With vaccines and increased knowledge regarding the pandemic, a slight increase in the number of trips were offered over last year. We still have not scheduled overnight stays, but this is still a big change after cancelling most field trips in 2020. Below is a summary of the trips offered last 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 2023 Calendar year, the Burrough’s Field Trips saw many individuals experience new “life” birds. The spring migration and colorful warblers were arguably the highlight of the year. Other cooperative species offered many fond memories as well.
Burroughs Field Trips collectively observed 198 species in 2023 with 188 species observed in Kansas and 115 species observed in Missouri.
There were 33 trips offered in 2023! The past couple of years we have settled into a smaller number than pre-pandemic levels without any overnight trips. These trips included 26 morning walks, 4 all-day trips, and 3 evening gatherings.
The 2023 trips had a total of 388 participants! Some individuals were counted multiple times in this tally if they attended multiple trips. The trips had 13 different volunteer trip leaders, with six of them leading multiple trips. Their willingness to sharing their love of nature and knowledge of birds with others is greatly appreciated.
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.
12/5/23 – Eighteen individuals took advantage of the free admission at Overland Park on the first Tuesday of the month and enjoyed the time together in nature along the paved and wood-chipped trails.
12/2/23 – Thirteen individuals explored Osage, Lyon, and Coffey Counties in eastern Kansas on an extremely foggy day. Visibility was less than an eighth a mile at a few stops. A large flock of feeding Bonaparte’s Gulls below the Redmond Spillway and a large mixed flock of passerines at Lyon State Fishing Lake were highlights of the day.
11/7/23 – Fifteen birders enjoyed unseasonably warm temps and calm winds at the Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens on this free admission day. Winter residents are arriving as evidenced by Dark-eyed Juncos, White-throated, White-crowned, and Fox Sparrows. Birders had nice, eye-level views of a Brown Creeper, as well.
10/27/23 – Six birders braved cold winds and unexpected showers to conduct the 12th annual fall bird census at Jerry Smith Park. They saw a nice variety of sparrows: LeConte’s, Lincoln’s, Fox, Swamp, Song and White-throated. Pine Siskins were seen among flocks of Goldfinches. Numerous skeins of Snow Geese passed overhead, too.
10/21/23 – A large group of nearly thirty people gathered below Clinton Lake dam to search for Sparrows. With calm weather everyone in the group had cooperative LeConte’s Sparrows. Few wrens were seen and limited number of other sparrows before a quick scan of the lake reveal only a few early southbound waterfowl.
10/15/23 – A half dozen individuals enjoyed a couple hour morning walk at Kaw Point Park and a good diversity of early winter sparrows and late southbound migrants.
10/9/23 – Fifteen individuals walked the trails at Blue Spring Wetlands and enjoyed approximately 50 species.
10/3/23 – Fifteen individuals took advantage of the monthly free admission to Overland Park Arboretum and a leisurely mile and half stroll along the trails observing both resident species and a couple of south bound migrants.
9/23/23 – Ten individuals attended a Beginner Birding and Intro to Nature Adventurepack Program offered at the Bonner Springs Library.
9/13/23 – Fifteen individuals slowly strolled the paved pathways of Tomahawk Park in Leawood Kansas looking for southbound migrants. Large flocks of Cedar Waxwings and a couple warblers and vireos mixed in with multispecies flocks were the avian highlights of a cool calm fall morning.
9/2/23 – Fifteen individuals gathered at Hillsdale Reservoir in Miami County Kansas to look through southbound flocks of shorebirds on exposed mud flats. We got our feet muddy walking along the edge of the lake at Brown Wetlands and then scanned from the point at Antioch Marsh.
8/27/23 – In a joint field trip with Wild Birds Unlimited, twenty two individuals walked at Prairie Center in Olathe and found a smattering of southbound migrants. Flycatchers were abundant, with wits and pips from both Willow and Alder Flycatchers in addition to the targeted Olive-sided Flycatcher.
6/13/23 – Eleven people conducted the 12th annual breeding bird census at Jerry Smith Park for KC WildLands. Although the 33 species tallied was a relatively low count, birders got great looks at Cedar Waxwings, Indigo Buntings, Blue Grosbeaks, Summer Tanagers, Yellow-breasted Chats, Dickcissels, and a Brown Thrasher.
6/10/23 – Fourteen birders, including two families with boy scouts working on their birding merit badge, surveyed a small but rich piece of the Blue River corridor for breeding birds. As year-round and summer residents present at this time of the year are assumed to be in the midst of their breeding cycle, we counted all birds seen and heard as breeding birds.
6/3/23 – Three birders gathered at Kill Creek Park for a short bird walk before heading to the nearby residence of Bill Warnes who has a Purple Martin colony with 36 nest gourds. We helped Bill count eggs and hatchlings. Like other songbirds, Purple Martins begin to incubate only after all eggs (typically, 7) are laid. This results in synchronous hatching, making parental care easier since incubation and feeding don’t have to occur simultaneously.
5/20/23 – Fourteen individuals walked along the trails near Schlagle Library after a presentation on Prothonotary Warbler nest boxes.
5/10/23 – Sixteen individuals met at Antioch Park and walked the paved trails enjoying a nice variety of northbound migrants. Cooperative Magnolia and Blackburnian Warblers in addition to Vireo diversity highlighted the walk among both old and new friends.
5/8/23 – Ten individuals slowly walked Tomahawk Creek Streamway between Antioch and Switzer, finding many northbound migrants. The birds were not very cooperative however as most only showed well for a couple of people in the group among the large leafs.
5/5/23 – We had 10 birders walk the paths from 7 to 10 AM at Blue River Parkway. The group observed fifty-eight species including a Prairie Warbler. We also had good looks at eight Rose-breasted Grosbeaks.
5/3/23 – Eleven birders surveyed Jerry Smith Park. Surprise of the morning was a Wood Thrush clearly heard by everyone. A new bird for the park! Other highlights were good looks at a Yellow-breasted Chat and a couple of Lark Sparrows, watching a female Bluebird leave a cavity nest hole and a male fly in with food in its bill and seeing a Gnatcatcher sitting on a nest.
4/29/23 – Eleven birders enjoyed a beautiful spring morning at the confluence of Kansas City’s great rivers. Walking slowly along the paved trails produced several Warbling Vireos, a few Brown Thrashers, Lincoln’s, White-throated and Harris’s Sparrows, and Baltimore Orioles. A number of Northern Rough-winged Swallows patrolled the river’s edge. A treat for those who were quick enough to catch the action was a Peregrine Falcon chasing a Bald Eagle along the Kansas River towards the Missouri.
4/4/23 – Nine birders enjoyed a beautiful, rain-free morning at the Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. Besides a carpet of ephemeral wildflowers on the south side of Wolf Creek, highlights included nice looks at Pileated Woodpecker, Red-shouldered Hawk and active pairs of Belted Kingfisher, Eastern Phoebe, and Louisiana Waterthrush.
3/9/23 – Four people observed several woodcocks performing their courtship flights on a chilly, wet evening. Flocks of Red-winged Blackbirds, Common Grackles and European Starlings were also seen.
3/8/23 – Nine intrepid women showed up despite the chilly, wet weather. They were rewarded with quite a show from several low-flying American Woodcocks. Action was non-stop, until a couple of vocal Great-horned Owls moved into the nearby tree line. Earlier in the evening, there was a Barred Owl fly-by.
3/4/23 – Nineteen individuals met up to explore areas around Clinton and Perry Lakes. Waterfowl and gull diversity was limited, but we enjoyed a calm day finding many first of year northbound migrants like this Wilson’s Snipe and a lingering winter visitors like this Winter Wren.
1/22/23 – Ten individuals enjoyed checking multiple areas around Wyandotte County Lake for winter visitors. Lake activity was relatively low, but a few swans were present and all expected woodpeckers were found.
1/21/23 – Four birders joined trip leader, Don Arney, on this annual winter census. Bird activity was generally lighter than expected, but human activity was greater than usual on this lovely winter morning, including a large (25+) group of trail runners, as well as a few mountain bikers. Small mixed-flocks of foraging chickadees, titmice, downy woodpeckers, and golden-crowned kinglets were encountered sparingly and high in the trees, but were able to be viewed without disturbance. Highlights ranged from a cooperative small flock of white-throated sparrows to an adult bald eagle.
1/17/23 – Ten people conducted the census on a pleasant winter morning. 22 species were tallied with highlights being two Pileated Woodpeckers, a Red-breasted Nuthatch, a Sharp-shinned Hawk and really nice looks at a vocalizing Hermit Thrush. This was the 12th census done at the request of Kansas City Wildlands.