Field Trips

The Payne County Audubon Society sponsors free, guided field trips to local birding spots approximately monthly. All field trips are open to the public, non-members and members alike, and are beginner-friendly. Wanna learn your birds with some fun folks (and see plenty of other cool stuff, too)? This is a great way to do that. Scroll down for more info below.

Our NEXT FIELD TRIP will be . . .

1/6 – Pawnee Lake Excursion.  On this trip we will bird a location we do not often visit, Pawnee Lake and the large city park that surrounds it.  The lake has yielded a good many species on prior trips, but we hope for a repeat of an earlier winter trip when the lake was frozen. We found a number of eagles and raptors on the ice surrounding an unfrozen opening.  Please email or text the leader to join up and get meeting place/time and travel details.  Leader:   Les Imboden – quailrancher@yahoo.com or 405-533-1532

Other Bird Outings Jan 2019 – Jun 2019:

2/17 – Basic Bird Photography.  On this trip we hope for plenty of ducks and hawks, or most any bird that will pose for birders who want to try their hand at wildlife photography.  A camera is not strictly necessary, but participants should know the pace will be more stop than go on this outing.  Participants will be encouraged to submit their best shots of the day for posting on the club website and Facebook page.  Leader: Jim Cowley; cowunit@aol.com

3/? – Tim O’Connell will lead a bird walk that will likely be intended for ornithology students.  Non-students are welcome to join in, however.  Time and exact location TBA.

4/? – Jessica Torres well lead a bird walk in the Stillwater area.  Exact time and location TBA.

Field Trips – General Information

You do not need to be an expert birder to join us for a field trip – the whole point is to have some fun seeing some neat birds and to learn from the other birders on the trip. Although babies and toddlers might not get much from our field trips, we are keenly interested in encouraging young birders which is a point of outreach emphasis for the National Audubon Society, Cornell Lab or Ornithology, and the American Birding Association.

  • Most of our field trips are to local parks with easy walking on groomed trails. Participants should be prepared for more rugged conditions, however, by wearing sturdy walking shoes or hiking boots.
  • The birds are outside in all weather conditions; we will be too. Unless the forecast calls for icy roads, thunderstorms, or lousy viewing conditions (e.g., fog and rain), we will proceed with the field trip. Although our trips seldom extend beyond 2 hours, participants should have everything they need for 4–5 hours in the field, e.g., sunscreen, layered clothing, water, snacks, insect/tick repellent, and any medications you might need.
  • If you have binoculars bring them with you, but don’t let a lack of optics keep you from joining one of our trips! We have plenty to share, and field trip is great opportunity to try some different binocs to help decide what works best for you.
  • Above all, have fun! Whether you’re a hard core professional or someone just starting out, we’re all in this for the same reasons: birds are beautiful and exciting and they enrich our lives.

 

Trip Reports – 2018

Sooner Lake And Surrounding Area, Rural Payne County, OK, USA

December 1, 2018

Protocol: Driving

Comments: Moderately windy day kept sparrows at bay, but hawks, eagles and ducks made up for absence of the smaller birds. The birding was good enough to keep the group out a bit longer than expected. Thanks to Jim Cowley for pitching in to lead the group on short notice.

31 Species:

Bald Eagle – 4
Northern Flicker – 5
Mourning Dove – 2
European Starling – 25
Eastern Bluebird – 6
American Crow – 10
Dark-eyed Junco – 1
Red-tailed Hawk – 15
Mallard – 112
Canvasback – 2
Hooded Merganser – 37
Ring-necked Duck – 18
Great Blue Heron – 2
Scaup – 5
American Kestrel – 3
Harrier – 8
Green-winged Teal – 2
Northern Cardinal – 1
Common Goldeneye – 40
Harris’ Sparrow – 8
Song Sparrow – 1
Osprey – 1
Common Loon – 4
Bufflehead – 27
American Widgeon – 20
Double-crested Cormorant – 9
American Coot – 152
Pied-billed Grebe – 3
Gadwall – 29
House Sparrow – 6
Shoveler – 26

Ghost Hollow And Environs, Perkins & Ripley, OK, US

November 10, 2018

Protocol: Driving and walking

Comments:  Very good size group, almost more than there were birds.  The species list is fair for the time spent, but the total number of each species was generally thin.  Hallelujah bird was a leucistic Red-tail that could be mistaken for a Snowy Owl at a glance.

18 Species

1 PRAIRIE FALCON

~25 GULLS, (RING-BILLED?)

~ 45 CANADA GOOSE

1 DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT

1 RED-TAILED HAWK

3 STARLING

2 LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE

2 KESTREL

8 RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD

13 MEADOW LARK

1 COWBIRD

1 MOCKINGBIRD

4 FLICKERS

1 BLUE JAY

50 + AMERICAN CROW

4 RED-TAILED HAWK

1 BELTED KINGFISHER

1 SHARP-SHINNED HAWK

1 YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER

1 FOX SPARROW

(NUMBER?) GREEN-WINGED TEAL

(NUMBER?) MALLARD

1 GREAT BLUE HERON

2 RED-SHOULDERED HAWK

1 RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER

1 CAROLINA CHICKADEE

1 PILEATED WOODPECKER

1 BARRED OWL

1 YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER

1 WHITE-THROATED SPARROW

 

Great Salt Plains Lake, Oklahoma, US
October 27 & 28, 2018
Protocol: Driving and walking
Comments:  Best possible fall weather for a combined camp-out and some of the best birding in Oklahoma.  Weather, birding and Saturday cook-out enjoyed by Leader John Couch, Kevin Wilson, Jim and Suzanne Cowley, Les Imboden and Susie Taylor.                    39 Species

Whooping Crane

Sandhill Crane

Golden Eagle

Bald Eagle

White Pelican

White-faced Ibis

Belted Kingfisher

Double-crested Cormorant

Northern Flicker (red and yellow-shafted)

Red-tailed Hawk

Mourning Dove

White-breasted Nuthatch

American Coot

Forster’s Tern

Pied-billed Grebe

Mallard

American Robin

Red-bellied Woodpecker

American Widgeon

Carolina Wren

Northern Harrier

Western Meadowlark

Brewer’s Blackbird

European Starling

American Crow

Red-winged Blackbird

Pileated Woodpecker

Canada Goose

Northern Cardinal

Barred Owl

American Kestrel

House Sparrow

Common Grackle

Ring-billed Gull

Franklin’s Gull

Great Blue Heron

Pintail

Gadwall

Green-winged Teal

Song Sparrow

Couch Park, Payne, Oklahoma, US
Sep 23, 2018 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Protocol: Traveling 0.5 mile(s)
Comments: Nice little bird walk for the Payne County Audubon Society, mostly on the Hoyt Grove side north of 12th St.
28 species

Mourning Dove 5
Chimney Swift 2
Turkey Vulture 1
Cooper’s Hawk 1
Red-shouldered Hawk 1
Red-tailed Hawk 1
Barred Owl 3
Belted Kingfisher 1
Red-bellied Woodpecker 3
Downy Woodpecker 3
Northern Flicker 1
Eastern Phoebe 2
Blue Jay 11
American Crow 5
Carolina Chickadee 8
Tufted Titmouse 4
White-breasted Nuthatch 2
Carolina Wren 4
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 1
Eastern Bluebird 3
American Robin 17
European Starling 42
House Finch 3
American Goldfinch 8
Black-and-white Warbler 1
Summer Tanager 2
Northern Cardinal 6
House Sparrow 6

View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S49015482

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org)

Lake Carl Blackwell – Trout Pond, Payne, Oklahoma, US
Mar 24, 2018 8:30 AM – 9:45 AM
Protocol: Traveling
0.5 mile(s)
Comments: w/ Les Imboden, Chris Brown, Kevin Wilson, and Katie Broyles
40 species

Screen Shot 2018-04-04 at 9.46.15 AM.pngView this checklist online at https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S43946627

Lake Carl Blackwell – pine plantation, Payne, Oklahoma, US
Mar 24, 2018 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Protocol: Traveling
0.5 mile(s)
Comments: with Les Imboden, Kevin Wilson, Katie Broyles, and Chris Brown
30 species

Screen Shot 2018-04-04 at 9.43.32 AM.png

View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S4394698

Sanborn Lake, Payne, Oklahoma, US
Feb 3, 2018 12:10 PM – 1:40 PM
Protocol: Traveling
1.5 mile(s)
Comments: A bit windy, but 11 folks came out for a lunchtime ramble around Sanborn Lake, and now they all know what a Yellow-rumped Warbler sounds like.
33 species

Screen Shot 2018-04-04 at 9.39.57 AM.png

View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S42470818

 

 


 

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