DETROIT AUDUBON SOCIETY
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), and everyone is welcome, especially beginning birders.
Please call the Detroit Audubon office at (248) 354-5804 by the Thursday before each field trip so that we’ll know how many to expect and so we can contact you about any changes. Leave your name, address (helpful in hooking up folks for carpooling), number coming, phone number, and email address. If you are interested in carpooling or giving folks a ride, let us know.
CANCELLED: Point Edward and Lake Huron Shore, Saturday, Ontario, November 23, 2013
Detroit Christmas Bird Count
December 15, 2013 (Sunday)
Coordinator: Tim Nowiki
This is one of the oldest Christmas Bird Counts. Birders spend the entire day counting as many birds as possible in a 15-mile circle in northern Oakland County. The count is one of many conducted across North America; the data are used to study bird populations. Meet for pizza and count wrap-up at day’s end. To participate, call Tim Nowicki at (734) 525-8630 or the DAS office at (248) 354-5804.
Rockwood Christmas Bird Count
December 21, 2013 (Saturday)
Coordinator: Jim Bull
Public hike: 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Call Jim Bull at (313) 928-2950 to register for the morning hike. A chili lunch is provided. Donation appreciated.
Christmas Bird Count: All day. The DAS co-sponsors this annual count of the 15-mile circle that includes Grosse Ile, Lake Erie Metropark, Trenton, Rockwood, South Rockwood, Newport, and Oakwoods Metropark. A chili dinner will be provided. Donation appreciated. If you want to participate in the all-day count, contact count compiler Tom Carpenter at email@example.com or at
Winter Waterfowl - Belle Isle, Detroit
February 1, 2014 (Saturday) 9 am
Leaders: Steve Santner and Richard Quick
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 and drive to the east end of the island and park in the Nature Zoo parking lot.
Owl Prowl - Grosse Ile, MI
March 8, 2014 (Saturday) 7:30 p.m.
Leader: Jim Bull
Great Horned Owls will have been nesting since early February, and Barred Owls will just be beginning to nest. Screech Owls will be getting ready to nest. Since they are defending territories, playing an owl tape or imitating their calls will likely bring a response from them. There is a good chance they will come in where we can see them in the beam of light from a lantern. We have changed locations this year because Jim has had such good success in bringing in both Screech and Great Horned owls on Grosse Ile. Please call the Detroit Audubon office at (248) 354-5804 to make reservations. Meet at St. James Episcopal Church for a brief slide program on owls.
Address: 25150 East River Road Grosse Ile Township, MI 48138.
Woodcock Watch - Oakwoods Metropark
April 4, 2014 (Friday) 7 p.m.
Leaders: Kevin Arnold and Jim Bull
Right at dusk this sandpiper with a long beak and huge comical eyes comes to open areas to do its spectacular aerial courtship display. This program is especially good for families with children.
Address: 32911 East Willow Road, New Boston, MI.
Directions: From I-75, exit at West Road and go west. Go south on Telegraph (M-24), west on Van Horn (which becomes Huron River Drive), then west (left) on East Willow to the park entrance. You will need an annual Metropark sticker or a daily pass. We will meet at the Oakwoods Nature Center.
Frog Symphony -
West Bloomfield Nature Preserve
April 11, 2014 (Friday) 7:30 p.m.
Leaders: Sally Petrella (Friends of the Rouge) and Jim Bull.
Join us for an evening of listening to and searching for frogs. We often see salamanders, wood ducks, herons and owls. This field trip is co-sponsored by Detroit Audubon Society and Friends of the Rouge. This program is especially good for children.
Address: 4655 Arrowhead Road, West Bloomfield, MI.
Directions: From Telegraph Road, go west on Long Lake Road to where it dead-ends at Orchard Lake. Turn left and go to the next traffic light. Turn right on to Pontiac Trail. Take Pontiac Trail and look for the sign “West Bloomfield Nature Preserve” at Arrowhead Road. Follow signs to the preserve parking lot. This is another good trip for children.
Spring Migrants - Magee Marsh, Ohio
April 19, 2014 (Saturday) 8 a.m.
Leader: Richard Quick
We will get the early spring migrants without the crowds at this famous birding locale.
Address: 13229 West State Route 2, Oak Harbor, OH.
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. Drive to the west end of the beach parking lot at the beginning of Bird Trail boardwalk.
Spring Migrants - Point Pelee, Ontario
April 26, 2014 (Saturday) 8 a.m.
Leader: Richard Quick
Pelee in the spring! It does not get better for a birder. This year we are going for the heavy spring migration. There will be plenty to see, including shorebirds in the Hillman Marsh area north of the park.
Address: 1118 Point Pelee Drive, Leamington, Ontario, CA
Directions: Cross the Ambassador Bridge, then follow the signs for Highway #3. Follow Huron Church Rd. (which is also Highway #3) for approximately 35-45 minutes. There are two exits for Leamington. Take the second exit for Erie Street. Turn right onto Erie Street and travel through eight stoplights. At the ninth intersection (Erie St. and Seacliff Dr. (County Rd. #20) turn left. Drive approximately 1 km (1/2 mile), and you will see a large Point Pelee National Park sign. Turn right onto Bevel Line, and follow this road for approximately 10 minutes to the front gates of the park. Entrance fee: about $8/person
Spring Birds - Wetzel State Recreation Area,
Macomb County, MI
May 3, 2014 (Saturday) 8 a.m.
Leader: Richard Quick
This trip takes us to an area that provides 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, Willow Flycatchers, Ruddy Ducks, Redheads and Pied-billed Grebes.
This trip will require walking 3 to 4 miles on trails over several habitats and will last about 4 hours. 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.
Spring passerines - Lake St. Clair Metropark
(formerly Metro Beach Metropark)
May 4, 2014 (Sunday) 8 a.m.
Leader: Cathy Carroll
Lake St. Clair Metropark is a justly famous migrant trap. A good list of warblers as well as many other nesting and migrants will be seen.
Address: 31300 Metropolitan Parkway Harrison Township
Directions: Take I-94 east and exit on Metropolitan Parkway. Drive east into the park (entrance fee) and park on the west side of the main parking lot near the Nature Center. Meet at the Nature Center.
Spring at Gibraltar Bay Unit of the
Detroit International Wildlife Refuge
May 18 2014 (Sunday) 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Leader: Jim Bull
See signs of Spring at this new public area of the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge (it was formerly the Grosse Ille Land and Nature Conservancy’s Natural Area). This is a spring nature hike, not a birding trip. We’lll look at birds that show up, but we’ll also look at trees, wildflowers, and other animals.
Directions: Take the County Bridge (free bridge) over to Grosse Ile (just north of Van Horn Road and Jefferson). Turn right on Meridian Road, Left on Groh Road, then Right on East River Road (you can’t go any farther). The entrance is about 1.5 miles down on the right past the airport. We’ll meet in the parking lot.
Detroit Audubon Memorial Day Weekend
May 23-26, 2014 (Friday thru Monday)
Don’t miss this weekend with wonderful people and fine birds. We are not sure if the Loon Lake Lutheran Retreat Center, where we have held this event for 30 years, will be open this year. If not, we will move to another venue. As always, in addition to great birds and wildflowers, there will be wonderful food, music, educational programs, and children’s activities—all amid beautiful surroundings. We will take off-site field trips to places of interest as well. Watch the Flyway and the website for further details and registration information.
Breeding birds - Port Huron State Game Area
June 1, 2014 (Sunday) 7:30 a.m.
An exceptional diversity of breeding birds, especially warblers, may be found in this area: Hooded, Louisiana Waterthrush, Mourning Warbler, Golden-winged Warbler, etc. Insect repellant is advisable—no, mandatory. This trip will last 5 to 7 hours. Bring a lunch.
Address: 5080 Wildcat Rd, Clyde, MI.
Directions: Take I-94 to the last exit in Port Huron (on left) before crossing into Canada. Proceed north on M-25 to M-136. Drive west on M-136 five or six miles to Wildcat Road. Turn right onto Wildcat Rd. and right into Bill Bearss Memorial Park. Park near the baseball diamond. We will try to caravan from there.
Breeding and nesting birds - Eliza Howell Park
June 7, 2014 (Saturday) 9 a.m.
Leader: Leonard Weber
Join us for the second year of this trip to see over 30 species of songbirds that breed in Eliza Howell Park during this peak of the breeding season. We will look for nests of orioles, Bluebirds, Barn Swallows, and others. We can expect to watch birds feeding their young.
Address: 23751 Fenkell, Detroit.
Directions: Eliza Howell Park is located on Fenkell Rd (Five Mile Road) in Detroit about one block east of Telegraph Rd. Enter the park and drive about ½ mile around the road loop and park near the nature trail.