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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 insure 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.
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.
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. Turn cell phones off or to vibrate.
Be on time. Stay with the group.
Carpool whenever possible. Stay behind the leader.
Offer to chip-in for gas. Don't monopolize someone else's scope.
Wear muted colors. Avoid blocking other people's view.
Silence is golden. 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.
AUGUST 2017
Sunday, August 27th - 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 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 2017
Saturday, September 9th - Mallard Creek Greenway
1/2 Day • Easy • Contact: Judy Walker [birdwalker@me.com] • MAP
We will explore the section of this greenway that is in the University Research Park. In the past is has produced some interest birds (and butterflies) this time of the year. We'll be looking mainly for early migrants. We will meet at the corner of David Taylor Dr. and Governor Hunt Rd. at 8:30 AM.
Saturday, September 16th - Ribbon Walk Nature Preserve
1/2 Day • Moderate • Contact: Jim Guyton[guytonj@att.net] • MAP
This area is mostly wooded, and includes three ponds and a large field. We’ll cover about 1 1/2 miles. Meet at 8:30 AM in the parking lot on Hoyt Hinson Rd.
Tuesday, September 19th - Six-mile Creek Greenway
1/2 Day • Easy • Contact: Matt Janson [m.janson.geolover@gmail.com] • MAP
This greenway 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 large wetland across Marvin Rd. Meet in the parking lot at 8:30 AM.
Saturday, September 23rd - Jackson Park, Hendersonville, NC
Full Day • Moderate • Contact: Judy Walker [birdwalker@me.com] • MAP
This Hendersonville city park is the fall equivalent of Latta Park in the spring, with a 20-warbler day possible. This is an all-day trip, so bring a lunch. We'll meet at 7:30 AM at the McDonald's on Hwy 64 (Exit 49-B on Interstate 26 ) in Hendersonville. It's on the right after you cross the interstate.
Tuesday, September 26th - Ribbon Walk Nature Preserve
1/2 Day • Moderate • Contact: Ron Clark [waxwing@bellsouth.net] • MAP
Seems like Ribbon Walk is the hot spot for migrantion this fall. Good birds are being seen regularly so meet at 8:30 AM in the parking lot on Hoyt Hinson Rd.
Saturday, September 30th - Beginner Bird Walk
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 ther basics of using binoculars, spotting a bird, and identification. This will be a two-mile walk on dirt and gravel roads. We’ll have power line right-of-way, woods and prairie/field. 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.
OCTOBER 2017
Saturday, October 7th - Ribbon Walk Nature Preserve
1/2 Day • Moderate • Contact: Ron Clark [waxwing@bellsouth.net] • MAP
This area is mostly wooded, and includes three ponds and a large field. We’ll cover about 1 1/2 miles. Meet at 8:30 AM in the parking lot on Hoyt Hinson Rd.
Sunday, October 8th - 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.
Saturday October 14th: Clark's Creek Nature Preserve
1/2 Day • Moderate • Contact: Judy Walker [birdwalker@me.com] • MAP
Last spring MAS erected a Chimney Swift tower in this preserve. Today we will dedicate this tower in honor of David Wright, an avid birder who was dedicated to chronicling bird life in Mecklenburg county and mentor to many MAS birders. We will meet at 8:30 AM for the dedication and then bird the preserve. The address for the preserve is 5542 Hucks Rd, Charlotte, NC 28269.
Saturday, October 21-22 - Huntington Beach State Park
Weekend Trip • 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 Merlins, 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.
Saturday, October 28th: McDowell Prairie
1/2 Day • Moderate • Contact: Jeff Lemons [birdsalot@gmail.com] • MAP
This carefully managemed piedmont prairie has produced some interesting birds in the fall. We will be looking for early winter migrants. Brief directions: Turn right on Shopton Road off Hwy 49. In 0.7 miles, turn left on Four Horse Road. Follow it about 3/4 mile to the green gate on the right. We will meet at 8:00 AM.
Tuesday, October 31st: Four-mile Creek Greenway
1/2 Day • Easy • Contact: Ron Clark [waxwing@bellsouth.net]
Hopefully we will find some winter migrant treats and not tricks on this greenway, which has a variety of habitats that always provide good birds regardless of season. Meet at the Johnson Rd. parking lot at 8:30 AM.
NOVEMBER 2017
Saturday, November 4th: Latta Plantation Prairie
½ Day • Moderate • Contact: Ron Clark [waxwing@bellsouth.net]
We will be looking for arriving winter migrants (sparrows, sapsuckers, etc.) as well as local resident prairie birds. We’ll also check out the lake to see if any waterfowl have arrived. Meet in the Nature Center parking just inside the main gate at 8:30 AM.
Saturday, November 11th: Beginner Bird Walk
½ Day • Easy* • Contact: Bill & Laura Blakesley [lclemons@mindspring.com]
This month's beginner bird walk will occur at Six-mile Creek Greenway in south Charlotte. The short (1-mile) paved greenway usually produces a good variety of local resident birds. The walk is gear to those who are just beginning to learn about birds and will concentrate on tips of finding and identifying birds. Meet in the greenway parking lot at 8:30 AM.
Saturday, November 18th: West Branch Nature Preserve
½ Day • Easy • Contact: Judy Walker [birdwalker@me.com]
We will be looking for arriving winter migrants in this under birded nature preserve. Meet at 8:30 AM in the parking lot at the corner of Shearer Rd. & June Washam Rd.
Tuesday, November 21st: Pee Dee National Wildlife Refuge
Full Day • Moderate • Contact: Matt Janson [m.janson.geolover@gmail.com]
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. Meet at the kiosk/bathroom area at the main entrance off Rt. 52 at 8:30 AM.
Saturday, November 25th: McDowell Prairie/Copperhead Is.
½ Day • Moderate • Contact: Ron Clark [waxwing@bellsouth.net]
We will be looking for winter migrants including waterfowl at Copperhead Island. Brief directions: Turn right on Shopton Road off Hwy 49. In 0.7 miles, turn left on Four Horse Road. Follow it about 3/4 mile to the green gate on the right. We will meet at 8:30 AM.
DECEMBER 2017
Saturday, Dec. 2nd • 9:00 AM • 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 9 AM to first check out the wetland behind HH Greg and then car pool up to the reservoir. Depending on time we may even swing by Moss Creek Greenway to see what’s there.
Saturday, Dec. 9th • 8:30 AM • Beginner Bird Walk
1/2 Day • Easy • Contact: Judy Walker [birdwalker@me.com] • MAP
This month's beginner bird walk will take place on a new section of Toby Creek Greenway in northeast Charlotte near UNC Charlotte. It has a variety of habitats that should produce some interesting birds. The walk is gear to those who are just beginning to learn about birds and will concentrate on tips of finding and identifying birds. We will meet in the Lowe's parking lot on Chancellor Dr., across the street the Boston Market at 8:30 AM.
Saturday, Dec. 16th • Gaston CBC
Contact: Steve Tracy [stevepath1@aol.com]
For many animals the Catabaw 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.
Sunday, Dec 17th • 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, Dec 23rd • 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 lost 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 assure even and complete coverage of the area those who wish to participate should contact Ken Kneidel.
Saturday, Dec. 30 • 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 car pool, we will meet at 5:45 AM at the McDonald’s at the Windsor Square Shopping Center on Independence. 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.
JANUARY 2018

Saturday, Jan. 6: Loons on Lake Jocassee
CANCELED

Sat./Sun., Jan. 20-21th: Huntington Beach State Park, SC
Full Day • Moderate • Contact: Judy Walker [birdwalker@me.com] • MAP
Our winter excursion to Huntington Beach State Park in South Carolina is an annual favorite offering some different bird species than our fall trip. Waterfowl - both fresh-water and saltwater - have arrived in good numbers including loons, grebes, and ducks. Gannets are numerous offshore along with shorebirds along the quiet beaches.

We will meet at 8 AM in the causeway parking lot. Be sure to dress warmly as the winds off the ocean can be chilling and bring a lunch for a midday break. For those staying the weekend, Saturday evening we gather at a local restaurant for dinner to decide on where we will bird Sunday morning for half a day before heading home.
FEBRUARY 2018
 
MARCH 2018
 
APRIL 2018
 
MAY 2018
 
June 2018
 
 
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Bird watchers
Bird watchers
Big Sit birders
Bird watcher
Six-mile Creek Greenway flooded Field Trip
Huntington Beach Winter Field Trip
Sherman Branch Field Trip
Toby creek field trip
Latta Prairie field trip
Huntington beach field trip
congaree field trip
Evergreen field trip
clark's creek field trip
jackson park field trip
lake norman pelagic field trip
Huntington beach field trip
Donnelly wildlife area field trip
Huntington Beach state park field trip
Latta Prairie field trip
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