2017-18 Tampa Audubon Field Trips

A Word from Tampa Audubon Society Regarding Our Field Trips

TAS field trips are open to members and non-members alike, to anyone interested in birds, nature and being outdoors. Pets and smoking are prohibited. Individual field trips will state approximate length of trip, (half day, all day, 1 mile, 6 miles) and degree of difficulty. The monthly walk in Lettuce Lake County Park is a good primer for beginning birders.

Advance registration is appreciated. Please e-mail trip leader if possible, or call if you are planning to attend. For all birding field trips, unless otherwise stated, bring water, hat, sunscreen, binoculars, and dress for the weather. Bring snacks, water, and lunch for most all trips. In case of emergency, it would be helpful if your emergency contact information was in your chest pocket.

TAS encourages carpooling. Please start with full tank of gas! Be prepared to share the cost of gas, tolls, and park entrance fees! Our FT's will meet at a central location for carpooling coordination. For safety reasons, TAS discourages caravanning . Maps and directions will be provided on website. Please bring your own maps. Please arrive at least 15 minutes prior to scheduled start time, longer if you plan to buy food. Do check the website for details and updates shortly before each trip.

Hillsborough County is home to over 200 species of birds during some part of the year, numerous reptiles and mammals, and many lovely native plants, including orchids. We hope you'll join us as we explore the great outdoors!

Note: Any person participating in a Tampa Audubon Society Field Trip does so at his or her own risk, and acknowledges that Tampa Audubon Society has made no warranty or representation, expressed or implied, regarding the safety of conducting this activity at this site. All participants will be required to sign a waiver form releasing Tampa Audubon Society and its Officers, Directors, Field Trip Leaders, Assistants and Employees from any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damage, costs and expenses resulting from any injury to me or damage caused by my failure to follow instruction.

 


2017 Tampa Audubon Field Trips

SEPTEMBER 2017

Sat 9/9 Lettuce Lake 9 amBeginning Bird Walk, Everyone Welcome!  Meet in the parking lot by the Visitor’s Center in Lettuce Lake Park at 9 am.  We’ll walk the boardwalk or trails, depending on where the best birds are.  We have binoculars to loan, and someone will have a spotting scope so you can get up really close and personal!  Bring water, snack. Entrance fee for park $2.  Done by 12 pm. For info contact leader Megan Campbell at megan.campbell@tampaaudubon.org.

Sun 9/17  Saddle Creek Park & Circle B Bar, 8 am – Limited to 10 people. Location: 3899 Morgan Combee Rd, Lakeland. Meet at the end of the dirt road leading to the “Nature Trails” at 8:00 AM. Saddle Creek Park, on the north side of Lakeland, is well-known in local birding circles as a good spot for migrating land birds in the fall. It is one of the better inland locations in Central Florida for migrating warblers. Join us as we see for ourselves what is moving through that day. We will be birding along the edge of hardwood swamps and ponds, and a portion of the trail goes through a “tunnel” of Brazilian pepper. It is likely to be hot and humid at that time of year, and there WILL be mosquitoes! Insect repellant is almost mandatory for this outing. Also be sure to bring water and snacks to get you through the morning, and to dress appropriately for the conditions. If there has been recent rainfall, be prepared for muddy sections in the trail.

When we are finished at Saddle Creek, anyone who wants can follow us to Circle-B-Bar Reserve for a picnic lunch. (Bring your own food/drinks.) After-lunch birding will be available there, as well.  Please register for this outing by contacting trip leader Doug DeNeve doug.deneve@tampaaudubon.org  and providing your contact information, in case there is a need to change our plans at the last minute. Participation will be limited to the first 10 individuals who register.

Sept 24-30, Texas Hawk Migration - Tampa Audubon heads to the Lone Star State for the Hawk Migration in southern Texas. (TRIP FULL).

OCTOBER 2017

Sat 10/7 West Shore Clean Up Day 9 – 11 am. Help clean up our mangrove sanctuary on San Jose St. Bring gloves, shoes that can get wet and dirty. Water and snacks provided. A crowbar or hammer could be helpful if there's another shed built in there! Contact Bev at bevgriffiths@verizon.net or 813-210-4850 (mobile) if you have questions or to sign up.

Sun 10/8 Itchepackesassa & Lower Green Swamp, 8 am – Limited to 12 people. Meet at the Lower Green Swamp Preserve parking area at 3612 E Knights Griffin Rd, Plant City, at 8:00 AM. The preserve is at the southern edge of the Green Swamp, an ecosystem mosaic critical to South Florida’s water supply. Its protected status also makes it a haven for a variety of Florida wildlife. We will bird a 1.6 mile loop trail, with an optional half-mile extension for anyone wanting to have a look at Itchepackesassa Creek. The trail passes through open pine flatwoods, then follows the border between the flatwoods habitat and the oak forest along the creek. The area is ideal habitat for woodpeckers, flycatchers, raptors, and a variety of smaller passerines. It should be a good place to see migrants in October. The trail itself is flat, open, grassy, and easy to walk.

After birding at Lower Green Swamp, we will drive about 4.2 miles to the Itchepackesassa Creek Wetlands Restoration site. (1285 Walker Rd, Lakeland) We will scan the marsh for herons, egrets, ducks, and other typical wetlands birds. Be sure to bring water and snacks to get you through the morning, and to dress appropriately for the conditions. Sunscreen and insect repellant are advisable.  Please register for this outing by contacting trip leader Doug DeNeve doug.deneve@tampaaudubon.org  and providing your contact information, in case there is a need to change our plans at the last minute. Participation will be limited to the first 12 individuals who register.

Sat 10/14 Lettuce Lake 9 am – Beginning Bird Walk, Everyone Welcome!  Meet in the parking lot by the Visitor’s Center in Lettuce Lake Park at 9 am.  We’ll walk the boardwalk or trails, depending on where the best birds are.  We have binoculars to loan, and someone will have a spotting scope so you can get up really close and personal!  Bring water, snack. Entrance fee for park $2.  Done by 12 pm. For info contact leader Sherry Keller at sherry.keller@tampaaudubon.org , or Megan Campbell at megan.campbell@tampaaudubon.org.

Oct 13-15 Florida Birding and Nature Festival

Fri-Sat 10/20-21 Audubon Assembly – St. Augustine http://fl.audubon.org/about-us/audubon-assembly Seminars, workshops, field trips.

Sat 10/28 MacDill AFB Shorebirds to Bluebirds! 8am – Must preregister; limit 20 people. Bring lunch. Background check: All birders attending our trip to MacDill AFB need to allow the base security office to perform a routine background check. The check needs to be complete a week prior to the day of the trip. Accordingly, you need to submit the following information to Sandy Reed no later than October 20, 2017.  She will compile the information and submit it in one document to the base security office.
            You must submit:
            - Your name exactly as it appears on your driver's license. Include any initials.
            - The name of the state that issued your driver's license.
            - Your driver's license number. (Not your car license plate, your driver's license.)
            - Your contact phone number
            - DOB

If the information you submit is not complete and accurate, you will be denied access to the base. Send the information to Sandy at: sandy.reed@tampaaudubon.org  She will send further instructions once you are approved.

NOVEMBER 2017

Sat 11/4 Golden Aster Scrub Nature Preserve – Meet at 8 am, done by 11 am. Golden Aster Scrub Preserve is a 1,236 acres nature preserve    purchased to help protect the endangered Florida Golden Aster (Chrysopsis Floridana). An even more notable inhabitant of the site is the Florida Scrub Jay, which we hope to find, along with other woodland and scrub birds.There are five miles of wide, flat trails with soft sand. We won’t hike them all! There is little or no shade on the trails and proper footwear, clothing and sunscreen is recommended. Although there is a picnic shelter, it is about a half mile from the entrance to the park.  Bring water! Spotting scopes are suggested for viewing across the scrub.
Access point is at the south end of East Bay Road. From I-75 take exit 250, Gibsonton Dr, go west to the light at East Bay Road, then south on East Bay Road for 2 miles to the dead end. Park on the road shoulder if the lot spaces are full.  We will meet at 8:00 am and expect to take two to three hours. We should be done by 11:00 a.m. Contact the trip leaders, Mic McCarty, mcmic40@msn.com , or Connie Anderson conniecanoe@hotmail.com if you have questions.

Sat 11/11 Lettuce Lake 9 AM - Beginning Bird Walk, Everyone Welcome!  Meet in the parking lot by the Visitor’s Center in Lettuce Lake Park at 9 am.  We’ll walk the boardwalk or trails, depending on where the best birds are.  We have binoculars to loan, and someone will have a spotting scope so you can get up really close and personal!  Bring water, snack. Entrance fee for park $2.  Done by 11 am. For info contact leader Megan Campbell at megan.campbell@tampaaudubon.org.

Sun 11/19 Starkey Wilderness – Meet at 9 am at Parking Lot 8 of Starkey Park, 10500 Wilderness Park Boulevard, New Port Richey, FL 34655. There is a $2 entrance fee. All flat walking, some on paved path, some smooth dirt. Woodland birds, we’ll be looking for bluebirds, warblers, vireos and more. Bring water, snack, hat. Bring lunch if you want to eat there afterwards. Contact leader Mary Keith for more information or to set up carpools.  Mary.keith@tampaaudubon.org

December 2017

Sat 12/2 Al Lopez – Birds & Brunch – Our traditional winter brunch party after birding Al Lopez Park, 4810 N Himes.  For an inner city park, Al Lopez can be very birdy!  Meet at 8:30 am in the small lot to the right of the entrance.  We’ll walk the boardwalk and lower loop.  All flat walking, boardwalk or paved most of the way.  Night herons, woodpeckers, warblers, vireos, raptors and even wading birds!  Bring water, snack.  Let leader Mary Keith know if you intend to come to brunch at Village Inn on Dale Mabry just north of Kennedy afterwards so adequate reservations can be made.  Mary.keith@tampaaudubon.org.
Sat 12/9 Lettuce Lake 9 AM – Beginning Bird Walk, Everyone Welcome!  Meet in the parking lot by the Visitor’s Center in Lettuce Lake Park at 9 am.  We’ll walk the boardwalk or trails, depending on where the best birds are.  We have binoculars to loan, and someone will have a spotting scope so you can get up really close and personal!  Bring water, snack. Entrance fee for park $2.  Done by 11 am. For info contact leader doug.deneve@tampaaudubon.org.
Sat 12/30 Tampa CBC Help census our city birds for the annual Christmas Bird Count. Count for 2 hours or 12 hours.  If you live in the count area you can count in your backyard!  Contact Dave Bowman dsbowman4@verizon.net or Mary Keith mary.keith@tampaaudubon.org to sign up.

January 2018

Sat 1/13 Lettuce Lake 9 AM – Beginning Bird Walk, Everyone Welcome!  Meet in the parking lot by the Visitor’s Center in Lettuce Lake Park at 9 am.  We’ll walk the boardwalk or trails, depending on where the best birds are.  We have binoculars to loan, and someone will have a spotting scope so you can get up really close and personal!  Bring water, snack. Entrance fee for park $2.  Done by 11 am. For info contact leader Mary Keith at mary.keith@tampaaudubon.org.
Fri - Sun, 1/19-20 - Wakulla / St Marks Weekend - For this overnight trip we will meet at noon Friday, Jan 19, at the small park by the bridge in Fanning Springs, about 2.5 hrs north of Tampa.  This is NOT the big State Park!  It is a small park on the left side of Rt 19 after the entrance to Fanning Springs State Park and before you cross the bridge.  We’ll eat lunch there, bird a bit, then head on up to Wakulla Springs State Park, another 2 hours drive, birding the grounds there before dinner.  Saturday will be spent birding St Marks NWR, a spectacular place for winter ducks, raptors and more.  Sunday morning after breakfast we will take the boat ride on the river that rises from the huge springs right on the Lodge grounds, then head for home.  The cost will be determined closer to the date.  Cost includes 2 night stay at the Lodge in the state park, entrance to the wildlife refuge, box lunch on Saturday, and the boat ride.  For more details, to arrange to carpool or make your reservation, contact leader Mary Keith mary.keith@tampaaudubon.org.
Jan 24 – 30 Space Coast Birding Festival

February 2018

Sat 2/3 Circle B Bar & Lake Gwynn
Fri-Sun, 2/9-11 Palm Coast Feather Fest
Sat 2/10 Lettuce Lake 9 AM – Beginning Bird Walk, Everyone Welcome!  Meet in the parking lot by the Visitor’s Center in Lettuce Lake Park at 9 am.  We’ll walk the boardwalk or trails, depending on where the best birds are.  We have binoculars to loan, and someone will have a spotting scope so you can get up really close and personal!  Bring water, snack. Entrance fee for park $2.  Done by 11 am. For info contact leader Megan Campbell at megan.campbell@tampaaudubon.org.
Sun 2/18 Bay Care Ponds, Dunn Ponds, Wall Springs Park, Clearwater - 8:30 am to 2 pm We will have short drives and easy walks at several destinations. Dress for weather, hat, sunscreen and pack lunch. Meet in the rear of Bay Care Office complex, 2985 Drew St, Clearwater.  Park at middle of back pond. We will walk and bird the Bay Care ponds and carpool from there to other birding destinations within 15-20 min drive. Dunn Water Treatment Plant is a popular spot for 100's of wintering ducks. Wall Springs and Seven Springs Water Reclamation Plant are other possible stops depending on conditions. Please register with sandy.reed@tampaaudubon.org to receive updates closer to trip.
Sat-Sun,  2/24-25 Burrowing Owl Festival - Cape Coral

March 2018

Sat 3/3 Brandon Birds at Twin Lakes 8:30 am - Meet in parking lot at pool area at west end of Lake Michaela, in Twin Lakes subdivision at the east end of Bloomingdale Ave. We will spend 2 hours walking around the lake in Twin Lakes subdivision. It is an easy 1 mile walk on a sidewalk around the lake. This is an excellent field trip for beginning to experienced birders. Many local birds congregate there as well as true snowbirds! Birds commonly seen are Purple Gallinule, Wilson's Snipe, Roseate Spoonbill! Closer to the event, we will determine if a visit to Edward Medard boardwalk  ($2/car fee) should be included, where we could eat lunch. Pack lunch, sunscreen, bug spray. Please register with sandy.reed@tampaaudubon.org to receive updates closer to trip.
Sat 3/10 Lettuce Lake  9 am – Beginning Bird Walk - Everyone Welcome!  Meet in the parking lot by the Visitor’s Center in Lettuce Lake Park at 9 am.  We’ll walk the boardwalk or trails, depending on where the best birds are.  We have binoculars to loan, and someone will have a spotting scope so you can get up really close and personal!  Bring water, snack. Entrance fee for park $2.  Done by 11 am. For info contact leader Mary Keith at mary.keith@tampaaudubon.org
Sat 3/17 Grape Hammock Airboat Ride – Lake Kissimmee 9 am – Meet at Grape Hammock Fish Camp, 70 miles east of Brandon just off Rt. 60. We have 2 shifts reserved on the airboat for a tour around the edges of Lake Kissimmee looking for snail kites, purple gallinules, eagles and more.  Caracara are sometimes seen in the area too.  Half the group will bird around the hammock looking for warblers, vireos and raptors while the others ride.  The first ride leaves at 10 am, the second at 11:30 am. When both rides are back we’ll drive to a county park just north on the lakeside for a picnic lunch and more birding.  The captain knows birds and birders, so photography is possible. High speed riding on the boat can be chilly this time of year, so bring a jacket and hat that won’t fly away, as well as water, snack, lunch. $40 per person for airboat ride. Maximum 20 persons.  Contact leader for more details or to arrange a carpool - Mary Keith mary.keith@tampaaudubon.org

3/23 – 3/29 Puerto Rico Trip - Circle the island, find all the endemics and plenty more, with Field Guides Inc. $2475 double occupancy covers everything from dinner on the 23rd to breakfast on the 29th and return to the airport.  See the flyer and itinerary on the website www.tampaaudubon.org for full details.  Contact Mary Keith for questions mary.keith@tampaaudubon.org.

Sat 3/24 Eagle Watch, 8 am – Come join Eagle Watch volunteers and visit local nests. This time of year we are guaranteed to see baby eagles.  Meet at the Target on Bloomingdale Avenue (just off Rt 301) in Brandon. We will visit a variety of tree nests and nest on man-made structures. Bring water, snacks if desired.  Not much walking.  Contact leader Nancy Murrah with questions. Nancy.murrah@tampaaudubon.org.