Field Trips

There’s nothing we enjoy more than introducing you to birds or helping you find things in nature. Our volunteers who lead these field trips work hard to make sure we’re exposing you to a diverse amount of habitats throughout the entire greater Kansas City area and beyond. Field trips include a diverse selection of locations from city parks, state parks, conservation areas, wildlife areas, and national wildlife refuges. We also expose you to all the habitats that our birds rely on for their survival – wetlands, woodlands, prairies and grasslands, agriculture, urban, and savannah.

Photo of a field trip enjoying sunrise at Hillsdale Lake

Sunrise at Hillsdale Lake

For all field trips, we recommend that you dress for the weather, in layers, and bring water, snacks and insect repellent. In the details, we’ll let you know if you need to bring lunch or lunch money. Almost everything that Burroughs Audubon offers is free, even to non-members.  

Some field trips are low-impact and are spent in the car, so if you own any FRS radios, we encourage you to bring them so that bird sightings can be shared between vehicles.

 

Upcoming Trips

 

February 2018

 

Saturday February 17th – Shawnee SFL and Banner Creek Lake joint with Topeka Audubon

Meet at 7 am at Wendy’s north of K-10 on Woodland Drive in Lenexa for carpooling and to caravan north-west or meet on the east side, south end near the dam of Shawnee State Fishing Lake at 8:30. Feel free to contact the trip leaders to arrange alternative meeting points if needed. We’ll check the area for waterfowl, raptors, and wintering sparrows before heading north to Holton Kansas in Jackson County. We’ll stop for a sandwich and lunch in Holton before checking Banner Creek Lake. Banner Creek lake has a $3 daily Vehicle Entry Fee specific to to this lake. We’ll return to Shawnee State Fishing Lake or another area at dusk with hopes of finding Short-Eared Owls and American Woodcocks. Feel free to join us for all or part of this all day trip.

Your trip leaders are Malcolm Gold and Debby McKee. For more information, contact Malcolm at malcolmgold@gmail.com or 608-807-6086 or Debby at debbymc56@sbcglobal.net or 785-220-6515.

 

Saturday February 24 – Clinton Reservoir and Perry Lake

Join us as we scan Clinton Reservoir and Perry Lake for waterfowl, gulls, and raptors and check other locations for sparrows, shrikes, finches, and whatever else is around. Bring all the usual items, including binoculars, scopes, FRS radios, drinks, snacks, cold weather gear (lakes are always windy places and it’s still February). We will bird Clinton in the morning, then stop for lunch at a local venue(usually Jason’s Deli). We will continue to Perry for an afternoon of birding. There is a $5 daily Vehicle Entry Fee for Clinton State Park if you don’t have a pass. And remember it is always nice to chip in for gas if you are carpooling. This is an all day trip but you’re welcome to participate as long as you like.

Your leader of this trip is Mark Land. Meet at 7:30 am at Wendy’s north of K-10 on Woodland Drive for carpooling and to caravan west. If coming from other areas, contact Mark for a meeting spot in Lawrence. Please let Mark know if you plan to attend the trip as it may be cancelled due to weather. In case of cancellation the back-up date is Saturday March 3rd and the cancellation notice will be posted on the Burroughs Website and Friends of Burroughs Audubon Facebook Page. For more information, contact Mark at markeland@kc.rr.com or 816-590- 9814.

 

March 2018

 

Week of March 5th to March 9th – American Woodcocks at Jerry Smith

Join us as we meet just before sunset to search and listen for American Woodcock! The date for this trip depends on the weather. Check back on the website for more information as the trip nears. The temperature can fall rapidly after dark at this time of year so please come prepared with colder weather gear.

Your leader of this trip is Sherry Leonardo. Meet at 6:00 pm at the Jerry Smith Trailhead parking lot. Expect a short walk along grass trails from the parking lot. For more information, contact Sherry at home172@aol.com.

 

Week of March 5th to March 9th – American Woodcocks at Prairie Center

Join us as we meet just before sunset to search and listen for American Woodcock! The date for this trip depends on the weather. Check back on the website for more information as the trip nears. The temperature can fall rapidly after dark at this time of year so please come prepared with colder weather gear.

Your leader of this trip is Jeff Witters. Meet at 6:00 pm at the northeast parking lot of Prairie Center on Cedar Niles Road by the old stone farm house. Expect a short walk along grass trails from the parking lot. For more information, contact Jeff at bioguy.witters@gmail.com.

 

Saturday March 17 – Bates and Henry Counties Missouri

Join us as we visit Settle’s Ford, Ladue Bottoms, and Montrose Conservation Areas in western Missouri. We will scan the lakes for waterfowl and gulls, search for raptors and sparrows, and hike in search of wintering species. This trip will mostly be in the car but dress appropriately for mild hiking. Bring binoculars, scopes, FRS radios, lunch, drinks and snacks.

Your leader of this trip is Joseph Mosely. Meet at the McDonald’s on Hwy 58 / 171st St in Belton at 7am to carpool or at the Settle’s Ford Conservation Area Headquarters at 8:00 am. This is an all day trip but you’re welcome to participate as long as you like. Contact Mike Stoakes at mstoakes@juno.com or 816-554-1956 if you have any questions regarding this trip.

 

April 2018

 

Sunday April 15th – Four Rivers Conservation Area

Join us as we visit this Audubon Missouri designated Important Bird Area in western Missouri. We will search diverse habitats for waterfowl, shorebirds, overwintering sparrows, early northbound passerines, and year-round residents. This trip is mostly spent in the car but wear hiking boots and appropriate clothing for short walks.

Your leader of this trip is Sherry Leonardo. Bring binoculars, scopes, FRS radios if you have them, snacks, drinks, and lunch for this all-day trip. Meet at 6:30 am at the McDonald’s on MO 58 just west of US 71 in Belton. For more information, contact Sherry at home172@aol.com.

 

Saturday April 21st – Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Area

Join us on this mostly driving trip along the Refuge’s 10-mile auto loop. We’ll search for for waterfowl, early shorebirds, and songbird migrants. Bring binoculars, scopes, FRS radios, and lunch or snacks and drinks.

Your leader for this trip is Malcolm Gold. For carpooling, meet at 6:15 am at PetSmart in Olathe, 7 am in the Platte City commuter lot, or at the Squaw Creek visitor center around 8:15 am. For more information, contact Malcolm at malcolmgold@gmail.com.

 

Saturday April 28th – Neosho Wildlife Area

Join us as we explore the bird-rich and diverse habitat of Neosho Wildlife Area in southeastern Kansas. We will check the woods, riparian habitat, and wetlands for early migrants, lingering waterfowl, and shorebirds. This trip will be focused around the Wildlife Area and may include a moderate hike depending on location of shorebirds as well as scanning of the wetlands. Bring binoculars, scopes, and mud boots for this half-day trip.

Your leader for this trip is Andrew Burnett. Meet at the north edge of Neosho Wildlife Area, just south of 47 approximately a mile and half east of St. Paul Kansas. Early birds meet at 6:30am for migratory passerine dawn chorus. The early birds will return to the same meeting location at 8:30am to meet up with other participants. Contact Andrew at aburnett9180@gmail.com if you have any questions regarding this trip. Contact Malcolm Gold at malcolmgold@gmail.com if you are willing to navigate and lead the caravan leaving KC at 6:30 to meet Andrew at 8:30.

 

May 2018

 

May 4th – 6th – Spring 2018 ASM Meeting

 

May 4th – 6th – Spring 2018 KOS Meeting

 

Tuesday May 8th – Jerry Smith Park Spring Migration Bird Census

We will meet at 7:30 am at the Jerry Smith Trailhead Parking lot at the top of the ridge and search this largely undeveloped city park for migrating Warblers, Vireos, Flycatchers, Thrushes and whatever else is there. To get to the Parking lot drive east on 139th St from Holmes Avenue and go approximately 0.75 mile; take the 2nd left on Prospect Ave up the hill to the small gravel parking lot. The observations from this census assists KC Wildlands and are part of their ongoing monitoring and mission toward land stewardship around the Kansas City Metro region. Dress for the weather and walking along the trails outside, feel free to bring snacks and beverages. Moderate walking along a mile and half trail should be expected for this trip.

The leader of this trip is Sherry Leonardo. For more information, contact Sherry at home172@aol.com.

 

Friday May 11th – Blue River Parkway Spring Migration Bird Census

We will meet at 7:30 am at the Blue River Parkway Trailhead and Minor Park Tennis Courts parking lot and search the area for migrating species. We will spend the morning walking the trails looking for Warblers, Vireos, Flycatchers, Thrushes and whatever else is there. Dress for the weather and walking outside, feel free to bring snacks and beverages.

The leader of this trip is Don Arney. For more information, contact Don at 816-931-8536 or 22sora@gmail.com.

 

June 2018

 

Saturday June 9th – Blue River Parkway Breeding Bird Census

We will meet at 7:30 am at the Blue River Parkway Trailhead and Minor Park Tennis Courts parking lot and search the Blue River looking for summer residents that breed in Jackson County. We will spend the morning walking the trails searching for Vireos, Woodpeckers, Tanagers and whatever else is there. Dress for the weather and walking along the trails outside. Feel free to bring snacks and beverages.

The leader of this trip is Don Arney. For more information, contact Don at 816-931-8536 or 22sora@gmail.com.

 

Tuesday June 12th – Jerry Smith Park Breeding Bird Census

We will meet at 7:30 am at the Jerry Smith Trailhead Parking lot at the top of the ridge and search this largely undeveloped city park for summer residents that breed around Jackson County. To get to the Parking lot drive east on 139th St from Holmes Avenue and go approximately 0.75 mile; take the 2nd left on Prospect Ave up the hill to the small gravel parking lot. The observations from this census assists KC Wildlands and are part of their ongoing monitoring and mission toward land stewardship around the Kansas City Metro region. Dress for the weather and walking along the trails outside, feel free to bring snacks and beverages. Moderate walking along a mile and half trail should be expected for this trip.

The leader of this trip is Sherry Leonardo. For more information, contact Sherry at home172@aol.com.

 

 

Brief reports from past Field Trips 

We encourage you to share your experience with others. Add your photos to the trip list within eBird, share them on social media, and invite your friends to an upcoming trip.

 

1/23/2018 – Three participants conducted a winter survey of Jerry Smith park and found 24 species during a couple hour walk.  A beautiful photo of an overwintering Hermit Thrush is included in this checklist.

1/21/2018 – Fifteen people spent the morning scoping Wyandotte County lake and walking a few trails finding over 40 species and a nice diversity of waterfowl.

1/20/2018 On icy and muddy trails, six folks joining the Blue River Parkway Winter Bird Census found 31 species along a 1.6-mile stretch of the Blue River corridor, including Bald Eagle, Belted Kingfisher, Winter Wren, and Hermit Thrush.

2017 Trip Reports and Year Totals

 

Have ideas? Please share them with us.

If you love getting out in nature and are interested in leading or co-leading a trip, if you have ideas of where a group could visit, or perhaps if you have a specific species in mind that you would like to see then please contact Burroughs. Direct your inquiry toward the field trip coordinators and they will get in contact with you to see what can be done.

Field trip coordinators Mike Stoakes and Malcolm Gold

(L to R) Mike Stoakes and Malcolm Gold

Alternatively feel free share your ideas with the coordinators the next time you see them in the field. The coordinators are Mike Stoakes and Malcolm Gold.