Spokane Audubon Society
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Spokane Audubon Society Field Trips

We are in the process of creating our field trips for 2018. As we get leaders and trips arranged we will add them to the list below. We plan to introduce new and varied trips each year. The following are our “official” field trips for 2018. 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. Drivers bring your Discover Pass and any other pass you may have.

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.

Be sure to check back here or call the trip leader for last minute changes. Check the Pygmy Owl for field trips too.

2018 Field Trips at a Glance

January 20, 2018, Saturday   Lewiston - Clarkston Valley 
Leader: Keith Carlson and Rick Welle

March 23-25, 2018   Othello Sandhill Crane Festival

April 22, 2018, Sunday     Reardan & Mill Canyon
Leader: Jon Isacoff

April 28, 2018, Saturday    Owens Lake-Bear Lake
Leader: Curtis Mahon

May 13, 2018, Sunday  Slavin Ranch Wetland Trip
Leader: Alan McCoy

May 19, 2018, Saturday     Turnbull Wildlife Refuge Family Trip
Leaders: Sandy & Richard Sollie

May 26, 2018,  Saturday     Riverside State Park
Leader: Kim Thorburn

December 29, 2018, Saturday   Spokane Christmas Bird Count
Leader:  Alan McCoy

2018 Field Trip Descriptions

January 20, 2018, Saturday         Lewiston - Clarkston Valley 
Leaders: Keith Carlson and Rick Welle

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 in the parking lot of Dyna Mart in Lewiston at 8:00AM.  At the traffic light just past the bottom of the Lewiston Grade, make a right turn and go a short block.The Dyna Mart is on the left side. Come prepared for winter weather; bring snacks, water, and lunch.  Contact Alan McCoy at ahm2352@gmail.com or by phone at 509-999-9512 by January 19 to register for the trip. Keith’s cell number is 208-413-2071

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 possible Lesser Black-backed and Thayer’s (now Iceland Gull), Black-crowned Night-Herons, chase-able Snowy Owl and/or Gyrfalcon (if reported), wintering warblers, sparrows, and finches.

April 22, 2018, Sunday        Reardan & Mill Canyon
Leader: Jon Isacoff

This is a 2/3 day trip geared toward all levels of birders.  Our first stop will be Reardan, which is teaming with waterfowl and possibly some shorebirds during the month of April.  We will then proceed about 15 miles to Mill Canyon, one of the most bird-diverse locations in the Spokane area due its diverse habitats.  We should encounter a nice mix of mixed conifer forest and riparian zone breeding birds as well as a “pot luck” of possible waterfowl and other water birds where Mill Creek empties into the Spokane River.  Come prepared for rain; bring snacks, water, and lunch.  Contact Jon Isacoff at isacoff@gonzaga.edu or by phone at 509-991-1637 by April 15 to register for the trip.  We will meet at South end of Coeur D’Alene Park (4th Avenue) at 7:00AM and carpool.  We will return around 1PM give or take.  Limit is three cars.

Target Species: A variety of waterfowl, drumming Ruffed Grouse, Black-necked Stilt, American Avocet, Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs, Red-naped Sapsucker, Gray Flycatcher, Say’s Phoebe, Western Kingbird, Western and Mountain Bluebirds, Orange-crowned and Nashville Warblers, Vesper Sparrow.

April 28, 2018, Saturday    Owens Lake-Bear Lake
Leader: Curtis Mahon
Limit: 12 Birders

This new field trip is made possible by the Inland NW Land Conservancy. We will be birding Bear Lake Regional Park as well as the private property of Vicki Hershey that contains nearby Owens Lake.

Contact leader Curtis Mahon at (509) 710-3409 (phone or text) or c9r0m0@gmail.com by April 26th to reserve your place. We will meet at the upper parking lot of Bear Lake at 8am. Bear Lake is about 25 miles north of downtown Spokane off of Highway 2. This is a mostly easy 3 mile hike round trip with a couple steep sections. The trip should last 3-4 hours.

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

May 13, 2018, Sunday  Slavin Ranch Wetland Trip
Leader: Alan McCoy

This is a half-day walking trip (3-5 miles) along a primitive trail through open Ponderosa pine scab rock country with many views of seasonal wetlands.  All levels of birders are welcome.  The Slavin Ranch is a Conservation Futures acquisition located about 10 miles south of downtown Spokane and a mile west of Hwy 195.  We will start at the Slavin Ranch parking lot at 7:00 AM and end about 1:00 PM. Please call leader Alan McCoy at 448-3123 or 999-9512,ahm2352@gmail.com by May 4 if you plan to attend.

Target Species: Breeding ducks and geese, Sora, Black Tern, Western Wood Pewee, Say’s Phoebe, both kingbirds, all 6 swallows, all 3 nuthatches, Marsh Wren, Yellow Warbler, Orange-crowned Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Chipping Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Western Tanager, Bullock’s Oriole, Black-headed Grosbeak

May 19, 2018, Saturday         Turnbull Wildlife Refuge Family Trip
Leaders: Sandy & Richard Sollie

This outing is billed as “kid friendly” with the emphasis on fun, some exercise and an introduction into birding.  We’ll have our grandkids Aaden & Kolton who are 8 & 7 years with us, who have been birding with us for the past couple of years.

We will meet at the Turnbull Wildlife Refuge HQ parking lot at 8:30 AM. Plan on being out for about 2 – 3 hours. We’ll be walking the Pine Loop Lakes route and around the hiking trails by the Wildlife HQ.

Please bring binoculars, cameras, etc. If you don’t have this equipment, we’ll have scopes and a couple extra pairs of binoculars available for those who need to borrow some. Our goal is to identify birds and educate the kids & their families about birding and the rich experience it provides.

Contact Richard at contactme@richardsollie.com or 509-981-9003 to register or if you have questions.

Target species: A variety of ducks and geese, and possibly some swan. In addition, a variety of songbirds, such as bluebirds, swallows, chickadees, nuthatches, and blackbirds.

May 26, 2018, Saturday    Riverside State Park
Leader: Kim Thorburn
Limit: 12 Birders

This half-day trip to our closest state park is a new trip for Spokane Audubon. It will involve hiking through dry pine forest looking and listening for resident song birds. We will meet at 7:00 am at the Carlson trailhead just south of the park headquarters in Nine Mile Falls. Head north on Nine Mile Falls Rd (Hwy 291). Turn left on Charles Rd. Cross the Spokane River and turn left on Carlson Rd. Go ¼ to ½ mile to the parking area for the Carlson Trailhead.

Contact Kim at 465-3025 or kthorburn@msn.com by May 22nd to reserve your spot.

Target Birds: Canyon, Pacific, Bewick’s and House Wrens, Lazuli Bunting, Nashville and Yellow-rumped Warblers, Townsend’s Solitaire, Gray Flycatcher, Cassin’s Vireo and more.

December 29, 2018, Saturday Spokane Christmas Bird Count
Leader:  Alan McCoy

All SAS members as well as new birders are always welcome to join the Christmas count, which encompasses the Spokane Count Circle Center: 47° 43' N by 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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