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 . . .

10/27 & 28 Great Salt Plains Road Trip.  Participants will camp at Great Salt Plains State Park and will bird the park and lake area.  Our target bird will be early Whooping Cranes, but the lake should offer up plenty of other interesting locals and migrants.

Camping will be at the South Spillway Area of the park.  Find a park map here:    Some will arrive late Friday, but organized birding will not begin until Saturday morning.  Generally, we will bird the east side of the lake in the morning, then the west side in the evening.  In between we will be birding mostly inside the park.

Saturday’s dinner will be a pot luck meal.  Les Imboden has volunteered to coordinate food items.  You may email him at or text 405-533-1532.

Leader: John Couch;


Other Bird Outings Nov 2018 – Jun 2019:

11/10 – Cushing Birding Loop.  A whirlwind tour of the leader’s favorite birding spots on the way to and around Cushing OK.  Timing of this trip may be affected by TV coverage of OU game.  Leader: Jim Shaw;

11/24 – Sooner Lake CBC Preview.  Mostly a warm-up for the club’s annual Christmas Bird Count in the same area, this outing will hit some of the leader’s favorite hot spots around the lake.  Whether it will include birding on the lake itself will depend on the progress of construction at the OG&E power plant, but there is still plenty of ground to cover outside the plant complex.  Timing of this trip may be affected by TV coverage of the TCU game.  Leader: John Couch;

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.  Leader: Les Imboden;

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;

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

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

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (



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

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

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










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