We hope everyone stayed safe during 2020 and enjoyed nature and birds. All field trips were cancelled early spring for health precautions. Limited trips with capacity restrictions, social distancing, and no carpooling were offered later in the year.
We hope you enjoyed one or more of the Burrough’s Field Trips and look forward to seeing you on one of the upcoming trips. Field trips include a diverse selection of locations from city parks, state parks, conservation areas, wildlife areas, and national wildlife refuges. During the 2020 Calendar year, the Burrough’s Field Trips saw many individuals experience new “life” birds, offered exceptional views of rare and tough to see birds, and time with other nature-loving individuals.
Burroughs Field Trips collectively observed 132 species in 2020 with 93 species observed both in Kansas as well as Missouri.
There were 14 trips offered in 2020! These trips included 2 all-day trips and 12 partial day trips. The partial day trips included eleven trips in the morning that ranged as short as an hour and some that lasted until lunch and one trip that started at dusk and went into the night.
The 2020 trips had a total of 121 participants! Some individuals were counted multiple times in this tally if they attended multiple trips. The trips had 8 different volunteer trip leaders, all had led trips in previous years for Burroughs. Their commitment to sharing nature with others is amazing.
Brief reports from Field Trips in 2020
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.
10/20/20 – Five individuals wore masked and maintained social distancing while visiting Kill Creek Park in northwest Johnson County Kansas. A slightly larger and darker bird was observed flying with Tree Swallows over the lake, giving the impression of a very late Martin. Careful study revealed it was a Merlin flying slowly among the Swallows hunting, a behavior that is not often seen with this species.
10/14/20 – Eight people helped with the morning census at Jerry Smith Park. Winds made the count challenging, but 28 species were tallied. Highlights were: Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Orange-crowned Warblers, 6 species of sparrows including FOS White-crowned Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos, and a Sharp-shinned Hawk that flew across the area.
5/13/20 – Steven Johnson and Sherry Leonardo practiced social distancing during the previously schedule field trip by conducted the Rocky Point Glades spring migration census alone. They had a few migrants among the 31 species but many summer residents.
5/12/20 – Sherry Leonardo conducted the spring migration census at Jerry Smith Park and amazingly found a Lazuli Bunting while enjoying views of other migrating Vireos, Wrens, and Warblers.
3/10/20 – Twenty-two people attended the annual woodcock walk at Jerry Smith Park. We were joined by 6 people from the KC Meet Up birding at the park for woodcocks. At least 6 woodcocks put on quite a show. Most people saw at least one woodcock and everyone heard all three parts of the aerial display. Other birds seen or heard included Killdeer and Great Horned Owls.
2/29/20 – Twenty two individuals met at Clinton Lake to scan the lake in the morning before heading to Perry Lake after lunch. Most of the bird variety was present at the Marina in the morning with flyover geese. At Perry Lake a 1st winter Lesser Black-backed Gull was at the Yacht and Marina near the dam and a Great Black-backed Gull was at the Rock Creek Marina with an Iceland (Thayeri type) Gull. A Glaucous Gull back at the Yacht and Marina at the end of the trip was the 6th gull species and end to a wonderfully warm day with friends.
2/8/20 – Seven birders from KC and eleven birders from Topeka met to enjoy a sunny, but chilly, morning with calm winds at Shawnee State Fishing Lake north of Topeka. A frozen lake precluded any waterfowl from being seen, but nine species of sparrow, including Fox and Spotted Towhee, were found in the brush and grasslands around the lake. Banner Creek Lake near Holton produced a nice variety of waterfowl on a few seams of open water on an otherwise frozen lake. On the way back to KC, birders found several dabbling and diving ducks after a quick stop at the Perry Lake dam east of Topeka.
1/25/20 – Recent snow resulted in a beautiful 2.5 mile walk at the Overland Park Arboretum for nine individuals. A Spotted Towhee and Purple Finch were at the feeder station and numerous Golden Crowned Kinglets were along the west trail.
1/19/20 – Cold temperatures caused the group of five birders to spend less time walking and scoping the lake than expected. Hermit Thursh, Golden-crowned Kinglets, and a variety of waterfowl were present around Wyandotte County Lake.
1/15/20 – Three volunteers joined Sherry Leonardo in this winter bird census of Jerry Smith Park. Highlights included a Sharp-shinned Hawk, a Pileated Woodpecker, a couple of Fox Sparrows, and a Swamp Sparrow. These seasonal censuses assist KC WildLands in its ongoing mission to preserve habitat around the Kansas City Metro area, and participating with Burroughs counts as volunteer hours for both KS and MO Master Naturalists.
1/8/20 – Thirteen volunteers joined Steve Johnson in this winter season bird census of the Rocky Point Glades in Swope Park. Highlights included an adult Bald Eagle, a young Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, and hundreds of American Robins (with a few Cedar Waxwings mixed in) feasting on abundant Hackberry tree fruit.
1/1/20 – Five birders joined in a New Years Day walk on a beautiful first day of 2020. Highlights included a number of Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers and a nice variety of waterfowl. Wonderful photos by J.C. Avena included with eBird list.
12/7/19 – Twenty-two people, including birders from Hays and Topeka, birded multiple locations in Lyon and Osage Counties in Kansas. Our target bird near Lyon State Fishing Lake (LSFL), Smith’s Longspur, proved elusive and few (two birds), but most folks were able to hear and see a bird in flight. Another highlight of LSFL was a cooperative Bewick’s Wren. On earlier reports of a Pacific Loon and White-winged Scoter at Pamona Lake, the group relocated and had great looks at the loon, but not the scoter. A busy guild of songbirds was located in the park below the Pamona Lake outlet, delighting all who witnessed the large mixed flock.