Spokane Audubon Society
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Spokane Audubon Society Field Trips

The following list shows field trips planned by the Spokane Audubon Society.  Trips may be added with short notice so check the website often.  Trips also 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. If you are unable to register before the schedule deadline yet want to attend, be sure that you check with the leader to ensure that the trip is still on.  Leaders are club volunteers and are not compensated. Field trips are free.  However, if you carpool with somebody, you will be expected 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.  Starting times published below are when we leave so arrive earlier than the posted hour. Participants need to provide their own binoculars, food and drink, adequate clothing, and transportation unless you find somebody with whom to carpool. 

Our 2014 Field Trips list can be downloaded, but be sure to check back here or call the trip leader for last minute changes. The January 2014 issue of the Pygmy Owl also has our field trips listed.  (SAS 2014 Field Trips.pdf)

Field Trip Levels

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.  Some trips are five or six hours; some are 12 hours or longer.  Read the trip descriptions carefully to see if a trip is right for you.

2014 Spokane Christmas Bird Count – Sunday December 28, 2014

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.

2014 Field Trips at a Glance

(1) January 25, 2014, Saturday-Banana Belt Trip

            Leader: Mike Clark

(2) February 8, 2014, Saturday–Snowy Owl Trip

            Leaders: Joyce Alonso and Fran Haywood

(3) March 22, 2014, Saturday-Bluebird Trip

            Leader: Marian Frobe

(4) March 29, 2014, Saturday-Turnbull NWR Beginning Birder Basic Trip

            Leader: Fran Haywood

(5) April 19, 2014, Saturday–Sprague Lake Field Trip

            Leader: Fran Haywood

(6) April 24 to 29, 2014, Thursday to Tuesday-Point Reyes, California Trip

            Leader: Kim Thorburn

(7) April 27, 2014, Sunday–West Plains Early Migrant Trip

            Leader: Alan McCoy

(8) May 6, 8, 9 Tues, Thur, & Fri - Bird Identification Workshops

            Leaders: Gary Blevins and Kim Thorburn

(9) May 10, 2014, Saturday-Bird ID Workshop Trip to Turnbull NWR

            Leaders: Gary Blevins and Kim Thorburn

(10) May 11, 2014 Sunday-Slavin Ranch Wetland Trip

            Leader: Alan McCoy

(11) May 25, 2014, Sunday-Mosquito Springs Trip

            Leader: Kim Thorburn

(12) June 1, 2014, Sunday-Little Spokane Natural Area Trip

            Leader: Lindell Haggin

(13) June 8, 2014, Sunday-Douglas Creek/Waterville Plateau Trip

            Leader: Kim Thorburn

(14) June 14, 2014 Saturday–Liberty Lake Trip

            Leaders: Joyce Alonso and Brian Miller

(15) June 22, 2014, Sunday-Palisades/Indian Canyon Trip

            Leader: Lindell Haggin

(16) June 20 to June 22, Friday to Sunday–Little Pend Oreille NWR Lake Camping Trip

            Leaders: Joyce Alonso and Fran Haywood

(17) June 28, 2014, Saturday-Mount Spokane Subalpine Birds Trip

            Leader: Jim Hudlow

(18) August 23rd, Saturday- Trail of Coeur D’Alene’s Bike Birding

Leaders: Alan McCoy and Sandy Sollie

(19) September 6, Saturday–Sprague Lake Migrant Trip

            Leader: Norma Trefry

(20) October 25, 2014 Saturday–Grant County Late Fall Migrants Trip

            Leader: Gary Blevins

(21) November 22, 2014, Saturday-Douglas Plateau Northern Visitors Trip

            Leader: Kim Thorburn

(22) December 13, 2014 Saturday-Winter Lake and Wetbelt Trip

Leader: Joyce Alonso

2014 Field Trip Schedule

(1) January 25, 2014, Saturday

LC Valley Banana Belt Trip

Leader: Mike Clarke

Limit: 3 vehicles

This trip is geared toward all levels of birders, but expect an all-day trip.  The Lewiston/Clarkston (LC) Valley often has slightly more moderate temperatures in winter, which can make for some great winter birding. We will meet Wal Mart in Pullman at 8:00AM.  Come prepared for winter weather, bring snacks, water, and lunch.  Contact Mike at redeyegravy@gmail.com by January 18 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, chaseable Snowy Owl and/or Gyrfalcon (if reported), wintering warblers, sparrows, and finches.

(2) February 8, 2014, Saturday

Snowy Owl Trip

Leaders: Joyce Alonso and Fran Haywood

This trip is geared toward all levels of birders. We will spend most of the day exploring the area around Reardan and Davenport.  We will meet at Spokane’s Coeur- d’Alene Park at 7:30 AM.  Contact Joyce Alonso (448-2447) by February 1 if you plan to attend. 

Target Species: Rough-legged and Red-tailed Hawks, Prairie Falcon, Snowy Owl, Short-eared Owl, Northern Shrike, Snow Buntings, Lapland Longspur

(3) March 22, 2014, Saturday

Bluebird Trip

Leader: Marian Frobe

This is a family friendly half-day trip and a great way to greet spring.  We will drive a route on Paradise Prairie to see returning favorite birds.  We will probably end up at Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge.  The trip usually ends around 2 PM.  We will meet at Spokane’s Coeur d’Alene Park at 7:00 AM.  Call leader Marian Frobe at 328-0621 by March 15, if you plan to attend. 

Target Species: Migrant ducks and geese, raptors, woodpeckers, Say’s Phoebe, Western Bluebird

(4) March 29, 2014, Saturday

Turnbull NWR Beginning Birder Basics Trip

Leader: Fran Haywood

This is a half-day driving and walking trip for all levels of birders.  Meet at the refuge headquarters near Cheney at 7 AM. Contact leader Fran Haywood, 484-8666, birders13@aol.com by March 16 if you plan to attend.

Note:  A small refuge entrance fee is required.   

Target Species: Breeding waterfowl; Tundra and Trumpeter Swans; Great Blue Heron; Red-tailed Hawk; woodpeckers; Pygmy, Red-breasted, and White-breasted Nuthatch; Western Bluebird; Song Sparrow; Red-winged and Yellow-headed Blackbird; Red Crossbill

(5) April 19, 2014, Saturday

Sprague Lake Field Trip

Leader: Fran Haywood

This is an all-day trip to the Sprague Lake area open to all birders.  We will look for migrating and early resident species, especially ducks.  We hope to find Swainson’s Hawks, American White Pelicans and if we get lucky, Long-billed Curlew.  We will meet at Spokane’s Coeur d’Alene Park at 6:30 AM.  Contact Fran Haywood (484-8666, birders13@aol.com) Target Species: Migrant ducks and geese, American White Pelican, Swainson's Hawk, American Avocet, Black-necked Stilt, Caspian Tern, Say's Phoebe, Yellow-rumped Warbler, White-crowned and Savannah Sparrows

(6) April 24-29, 2014, Thursday-Tuesday        

Point Reyes, California Field Trip

Leader: Kim Thorburn

Limit: 6 Birders

This six-day trip is for intermediate and advanced birders.  Kim Thorburn will provide lodging for up to six participants and lead field trips on Bolinas Lagoon and beach, Point Reyes Bird Observatory, Point Reyes National Seashore, Mt. Tamalpais State Park, and the Marin Headlands.  This region is a year-round birding hot spot, site of the filming of Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds,” and home of elite birder and artist Keith Hansen.  There is a variety of pelagic and other waterfowl, migrating shorebirds and warblers, and lots of land natives that we don’t often see here.  Participants will be responsible for their own air travel to Oakland and we’ll split the cost of a land transportation and food.  We’ll need to coordinate arrival and departure in Oakland.  Contact Kim Thorburn by April 1 if you’re interested in learning more.  465-3025, kthorburn@msn.com.

Target Species (examples): Acorn Woodpecker, Nuttall’s Woodpecker, Black-throated Gray Warbler, Wrentit, Allen’s Hummingbird, Whimbrel, Snowy Plover, Western Gull, Common Murre, Red-throated Loon, Red-shouldered Hawk, White-tailed Kite, Rufous-crowned Sparrow.

 

(7) April 27, 2014, Sunday

West Plains Early Migrant Trip

Leader: Alan McCoy

Limit: 15 Birders

This all-day trip is for all levels of birders.  We will stop at Reardan’s Audubon Lake where we will look for waterfowl and shorebirds.  We will check out the Davenport Cemetery, which can be great for migrants.  Then we will go north to the Little Falls Dam and follow the Spokane River upstream and finish up at the Indian Canyon Springs area.  We will meet at 6:00 AM at the Rosauer's parking lot in Browne's Addition (near 2ndAvenue and Sunset Highway) and plan to return about 6:00 PM.  Contact leader Alan McCoy at 448-3123, 448-8861 or ahm2352@gmail.com by April 20 to reserve your place.    

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

(8) May 6, 8, 9; Tuesday, Thursday, Friday

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 10. For more information or to reserve your place for the workshop, contact Gary Blevins at (533-3661 or GaryB@spokanefalls.edu) by May 1.   

(9) May 10, 2014, Saturday

Bird Identification Workshop 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 (533-3661 or garyb@spokanefalls.edu) by May 3 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, Cassin’s Finches

(10) May 11, 2014, Sunday

Slavin Ranch Wetland Trip

Leader: Alan McCoy

This is an annual trip to Slavin Ranch for Spokane Audubon.  It is a half-day walking trip 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 448-8861, ahm2352@gmail.com by May 4 if you plan to attend.

Target Species: Breeding ducks and geese, Sora, Killdeer, Wilson's Snipe, breeding Black Tern, woodpeckers, 6 swallow species, Western Wood Pewee, Eastern and Western Kingbird, Marsh Wren, Song Sparrow, Yellow Warbler, Common Yellowthroat

(11) May 25, 2014, Sunday

Mosquito Springs Trip

Leader: Kim Thorburn

This trip is for birders of all levels.  It is a half-day walking trip over rough terrain.  Experience this little-known BLM shrub-steppe riparian area brimming with arriving breeding birds. We will also check for sagebrush and grassland species.  Contact Kim Thorburn, 465-3025 or kthorburn@msn.com by May 18 if you’re interested.

Target species: Willow Flycatcher, Black-headed Grosbeak, Lazuli Bunting, Warbling Vireo, Bullock’s Oriole, Grasshopper Sparrow, Brewer’s Sparrow, Sage Thrasher. 

(12) June 1, 2014, 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

(13) June 7, 2014, Saturday

Liberty Lake Trip

Leader: Joyce Alonso and Brian Miller

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

(14) June 8, 2014, Sunday

Douglas Creek/Waterville Plateau Trip

Leader: Kim Thorburn

All levels of birders are welcome to join this all-day trip to Waterville Plateau birding hotspots.  We will bird Douglas Creek (rough road access), the Waterville STP, and Badger Mtn. Contact Kim Thorburn at 465-3025 or kthorburn@msn.comby June 1.

Target species: Variety of migrating warblers, Lazuli Buntings, Rock and Canyon Wrens, and much more (Douglas Creek); all varieties of swallows along with shorebirds and waterfowl (Waterville STP); Warbling Vireos, several varieties of warblers and more (Badger Mtn.)

(15) June 22, 2014, Sunday

Palisades/Indian Canyon Trip

Leader: Lindell Haggin

All levels of birders are invited to explore the Indian Canyon area immediately west of town.  Come outfitted with binoculars and field guides, water, and shoes or boots for walking one or two miles.   We will meet at 6:30 AM at the Rosauer’s at 1808 W. 3rd Ave.  The field trip will end at approximately 11:00 AM.  Contact Lindell Haggin (446-4118 or lindell4118@comcast.net) by June 8 if you plan to attend.

Target Species: Raptors, woodpeckers, White-throated Swifts, Western Wood-pewee, Dusky and Hammond's Flycatchers, Cassin's and Warbling Vireos, breeding sparrows and finches, Black-headed Grosbeak

(16) June 20-June 22, 2014, Friday-Sunday

Little Pend Oreille National Wildlife Refuge Camping Trip

Leaders: Joyce Alonso and Fran Haywood

Enjoy great time camping and birding at Little Pend Oreille NWR in Stevens County, WA.  To reserve a place or for more information, contact Fran Haywood (290-1814 or birders13@gmail.com) or Joyce Alonso   (448-2447) by June 13.  Camping fees may apply.

Target Species: Target birds:  Woodpeckers;  Black-backed & White-headed & common species. Warblers, Vireos, flycatchers, jays, thrushes, finches, chickadees, nuthatches and also ducks & grebes.

(17) June 28, 2014, Saturday

Mount Spokane Subalpine Birds Trip

Leader: Jim Hudlow

This is a half-day hiking trip for all levels of birders. The grade is very gentle but we will walk four to six miles.  Be prepared with plenty of snacks and water. You may retreat at any point. Mt. Spokane is the primary (and only publicly accessible) site for subalpine breeding birds in Spokane County, making this a popular and exciting annual event. Meet 7:00 AM SHARP at Foothills Community Church, 11100 N. Peck Road. Contact Jim Hudlow (flyz4free@yahoo.com or 509-926-2186) by June 21 if you plan to attend.

Note: Discover Passes required for all vehicles in Mt. Spokane State Park.  Purchase online or at REI.

Target Species: Dusky and Ruffed Grouse; Accipiters; Northern Pygmy Owl; woodpeckers; Hammond’s Flycatcher; Warbling and Cassin's Vireos; Gray and Stellar’s Jays; Chestnut-backed Chickadee; Swainson’s, Hermit, and Varied Thrushes; Yellow-rumped and Townsend’s Warblers; Fox Sparrow; Cassin’s Finch; Red Crossbill

(18) August 23th, Saturday

Trail of Coeur D’Alene’s Bike Birding

Leader: Alan McCoy and Sandy Sollie

Interested in covering lots of ground without a car?  Or just combining birding & a little exercise?  The wetlands along this section of the trail can be great for migrating shorebirds, cranes, pelicans, and waterfowl. Expect a fun, easy 10-20 mile ride on a paved flat trail for all level of birders. Bring your bicycle/helmet, lunch, water, snacks, and optics and meet at the Harrison Marina trailhead at 7:30am.  After the ride, we can sit at the marina and have an ice cream cone as a reward!  Contact Alan at (509-448-3123 or or ahm2352@gmail.com) by August 16 to reserve and get information or for carpooling. (Adverse weather may force cancellation or rescheduling).

(19) September 6, 2014 Saturday

Sprague Lake Migrant Trip

Leader: Norma Trefry

This is a half day trip to the Sprague Lake area to look for migrating birds, and birds that often stray here in September.  Meet at Coeur d’Alene Park at 7am.  Please call Norma Trefry by Sept 3 if you plan to attend.  Phone: 926-2533. Email: firstrefry@gmail.com.

Please contact Norma (firsttrefry@gmail.com) by August 30 to confirm participation.

Target Birds: Waterfowl, Loons and Grebes, White Pelican, Peregrine Falcon, Red-necked Phalarope, Sabine’s Gull (rare), Terns, American Pipit, migrant sparrows and warblers.

(20) October 25, 2014, 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 (533-3661 or garyb@spokanefalls.edu) by October 18 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

(21) November 22, 2014, Saturday

Douglas Plateau Northern Visitors Trip

Leader: Kim Thorburn

The Waterville Plateau is a challenging but high-quality destination for rarities during the late fall and winter months.  We will work the rolling steppe of the Plateau in search of unusual raptors, owls, and passerines and also bird along the Columbia River in hopes of finding rare Arctic Gulls and saltwater waterfowl, such as scoters, Long-tailed Duck, and Pacific Loon.  We will spend the night of November 21 in Brewster for an earlier start with the birds during this short daylight season.  Contact Kim Thorburn (465-3025 or kthorburn@msn.com) by November 15 if you plan to attend.

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

Target Birds: Loons and grebes; scoters and rare wintering waterfowl; wintering raptors; Glaucous, Thayer’s, and Glaucous-winged Gulls; Snowy Owl; Northern Shrike; Snow Bunting; Lapland Longspur; Gray-crowned Rosy Finch. We will hunt for elusive rarities, including Gyrfalcon and Northern Hawk Owl.

(22) December 13, 2014, Saturday

Winter Lake and Wetbelt Trip

Leader: Joyce Alonso

This trip takes us around Beauty Bay on Lake Coeur d’Alene where the Bald Eagles feeding on spawned out salmon are always a sight to behold. Weather permitting; those interested may drive down to Thompson Lake/Harrison region where a variety of birds winter in a slightly warmer zone.  Probable particulars: 8:00am start at Liberty Lake Albertson's parking lot.  Contact Joyce Alonso (448-2447) by December 6 if you plan to attend.

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

Target Species: Bald Eagles, several duck and grebe species, American Dipper, Pacific Wren, Pileated Woodpecker, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Tundra Swans, Northern Pygmy Owl

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