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Field Trips for 2016-2017

The Public is Invited!

Sunday, September 18, 2016 -- Sod Farms and Joe Overstreet Landing

We plan to bird from the road for shorebirds on some of the sod farms off Canoe Creek Road. We will move on to Joe Overstreet Road. Whooping Cranes, Sandhill Cranes, and Crested Caracaras are possible, and at Lake Kissimmee (the “Landing”), we may see Bald Eagles, Snail Kites, and lots of wading birds. We will also be on the lookout for Burrowing Owls and Sherman's Fox Squirrels.

Saturday, October 8, 2016 -- Mead Garden

Mead Botanical Garden is a Winter Park fall migration hot-spot with as many as 23 warbler species reported there in a fall season. Located in the heart of Winter Park, this 55-acre gem offers migrating birds food, water, shelter, and rest as they travel to their winter homes. Residents like Barred Owls, Northern Flickers, and various hawk species should add to the fun.

Sunday, November 13, 2016 -- Twin Oaks Conservation Area

This new Osceola County park is former ranchland that was sold for development and then bought by the county's land conservation program. A combination of restoration work and its location on the shores of Lake Toho has created an instantly popular prime location for bird and wildlife sightings! We will be combining our field trip with a picnic to celebrate KVAS's 50th anniversary!

Sunday, December 4, 2016 -- Lake Apopka North Shore Restoration Area

This is a large preserve on the site of former muck farms that polluted Lake Apopka for years. It is being restored and has become excellent marshy habitat for a wide variety of species. We will tour the newly opened public trails. This area has had some of the highest bird species counts in the state, and we will be there when some of our winter duck species will have arrived.

Sunday, December 18, 2016 -- Christmas Bird Count    

Not exactly a field trip, but more! We have numerous teams that spread out close to home to count birds from sunrise to sunset as part of an annual Audubon Society citizen science and conservation project throughout the western hemisphere. This is the 117th year!

Sunday, January 15, 2017 -- Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge

On this trip to the Space Coast, we will look for wintering ducks, shorebirds, wading birds, and numerous other water bird species and their tree-dwelling cousins in the salt marsh habitats. Afterwards, we will have a late lunch at famous seafood restaurant Dixie Crossroads in Titusville!

Sunday, February 12, 2017 -- Orlando Wetlands Park

This park in Christmas, FL is a mix of woods and a man-made wetland. Treated wastewater (it's quite clean) from an Orlando water treatment facility is piped there. It spends about 70 days going through a series of marshes and lakes to reduce the nutrient levels, and is then released into the St. John's River system. The birds love the place, and this is a good place to see Purple Gallinules!

Saturday, March 25, 2017 -- Disney Wilderness Preserve

Join KVAS on a tour of this preserve on a former ranch that has become a widely known example of habitat restoration. We will try to see Red-cockaded Woodpeckers, Florida Scrub-Jays and other woodland and prairie species.

Saturday, April 29, 2017 -- Fort De Soto

This Pinellas County park is the first land many birds see after migrating across the whole Gulf of Mexico! We hope to hit this magnificent beach park at the peak of spring migration. It combines beach, bay, and wetland habitats with upland hammocks and mulberry trees where shorebirds and migrants feed and rest. You can also visit the old fort! Our main time there as a group will be Saturday. Staying overnight for an early start Saturday is recommended, and staying Saturday night for Sunday birding is also an option. There are many hotels around and camping at the park if you reserve many months ahead.

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