top black bar Egret in flight, black bird on top chasing

 

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FIELD TRIPS

MISSION

DETROIT AUDUBON SOCIETY
2014 FIELD TRIP SCHEDULE

Detroit Audubon Society field trips offer fantastic year-round birding opportunities. We visit renowned hotspots in Michigan, Ohio and Ontario during songbird, shorebird and raptor migration seasons. Other trips focus on the many interesting resident species in our area. All trips are free (although some parks have entrance fees). Everyone is welcome, especially beginning birders.
NOTE: Schedule is subject to change. Please contact the Detroit Audubon office at (248) 354-5804 or email the trip leader by 5:00 PM on Friday before each field trip so we’ll know how many to expect and can contact you about any changes. Leave your name, address, number coming, phone number, and email address.
If you can carpool or give folks a ride, let us know.
For maps of all Metroparks, see
http://www.metroparks
.com/ParkMaps.


Pointe Mouillee** Reservations Required
August 10, 2014 (Sunday) 8:00 a.m.
Leader: Jim Fowler dasfieldrq@detroitaudubon.org

This is one of the premier shore birding areas in the interior of the continent when water levels are favorable. Only four vehicles may caravan into the dikes, so we can only accept 20-25 people. Ride sharing required. Call in by Thursday, August 7th, to have a spot.
Directions: Take I-75 to Exit 26 and drive east on south Huron Rd. to U.S. Turnpike. Turn south and look for Sigler Road. Turn east and drive to the parking lot at the end.

Point Pelee, Ontario
August 23, 2014 (Saturday) 8:00 a.m.
Leader: Leonard Weber dasfieldlw@detroitaudubon.org

August may seem early for fall migration, but for warblers, the end of August and the first few days of September are the peak time. Those with time are encouraged to check Hillman Marsh for waterfowl, and we may stop at Ojibway Park in Windsor as well.
Directions: Cross the Ambassador Bridge and follow Rte. 3 to Leamington. Follow signs to Point Pelee National Park (entrance fee required: about $8). Meet in Visitor Center parking area. Remember to bring passport for entry into Canada and back into the U.S.

Chimney Swifts – Burns Park Elementary School, Ann Arbor
August 29, 2014 (Friday) 7:30 p.m.
Leaders: Leonard Weber dasfieldlw@detroitaudubon.org and Emily Simon

Join us at dusk to observe what we expect will be hundreds of Chimney Swifts circling and dropping into the historic Burns Park Elementary School chimney to roost for the night. This is one of the sites being monitored by Detroit Audubon to learn more about the migration patterns of these unique birds.
Address: 1414 Wells St., Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Directions: From I-94: From Exit 177, head north on State Street about 1.5 miles and turn right on Granger. Make a left on Olivia St. Turn right onto Wells St. From US-23: Take Exit 37, Washtenaw Ave West. Go west on Washtenaw for about 2 miles (bear right to avoid veering off on E. Stadium). Turn left on Fair Oaks Parkway. Make an immediate right on Norway, turn left on Ferdon Road, then make a right on Wells St.

Lake St. Clair Metropark
September 7, 2014 (Sunday) 8:00 a.m.
Leader: TBA

We hope to see fall migrants aplenty in summerlike temperatures.
Directions: Take I-94 east and exit on Metropolitan Parkway. Drive east into the park and park on the west side of the main parking lot near the Nature Center, where we will meet. Metropark entrance fee or sticker required.

Lake Erie Metropark – Hawkfest (no bird hike)
September 20-21 (Saturday-Sunday) all day: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Bring your children to enjoy the many games, crafts, talks, demonstrations, displays and live hawks and owls at Hawkfest in and around the Marshlands Museum. Be sure to visit the Detroit Audubon display and bookstore as well as other vendors, and get down to the boat launch to view the hawk migration and look at the day’s tally.
Directions: Take I-75 to Gibraltar Road. Go east toward Gibraltar, turn right on Jefferson and drive south to the park entrance on your left. Metropark entrance fee or sticker required.

Lake Erie Metropark (Gibraltar, MI)
October 11, 2014 (Saturday) 8:00 to 11:00 a.m.
Leader: Jim Bull daspres@detroitaudubon.org

This is a good time for fall migration of land birds and raptors as well. We will traverse woodlands, boardwalks and observation platforms looking for warblers, other songbirds and migrating water birds.
Directions: Take I-75 to Gibraltar Road. Go east toward Gibraltar, turn right on Jefferson and drive south to the park entrance on your left. Metropark entrance fee or sticker required.

Sandhill Crane Migration Stopover at Haehnle Sanctuary
October 19, 2014 (Sunday):
3:00 for hike or
5:00 p.m. to observe from hill only.
Leader: Jim Bull daspres@detroitaudubon.org

Join us for a hike through the autumn woods at 3:00. Stay to watch hundreds of Sandhill Cranes fly in to roost in the marsh for the night as they have been doing since the Ice Age. Northern Harrier and a plethora of waterfowl are also possible. Or, just join us on the hillside at 5:00 if you do not want to hike. Dress warmly. A blanket or lawn chair to sit on would come in handy.
Directions: Take I-94 west to Race Road in eastern Jackson County. Go north two miles to Seymour Road at a T-Junction. Go west (left) to the entrance of Haehnle Sanctuary on the north side of the road. Park in the lot and walk east on the trail to the overlook.

Point Edward and Lake Huron Shore, Ontario
November 8, 2014 (Saturday) all day starting at 8:30 a.m.
Leader: Jim Bull daspres@detroitaudubon.org

The focus is on water birds and early winter arrivals. This all-day trip historically turns up great birds. We will stop at a restaurant for lunch.
Directions: Take I-94 east to Port Huron and cross the Blue Water Bridge to Sarnia. Take ON-402 E to the Front Street exit toward Point Edward/Sarnia Downtown. Keep right at the fork, and merge onto Venetian Boulevard W. Meet at the Ontario Travel Information Centre (1455 Venetian Blvd.) on right.

Belle Isle, Detroit
November 9, 2014 (Sunday) 9:00 a.m.
Leaders: Steve Santner and Richard Quick dasfieldrq@detroitaudubon.org

This Detroit gem (now a State Park) is a fine birding location for viewing migrant and wintering waterfowl.
Directions: Take Jefferson to the Belle Isle Bridge. Cross over and drive around the northeast end of the island and park in the Nature Center parking lot. State Park pass or entry fee required.

Owl Prowl—Oakwoods Metropark
November 14, 2014 (Friday) 7:00 p.m.
Leaders: Metropark Naturalist and Jim Bull daspres@detroitaudubon.org

We will call for owls and expect to hear them call back, and maybe come in close where we can see them. This program is especially good for families with children.
Directions: From I-75, exit at West Road and go west to Telegraph (M-24). Turn left on Telegraph, right (west) on Van Horn (which becomes Huron River Drive), then left on Willow Road. Oakwoods Metropark (32901 Willow Road) is on the left. Meet at the Nature Center. Annual Metropark sticker or daily pass required.

Ontario and Niagara River Trip** Reservations Required
December 5 to 7, 2014 (Friday through Sunday)
Leader: Karl Overman

The Niagara region is the place to be in the late fall in the Great Lakes region, with masses of waterfowl and gulls, exciting birding and renowned scenery. Trips in recent years have turned up Great Cormorant, Gannet, King Eider, Purple Sandpiper, California Gull, Slatey-backed Gull, Kittiwake, Little Gull, Mew Gull, Snowy Owl, Hawk Owl, Rufous Hummingbird, and Golden-crowned Sparrow. You won’t regret going on this trip!
Departure from Farmington Hills at 9 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 5th; return Sunday, Dec. 7th at approximately 9 pm. Contact Karl Overman at (248) 473-0484 for directions.
Cost per person: $380/double room or $480/single includes all transportation and two nights lodging. Meals not included. $75 deposit required, due by Dec. 1st.

Detroit Christmas Bird Count** Reservations Required
December 14, 2014 (Sunday)

This is one of the oldest Christmas Bird Counts in North America. Birders spend the entire day covering a 15-mile diameter circle in northern Oakland County to count as many birds as possible. Meet for pizza and count wrap-up at day’s end. To participate, contact Tim Nowicki at (734) 525-8630 or tnowick@gmail.com or the DAS office at (248) 354-5804.

Rockwood Christmas Bird Count** Reservations Required
December 27, 2014 (Saturday)

The Detroit Audubon Society co-sponsors this annual count of the 15-mile diameter circle, including Grosse Ile, Lake Erie Metropark, Trenton, Rockwood, South Rockwood, Newport and Oakwoods Metropark. A chili lunch and dinner will be provided.
Public hike 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. Contact Jim Bull at (313) 928-2950 or daspres@detroitaudubon.org to register for the morning hike.
Feeder Count: If you live in the count area (see above) and have a bird feeder, you can count birds right from the comfort of your own home (he best way to count many songbirds). If you can help with the feeder count, email Jim Bull at daspres@detroitaudubon.org.
All day Rockwood Christmas Bird Count: If you are an experienced birder, many routes need more coverage (some are not covered at all). To participate in the all-day count, contact compiler Tom Carpenter at tcarpen1980@yahoo.com or at (734) 728-8733.

 

PAST TRIPS 2014

Belle Isle, Detroit
February 1, 2014 (Saturday) 9 a.m.
Leader: Steve Santner

The Detroit River is one of the key wintering areas for waterfowl in North America and Belle Isle is a very convenient location to take this in without having to go too far from your vehicle.
Directions: Take Jefferson to the Belle Isle Bridge. Cross over, drive around the northeast end of the island and park in the Nature Center parking lot.

Owl Prowl - Grosse Ile, MI
March 8, 2014 (Saturday) 7:30 p.m.
Leader: Jim Bull daspres@detroitaudubon.org

Great Horned Owls will have been nesting since early February, Barred Owls will just be beginning, and Screech Owls will be getting ready to nest. Since they are defending territories, playing an owl tape or imitating their calls will likely bring them in where we can see them by lantern light. Meet at St. James Episcopal Church for a brief slide program on owls. Please contact Jim Bull or the Detroit Audubon office (248-354-5804) by March 7th to make reservations.
Directions: Take I-75 to West Road (exit 32A) and take West Road into Trenton. Turn right at Jefferson, then left at Grosse Ile Parkway. Cross the bridge and, when you come to a “T,” turn right on East River Road. St. James is on your right at 25150 East River Rd., Grosse Ile Township.

Woodcock Watch—Oakwoods Metropark
April 4, 2014 (Friday) 7:30 p.m.
Leaders: Park Naturalist and Jim Bull
daspres@detroitaudubon.org
Right at dusk, this sandpiper with a long beak and huge comical eyes does its spectacular aerial courtship display in open areas. This program is great for families with children.
Directions: From I-75, exit at West Road and go west to Telegraph (M-24). Turn left on Telegraph, right (west) on Van Horn (which becomes Huron River Drive), then left on Willow Road to Oakwoods Metropark (32901 Willow Road, New Boston) on the left. Meet at the Nature Center. Annual Metropark sticker or daily pass required.

Frog Symphony, West Bloomfield Nature Preserve
April 11, 2014 (Friday) 7:30 p.m.
Leaders: Sally Petrella (Friends of the Rouge), a West Bloomfield Naturalist, and Jim Bull daspres@detroitaudubon.org

Join us for an evening of listening to, and searching for, frogs. We often see salamanders, Wood Ducks, herons and owls. Co-sponsored by Detroit Audubon Society and Friends of the Rouge, this program is especially good for children.
Directions: From Telegraph Road, go west on Long Lake Road to where it dead-ends at Orchard Lake. Turn left. At the next traffic light turn right onto Pontiac Trail and look for the sign “West Bloomfield Nature Preserve” at Arrowhead Road. Follow signs to the preserve parking lot.

Magee Marsh State Wildlife Area (Oregon, OH)
April 19, 2014 (Saturday) 8:00 a.m.
Leader: Richard Quick dasfieldrq@detroitaudubon.org

We will get the early spring migrants without the crowds at this famous birding locale.
Directions: Take I-75 to Toledo; go south on I-280 to Highway 2. Follow Hwy 2 east about 18 miles and turn north at the Magee Marsh entrance. Follow signs to the preserve parking lot. Drive to the west end of the beach parking lot at the beginning of Bird Trail.

Point Pelee, Ontario
April 26, 2014 (Saturday) 8:00 a.m.
Leader: Richard Quick dasfieldrq@detroitaudubon.org

Pelee in the spring! It does not get better for a birder. This year we’ll go for the heavy spring migration. There is plenty to see, including shorebirds in the Hillman Marsh area north of the park.
Directions: Cross the Ambassador Bridge and follow Rte. 3 to Leamington. Follow signs to Point Pelee National Park (entrance fee required: about $8). Meet in the Visitor Center parking area. Bring passport for entry into Canada and back into the U.S.

Wetzel State Recreation Area, Macomb County
May 3, 2014 (Saturday) 8:00 a.m.
Leaders: Curt and Kathy Hofer curthofer@earthlink.net

This trip offers a nice mixture of habitat. Breeding birds regularly observed include: Sedge and Marsh Wrens, Harriers, Forster’s and Caspian Terns, Clay-colored, Savannah, Song and Grasshopper Sparrows, Bobolink, Meadowlark, Orchard Oriole, Brown Thrasher, Eastern Towhee, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, Blue-winged Warbler, and Willow Flycatchers, Ruddy Ducks, Redheads and Pied-billed Grebes. This 4-hour trip will require walking 3 to 4 miles. Be prepared for wet trails.
Directions: Take I-94 east to Exit 247 (M-19/New Haven Rd.). Take M-19 north to 27 Mile Road. Go west on 27 Mile past Werderman Rd. Meet in the parking lot at the end of 27 Mile Road.

Lake St. Clair Metropark (formerly Metro Beach)
May 4, 2014 (Sunday) 8:00 a.m.
Leader: Cathy Carroll dasfieldcc@detroitaudubon.org

This Metropark is a justly famous migrant trap. A good list of warblers, as well as many other nesting and migrant birds, will be seen.
Directions: Take I-94 east and exit on Metropolitan Parkway. Drive east into the park (entrance fee) and park on west side of the main parking lot. Meet at the Nature Center.

Suburban Park Hop
May 7, 2014 (Wednesday) 8:00 a.m.
Leader: Richard Quick dasfieldrq@detroitaudubon.org

This is a chance to explore close to home, with the prospect of interesting birds in unlikely locations. We will visit a series of parks in Southfield, Farmington Hills and Commerce Township.
Directions: Meet at the parking lot of Carpenter Lake Park on 10 Mile Road about a quarter mile east of Inkster Road, Southfield.

Gibraltar Bay Unit of the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge
May 18, 2014 (Sunday) 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Leader: Jim Bull daspres@detroitaudubon.org

See this natural gem of the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge in spring.
Directions: Take Grosse Ile Parkway across the bridge (just north of Van Horn Road and Jefferson). Go right on Meridian Road until it ends. Turn left on Groh Road, then right on East River Road. The entrance is about 1.5 miles down on the right past the airport at 28820 East River Road, Grosse Ile, MI 48183. Meet in the parking lot.

Detroit Audubon Memorial Weekend Nature Get-Away
May 23-26, 2014 (Friday through Monday)
Coordinator: Jim Bull daspres@detroitaudubon.org

Don’t miss this weekend with wonderful people and fine birds at the Loon Lake Lutheran Retreat Center, and areas nearby like the Kirtland’s Warbler Management Area and Tawas Point. See Flyway article, and download registration form HERE.

Eliza Howell Park
June 7, 2014 (Saturday) 9:00 a.m.
Leader: Leonard Weber dasfieldlw@detroitaudubon.org

Join us on this trip to see over 30 species of songbirds in Eliza Howell Park at the peak of their breeding season. We will look for nests of orioles, Eastern Bluebirds, Barn Swallows, and others. We can expect to watch birds feeding their young.
Directions: Eliza Howell Park is on Fenkell (Five Mile Road) in Detroit, about one block east of Telegraph Rd. Enter the park and drive about ½ mile around the loop. Park near the nature trail.

Breeding Birds at Kensington Metropark (NEW)
June 8, 2014 (Sunday) 8 a.m.
Leaders: Curt and Kathy Hofer curthofer@earthlink.net

This is the first Detroit Audubon field trip to the 4500-acre Kensington Metropark in many years. The park is known for the Great Blue Heron Rookery on Wildwing Lake, roaming Sandhill Cranes, and nesting Ospreys. Other likely species are Acadian Flycatcher, Great-crested Flycatcher, Yellow-throated Vireo, Scarlet Tanager, Hooded Warbler, and all of our local Swallows. Also seen occasionally are Willow Flycatcher, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, and Henslow’s Sparrows. Trails can be soggy, so wear appropriate footwear.
Directions: Take I-96 west toward Lansing to Exit 151, Kensington Road. Proceed across Kensington Road into the Metropark on Highridge Drive. Follow Highridge Drive to the Nature Center, about 1/2 mile past the tollbooth. Meet in the Nature Center parking lot. Metropark pass or entry fee required.
Park Map HERE:
eBird Checklist HERE:

Oak Openings Metropark, Toledo (NEW)
June 21, 2014 (Saturday) 8 a.m.
Leader: Jim Bull daspres@detroitaudubon.org

Famous for its rare oak savannas and prairies, this Toledo area Metropark is a mecca for specialty breeding birds. Often seen here are Lark Sparrows, Blue Grosbeak, Summer Tanager, Eastern Whip-poor-will, Red-headed Woodpecker, Alder Flycatcher, and Henslow’s Sparrow. This is the first Detroit Audubon Society trip here in several years.
Address: 4139 Girdham Rd, Swanton, OH
Directions: From I-75, merge onto I-475 W (Exit 204) toward US-23/Maumee/Ann Arbor, then left onto US-23 S/I-475 S toward Maumee/Dayton. Merge onto Airport Hwy/OH-2 W (Exit 8B) toward Airport/Swanton. Turn left onto Girdham Rd. until it dead-ends into Oak Openings
Parkway. Turn left (east) onto Oak Openings Parkway and proceed about a half to three quarters of a mile. The turnoff for the Buehner Center will be on the left. Meet in parking lot.

 

 

 

 

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Copyright 2006 Detroit Audubon. All rights reserved. Egret Photo Credit: James N. Bull. Site Design: Allen Licari- Tellus Networks


Udated: June 22, 2014 13:22