the beaver pond is steep. There are facilities in the parking lot area. We will meet at 8:00 AM in the parking lot off of Monroe Rd.
Saturday, September 14th  - Ribbon Walk Nature Preserve
1/2 Day • Moderate • Contact: Ron Clark [waxwing@bellsouth.net] • MAP
Fall migration has begun and this is a good spot to look for early migrants. This 187-acre preserve lies just 6.5 miles northeast of uptown Charlotte. An American beech (Fagus grandifolia) grove in the northern portion of the preserve has been designated a Mecklenburg County Treasure Tree site because of the number of large, old trees and its overall natural integrity. We will walk 2-3 miles on dirt trails that can be steep in places and muddy after a rain. We will meet at 8:30 AM in the parking lot on Hoyt Hinson Rd., which is off Nevin Rd. There is a port-a-john at the entrance to the preserve.
Thursday, September 19th - Four-mile Creek Greenway
1/2 Day • Easy • Contact: Ron Clark [waxwing@bellsouth.net] • MAP
This greenway with its variety of habitats always provides good birds regardless of season. We'll walk 2.5-3 miles on paved, flat walkway. There is a bathroom at the parking lot. Meet at the Johnson Rd. parking lot at 8:00 AM.
Friday, September 20th - Chimney Swift Night Out
Evening • Easy • Contact: Steve Coggin [scoggin@catawba.edu] • MAP
Several thousand Chimney Swifts roost in an old smoke stack on the campus of East Rowan High School (175 St Lukes Church Rd, Salisbury, NC 28146)in Salisbury, NC.  The swifts begin to congregate over the smoke stack as the sun goes down.  This congregation becomes a chattering, swirling vortex at sunset as the swifts fly at full-speed into the stack.  The show is over by 30 minutes after sunset.  There are no restrooms available at the school. Meet in the parking lot behind the school at 7:00 pm. We should be done by 8:00 pm.
Sunday, September 22nd - Hawk Watch (BRP MP 235)
Full Day • Easy • Contact: Judy Walker [birdwalker@me.com] • MAP
We going to head up to the Blue Ridge Parkway to a well-established hawk watch, Mahogany Rock Overlook at milepost 235. We will plan on arriving around 8:30 AM at the overlook. Since the hawks probably won't start moving until around 10 AM, we will walk an adjacent trail looking for migrating warblers. Then we will gather on the lawn at the overlook around 10 AM and start scanning the sky for hawks. Bring something to sit on (lawn chair, blanket, etc.), lunch, snacks, and water. There are no facilities at the overlook except bushes. Doughton Park, which does have facilities, is at milepost 240.

If you would like to car pool, meet at 6:15 AM at the Bojangles on Sam Furr Rd. in Huntersville (9145 Sam Furr Rd, Huntersville, NC 28078). Please let Judy know if you are planning on carpooling. Otherwise, plan on being at the overlook by 8:30 AM for the warbler walk or 10 AM for Hawk Watching, but still let Judy know you will be joining the group.
Saturday, September 28th - Six-mile Creek Greenway
1/2 Day • Easy • Contact: Ron Clark [waxwing@bellsouth.net] • MAP
This greenway, in the southern part of the county on the South Carolina border near the Union County line, may be short (1 mile in length), but it has produced some interesting birds over the years. It has some interesting habitat that attracts migrating birds. We will also take a look at the wetland across Marvin Rd. No facilities. Meet in the parking lot at 8:30 AM.
October 2019
Tuesday, October 1st - Clark’s Creek Nature Preserve
1/2 Day • Moderate • Contact: Judy Walker [birdwalker@me.com] • MAP
The 109-acres of this preserve in northeastern part of the county is primarily grassy/brushy fields (old agriculture fields), edges and forest, which provide great habitat for a variety of birds including meadowlarks. We will be walking about 1.5 miles on mostly flat, smooth, dirt trails. It can be a bit muddy after a rain. Meet in the parking lot on Hucks Rd. at 8:00 AM. There is a port-a-john at the parking area.
Saturday, October 5th - RibbonWalk Nature Preserve
1/2 Day • Moderate • Contact: Ron Clark [waxwing@bellsouth.net] • MAP
Fall migration has begun and this is a good spot to look for early migrants. This 187-acre preserve lies just 6.5 miles northeast of uptown Charlotte. An American beech (Fagus grandifolia) grove in the northern portion of the preserve has been designated a Mecklenburg County Treasure Tree site because of the number of large, old trees and its overall natural integrity. We will walk 2-3 miles on dirt trails that can be steep in places and muddy after a rain. Meet at 8:30 AM in the parking lot on Hoyt Hinson Rd., which is off Nevin Rd. There is a port-a-john at the entrance to the preserve.
Tuesday, Oct. 8th - Wing Haven (Senior MAS members Only)
Mid-morning • 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. The cost is $5/person - seniors only! To register, call 703.331.0664 or register online. Remember to bring your binoculars!
Beginner Bird Walk – Latta Plantation Prairie
1/2 Day • Moderate • Contact: Marcia Howden [howden32@aol.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 hilly, two-mile walk on dirt and gravel roads. We’ll have power line right-of-way, woods and prairie/field to find birds in. Fall migration could produce a variety of migrants. 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.
The Big Sit (Cowan's Ford Refuge)
All Day • Easy • Contact: Ron Clark [waxwing@bellsouth.net] • MAP
This is a fun-filled day of birding with minimal walking. It takes place in the viewing stand at Cowan's Ford Refuge. It will start before daybreak and end around 5-6, whenever the last folks leave. You can come for an hour or all day. Bring a chair, snacks and your binoculars. This is a great way to meet folks, and one of the few outings where talking is okay. We will have grill for some hot dogs around noon. Sign-up isn't necessary, just come and enjoy.
Wed., October 16th - West Branch Grnwy/Nature Preserve
½ Day • Moderate • Contact: Judy Walker [birdwalker@me.com] • MAP
We will be looking for late neotropic and early winter migrants in this under birded nature preserve. We’ll walk about a ½ mile on the greenway and then in the nature preserve we will walk about two miles (round trip) on a trail that is narrow, hilly, uneven dirt path. Meet at 8:30 AM in the parking lot at the corner of Shearer Rd. & June Washam Rd. There are not facilities.
Sat/Sun, October 19/20 - Huntington Beach State Park, SC
Weekend • Strenuous • Contact: Judy Walker [birdwalker@me.com] • MAP
This is our fall sojourn to a South Carolina birding hot spot. Fall migrants – hawks and warblers – will still be moving through, wintering shorebirds will have settled in and a few ducks may also have begun arriving. This is probably the best time of the year to see Peregrine Falcons and Merlin, and I am sure we will be delighted with spectacular views of thousands of tree swallows.

We will meet in the parking lot on the eastside of the causeway at 7:30 AM. It can get pretty hot so remember a hat, sunscreen and plenty of water. We will eat lunch in the park so you will also need to bring food.

Since many participants stay for the weekend, we usually go out to dinner on Saturday night. At dinner we will plan where we will go on Sunday.
Tuesday, October 22nd - Pee Dee National Wildlife Refuge
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 fall is also an amazing time to bird there. Early winter migrants should be arriving and lingering neotropic migrants could still be around to provide an wide 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 relatively flat, gravel/dirt roads. Remember to bring a water, lunch, snacks and bug spray (just in case). Sunscreen & hat might also be helpful. There are bathrooms at the main entrance and visitor center. We will meet at 8:00 AM at the main entrance bathrooms on Rt. 52. Depending on how many folks come, we will carpool onto the refuge from there.
Thursday, October 31st - Four-mile Creek Greenway
1/2 Day • Easy • Contact: Ron Clark [waxwing@bellsouth.net] • MAP
Hopefully, we will encounter only treats on the spookiest day of the year. Winter migrants should be settling into this productive greenway, which has a variety of habitats that always provide good birds regardless of season. We'll walk 2.5-3 miles on paved, flat walkway. There is a bathroom at the parking lot. Meet in the Johnston Rd. parking lot at 8:00 AM.
November 2019
Tuesday, Nov. 12th - Wing Haven (Senior MAS members Only)
Mid-morning • 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. The cost is $5/person - seniors only! To register, call 703.331.0664 or register online. Remember to bring your binoculars!
Tuesday, November 26th - Pee Dee National Wildlife Refuge
Full Day • Moderate • Contact: Judy Walker [birdwalker@me.com] • MAP
We are lucky to have this wonderful wildlife refuge so close to the Charlotte area. It provides a wide variety of habitat for both wintering waterfowl and songbirds – especially sparrows. This is last week the entire refuge is open to the public. Maximum 15 participants as we will be entering the sensitive waterfowl habitat. Also, once at the refuge we will carpool to bring as few intrusive vehicles as possible. Bring lunch, water and snacks. The day will include several short walks on sometimes uneven trails, plus birding from the road as we drive through the refuge. There are bathrooms at the main entrance and visitor center. Meet at the kiosk/bathroom area at the main entrance off Rt. 52 at 8:00 AM.
December 2019
Saturday, December 7th - Wintering Waterfowl
1/2 Day • Easy • Contact: Judy Walker [birdwalker@me.com] • MAP
By now wintering waterfowl should have arrived at Coddle Creek Reservoir and the surrounding area. We will meet at Panera Bread across from Concord Mills Mall at 8:45 AM to first check out the wetland behind HH Greg and then carpool up to the reservoir. Depending on time we may even swing by Moss Creek Greenway to see what’s there. There is very little walking but a fair amount of driving.
Tuesday, Dec. 3rd - Wing Haven (Senior MAS members Only)
Mid-morning • 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. The cost is $5/person - seniors only! To register, call 703.331.0664 or register online. Remember to bring your binoculars!
Saturday, December 14th - Gaston CBC
Contact: Steve Tracy [stevepath1@aol.com]
For many animals the Catawba River can act as a barrier. Only the hardiest mammal will attempt to swim across the river. Birds, however, are not as easily intimidated. And birders shouldn’t be phased by the river either. That’s why we team up with the birders from the Gastonia area to conduct the Gaston County Christmas Count. This is a great opportunity to get to know our neighbors and explore new birding hots. All the details haven’t been worked out yet but plan to spend at least a morning if not the entire day getting to know Gaston County. Contact Steve for more information.
Sunday, December 15th - Lake Norman CBC
Contact: Taylor Piephoff [PiephoffT@aol.com]
This is by far the best count circle in the Piedmont. Because of the wide variety of habitat open fields, large lake, small ponds and wetlands, mixed hardwood forest, old farms the potential for unusual birds is great. In some ways this count is like a tour through Peterson’s guide with a smattering of species from loons all the way through to the sparrows with representatives of almost everything in between. Groups will start before dawn to catch the owls and woodcocks. Others will meet at 7:00 AM. There are fast food places in the count circle, but you may want to bring food to munch on for energy and warmth. Although you might spend a fair amount of me in the car, warm clothes and sturdy shoes are a must. A tally up dinner will be held at 5:30 PM. Contact Taylor Piephoff for specific assignments.
Saturday, December 28th - Charlotte CBC
Contact: Ken Kneidel [kenkneidel@gmail.com]
The granddaddy of the counts, this circle still encompasses a surprising variety of habitat considering suburban sprawl which has taken over much of the area. There are still patches of woods, ponds, lakes, streams and open fields which turn up a interesting variety of resident and wintering species. In the last 5 years we have averaged around 90 species. A remarkable number considering the wholesale loss of habitat over the past 20 years which just proves the tenacity of the birds. Although this is an all-day event, if you can only participate in the morning or afternoon you are more than welcome. Since fast food establishments (and warmth) will be just around the corner packing a lunch is optional although a thermos of coffee never hurt. There will be a tally up dinner at Wing Haven [248 Ridgewood Ave.] at 5:30 PM. Just bring your appetites and good birding stories. To insure even and complete coverage of the area those who wish to participate should contact Ken Kneidel.
January 2020
Saturday, January 4th - Pee Dee NWR CBC
Contact: Judy Walker [birdwalker@me.com]
There is nothing quite like knowing you are the only one wandering the paths of a wildlife refuge. That’s what it is like at the Pee Dee Count. We have the refuge to ourselves and it's a wonderful opportunity to see a wide variety of birds and hopefully other animals in a truly wild environment. Habitats include open fields, mixed woodlands and small lakes and ponds. Red-headed woodpeckers and ducks abound and if we are lucky a few Tundra Swans might grace the landscape.

For those who would like to carpool, we will meet at 5:45 AM at the McDonald’s at the Windsor Square Shopping Center on Independence. Let Judy know if you want to car pool. Otherwise plan to be at the refuge's new office at 7:00 AM, which is on the wildlife drive adjacent to Sullivan's Pond. From the main entrance off of Rt. 52 drive straight past the bathrooms onto wildlife drive. It's about 1/4 mile down the road.

We will be out in the field all day so remember to dress warmly as things can get pretty cold out in the fields. Waterproof shoes would also be helpful but not necessary. There will be a hot lunch to warm our inners and energize us for an afternoon of more birding. If you plan to attend contact Judy Walker.

Tuesday, Jan. 7th - Wing Haven (Senior MAS members Only)
Mid-morning • 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. The cost is $5/person - seniors only! To register, call 703.331.0664 or register online. Remember to bring your binoculars!
February 2020
March 2020
Tuesday, Mar. 3rd - Wing Haven (Senior MAS members Only)
Mid-morning • 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. The cost is $5/person - seniors only! To register, call 703.331.0664 or register online. Remember to bring your binoculars!
 
April 2020
Tuesday, Apr. 7th - Wing Haven (Senior MAS members Only)
Mid-morning • 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. The cost is $5/person - seniors only! To register, call 703.331.0664 or register online. Remember to bring your binoculars!
May 2020
Tuesday, May 5th - Wing Haven (Senior MAS members Only)
Mid-morning • 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. The cost is $5/person - seniors only! To register, call 703.331.0664 or register online. Remember to bring your binoculars!
June 2020
Tuesday, Jun. 2nd - Wing Haven (Senior MAS members Only)
Mid-morning • 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. The cost is $5/person - seniors only! To register, call 703.331.0664 or register online. Remember to bring your binoculars!
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