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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 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.
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. 6th: 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 the 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.

Tuesday, Jan. 9th: Four-mile Creek Greenway
1/2 Day • Easy • Contact: Ron Clark [waxwing@bellsouth.net]
Winter migrants should be settled into this productive 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.

Saturday Jan 13th: Clark's Creek Nature Preserve
1/2 Day • Moderate • Contact: Judy Walker [birdwalker@me.com] • MAP
This preserve in northeast part of the county, has a little bit of everything. Nice open fields should have lots of sparrows and the wooded areas along the creek could hold a few surprises. Meet in the parking lot on Hucks Rd. at 8:30 AM.

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.
Saturday, Jan. 27th: McDowell Prairie/Copperhead Is.
Cancelled. Rescheduled for February 24th.
FEBRUARY 2018
Thursday, February 1st: Cane Creek Park (Union County)
1/2 Day • Moderate • Contact: Martina Nordstrand [fishycats@msn.com] • MAP
Although this is a new destination for us, a number of our members have been birding the park for a while. This park has a large lake, woods and fields which should produce a variety of species this time of the year. Meet in the main parking lot at 8:30 AM.

February 3rd: McAlpine Creek Greenway (Monroe Entrance)
1/2 Day • Easy • Contact: Judy Walker [birdwalker@me.com] • MAP
We haven't birded this area for a while. With its varied habitat - ponds, fields, & woods, it can often hold some surprises. We'll meet in the parking lot off Monroe Rd. at 8:30 AM.

Saturday, February 10th: Torrence Creek Greenway
1/2 Day • Easy • Contact: Judy Walker [birdwalker@me.com] • MAP
We'll walk this little birded greenway in the northern part of the county to see what it might have in store for us. During the Lake Norman Christmas Count a group found a Baltimore Oriole feeding in some Bradford Pears. We will meet at 8:30 AM at the greenway entrance on Bradford Hills Lane. [From I-77 take exit 23, Gilead Rd.; turn left; go 1.7 miles to Bradford Hill Lane; turn left on Bradford Hills.]

February 7th-11th: Special Field Trip to Florida's Space Coast
Contact: Matt Janson [m.janson.geolover@gmail.com]
Trip is Full. The area surrounding NASA's Kennedy Space Center is referred to as Florida's Space Coast and it's an unbelievable area for birding. Tom Ledford, who previously lead field trips for us in Charlotte, has offered to take folks on grand tour of the area. If you are interested in joining the group which is limited to 16 folks, contact Matt Janson for all the details.

February 16th - 19th: Great Backyard Bird Count
Get out an bird anywhere you like or just keep track of what's in your own backyard from the comfort of your own home.
Sunday, February 18th: Six-Mile Creek Greenway
1/2 Day • Easy • Contact: Martina Nordstrand [fishycats@msn.com]MAP
Celebrate the Great Backyard Bird Count at this short 1 mile greenway that produces an amazing number of interesting birds. Meet in the parking lot at 8:30 AM

Sunday, February 18th: Woodcock Walk
Evening Walk • Easy • Contact: Matt Janson [m.janson.geolover@gmail.com]
Our annual trek to see dancing Woodcocks will be the second half of a double header bird walk day. We will meet at 5:30 PM in the parking lot of Sherman Branch on Rock River Church Rd. From I-485 take exit 41. Go east (left) on Albemarle Rd. First left will be Rocky River Church Rd. Parking lot will be on the left shortly after Camp Stewart Rd. Make sure you bring a flashlight!

Saturday, February 24th: McDowell Prairie/Copperhead Is.
½ Day • Moderate • Contact: Ron Clark [waxwing@bellsouth.net] MAP
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.
MARCH 2018
Saturday, March 3rd: Ribbon Walk Nature Preserve
1/2 Day • Moderate • Contact: Ron Clark [waxwing@bellsouth.net] • MAP
We will be looking for early spring migrants. 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, March 11th: McAlpine Creek Greenway (Monroe Rd.)
1/2 Day • Easy • Contact: Judy Walker [birdwalker@me.com] • MAP
We haven't birded this area for a while. With its varied habitat - ponds, fields, & woods, it can often hold some surprises. We'll meet in the parking lot off Monroe Rd. at 8:30 AM.
Tuesday, March 13th: Clark's Creek Nature Preserve
1/2 Day • Moderate • Contact: Judy Walker [birdwalker@me.com] • MAP
This preserve in northeast part of the county, has a little bit of everything. Nice open fields should have lots of sparrows and the wooded areas along the creek could hold a few surprises. Meet in the parking lot on Hucks Rd. at 8:30 AM.
Wednesday, March 21st: McAlpine Creek Floodplain
1/2 Day • Moderate • Contact: Matt Janson [m.janson.geolover@gmail.com]
Meet at the McAlpine Creek Greenway parking lot at Sardis Rd. and Old Bell Rd. at 8:30 AM. We will head west through field and woodland habitat alongside McAlpine Creek. We’ll hope for sparrows and early migrants such as gnatcatchers and parulas along the undeveloped trail. Conditions may be muddy depending on rainfall.
Saturday, March 24th: 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.
Tuesday, March 27th: Four-mile Creek Greenway
1/2 Day • Easy • Contact: Judy Walker [birdwalker@me.com] • MAP
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.
Saturday, March 31st: Six-mile Creek Greenway
1/2 Day • Easy • Contact: Ron Clark [waxwing@bellsouth.net]• 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, March 31st: Ocean Isle, NC Area
Full Day • Moderate • Contact: Taylor Piephoff [piephofft@aol.com] • MAP
For those who would like to get away for this long week, Taylor is offering to show us the great birding around Ocean Isle and Sunset, NC. Migrants should be moving through so he will be targeting waterfowl, shorebirds and marsh sparrows. Meet him at the Ferry Landing Park on the east end of Ocean Island Beach at 8 AM. Since this is Easter weekend you should probably make reservations ASAP. Please let Taylor know by March 26th if you plan to participate.
APRIL 2018

Saturday, April 7th: Congaree National Park (Columbia, SC)
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.

 
MAY 2018
 
June 2018
 
 
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Bird watchers
Bird watcher
Six-mile Creek Greenway flooded Field Trip
Huntington Beach Winter Field Trip
Sherman Branch Field Trip
Toby creek 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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