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 visit 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 during a fall Field Trip.

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. Some of the trips are walking trails once you meet. Any questions you have regarding the trips can be answered by the field-trip coordinators or by the volunteer leader of that specific trip.

In addition to Burroughs Field Trips, other nature walks and bird walks are available around the Kansas City Area. Below is a list of locations offering additional trips for your consideration. If you would like your field-trips page listed below please contact Burroughs.

 

Upcoming Trips

 

Check back here for updates on winter trips if the weather is a concern. The website will contain the most up-to-date information.

 

Additional fall, winter, and spring field trips will be added to the website once they are finalized with trip leaders. We appreciate your excitement for upcoming field trips and ask for patience as we get the new ones planned.

 

November 2019

Saturday, November 30th – Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge

Witness multitudes of Snow Geese and waterfowl, as well as dozens of Bald Eagles. Meet at the Loess Bluffs Welcome Center around 8:45 a.m., and we’ll begin our first trip around the refuge’s 10-mile auto tour loop around 9:00. We’ll return to the visitor center around 12:30 p.m. to use the picnic tables for lunch and restrooms before making a second pass around the loop in the afternoon. Bring a sack lunch, snacks, optics, field guides, and FRS radios. Dress in layers, as conditions are often cold and windy at this time of year. Individuals of all skill levels are welcome to attend.

Your leader for this trip is Mike Stoakes. For carpooling, meet at 7:30 a.m. at the Platte City commuter lot. For more information, contact Mike at mstoakes@juno.com or 816-554-1956.

 

December 2019

Saturday, December 7th – Lyon, Coffey, and Osage Counties

This trip consists of birding by car with stops around Melvern Reservoir, a short bit of walking around Lyon County State Fishing Lake, and stops around John Redmond Reservoir in search of winter species such as Smith’s Longspurs, grebes, loons, scoters, gulls, shrikes, sparrows, Long-eared Owl and Short-eared Owls. Bring food, beverages, and FRS radios for this all-day trip. If interested, some participants traditionally stop at Guy and Mae’s Tavern in Williamsburg afterwards for BBQ ribs and to compile a trip total. Individuals of all skill levels are welcome to attend.

Your leader for this trip is Matt Gearheart. Meet at 7 am in the parking lot in front of PetSmart near I-35 and 119th in Overland Park to carpool and caravan for this all-day trip. For more information, contact Matt at gearheart.matt@gmail.com or 913-568-4678.

 

Christmas Bird Counts – Dates and principal contacts for local counts are listed below

Join in on one or more of the local Christmas Bird Counts (CBC) in the 120th year of Audubon counts.  You should send an email to the listed individual with your intention to participate as well as asking any questions regarding specific meeting locations or plans for that count.  Burroughs Audubon does not have any specifically sponsored count and the information listed below is purely to assist with your individual planning.  A complete list of Kansas CBCs and Missouri CBCs are also available if you are looking to join a CBC. Here is more information regarding what to expect on a Christmas Bird Count.

 

Saturday, December 14thLawrence CBC contact Galen Pittman

Parties and locations are determined ahead of time. Please contact Galen ahead of time if you want to participate at galenpitt@gmail.com or 785.760.3572.

 

Saturday, December 14thTopeka CBC contact Carol Morgan

Participants are pre-assigned to a group leader. Compilation and chili supper at 5:30 p.m. Contact Carol Morgan at crxmorgan@gmail.com or 785.554.5112.

 

Saturday, December 14thTrimble CBC contact Kristi Mayo

Birders with all levels of ability are invited to participate in the Trimble Christmas Bird Count, part of the 120th Audubon Christmas Bird Count. The Trimble CBC covers a circle 15 miles in diameter centered over the town of Trimble, Missouri. It includes Smithville Lake, Kendzora Conservation Area, plus miles of country roads, farm ponds, pastures, and woodland. Teams of birders fan out over the circle and count every bird they see within their territory. Most teams count from an hour or two before sunrise until sunset.

Interested? Here’s how to get involved:

1) Email Kristi Mayo at writebirds@gmail.com. Include your availability on count day (all-day is preferred, but it’s okay if you can only count for half a day or even a few hours); whether you have a preference for or an aversion to a mostly walking or driving route; and any past experience with birding/CBCs.

2) Kristi will divide volunteers into teams and email out team and territory assignments a few days before the count.

3) On December 14, we count birds all day!

4) Around 5 pm we meet back at a dining establishment in Smithville for food, drink, and to share stories about all our fabulous bird finds.

If you have any questions contact Kristi Mayo at writebirds@gmail.com

 

Sunday, December 15th – Bonner Springs/Lansing CBC contact John Bollin

John is coordinating this count and Galen Pittman is doing the compiling. We are currently planning to meet at 7:00 a.m. at the Wyandotte County Sheriff’s Office Parking Lot at Wyandotte County Lake. This is at the south end of the lake/park. John will be parked close to the parking lot entrance near the bridge that goes over the main road. Please contact John ahead of time if you would like to participate in the count so that he can assign you to a survey party. Please contact John at bollinj@umkc.edu or 816.289.5554.

 

Sunday, December 15thOskaloosa/Perry Lake CBC contact Bunnie Watkins at ranger_rabbit@sbcglobal.net or 785-393-0984 for more information.

 

Monday, December 16th Melvern Lake CBC contact Jim Malcolm at iambirding@prodigy.net for more information.

 

Friday, December 20thJohn Redmond CBC contact Bob Culbertson

Meet at 7:30 at the John Redmond Reservoir Corps of Engineer’s Office west of New Strawn on Embankment Rd. For more information contact Bob at rculbertson@kaws.org or 620.364.9485.

 

Saturday, December 28th Holton CBC contact Carol Morgan at crxmorgan@gmail.com or 785.554.5112 for more information.

 

Saturday, December 28thLeavenworth CBC contact John Schukman at schuksaya@kc.rr.com or 913.547.1751 ahead of time for more information.

 

Sunday, December 29thKansas City CBC contact Mike Stoakes

Dear prospective KC CBC’ers, The 120th Christmas Bird Count season is rapidly approaching! As KC compiler, I would like to invite birders of all levels to participate again, or for the first time. Here are a few details to consider: * Count day and date: Sunday, December 29. * The KC count area is a 15-mile diameter circle centered on Unity Village. and divided into eight (8) sections * Participation involves a traveling count, typically on foot, but in some areas by automobile. * Feeder watching in the suburban environs of Raytown and Lee’s Summit is encouraged for those area residents who may have trouble getting out. * New birders, first-time participants and others who so request will be placed with experienced counters. * Section assignments and section leaders will be identified and information exchanged between participants and leaders after signing up. * A post-count compilation dinner will be held at the Perkins restaurant in Lee’s Summit (Hwys. 50 & 291) for those who still have (or need) the energy. * Winter weather may slow us down, but nothing short of a major ice storm or blizzard will cause the count to be canceled and rescheduled. *Section assignments will remain the same for previous participants unless otherwise requested. I ask that new participants remain flexible in accepting section assignments. If you indicate a preference, I’ll make every effort to place you in the section where you want to count. *Please contact me to sign up or to request more information Mike Stoakes at 816-554-1956 or  mstoakes@juno.com

 

January 2020

Wednesday, January 1St. Marys CBC contact Dallas Alexander at dallaspumpman1@gmail.com or 785.383.2021 for more information.

 

Saturday, January 4Benedictine Bottoms/Atchison CBC contact John Bollin

Meet at the Atchison McDonalds, 118 South 8th Street at 7:00 a.m. Please contact John if you are interested in participating at bollinj@umkc.edu or 816.289.5554 ahead of time or to request more details.

 

Wednesday, January 8th – Rocky Point Glades & Swope Park Winter Bird Census 

Join us as we visit this restored limestone glad and oak savanna to conduct a winter bird census. We will walk the trails in search of winter residents that might include both species of Kinglets, the diverse family of Sparrows, Brown Creepers, Hermit Thrushes and Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers. In addition, we expect to find year-round residents that use this habitat at this Kansas City park. This census assists KC Wildlands and their ongoing mission toward land stewardship around the Kansas City Metro region. Counting birds at this park counts toward volunteer hours for Master Naturalists.

Your leader for this trip is Steven Johnson. Meet at 8:00 am at the small parking lot near the Hogan Building called Camp Lake of the Woods on google maps. Dress for the weather and plan to walk approximately two miles along dirt trail outside. Feel free to bring snacks and beverages in addition to your binoculars and warm clothes. For more information, contact Steve at stevenrjohnson89@gmail.com.

 

Wednesday, January 15th – Jerry Smith Park Winter Bird Census 

Join us as we visit this restored prairie and city park to conduct a winter bird census. We will walk the trails in search of winter residents that might include both species of Kinglets, the diverse family of Sparrows, Brown Creepers, Hermit Thrushes and Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers. In addition, we expect to find year-round residents that use this habitat at this Kansas City park. This census assists KC Wildlands and their ongoing mission toward land stewardship around the Kansas City Metro region. Counting birds at this park counts toward volunteer hours for Master Naturalists.

Your leader for this trip is Sherry Leonardo. Meet at 8:30 am at the Jerry Smith Trailhead Parking lot at the top of the ridge. Dress for the weather and walking along the approximately 1.5 mile long trail outside. Feel free to bring snacks and beverages in addition to your binoculars and warm clothes. For more information, contact Sherry at home172@aol.com.

 

Saturday, January 18th – Blue River Parkway Winter Bird Census

Join us as we visit Blue River Parkway and Minor Park to conduct a winter bird census. We will walk the trails in search of winter residents that might include both species of Kinglets, the diverse family of Sparrows, Brown Creepers, Hermit Thrushes and Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers. In addition, we expect to find year-round residents that use this habitat at this Kansas City park. This census assists KC Wildlands as part of a grant and their ongoing mission toward land stewardship around the Kansas City Metro region. Counting birds at this park counts toward volunteer hours for Master Naturalists.

Your leader for this trip is Don Arney. Meet at 8:00 am at the Blue River Parkway Trailhead and Minor Park Tennis Courts parking lot. Dress for the weather and be prepared to walk a couple miles of trails. Feel free to bring snacks and beverages in addition to your binoculars and warm clothes. For more information, contact Don at 816-931-8536 or 22sora@gmail.com

 

Sunday, January 19th – Wyandotte County Lake

Join us as we scan Wyandotte County Lake for waterfowl and check locations around the lake for sparrows, finches, and whatever else is around. Wear warm clothes appropriate for the weather as we will be standing outside scanning with scopes and walking a couple of trails around the lake. This trip is a morning trip and will end before noon. Eagle Days at Schlaggle Library is Saturday, January 18th and the afternoon of Sunday, January 19th.  Stick around after the field trip to participate with the KCK Library scheduled events.

Your leader for this trip is Malcolm Gold. Meet at 8:00 am at the parking lot near 93rd Lane and West Dr. For more information, contact Malcolm at malcolmgold@gmail.com or 608-807-6086.

 

Saturday, January 25th – Overland Park Arboretum

Join us as we walk the trails of Overland Park Arboretum in search of Winter Wren, sparrows, kinglets, woodpeckers, and whatever else is around. Wear warm clothes appropriate for the weather as we will be outside walking trails. This trip is a morning trip and will end before noon. The trails are wide with gradual inclines. We may walk a couple of miles on this trip.  The admission fee is $3 per person unless you are already a member of the Overland Park Arboretum.

Your leader for this trip is John Mallery. Meet at 8:15 am at the Overland Park Arboretum parking lot.  The Arboretum gate off 179th opens at 8. For more information, contact John at john.mallery@gmail.com

 

February 2020

Saturday, February 8th – Shawnee SFL and Banner Creek joint with Topeka Audubon

Join us as we check the area around Shawnee State Fishing Lake for waterfowl, raptors, and wintering sparrows before heading north to Holton Kansas in Jackson County. We’ll stop at Burger King, but alternative fast food locations exist in town or you can bring a packed lunch. After lunch, we’ll check Banner Creek Lake which has a $3 daily Vehicle Entry Fee. Depending on timing of the morning portion of the trip, the return trip toward KC may stop at locations around Perry Lake. Feel free to join us for all or part of this all-day trip. Dress in layers for this trip that will include walking, scoping, and time in a vehicle driving. And remember it is always nice to chip in for gas if you are carpooling. 

Your trip leader is Debby McKee. Malcolm Gold is coordinating the morning caravan from KC. Meet at 6:45 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. To arrange an alternative meeting point or for more information, contact Debby at grmasmurf@gmail.com or 785-220-6515 or Malcolm at malcolmgold@gmail.com or 608-807-6086.

 

Saturday, February 29th – 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 for 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, we will meet at the Corp of Engineers office at the Clinton State Park entrance shortly after 8 am. For more information, contact Mark at markeland@kc.rr.com or 816-590- 9814.

 

May 2020

Friday, May 1st – Blue River Parkway Spring Migration Bird Census

Join us as we visit Blue River Parkway and Minor Park to conduct a spring migration bird census. We will walk the trails in search of migrating passerines such as warblers, flycatchers, vireos, and thrushes. In addition, we expect to find year-round residents that use this habitat. This census assists KC Wildlands as part of a grant and their ongoing mission toward land stewardship around the Kansas City Metro region. Counting birds at this park counts toward volunteer hours for Master Naturalists.

Your leader for this trip is Don Arney. Meet at 7:00 am at the Blue River Parkway Trailhead and Minor Park Tennis Courts parking lot. Dress for the weather and be prepared to walk a couple miles of trails. Feel free to bring snacks and beverages in addition to your binoculars. For more information, contact Don at 816-931-8536 or 22sora@gmail.com

 

June 2020

Saturday, June 13th – Blue River Parkway Breeding Bird Census

Join us as we visit Blue River Parkway and Minor Park to conduct a breeding bird census. We will walk the trails in search of bird species that utilize this habitat during the breeding season to raise young and species that use this habitat year-round. We expect to find vireos, woodpeckers, tanagers, warblers, flycatchers and more on this stroll through this Kansas City park. This census assists KC Wildlands as part of a grant and their ongoing mission toward land stewardship around the Kansas City Metro region. Counting birds at this park counts toward volunteer hours for Master Naturalists.

Your leader for this trip is Don Arney. Meet at 7:30 am at the Blue River Parkway Trailhead and Minor Park Tennis Courts parking lot. Dress for the weather and be prepared to walk a couple miles of trails. Feel free to bring snacks and beverages in addition to your binoculars. For more information, contact Don at 816-931-8536 or 22sora@gmail.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.

11/30/19 – Eighteen birders joined this traditional after-Thanksgiving trip to Loess Bluffs NWR. Early morning fog lifted as the winds picked up, and a sunny day made for good looks and great light for photos. Highlights included watching a Pied-billed Grebe trying to swallow a frog (the frog escaped), a nice variety of ducks, and numerous Bald Eagles and Trumpeter Swans. On Mallard Marsh, the sight of three species of swans (Tundra, Trumpeter, and Mute) in close proximity to one another made for a memorable tableau rarely seen in this part of the country. Several nice photos in the link above.

11/9/19 – Eighteen birders visited Lake Quivira in Johnson and Wyandotte Counties. The lake contained a Long-tailed Duck, several mergansers and duck species, a couple of Common Loons, and a few expected Gulls. A walk around the trails was rewarded with good looks at several sparrow and woodpecker species among the 49 total species.

10/19/19 – Twenty-five individuals walked through the tall grasses of the Clinton Lake Model Airplane field for sparrows. LeConte’s and Nelson’s Sparrows were numerous and showed well for almost everyone. A few ducks, loons, and many gulls were found on Clinton Lake late morning before the group dispersed.

10/16/19 – Fourteen birders showed up on a chilly, overcast morning to conduct the fall Jerry Smith Park census for KC Wildlands. Several LeConte’s Sparrows topped the list of 35 species tallied. Other sparrows seen were Song, Swamp, White-crowned, White-throated, Chipping and Field. Raptors included Cooper’s, Red-shouldered and Red-tailed Hawks. 

10/11/19 –10/13/19 – Twenty-one birders visited central Kansas with a visit to Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area Friday night, a visit to Quivira National Wildlife Refuge Saturday, a visit to a private field (with permission) on Saturday, and back to Cheyenne Bottoms on Sunday morning. Highlights include 5 Sabine’s gulls across Saturday and Sunday, a King Rail on Saturday, Sprague’s Pipits on Saturday, a Rock Wren Friday, and a Clark’s Grebe on Sunday. The group observed 109 species across the 3 days.

9/21/19 – Seven birders visited woodlands and Blackwater River watershed wetlands on a relatively subdued (few migrants) but rain-free day of birding in Johnson and Pettis Counties in western Missouri. Highlights included at least one Red-shouldered Hawk at each stop, Pileated Woodpecker, abundant Red-headed Woodpeckers, and Sandhill Cranes.

9/15/19 – A calm fall morning walk around Roe Park resulted in a few southbound migrants such as Swainson’s Thrush, Olive-sided Flycatcher, and Wilson’s Warbler. A highlight was the adult Red-shouldered Hawk that sat in the open while being harassed by four Blue Jays.

9/5/19 – Eight birders enjoyed walking part of Lake Vista Trail in Fleming Park on a beautiful September morning. Highlights include Yellow-bill Cuckoo, Swainson’s Thrush, Yellow-bellied and Least Flycatchers and a nice warbler list of Northern Parula, American Redstart and Prothonotary, Wilson’s, Blackburnian and Chestnut-sided Warblers.

6/15/19 – 6/18/19 – Sax-Zim Bog and MN Northwood Trip Report

6/11/19 – Nine birders joined Sherry Leonardo on the Jerry Smith Park breeding bird census. Highlights on this beautiful, low-humidity morning included nice looks at a family of Pileated Woodpeckers and being teased by one or more singing Henslows Sparrows which remained hidden from view.

6/8/19 – Twelve people participated in the Blue River Parkway breeding bird census with Don Arney. A muddy-in-places trail and a high water crossing made hiking conditions somewhat challenging, but highlights included good looks at a young Barred Owl and a pair of Louisiana Waterthrushes.

6/2/19 – Twenty participants enjoyed beautiful weather and scenery at Dunn Ranch and Pawnee Prairie Natural Area. Bird highlights included Upland Sandpiper, Black-billed Cuckoo, Red-headed Woodpecker, Sedge Wren, Loggerhead Shrike, Grasshopper Sparrow, and many Dickcissels and Bobolinks. We even found a nesting Killdeer and Willow Flycatcher.

5/16/19 – An early morning walk at Antioch Park found a few migrants including Wilson’s, Nashville, and Tennesee Warblers as well as a Blue-headed Vireo.

5/15/19 – Twenty individuals walked the Mill Creek Streamway near Nelson Island and then checked flooded fields in Shawnee.  A dozen shorebirds and a dozen Warblers species were found among the nearly 80 species. Brief appearances by a Yellow-Bellied Flycatcher, a Golden-winged Warbler, a Mourning Warbler, a Western Sandpiper, and a Worm-eating Warbler were seen by few but missed by most. 

5/11/19 – A dozen warbler species were observed at Bluffwoods Conservation Area on a joint trip with Midland Empire Audubon.  

5/10/19 – A soggy Blue River trail kept the group of 10 near the perimeter of the Minor Park tennis court parking area and on drier upland paths, but many birds were seen in this edge habitat. Some nice looks at a beautiful adult Red-shouldered Hawk, Blue-headed Vireo, and female Rose-breasted Grosbeaks. As on the Jerry Smith Trip, east met west in kingbird fashion. After sizing up each other, the Eastern Kingbird seemed to own the rights to the field where both were foraging.

5/9/19 – The group braved November-like temps and wind chills to do a migrating bird census at Jerry Smith Park. Highlights were good looks at a Lark Sparrow, 2 Blue-headed Vireos, 3 Yellow Warblers and 3 Clay-colored Sparrows which included life birds for some. We also saw an Eastern and Western Kingbirds perched close together simultaneously.

5/8/19 – Recent rains eliminated all shorebird habitat at KCPL Wetlands.  Calling Willow Flycatcher and Sora highlighted a short walk squeezed between rain in heavy overcast skies.

5/4/19 – A dozen people walked Lake Lenexa and Blackhoof park and Shawnee Mission Park in the evening and into the night to listen for Eastern Whip-poor-will and Chuck-will’s-widow.

5/1/19 – Heavy fog limited visibility and recent rains eliminated shorebird habitat at KCPL Wetlands in Gardner Kansas, yet bird diversity has increased with spring migration. Following up on information from Aaron Batterbee, the group headed north along Waverly after the morning walk and enjoyed views of a male Bobolink

4/28/19 – Despite a chill breeze, nineteen people enjoyed driving the repaired auto tour loop at Loess Bluffs NWR. Highlights included great views of a mixed flock of swallows on the road and scope views of a perched Peregrine Falcon and two Black-necked Stilts. Also, killer looks at a Great Horned Owl (killer looks at a great killer).

4/26/19 – A few migrants were found along the Tomahawk Creek Trail in Leawood Kansas, but for many on the walk the stars of the walk were the nesting summer residents and their nests which were still visible with trees not fully leafed out.

4/24/19 – Participants enjoyed calm winds and a mixed flock of shorebirds at KCP&L Wetlands.  An American Bittern and Sora flewby the group and all 5 expected swallow species were flying over the ponds.

4/17/19 – Strong southerly winds and overcast skies didn’t yield many shorebirds at KCP&L wetlands, but a single Baird’s Sandpiper and singing Brown Thrashers were fun to look at none the less for the sixteen strong.

4/10/19 – A beautiful spring morning at KCP&L Wetlands was enjoyed by 14 people. A couple of migrating sparrows and the return of additional swallow species were different from the previous week, but likely the highlight was watching a beautiful pair of Eastern Bluebirds enter a nesting cavity in one of the dead willows.

4/3/19 – A dozen people walked KCPL Wetlands and enjoyed a few early migrants and the return of summer residents.  During the walk a handful of Pectoral Sandpipers flew in, a pair of Green-winged Teal flew in, and the Brown Thrasher sang after we walked past the habitat reminding us the first look doesn’t always reveal the fluid state of what is present.

3/22/19 – 3/24/19 – Seven people enjoyed the Sandhill Crane migration trip to Grand Island, Nebraska from March 22 to March 24. The group enjoyed thousands of Sandhill Cranes feeding, bowing, dancing and roosting along the Platte River Friday. Other birds of note included a Whooping Crane that was seen multiple times. Hundreds of waterfowl of twenty species were found in the flooded fields and ponds in the area. Red-breasted Nuthatch, Oregon Dark-eyed Junco, Pink-sided Dark-eyed Junco, and Yellow-headed Blackbird were found at the Crane Trust Nature Center. A nature art show was also enjoyed at the Crane Trust with painters, photographers and woodcarvers in attendance to talk about their craft. Raptors included numerous Red-tailed Hawks, a Harlan’s Red-tailed Hawk, Bald Eagles, Northern Harriers, American Kestrels, Cooper’s and Sharp-shinned Hawk. Saturday night was washed out and it rained all night leaving the trip to Taylor Ranch questionable. But the rains quit just in time and 4 wheel drive allowed us to find and watch Greater Prairie Chickens strutting on the lek to the chorus of numerous Western Meadowlarks early Sunday morning. A grand total of 55 species were seen in Hall County Nebraska. Thanks to everyone who helped us plan and execute this trip that never fails to amaze. 

3/20/19 – Sherry Leonardo held an impromptu field trip at dusk for American Woodcocks for individuals that couldn’t attend the field trip on the 15th. Eleven people attended and all were able to see and hear the displays and calls.

3/16/19 – Northbound migrants are starting to show up.  A few first of year birds (such as Barn Swallow, Turkey Vulture, and Eastern Phoebe) were observed among the 66 species seen in western Missouri during a beautiful and calm spring day.

3/15/19 – Nearly two dozen people gathered to watch the American Woodcocks peent and display at Jerry Smith Park in Jackson County Missouri. This display is a favorite for many long-time birders and was observed by eleven for the first time this night.

3/2/19 – Fourteen individuals searched areas around Clinton Lake and Perry Lake in Douglas and Jefferson Counties for waterfowl and gulls. The wind coming off the lake with cold temperatures made it a challenge to stay outside too long and a limited diversity of species was observed. Studying through different ages of Herring and Ring-billed Gulls is a wonderful learning opportunity though.   

2/9/19 – Twelve people, including four from BAS, joined Topeka Audubon Society (TAS) on a joint trip to Shawnee State Fishing Lake (SFL) and Banner Creek Lake/Wetlands. With the exception of a bit of open water at Banner Creek Lake in Holton, KS waterfowl numbers were low because of frozen water. A highlight of the trip was a nice dark-morph Rough-legged Hawk at Shawnee SFL. Many thanks to Debbie McKee and Mark Pheasant of TAS for hosting this trip for the second year-in-a-row. A Long-Tailed Duck was observed at Perry Lake on the way home.

2/2/19 – Following up on recent reports of winter gulls and waterfowl, a short-notice field trip was offered to Hillsdale Lake. The trip exceeded attendance expectations with 16 people and another handful joining the group for parts of the beautiful morning.  Waterfowl and gulls were numerous and the female Long-Tailed Duck that has been present for a couple of months was refound.

1/27/19 – Six individuals walked the trails at Jerry Smith Park and conducted the winter bird census for KC WildLands. Among the 27 species, a Sharp-shinned Hawk harassed a flyover Red-tailed hawk and the Eastern Bluebirds serenaded the group throughout the morning. 

1/26/19 – Five people walked the trails at Minor Park and conducted a winter bird census for KC WildLands. A Winter Wren and Yellow-bellied Sapsucker were nice cold-weather visitors from the north.

1/20/19 – Five people scanned Wyandotte County Lake for waterfowl and the surrounding woods and feeder station before part of the group volunteered at Eagle Days.  The number of all five expected geese species was amazing as was having both native Swan species.

1/01/19 – Four people spent a chilly New Years morning around Fleming Park pursuing the first birds of the new year. Highlights included a small flock of Common Mergansers and Cedar Waxwings, a nice look at a Swamp Sparrow after it flew across an arm of Blue Springs Lake to (apparently) have a look at us and a couple of Fox Sparrows at the BAS Library and Nature Center.

 

2018 Trip Reports and Year Totals

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.