CURRENT FIELD TRIPS

Be sure to see the “Go Birding” page for information on meeting locations, what to bring, and other helpful hints.

Cancellation policy: Field trip leaders will make the decision and notify participants. We will also post the decision on this page.

This trip has been cancelled due to snow:
Saturday, April 29, 7:00/7:30 am – ?

Aiken Canyon Preserve

20160522_091743Join Gary Conover in Aiken Canyon Preserve, a 1,621-acre Nature Conservancy-managed state property named after Charles Aiken, a U.S. surveyor and ornithologist. The preserve has top quality Pinon/Juniper scrublands habitat with islands of Ponderosa Pine and Spruce/Fir in the upper canyon. Ash-throated Flycatcher, Juniper Titmouse, all Colorado species of Jay, Nuthatch and Chickadees are possible.

This is a four mile hike over uneven hilly terrain, moderately strenuous so wear sturdy walking/hiking shoes. Bring plenty of water, snacks, sunscreen, hat, etc.

Meet at the Broadmoor Towne Center near the Starbucks and Affordable Dentures at 7:00 am or at the Aiken Canyon parking lot at 7:30 am (16 miles south of Lake Ave. off Hwy 115, 3350 Turkey Canon Ranch Rd, Colorado Springs, CO, 80926). The parking lot is a right turn off Hwy 115 across from the Turkey Canon Recreation suite on Fort Carson. Please contact Gary Conover, (719) 635-2505 or gary1gc@yahoo.com, for more information.

Saturday, May 6, 7:30 am – Noon
Sondermann Park

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Join Bonnie Morgan and David Tonnessen for a walk at beautiful Sondermann Park, a bit of wilderness within the city limits of Colorado Springs. The park offers outstanding opportunities for wildlife viewing along a small creek and on trails over foothills scrub.

Possible species include Lazuli Bunting, Black-chinned Hummingbird, Black-headed Grosbeak, Spotted Towhee, Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, and migrants galore. Rarities at the park have included Northern Cardinal and Blackburnian Warbler.

Meet at the Sondermann Park parking lot at 7:30 am. This trip is limited to 15 participants. Contact Bonnie at compassrose360@gmail.com, or David at davidtonnessenx@gmail.com for more information.
Trip is full. There is a waiting list.

Saturday, May 13, 7 am – 11 am
Fountain Creek Regional Park Spring Bird Count

Beginning to advanced birders count and record the numbers of bird species and populations found in Fountain Creek Regional Park during the height of spring migration. Registration required: online at elpasocountynaturecenters.com or call the nature center at 719-520-6745. A $5 donation is requested. This event is sponsored by FCNC, and is listed here for your convenience.

img_0015Sunday, May 14, 7 am – 11 am
Kettle Creek Lakes

Join Risë Foster-Bruder at the Air Force Academy’s Kettle Creek Lakes area. A variety of habitats with three different lakes has the potential for a variety of species.

Call Risë at 719-282-7877 or email her at riserefb@comcast.net to sign up.

Wednesday, May 17, 6:45 am or 7:30 am
Chico Basin Ranch (fee area)

scaled-quail_chicobasinranch-co_lah_3016Join John Drummond as he looks for this spring’s migrants that use Chico Basin Ranch (fee area) as a stopping point on their migration journey. Almost any type of warbler is possible. There will be bird banding in progress. This is always a popular trip and fills up quickly.

Meeting time/place: 6:45 am at the Tejon P&R, or 7:30 am at Hanover Fire Station
Participants limited to 15. There is a $10 fee per person for groups of 5 or more. Contact John Drummond at jxdrummo@aol.com to sign up.

Saturday, June 3, 6:30 am – 10:30 am
Aspen Valley Ranch

Join Tyler Stuart at Aspen Valley Ranch, a 300-acre private ranch on the southwest side of Woodland Park. The ranch currently serves as a site for environmental education for students in the Woodland Park School District, and sometimes offers public programs focused on science, arts, practical living skills, and high-altitude gardening. Against the stunning backdrop of Pikes Peak, Aspen Valley Ranch hosts a forest of ponderosa and limber pine, Douglas-fir, Englemann Spruce, and aspen, a greenhouse, a small events facility, and more. Possible birds include Clark’s Nutcracker, Violet-green Swallow, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Plumbeous Vireo, Western Tanager, Red Crossbill, and Evening Grosbeak.

This is a moderate to strenuous hike; expect high-elevation hiking on dirt roads and trails with some off-trail hiking possible.

Meet on the south side of the Safeway parking lot at 31st Street and Colorado (3275 West Colorado Ave, Colorado Springs, CO, 80904). To register, contact Tyler Stuart at tylerhstuart@gmail.com. This trip is limited to 10 participants and should fill up quickly.

Saturday, June 17, 8 am
Fountain Valley School

Join Jim Mariner and Mel Goff for a morning of birding at this beautiful location. Areas vary from housing and dorms to agricultural fields to woodlands and wetlands. Possible birds include Virginia Rail, Northern Harrier, woodpeckers, and late migration warblers. Nesting Red-tail Hawks, Great Horned Owls, and Bald Eagles are possible. Bobolinks and Orioles have been seen on past visits.

Meet at the beginning of the entrance road off Grinnell Blvd. Do not go to the gate before the leaders arrive. There is a limit of 15 participants. Contact Mel Goff at melgoff@comcast.net with questions or to sign up.

Wednesday, June 21, 6:30 am – noon
Dawson Butte Open Space Nature Hike

Dawson Butte Open Space trail is a gently rolling 5 mile loop through forest and meadow with a little bit of running water.  It is located near Larkspur in Douglas County.  A good variety of wildlife is possible but may include, for example, Western Tanagers, Western Bluebirds, Plumbeous Vireos, Cordilleran Flycatchers, Hairy Woodpeckers, Ovenbirds, Aphrodite Fritillary butterflies, Easter Yellow-bellied Racer snakes, Woodhouse’s Toads, and a variety of wildflowers and fungi.  It is an eBird hotpot with 75 species in only 17 checklists as of February 2017.  Ute Prayer Trees can be found within the park.  The Open Space has portable restrooms at the trailhead and picnic areas and is popular with equestrian enthusiasts due to its wide trails and jumping course.  We will plan to walk the entire loop at a slow pace with plenty of stops for photos, wildlife viewing, etc., and all who wish may stay for a bring-your-own sack lunch picnic after the walk.

Meet at the Woodmen P&R to carpool. There is a maximum of 15 participants for this trip. Contact Diana Beatty at otowi33@gmail.com with any questions or to sign up for this trip.

Monday, June 26, time tbd
Emerald Valley

Save the date for this popular “bugs, blooms, and birds” hike with Heidi Eaton.

Friday, July 7, 5:30 pm
Flammulated Owls

flam_0102_rfb-cropWe will meet trip leader Dr. Brian Linkhart at the Experimental Forest HQs for an orientation before going to the sites he has for the owls. The trip will end at midnight (or sooner).  Participation will be limited to 12 (quiet) people. No exceptions. If the trip fills up, there will be a waiting list. If you have already been on the field trip, please consider letting those who have never seen these wonderful birds to sign up first.

We will be carpooling from the Burger King on Hwy. 24 in Woodland Park. Cost is $25 per person, which is a tax deductible donation to Dr. Linkhart’s research and will be collected at the orientation.

To register for this trip, contact Mel Goff at melgoff@comcast.net.

Wednesday, July 12, 6:30 am – noon
Homestead Ranch Regional Park Nature Hike

Arphia pseudonietana_Northwestern Redwinged Grasshopper_HomesteadRanchPark-CO_LAH_6857Homestead Ranch Regional Park is a rarely-birded eBird hotspot located on the eastern edge of the Black Forest in Peyton.  It has a man-made pond (often containing fish that attract waterfowl), forest habitat with Ute Prayer Trees, as well as grassland/meadow habitat. The park has plumbed bathroom facilities at the parking lot, picnic areas and a playground. The trail is mostly rolling/flat with a short hill or two to get up onto the ridge that affords nice panoramic views to the south and west. This will be an approximately four mile hike on loop/circle-8 trails in the park.

Sweat Bee_HomesteadRanchPark-CO_LAH_6860One of the trails hosts bluebird boxes along the property boundary. There is a pump windmill-fed horse watering trough that often hosts Leopard Frogs and Tiger Salamanders. Plains Lubber grasshoppers are known in the park as well as a nice variety of lizards.  Horseflies may be here, so consider bringing some insect repellent. We will plan to walk all or most of the trails in the park at a slow pace with plenty of stops for photos, birding, etc., and all who wish may stay for a bring-your-own sack lunch picnic after the walk.

Carpool leaves from the southwest end of Lowe’s parking lot at Constitution and Powers. There is a maximum of 15 participants. Contact Diana Beatty at otowi33@gmail.com to sign up for this trip

Saturday, September 9, 7 am – 3:30 pm (or later)
Burnt Mill Road

Birdge_BurntMillRd_20090905_LAH_0118Gary Conover will lead this enjoyable trip wouth of Pueblo. We’ll bird along Burnt Mill Road and down the St, Charles River looking for Cassin’s Kingbird, Blue Grosbeak, Black Phoebe, Greater Roadrunner, Lewis’s Woodpecker and other fall specialties.

Bring your lunch and a full tank of gas.  The trip will include a few short walks along roadways.

Meet Broadmoor Town Center Near Starbucks and Affordable Dentures. Contact Gary Conover at gary1gc@yahoo.com or 632-2505 with any questions and to sign up. Beginners welcome.

Other trips are being planned; check back often!

There are numerous field trips in the planning stages, but no dates have been finalized. Dave Elwonger has offered to lead a trip to Lovell Gulch and Manitou Lake. Eric Eaton will be leading another Tiger Beetle Hunt with the Mile High Bug Club, and we often see birds as well. Check back for details on trips to Emerald Valley, Chico Basin Ranch, Fountain Valley School, and more.

Would you like to lead a field trip? No experience necessary, just enthusiasm and a friendly attitude. Contact Mel Goff, melgoff@comcast.net, for more information on volunteering to lead a trip for Aiken Audubon.

More Trips

The Mile High Bug Club has events scheduled and cordially invites Audubon folks to join them. For information, contact Eric Eaton at bugeric247@gmail.com.

Pueblo’s Arkansas Valley Audubon Society welcomes us on their trips. Check their website for the latest information.

Denver Field Ornithologists also sponsors many field trips each month. Check the right-hand bar on their website’s home page for a month-by-month listing.

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