Maricopa Audubon Society Birds in Maricopa County
 

Maricopa Audubon Society Field Trips

Useful Field Trip Information

Car Pooling: Please make EVERY effort to organize your own carpool; consolidate vehicles at meeting places and/or contact leaders for car pooling assistance. Be courteous to your driver and help cover their driving expenses. We recommend that passengers reimburse drivers 20 cents per mile.

Limit: Maximum number of participants per field trip. Please call early to make your reservations.

Difficulty Levels 1 through 5: We use a difficulty scale. 1 equals very low level of exertion, short walking distance, considerable birding from vehicle and possible multiple birding stops. 5 equals very high level of difficulty with respect to exertion. Longer hiking distances are expected with possible steep trails. All trips are level 1 unless noted otherwise.

Audubon Society Field Trips

Day Passes Required for National Forests. Many favorite spots in our National Forests now require Day Use Passes. You are responsible to acquire a day pass ($6) in advance of field trips with an asterisk (*). Passes are available by phone or mail, at FS district and ranger offices, Big 5, some Circle K’s, the Shell station at Tom Darlington and Cave Creek Road and elsewhere. Visit http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/tonto/tp/where.shtml for more information.

Facebook Page: MAS member, Michael Plagens, has organized a Facebook page to share information about upcoming field trips and to organize your own trips. Please visit and "like" this page to get announcement sent to your email.

Reminders:

  • Be courteous to the trip leader and help cover their gas costs.
  • Wear neutral colored clothing and sturdy walking shoes.
  • Bring sunscreen, sunglasses, head protection and water.
  • Always bring your binoculars. Bring a scope if recommended.
  • Be quiet so others can bird by ear.
  • Unless stated otherwise, reservations are required.
  • Avoid wearing bright colors.

Tuesday June 5
Payson/Rim Road 300

Meet 5:00 am in Fountain Hills to drive to Payson, for a quick stop or two in town before heading north to the Rim Road. See high elevation birds, woodpeckers, nuthatches, and summering tanagers, vireos, and warblers. Picnic on the Rim. Return about 3:00 pm. Difficulty: 1. Limit 8. 
Leader: Kathe Anderson, kathe.coot@cox.net

Saturday June 9
Dudleyville and Aravaipa Canyon (Pinal County)

Look for nesting Mississippi Kite, Black Hawk, Rufous-winged Sparrow, and many riparian and desert species. Leave 4:00 am and arrive 5:30 am (sunrise 5:15 am); return 2:00 - 3:00 pm.  Bring water and a bag lunch. Limit: 11 (plus leader) in three vehicles.
Leader: Dave Pearson. Reservations: Larry Langstaff at larrylangstaff1@gmail.com

Saturday, June 23 (also July 28, August 18, September 22, October 27)
Family Walk in Papago Park: Dragonflies and Butterflies
Learn to identify local butterflies including Painted Lady, Queen, and Fiery Skipper as well as common dragonflies and damselflies such as Blue Dasher, Flame Skimmer, Blue-ringed Dancer, and Familiar Bluet. Easy, one to one and a half hour strolls around the lakes. Children welcome. Bring binoculars (close-focus preferred), water, and hat. Common Dragonflies of the Southwest by Kathy Biggs on sale for $10.00. Meet 7:00 am May-September, 8:00 am October at Lake 2. No reservations needed.
Leaders: Janet Witzeman and Laurie Nessel, laurienessel@gmail.com

papago parking
Directions to Papago parking spot.

July-October, date TBA
Stewart Mountain Desert Tortoise Quest

Have you ever seen a Sonoran Desert Tortoise in the wild? Increase your chances of stumbling upon one of these iconic desert creatures by searching in their preferred habitat after a summer monsoon. We are not setting an exact date for this trip near Saguaro Lake until the conditions are right. We will collect email addresses and phone numbers and contact you one day before or possibly the morning of the walk. It could be a weekend or weekday. Learn about the behavior, life cycle, and status of this keystone species. Difficulty: 4 (steep, rocky terrain, and hot, humid weather). Bring snacks, sun protection, hat, sturdy hiking shoes, and plenty of water. Start near daybreak and return by noon. Limit: 10.
Leader: Laurie Nessel, laurienessel@gmail.com or 480 968-5614 to get on the call list.

Saturdays, June-October (June 23, July 28, August 18, September 22, October 20)
Family Walks in Papago Park: Dragonflies and Butterflies

Learn to identify local butterflies including Painted Lady, Queen, and Fiery Skipper as well as common dragonflies and damselflies such as Blue Dasher, Flame Skimmer, Blue-ringed Dancer, and Familiar Bluet. Easy, one to one and a half hour strolls around the lakes. Children welcome. Bring binoculars (close-focus preferred), water, and hat. Common Dragonflies of the Southwest by Kathy Biggs on sale for $10.00. Meet 7:00 am May-September, 8:00 am October at Lake 2. No reservations needed.
Leaders: Janet Witzeman and Laurie Nessel, laurienessel@gmail.com

Monday, July 2
Pinal Mountain near Globe

Diverse habitats up the mountain can produce up to 90 species of birds! Breeding species will be here for the monsoon season. Leave Tempe at 4:00 am to be on the mountain at sunrise (5:23 am). Return around 3:00 pm. Bring water and a bag lunch. Short easy hikes along forest roads, but the majority of birding near the vehicles. Limit 11 (plus leader) in three vehicles.
Leader: Dave Pearson. Reservations: Larry Langstaff, larrylangstaff1@gmail. com

Monday, July 23
Christopher Creek

Leave Scottsdale 5:00 am to explore the Christopher Creek area, starting at the lovely subdivision Wooden Nickel, where folks have been very welcoming in the past. Expect the usual higher elevation birds, including residents and summer visitors such as Steller’s Jays, White-breasted Nuthatches, robins, Western Bluebirds, a variety of flycatchers, Western Tanagers and Broad-tailed Hummingbirds. This site has included a Great Blue Heron rookery and a surprise Rose-breasted Grosbeak before. Continue to the Christopher Creek community for a picnic lunch. Return about 3:00 pm. Difficulty: 1. Limit 8.
Leader: Kathe Anderson, kathe.coot@cox.net

Monday, August 6
Mingus Mountain

Start 5:00 am from Scottsdale, possibly break up the trip with quick stops on the way, and once on the mountain, explore several stops through the pine forest. See nuthatches, forest-dwelling woodpeckers and flycatchers, plus summer warblers, tanagers and vireos. Wrap up with a picnic lunch and return around 3:00 pm. Difficulty 1. Limit 8.
Leader: Kathe Anderson, kathe.coot@cox.net

Wednesday, August 15
Prescott, Willow Lake, and Watson Woods

Carpool from the Scottsdale area at 5:30 am and head to the Prescott area. Summer resident tanagers and warblers will be joined by early migrant shorebirds and possibly gulls and terns. Bring binoculars and scope, hat, water, sunscreen and snacks. Lunch in the Prescott area before returning to Scottsdale mid-afternoon. Difficulty 2. Limit 7.
Leader: Cindy Marple, clmarple@cox.net

Monday, August 20
Santa Cruz Flats near Eloy

Along with summer species, look for surprises like early shorebirds. Bring water and a bag lunch. Leave Tempe at 5:00 am to reach the Flats by sunrise (5:54 am). Return early to mid-afternoon, depending on bird activity. Difficulty 1. Limit 11 (plus leader) in three vehicles.
Leader: Dave Pearson. Reservations: Larry Langstaff, larrylangstaff1@gmail.com

Saturday, September 1
Birding by Ear at Gilbert Water Ranch

Meet early at Gilbert Water Ranch for a couple of hours of birding by ear. We’ll focus on techniques to identify birds by sounds. This will be a good time to catch the summer residents and early fall migrants starting to come through. Bring binoculars, hat, water, and sunscreen. Difficulty 1. Limit 4. Leader: Cindy Marple, clmarple@cox.net

Saturday, September 15
Glendale Recharge Ponds

Can we find 15 species of shorebirds at the height of shorebird migration? Leave Tempe at 5:30 am to arrive at Recharge Basin at sunrise (6:12 am). Bringwater and a bag lunch. If you have a spotting scope bring it too. Return early afternoon, depending on bird activity. Limit 11 (plus leader) in three vehicles.
Leader: Dave Pearson. Reservations: Larry Langstaff, larrylangstaff1@gmail.com

Sunday-Tuesday, September 16-18
Grand Canyon Hawk Watch

Meet about 5:00 am to travel north, staying overnight in Flagstaff both nights (about $120-$145 per night). Spend the first part of Sunday at Kachina Wetlands, then head towards the Arboretum at Flagstaff, to bird and eat a picnic lunch. Kachina Wetlands can be full of surprises, but waterfowl, raptors, bluebirds, and swallows are predictable. At the Arboretum, we could add robins, hummingbirds and higher elevation warblers to our list. Back in town to visit a couple of nearby sites before dinner and a well-deserved night’s rest. The next day, visit the Grand Canyon to participate in the Hawk Watch and perhaps find a few other spots to bird, heading back to Flagstaff in the late afternoon. The last day, go to Lamar Haines Wildlife Area on the way up to Snowbowl for a few hours of birding in a beautiful spot at a higher elevation. Lunch in Flagstaff, and head south about 1:00 pm. Expenses include moderate hotel, some meals at restaurants, some entrance fees, and a gas donation to your driver. Difficulty 2. Limit 8.
Leader: Kathe Anderson, kathe.coot@cox.net

Saturday, September 29
Pinal County Dragonflies

Pierre Deviche, ASU’s School of Life Sciences professor and odonate expert, will guide this dragonfly field trip to nearby Pinal County. This is normally a good month to find many species and as the monsoon should be over or almost so, the weather should be great. A day trip visiting (tentatively) Oak Flat, then the Gila River at Kelvin Bridge, Kearny Lake, and/or the Dudleyville fishing ponds. All locations are easily accessible. Bring a lunch and sun-protecting gear, binoculars, camera, and light walking shoes. Leave from Gilbert at 8:30 am and return mid-afternoon. Difficulty: 2. Limit 8.
Leader: Pierre Deviche, Reservations: Larry Langstaff, larrylangstaff1@gmail.com

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Last updated: May 31, 2018 13:28