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.

Third Sundays: August 20, September 17, October 22    
Beginning Family Butterflies and Dragonflies at Gilbert Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch
An outstanding area for beautiful butterflies, dragonflies, and damselflies. Learn to identify local butterflies including Painted Lady, Queen, and Fiery Skipper as well as common dragonflies and damselflies such as Western Pondhawk, Flame Skimmer, Blue-ringed Dancer, and Familiar Bluet. Suggested $5.00 donation to support the Gilbert Riparian Preserve. Bring binoculars (close-focus preferred), water, and hat. Common Dragonflies of the Southwest by Kathy Biggs on sale for $10.00, color checklists for $1.00. All ages welcome. Easy. Meet 7:00 am May-September, 7:30 am October at Rattlesnake Ramada (south of the parking lot, west of the bathrooms). The preserve is east of Greenfield Rd., south of Guadalupe Rd., just east of Gilbert Public Library (park there if the GRP lot is full).
Leaders: Janet Witzeman and Laurie Nessel

The Sabina Canyon field trip has been cancelled. MAS recommends the following field trip:
Saturday, August 19, 2017
Moth Night at Boyce Thompson Arboretum with Margarethe Brummermann
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM. For details, please visit the Central Arizona Butterfly Association here.

Saturday, August 26
Sabino Canyon Monsoon Season Insects
Want to know the arthropod secrets of Sabino Canyon? Margarethe Brummermann, who provided an amazing program on arthropods at January’s meeting, will guide an easy walk in the late afternoon along Sabino Canyon, then host an after-sunset black-lighting activity until about 10:00 pm. Lights shown on a suspended ground-level white sheet will make moths, beetles, and other insects visible. Monsoon rains multiply the species in addition to the those attracted to the creek. After-sunset viewing may include owls and Poorwills. Bring a flashlight and wear seasonally-appropriate clothing. Limit 15. Difficulty:1-2. Travel time is about 2 1/2 hours to Sabino Canyon. Van rental may be possible; otherwise, please car-pool.
Reservations: contact Larry at larryLangstaff1@gmail.com or call or text 480 710-0431.

Sunday, Sept 3
Glendale Recharge Ponds
Expect to be hot, and hot on the trail of returning shorebirds. Leave Scottsdale 5:00 am to arrive in Glendale before sunrise. Prowl the wetlands hoping for the usual variety of birds: ducks, raptors, and water-loving species like Black Phoebes, pipits, and swallows. Hope for an abundance of shorebirds returning from points north. Perhaps some unusual species for the desert, like Dunlin or Whimbrels. Go over our list in a cool indoor spot. Return to Scottsdale by 10:00 am. Difficulty: 1-2. Limit 8. 
Leader: Kathe Anderson, kathe.coot@cox.net

September/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.

Third Sundays: August 20, September 17, October 22    
Beginning Family Butterflies and Dragonflies at Gilbert Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch
The Riparian Preserve is an outstanding area for beautiful butterflies, dragonflies, and damselflies. Learn to identify local butterflies including Painted Lady, Queen, and Fiery Skipper as well as common dragonflies and damselflies such as Western Pondhawk, Flame Skimmer, Blue-ringed Dancer, and Familiar Bluet. Suggested $5.00 donation to support the Gilbert Riparian Preserve. Bring binoculars (close-focus preferred), water, and hat. Common Dragonflies of the Southwest by Kathy Biggs on sale for $10.00, color checklists for $1.00. All ages welcome. Easy. Meet 7:00 am May-September, 7:30 am October at Rattlesnake Ramada (south of the parking lot, west of the bathrooms). The preserve is east of Greenfield Rd., south of Guadalupe Rd., just east of Gilbert Public Library (park there if the GRP lot is full).
Leaders: Janet Witzeman and Laurie Nessel

Hot Spot Saturdays 
MAS will offer a series of trips in and around Maricopa County to discover our bird diversity and see what birds are where throughout the year. For full details, contact the trip leader. Limit 8.
August 26: Beeline Highway (north side) 
September 23: Morgan City Wash 
October 15: Base & Meridian Wildlife area
November 18: Santa Cruz Flats
January 20: Arlington Valley 
February 24: A West Valley location (for thrashers and sparrows)
March 24: Jewel of the Creek
April 7: West Valley Buckeye area 
May 19:  Papago Park and Zoo Ponds 
Leader: Veronica Heron, v.heron@yahoo.com

Tempe Town Lake Saturdays
Saturday, September 23
Search for passage migrants. 7:00 to 9:00 am. Limit 10.
Saturday, October 28 
Join the First Birding and Biking Trip around Tempe Town Lake and down Mesa Trail from McClintock Road to Dobson Road. Explore habitat newly accessible along Mesa Trail on the south side of the Salt River bed. Bring your own bike or rent one! Access rental bikes at grid.socialbicycles.com and register ahead for easy access: Hub #8 McClintock Drive/Rio Salado Parkway. 7:00 to 9:30 am. Limit 8.
Saturday, November 18
Search for migrating and wintering waterfowl. Bring a friend who has never birded before. 8:00-10:30 am. Limit 10. 
Saturday, December 16
Bring a small, homemade, hand-me-down, or very inexpensive gift that has something to do with birding to share with another. We will draw numbers, then, as we bird, talk about the many nonmaterialistic gifts of birding that we enjoy. 8:00 to 10:30 am Limit 10.
Leader: Bobbe Taber taberbobbe@gmail.com 

September/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 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.

Third Sundays: September 17, October 22    
Beginning Butterflies and Dragonflies at Gilbert Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch
An outstanding area for beautiful butterflies, dragonflies, and damselflies. Learn to identify local butterflies including Painted Lady, Queen, and Fiery Skipper as well as common dragonflies and damselflies such as Western Pondhawk, Flame Skimmer, Blue-ringed Dancer, and Familiar Bluet. Suggested $5.00 donation to support the Gilbert Riparian Preserve. Bring binoculars (close-focus preferred), water, and hat. Common Dragonflies of the Southwest by Kathy Biggs on sale for $10.00, color checklists for $1.00. All ages welcome. Easy. Meet 7:00 am May-September, 7:30 am October at Rattlesnake Ramada (south of the parking lot, west of the bathrooms). The preserve is east of Greenfield Rd., south of Guadalupe Rd., just east of Gilbert Public Library (park there if the GRP lot is full).
Leaders: Janet Witzeman and Laurie Nessel

Saturday, October 7
Santa Cruz Flats
Look for surprises like late shorebirds (Pectoral and Baird's Sandpiper, Golden Plover) and perhaps flocks of Swainson's Hawks moving through. Late summer species and early wintering species all possible. Difficulty: 1. Limit 11 (plus leader) in three vehicles. 
Leader: Dave Pearson. Reservations, larrylangstaff1@gmail.com

Saturday, October 21
Oak Flat  
Focus on the campground area and the ponds if they have water. Species include Vermilion Flycatcher, Canyon Towhee, Black-throated Sparrow and possible Black-chinned Sparrow. Spectacular rock formations. Proposed site of controversial copper mine. Difficulty: 3. Bring lunch if you wish to picnic at end of visit. Limit 8. 
Leader Myron Scott. Reservations, larrylangstaff1@gmail.com

Wednesday, October 25 
Prescott Lakes 
Leave the Scottsdale area about 6:00 am, stop at Fain Park in Prescott Valley, head towards Watson Woods, and the Peavine Trail to Watson Lake. Afterwards, go to Goldwater Lake, at higher elevations. While wintering waterfowl are just beginning to arrive in larger numbers in late October, let’s see if they arrive in Prescott earlier! See Acorn Woodpeckers, nuthatches, Bushtits, juncos, and possible wintering sparrows. End in Prescott about noon. Difficulty: 1-2 (lots of walking, some hiking). Limit 7.
Leader: Kathe Anderson, kathe.coot@cox.net.

Sunday, October 29
Lower Salt River
Follow Bush Highway between north Mesa and Saguaro Lake, stopping at recreation areas along the Salt River. Drivers need a Tonto National Forest day-use parking pass. Common resident desert and early wintering birds include Great Blue Heron, Phainopepla, Vermilion Flycatcher, White-crowned Sparrow, Pied-billed Grebe, and Lesser Goldfinch. Sightings of Bald Eagles are reliable. Also possible are Belted Kingfisher, Rock Wren, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, and Osprey.  
Difficulty: 1. Limit 15.
Leader:  Richard Kaiser, rkaiserinaz@aol.com, 602 276-3312.

Saturday, November 4
LoPiano Bosque Habitat and Tempe Marsh
 
Ducks, wading birds, and possible raptors at marsh. Desert birds, raptors, and possible migrants in bosque. Difficulty: 1. Limit 8. 
Leader: Myron Scott. Reservations, larrylangstaff1@gmail.com

Saturday, November 18
Pima Canyon,
South Mountain Park
Desert species, including raptors and possible migrants. Rock Art. Difficulty: 3. Limit 8.
Leader: Myron Scott. Reservations, larrylangstaff1@gmail.com

Wednesday/Thursday, November 29-30 
Safford/Roper Lake/Mt. Graham

Start early and bird our way to Safford, probably stopping at Boyce Thompson Arboretum and Oak Flat, before heading to Cluff Ranch Wildlife Area and possibly Roper Lake before it gets dark. Explore Mt. Graham the next day, as far as we can get in the time allotted, so that we return to the Phoenix area about 6:00 pm. The variety of habitats should reveal woodpeckers, nuthatches, robins, bluebirds, wintering sparrows, and waterfowl. Expenses include one night at a moderate hotel in Safford, meals, entrance fees and a gas donation. Difficulty: 1-2. Limit 7.
Leader: Kathe Anderson, kathe.coot@cox.net.

Thursday, December 7
Apache Trail and Roosevelt Lake
A long, winding, lovely drive on the Apache Trail, pulling off wherever it looks birdy on the way to Roosevelt Lake. Picnic, stop at viewpoints along the lake to see waterfowl. Expect common desert species including Gila Woodpeckers, Cactus and Rock Wrens, wintering sparrows, and Greater Roadrunner, as well as Western and Eared Grebes, ducks and raptors at the lake. Return via Globe and arrive in the Phoenix area about 5:00 pm. Difficulty: 1-2. Limit 7.
Leader: Kathe Anderson, kathe.coot@cox.net.

December or January
Plume Grass Removal project: either Pima Canyon (South Mountain Park), or Lost Dutchman State Park
To reduce the fire hazard produced by this exotic pest plant, come lend a hand as we dig or pull grass plants out of the washes in this habitat. We will bag the grass and haul it out. Birding for half the field time will likely produce wintering species and desert birds. Future return visits to check our results will be planned. Exact date not yet confirmed.
Please email your willingness to be contacted to help: larrylangstaff1@gmail.com

 

 

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Last updated: August 14, 2017 19:57