Spokane Audubon Society
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Spokane Audubon Society Field Trips

We have substantially reduced the number of field trips we are offering in 2017. We will introduce new trips and rotate and alternate through a variety of trips each year. The following are our “official” field trips for 2017. Trips may be added with short notice so check the website often.  Trips may be canceled at any time due to bad weather, too few participants, or the lack of a leader.  Contact the leader for more information and to reserve a spot.   

Our Leaders and Field Trip Cost: Field trips are free and are open to anyone. You don’t have to be an Audubon member to participate in our field trips. Our leaders are club volunteers and are not compensated. If you carpool with somebody, it is common courtesy to compensate the driver for your share of gas and vehicle use. You are also responsible for any park entry fees, camping fees, or motel bills. 

What to Bring: Participants need to provide their own binoculars, food and drink, adequate clothing, and transportation unless you find somebody with whom to carpool. 

Skill Level: We provide a variety of trips that accommodate many birding skill levels. Birders of all levels are welcome on all trips. However, please bear in mind that some beginners may get frustrated or bored on trips designed for advanced birders, where much of the birding is done by ear and the pace is very fast.  Some advanced birders might find the trips geared toward beginning birders too basic and slow-paced. The skill level for each trip will be posted.

Trip Length and Starting Time: To meet varied goals, some trips are five or six hours while some are 12 hours or longer. Published starting times are when we leave so arrive earlier than the posted hour.

Families, Children and Dogs: Dogs are disruptive to the birding experience; therefore we do not allow any dogs on our trips. While we very much want families to participate, very young children are not appropriate for our field trips. When in doubt about the appropriateness of bringing your child, ask the leader before the trip so you can make plans for child care.

First Come, First Served: We have received feedback from past field trip participants as well as our leaders and concluded that to enhance the birding experience we need to limit the number of participants on our trips. The number allowed for each trip will be posted. Call or email early to reserve your place on a trip. But also call ASAP if you are not able to make the trip so the leader can contact folks on the wait list to fill your place.


Our 2017 Field Trips list can be downloaded, but be sure to check back here or call the trip leader for last minute changes. The March 2017 issue of the Pygmy Owl also has our field trips listed.  (SAS 2017 Field Trips.pdf)


2017 Field Trips at a Glance

(1) January 21, 2017, Saturday   LC Valley Banana Belt Trip
     Leader: Keith Carlson

(2) April 29, 2017, Saturday   West Plains Early Migrant Trip
 
   Leader: Alan McCoy

(3) May 8, 10, 12; Mon - Wed - Fri evenings   Bird Identification Workshops

May 13, 2017, Saturday   Bird ID Field Trip to Turnbull NWR
     Leaders: Gary Blevins and Kim Thorburn

(4) May 21, 2017, Sunday   Little Spokane Natural Area Trip
     Leader: Lindell Haggin

(5) May 27, 2017, Saturday    Peone Prairie Wetlands Trip
     Leader:  Ann Brinly; Jim & Bea Harrison

(6) June 3, 2017, Saturday   Iller Creek Trip
     Leader:  Gary Lee

(7) June 10, 2017, Saturday   Liberty Lake Trip
     Leader: Joyce Alonso

(8) June 16-17  4-O Ranch Camping and Birding Trip
     Leader: Kim Thorburn

(9) September 9, 2017 Saturday   Sprague Lake Migrant Trip
     Leader: Fran Haywood

(10) October 21, 2017, Saturday   Grant County Late Fall Migrant Trip
     Leader: Gary Blevins

(11) December 30, 2017, Saturday   Christmas Bird Count
     Leader:  Alan McCoy


2017 Field Trip Descriptions

(1) January 21, 2017, Saturday   LC Valley Banana Belt Trip
     Leader: Keith Carlson

This all-day trip is geared toward all levels of birders.  The Lewiston/Clarkston (LC) Valley often has slightly more moderate temperatures in winter, which can make for some great winter birding. We will meet WalMart in Pullman at 8:00AM.  Come prepared for winter weather; bring snacks, water, and lunch.  Contact Tom Light at tlight3@gmail.com or by phone at 509-638-2274 by January 20 to register for the trip.

Note:  This trip will be dependent on weather and road conditions.

Target Species: A variety of waterfowl (hopeful target: Long-tailed Duck), winter gulls including hopeful Lesser Black-backed and Thayer’s, Black-crowned Night-Herons, chase-able Snowy Owl and/or Gyrfalcon (if reported), wintering warblers, sparrows, and finches.

(2) April 29, 2017, Saturday   West Plains Early Migrant Trip
     Leader: Alan McCoy

Limit: 6-8 Birders (2-3 cars)

This all-day trip is for intermediate birders.  We will start in the Palisades Park area. Then we head north stopping along the way at various hot spots toward Tum Tum. Then we turn south to the Little Falls Dam and to Reardan’s Audubon Lake where we will look for waterfowl and shorebirds.  If time allows, we will check out the Davenport Cemetery, which can be great for migrants.  On our way back we’ll check out the lakes around Medical Lake and finish up at the Indian Canyon Springs area.  We will meet at 5:45 am at the Rosauer's parking lot in Browne's Addition (near 2nd Avenue and Sunset Highway) and plan to return about 6:00 PM.  Contact leader Alan McCoy at 448-3123 or ahm2352@gmail.com by April 23 to reserve your place.    

Target Species: Migrant ducks, raptors, Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs, Bewick’s, Canyon and Rock Wrens, Black-necked Stilt, American Avocet, Red-necked Grebe, Calliope Hummingbird, Orange-crowned, Nashville and Yellow warblers, Say's Phoebe, Western and Mountain Bluebirds.

(3) May 8, 10, 12; Monday, Wednesday, Friday evenings   Bird Identification Workshops
     Leaders: Gary Blevins and Kim Thorburn

OK. Novices and beginners, this is your chance.  Two instructors will teach a series of three classes on beginning birding and bird identification by sight and sound.  Workshops will be held at a site to be determined from 6:30 to 9:00 PM.  Slides and computer programs will be used to introduce you to many of the bird species commonly observed in the Spokane area.  A $20 donation to Spokane Audubon is requested.  A field trip for workshop participants to Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge will be held on International Migratory Bird Day, May 13. For more information or to reserve your place for the workshop, contact Gary Blevins (863-2659 or blevins@spocom.com) by April 25.. 

May 13, 2017, Saturday   Bird ID Field Trip to Turnbull NWR
     Leaders: Gary Blevins and Kim Thorburn

Come celebrate International Migratory Bird Day by birding.  Although the trip is specifically designed for the Bird Identification Workshop participants, other birders are welcome.  We will meet at Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge, near Cheney, in the parking lot across from Pine Lake at 7:00 AM and bird the refuge until 2:00 PM.  Contact leader Gary Blevins at (863-2659 or blevins@spocom.com) by May 1 to register for the trip.

Target Species: Wilson’s Snipe, Yellow-headed and Red-winged Blackbirds, Virginia Rail, Marsh Wren, American Bittern, various waterfowl, Great Horned Owl, Osprey, Northern Harrier and Cassin’s Finches

(4) May 21, 2017, Sunday   Little Spokane Natural Area Trip
     Leader: Lindell Haggin

All levels of birders are welcome to join us for a half-day walking trip along the Little Spokane River Natural Area.  This is the peak of breeding season.  Over 80 species have been recorded in this rich riparian, forest, and rock habitat.   Meet at the Spokane River Boat Launch parking lot less than one mile north of Nine-Mile Dam on Rt. 291 at 6:30 AM.  Contact Lindell Haggin, 466-4118 or lindell4118@comcast.net by May 25 if you plan to attend. 

Note: A WA Discover Pass is required for parking on this trip.  Purchase online or at REI.

Target Species: Common and Hooded Merganser; Osprey; Woodpeckers; Pacific-slope and Willow Flycatchers; Warbling, Cassin’s and Red-eyed Vireos; White-breasted Nuthatch; Bewick’s and House Wrens; Gray Catbird; Black-headed Grosbeak; Bullock’s Oriole

(5) May 27, 2017, Saturday   Peone Prairie Wetlands Trip
     Leader:  Ann Brinly; Jim & Bea Harrison

This half-day trip will focus on visiting several hot spots in the Peone Prairie wetlands area.  Meet at 7:00 am SHARP at Feryn Conservation parking area. Contact Ann Brinly at agbmaelstrom@gmail.com  by May 20 to sign up.  Target species: Bullocks Oriole, Lazuli Bunting, Cedar Waxwing, Eastern Kingbird, Calliope Hummingbird, Belted Kingfisher, Catbird, Red Tail Hawk, Northern Harrier, and waterfowl.

(6) June 3, 2017, Saturday   Iller Creek Trip
     Leader:  Gary Lee

This trip is for birders of all levels as well as local citizens who want to learn more about protecting our precious Dishman Hills ecosystem. On this trip, we will slowly walk some of the trails and see what is there. The Iller Creek Natural Area is famed for its abundance of breeding flycatchers, vireos, and warblers. Occasionally a moose makes a cameo appearance! Meet at the Iller Creek entrance in the cul-de-sac at the end of Holman Road. Contact Gary Lee at bird_fan@aol.com or 389-5474 to sign up and for meeting time.

Target Species: Ruffed Grouse; Accipiters; woodpeckers; Hammond’s, Dusky, Willow, and Pacific-Slope Flycatchers; Warbling and Cassin’s Vireos; Swainson’s Thrush; Gray Catbird; Bewick’s Wren; Orange-crowned, Nashville, Yellow, Yellow-rumped, Townsend’s, and MacGillivray’s Warblers; Spotted Towhee; Cassin’s Finch; Red Crossbill

(7) June 10, 2017, Saturday   Liberty Lake Trip
     Leader: Joyce Alonso

This is a mostly easy walking half-day trip.  Liberty Lake hosts some of the best habitat diversity in Spokane County, with breeding grebes on the lake, extensive wetlands and prairie, old second-growth Ponderosa pine, and some of the best wetbelt mixed conifer forest in the area. Contact Joyce Alonso (448-2447) by May 31 if you plan to attend.

Target Species: Red-necked Grebe; Wilson's Snipe; Virginia and Sora Rails; woodpeckers; Hammond’s, Dusky, and Willow Flycatcher; Cassin’s, Warbling, and Red-eyed Vireos; Marsh Wren; Yellow, MacGillvray’s, Orange-crowned, Townsend’s, and Nashville Warblers; American Redstart; Common Yellowthroat

(8) June 16-17, 2017   4-O Ranch Camping and Birding Trip
     Leader: Kim Thorburn

This is one of the newest Washington Fish and Wildlife Department Wildlife Areas, located in the Blue Mountains south of Asotin. The trip will include overnight camping at Field Spring State Park.

I realize this is short notice but looking at my schedule and the passing season, I think that it would work best to schedule the 4-O Ranch Wildlife Area field trip for Friday-Saturday, June 16-17. We can plan to arrive at Fields Springs State Park mid-afternoon for evening birding there and overnight. Early on Saturday we'll descend Rattlesnake grade to the Grande Ronde for birding along the river and then up Cottonwood Creek to the wildlife area.

We will bird a variety of habitats, including riparian along the Grande Ronde River and tributaries and dry pine and mixed conifer forests. Call Kim at 509-465-3025 or email kthorburn@msn.com to reserve your spot.

Target birds: Yellow-breasted Chat, Lazuli Bunting, Williamson’s Sapsucker, Golden Eagle, Empidonax flycatchers, warblers and sparrows.

(9) September 9, 2017 Saturday   Sprague Lake Migrant Trip
     Leader: Fran Haywood

This is a half-day trip to the Sprague Lake area to look for migrating birds, and birds which often stray here in September.  Meet at Coeur d’ Alene Park at 6:15am.  We will leave the park at 6:30am. There will be a $5.00 charge per person if we bird at either of the private resorts on the lake. Please call Fran Haywood (509 290-1814; birders13@gmail.com) by Sept 6 if you plan to attend.

Target birds :  Loons, Grebes, White Pelicans, Great Egrets, Peregrine Falcon, Red-neck Phalaropes, Terns, American Pipit, Migrant warblers and sparrows.

(10) October 21, 2017, Saturday   Grant County Late Fall Migrant Trip
     Leader: Gary Blevins

This is a beginning, intermediate and advanced birder-oriented trip to look for specialty birds, such as Arctic Gulls, Lapland Longspurs, and other hard to find and see northern visitors.  There may be some down time with little action in between bird sightings but potential for rarities is high. It is a full-day trip from sunrise to sunset.  Contact Gary Blevins (863-2659 or blevins@spocom.com) by October 16 if you plan to attend. 

Target Birds: Loons and grebes; scoters and rare wintering waterfowl; wintering raptors; Glaucous, Thayers, and Glaucous-winged Gulls; Snowy Owl; Northern Shrike; Snow Bunting; Lapland Longspur; Gray-crowned Rosy Finch

(11) December 30, 2017, Saturday   Christmas Bird Count
     Leader:  Alan McCoy

All are invited to participate, including new birders and those living inside the circle who can only watch their feeders at home.So join the Spokane Christmas count!The Spokane Count Circle is a 15 mile diameter circle centered at 47° 43' N and 117° 25' W (approximately Division St. and Francis Avenue). Please contact Alan McCoy (509-448-3123 or ahm2352@gmail.com) for information about the Spokane CBC. 


(7) April 23 to 28, 2015, Thursday to Tuesday,  Point Reyes, California Trip

            Leader: Kim Thorburn

(8) April 26, 2015, Sunday,  West Plains Early Migrant Trip

            Leader: Alan McCoy

(9) May 4, 6, 8, 2015, Mon., Wed., Fri.,   Bird Identification Workshops

            Leaders: Gary Blevins and Kim Thorburn

(10) May 9, 2015, Saturday,  Bird ID Workshop Trip to Turnbull NWR

            Leaders: Gary Blevins and Kim Thorburn

(22) September 5, 2015 Saturday,  Sprague Lake Migrant Trip

            Leader: Norma Trefry

(23) October 24, 2015 Saturday,  Grant County Late Fall Migrants Trip

            Leader: Gary Blevins

(24) November 21, 2015, Saturday,  Douglas Plateau Northern Visitors Trip

            Leader: Kim Thorburn

(25) December 12, 2015 Saturday,  Winter Lake and Wetbelt Trip

Leader: Joyce Alonso

(26) December 27, 2015, Saturday,  Christmas Bird Count

            Leader:  Alan McCoy

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