Field Trips

 

Winter has brought some temporary residents to our area!  Join our field trip leaders who can help you learn about wintering visitors, including many waterfowl, and permanent residents.  Field trips are a great way to learn about birds and how to spot them.  They are also a great way to meet other people who share your interest in birds.  We have a number of field trips on the calendar for the winter and we hope you can get out and learn about wintering and resident birds from AAS's enthusiastic field trip leaders.

 

AAS's field trips are free and open to the public. Beginning birders are welcome on our trips because this is a great way to learn about birds and to meet other people that share your love of birds and the outdoors! Some sites, such as state and national parks, require entry/parking fees. If registration is required, this need will be specified in the details. You can find details and driving directions by clicking on the calendar entry below or by scrolling down below the calendar to the description.

 

IMPORTANT NOTE: On occasion, field trips may have to be cancelled (bad weather, etc.) or important details may change (for example, the original meeting spot for a site may have to be changed if there is a trail closure or parking problem). If you plan to attend a birdwalk, ALWAYS check this site the night before for updates.

 

If you would like to lead a field trip, contribute ideas for places to go, or give feedback about leaders, trips, or the field trip directions, please email Mary Kimberly, Field Trip Director.

 

 

We have adopted the American Birding Association's Principles of Birding Ethics. We encourage our members to follow these guidelines on our field trips and elsewhere. Please see our Birding Ethics page to familiarize yourself with the code and to find a link to the ABA's Code of Ethics page.

 

See trip details below the calendar or click on the event.

 

 


Field Trip: Fernbank Forest

Saturday 5/23 8:00AM

Fernbank Forest (DeKalb County)

 

Leaders: Vinod Babu and Gus Kaufman

Cell contact morning of walk: 413.230.6276 (Vinod)

 

Birding Focus: Come discover more about the birds of Fernbank Forest. This program is excellent for beginning birders or those desiring gentle terrain. All ages are welcome. Program is held rain or shine, but may be cancelled in cases of severe weather. We recommend participants bring binoculars, field guides and water with them. Once the walk begins, participants must remain with the group for the duration of the program.

 

Cost: This program is free for Fernbank Museum members and Atlanta Audubon Society members. Advance reservations are required at 404.929.6400. Participants should check in at the Museum ticketing counter, then meet the walk leaders in the Museum lobby. The group will depart promptly at 8:00 a.m. Due to the nature of the program, latecomers will not be accepted. Participant capacity is 25 people, so make your reservations today!

 

Guidelines to help you make the most of this program can be found at:

Guidelines for Outdoor Programming.

 

Directions and Parking: Google these coordinates for a map or program your GPS:

33.77540, -84.32936 . The walk will begin at the Fernbank Museum lobby, located at 767 Clifton Rd. NE, Atlanta, GA 30307. From I-285, take Stone Mountain Expressway (US 78) west, toward Decatur. It becomes Scott Blvd. and then merges with Ponce de Leon Ave. Turn right at Clifton Rd.; the museum will be on your right. From downtown Atlanta, take Ponce de Leon Ave. east, toward Decatur. Turn left at Clifton Rd.; the museum will be on your right.

 


Field Trip: Cochran Shoals, CRNRA

Friday 5/29 7:30AM

Cochran Shoals CRNRA (Cobb County)

 

Leaders: Liz Hornsby and Mary Kimberly

Cell contacts morning of walk: 678.761.0952 (Liz); 40-4.308.6279 (Mary)

 

Birding Focus: We'll be looking mainly for breeding residents, including waterfowl, raptors, sparrows, woodpeckers, and warblers. We will be on the main path early in the walk, so feel free to catch up with us there if you arrive after the start time. Duration of walk 3-4 hours, but you may leave early at any time. Restrooms are available. Wear comfortable, waterproof footwear for walking on wet grass if desired; some areas may be muddy if it has recently rained. This walk is suitable for adults and children over 14 years of age. Please do not bring your dog.

 

Parking: Meet at the trailhead near the fee machine at back of South parking lot. There is a daily parking fee of $3 (or $25 annual pass). Bring cash for $3 fee. Alternatively, you can purchase the $25 annual pass with a credit card at the automated machine on site or online. Google these coordinates for a map or program your GPS: N 33 54.105 W 84 26.634.

 

Directions: Going west on I-285, take Exit #22, turning right at the first light onto Interstate N Pkwy. Stay in the middle lane of this road and go straight through the next traffic light. After the road crosses the river, make an immediate right into the parking lot marked by "Cochran Shoals Unit." Going east on I-285, take Exit #22 and stay in the left lane of the exit ramp. Go to the second light, then turn left. Stay in the middle lane of this road as it crosses the bridge over I-285 and veer to the right to get into the middle lane as the road bends to the left and passes through a traffic light. At this point you are going west on Interstate N Pkwy. Continue with instructions above.

 


Field Trip: Murphey Candler Park

Thursday 6/4 8:00AM

Murphey Candler Park (DeKalb County)

 

Leaders: Liz Hornsby and Mary Kimberly

Cell contacts morning of walk: 678.761.0952 (Liz); 40-4.308.6279 (Mary)

 

Birding Focus: Three main habitats (lake, wetlands, mixed woods) provide good species diversity. We'll look for breeding residents, including raptors, waterfowl, waders and passerines. The site is also reliable for turtles. This walk is suitable for adults and children over 14 years of age. Please do not bring your dog. This site can be especially good for beginning birders.

 

Some of the trail is level, but there are several steep spots and a number of stretches where the surface is uneven from exposed tree roots, etc. Many parts of the trail are muddy and/or slippery after rains; plan your footwear accordingly. Restrooms are available at the SW corner of the park, near the baseball fields.

 

Parking: Meet at the parking area on West Nancy Creek Dr. NE at the very southeast corner of the lake. Google these coordinates for a map or program your GPS: 33.909397, -84.322476.

 

Directions: From I-285 on the N side of Atlanta, take Exit 29. Go south on Ashford Dunwoody Rd. about 0.95 mile, then turn left onto W. Nancy Creek Dr. NE. Drive 0.6 mile to the second parking area on your left, across the dam and at the SE corner of the lake.

 


Field Trip: Panola Mountain State Park

Friday 6/5 8:00AM

Panola Mountain State Park (Rockdale County)

 

Leader: Lieren Forbes

Cell contact day of walk: 770.389.7801 (park office)

 

Birding Focus: Breeding residents of wetlands & forest, including sparrows, blackbirds, raptors, waterfowl, waders, and shorebirds. Those wishing to participate in this walk are requested to register with the Nature Center at the park by calling 770.389.7801.

 

Parking: Meet at the Alexander Lake Parking area. Google these coordinates for a map or program your GPS: 33.6320, -84.1466

 

Note: Bring $5 cash for the daily parking fee. Alternatively, you can purchase a $50 annual parking pass good at all State Parks. If you have a library card to any Georgia public library, you can "check out" a ParkPass ahead of time, exempting you from parking fees. For full details go to: Things to Know.

 

Directions: From I-20 East take exit 68 for Wesley Chapel Rd toward Snapfinger Rd. Turn right onto Wesley Chapel Rd. Go 0.3 miles and turn left onto Snapfinger Rd. Continue on Snapfinger Rd (which becomes GA-155 S) for 7 miles, then turn left onto Alexanders Lake Rd SW. Drive 1.9 miles and then turn right onto Flat Bridge Rd SW. The entrance to the parking lot will be on your left, about 50 feet after turning right.

 


Field Trip: Piedmont Park

Saturday 6/6 8:00AM

Piedmont Park (Fulton County)

 

Leader: Jason Ward

Cell contact morning of walk: 404.759.7770

 

Birding Focus: We'll be looking for breeding residents. All levels welcome. Excellent for beginning birders or those desiring gentle terrain. Walk lasts ~ 3 hours with ~ 2.5 miles on foot. There are restrooms available at the lake house, dog park, and tennis courts.

 

Directions: From 10th St. & Peachtree, go east on 10th two blocks to Piedmont. Turn left (north) on Piedmont & pass 11th St. You'll see Quattro's and Willy's on your right. Meet in the parking lot directly behind this building, which also houses the Piedmont Park Conservancy. The park entrance is just past these restaurants on the right. Parking lot entrance: N 33 47.025 W 84 22.746

 

Parking: There is parking on 11th St. across Piedmont from the Community Center. The Atlanta Botanical Garden Parking Garage is an option (enter from Piedmont Ave. north of the Community Center across from the Prado; fee approx. $4 for two hours). From the Gardens, walk through Piedmont Park and around Lake Clara Meer on either side until you get to the Community Center on Piedmont Ave. across from 11st St.

 


Field Trip: Hard Labor Creek State Park

Saturday 6/6 3:00PM

Hard Labor Creek State Park (Morgan County)

 

This trip is offered in cooperation with Oconee River Audubon Society

 

Leader: Phil Delestrez

Phone contact day of walk: 706.557.3001 (park office)

 

Birding Focus: Hard Labor Creek is the 2nd largest GA State Park. It boasts a variety of habitats and has a history of birds like Loggerhead Shrikes, American Kestrels, and a variety of waterfowl on Lake Rutledge. During this short walk, we'll look for summer breeders, including woodland birds, waterfowl, and raptors. NOTE: this walk starts later than usual.

 

Parking: Meet at the "Trading Post" Visitor Check In building (has restrooms). Google these coordinates for a map or program your GPS. Trading Post Check In: N 33 39.841 W 83 36.362. Bring $5 cash for the parking fee. Alternatively, you can purchase a $50 annual parking pass good at all State Parks. If you have a library card to any GA public library, you can "check out" a ParkPass ahead of time, exempting you from parking fees. For details go to: Things to Know.

 

Directions: From I-20 going east or west, take the Exit 105 north onto Newborn Rd. toward Rutledge. Go about 2.1 miles to the fork with Hawkins Ave., and veer to the left to continue following Newborn Rd. Cross Atlanta Hwy. and continue until Newborn Rd. dead ends into W. Dixie Hwy. Take a left on W. Dixie Hwy. and then an immediate right onto Fairplay St. Drive 2.6 miles on Fairplay St. and then take a left onto Knox Chapel Rd. Go 0.4 miles and take a right onto Hard Labor Creek Rd. The Trading Post will be about 400 feet on your right.

 


Field Trip: Fernbank Forest

Saturday 6/13 8:30AM

Fernbank Forest (DeKalb County)

 

Leaders: Adam Eichenwald and Julie Downs (Smithsonian Project Nestwatch Interns)

Cell contact morning of walk: 214.789.3974 (Adam)

 

Birding Focus: Come discover more about the birds of Fernbank Forest. This program is excellent for beginning birders or those desiring gentle terrain. All ages are welcome. Program is held rain or shine, but may be cancelled in cases of severe weather. We recommend participants bring binoculars, field guides and water with them. Once the walk begins, participants must remain with the group for the duration of the program.

 

Cost: This program is free for Fernbank Museum members and Atlanta Audubon Society members. Advance reservations are required at 404.929.6400. Participants should check in at the Museum ticketing counter, then meet the walk leaders in the Museum lobby. The group will depart promptly at 8:00 a.m. Due to the nature of the program, latecomers will not be accepted. Participant capacity is 25 people, so make your reservations today!

 

Guidelines to help you make the most of this program can be found at:

Guidelines for Outdoor Programming.

 

Directions and Parking: Google these coordinates for a map or program your GPS:

33.77540, -84.32936 . The walk will begin at the Fernbank Museum lobby, located at 767 Clifton Rd. NE, Atlanta, GA 30307. From I-285, take Stone Mountain Expressway (US 78) west, toward Decatur. It becomes Scott Blvd. and then merges with Ponce de Leon Ave. Turn right at Clifton Rd.; the museum will be on your right. From downtown Atlanta, take Ponce de Leon Ave. east, toward Decatur. Turn left at Clifton Rd.; the museum will be on your right.

 


Field Trip: Noonday Creek Trail (west section)

Sunday 6/14 8:00AM

Noonday Creek Trail (Cobb County)

 

Leader: Angelia Jenkins

Cell contact morning of walk: 678.570.4891

 

Birding Focus: We'll be looking breeding birds in wetland and woodland habitats. Likely species include Great Blue Heron, woodpeckers, thrushes, warblers, and vireos. Any level of skill is welcome; the walk will be 3+ miles along a paved route of easy terrain. Participants may leave at any time during the walk. There are no restrooms but KFC and IHOP have them.

 

Parking: Meet at 1970 N Cobb Pkwy (KFC parking lot). Program your GPS or Google these coordinates for a map: 34.00125, -84.59163

 

Directions: From I-75 take Exit 269. Drive west on Barrett Pkwy. for 1.4 miles. Turn right and drive 0.3 miles on Cobb Pkwy. NW to the KFC parking lot on your right. Park & meet leader here. The trailhead is 180 feet west of the KFC parking lot entrance on Cobb Pkwy. NW.

 


Field Trip: Reynolds Nature Preserve

Wednesday 6/17 8:00AM

W.H. Reynolds Nature Preserve (Clayton County)

 

Leader: Anne McCallum

Cell contact morning of walk: 678.642.7148

 

Birding Focus: We will look for summer residents such as woodpeckers, including Pileated Woodpeckers, and Barred Owls. The trail is very wide, flat, and is less than 2 miles round trip. It passes through mature deciduous forest and along several ponds. Check out their website above for more details. Restrooms are available.

 

Parking: Google these coordinates or program your GPS:

33.601464, -84.346874

 

Directions: Just south of Atlanta, take Exit 233 from I-75. Take Hwy. 54 North (Jonesboro Rd.) about 0.9 mile to the light at Reynolds Rd. (Walmart will be ahead on your left). Turn left on Reynolds Rd. and go about another 1.1 mile to the parking lot, which will be on your left just after the road has turned a bit to the left.

 


Field Trip: Cochran Shoals, CRNRA

Thursday 6/25 8:00AM

Cochran Shoals CRNRA (Cobb County)

 

Leader: Liz Hornsby

Cell contact morning of walk: 678.761.0952

 

Birding Focus: We'll be looking mainly for breeding residents, including waterfowl, raptors, sparrows, woodpeckers, and warblers. We will be on the main path early in the walk, so feel free to catch up with us there if you arrive after the start time. Duration of walk 3-4 hours, but you may leave early at any time. Restrooms are available. Wear comfortable, waterproof footwear for walking on wet grass if desired; some areas may be muddy if it has recently rained. This walk is suitable for adults and children over 14 years of age. Please do not bring your dog.

 

Parking: Meet at the trailhead near the fee machine at back of South parking lot. There is a daily parking fee of $3 (or $25 annual pass). Bring cash for $3 fee. Alternatively, you can purchase the $25 annual pass with a credit card at the automated machine on site or online. Google these coordinates for a map or program your GPS: N 33 54.105 W 84 26.634.

 

Directions: Going west on I-285, take Exit #22, turning right at the first light onto Interstate N Pkwy. Stay in the middle lane of this road and go straight through the next traffic light. After the road crosses the river, make an immediate right into the parking lot marked by "Cochran Shoals Unit." Going east on I-285, take Exit #22 and stay in the left lane of the exit ramp. Go to the second light, then turn left. Stay in the middle lane of this road as it crosses the bridge over I-285 and veer to the right to get into the middle lane as the road bends to the left and passes through a traffic light. At this point you are going west on Interstate N Pkwy. Continue with instructions above.

 


Field Trip: Piedmont Park

Saturday 7/4 8:00AM

Piedmont Park (Fulton County)

 

Leader: Jason Ward

Cell contact morning of walk: 404.759.7770

 

Birding Focus: We'll be looking for breeding residents. All levels welcome. Excellent for beginning birders or those desiring gentle terrain. Walk lasts ~ 3 hours with ~ 2.5 miles on foot. There are restrooms available at the lake house, dog park, and tennis courts.

 

Directions: From 10th St. & Peachtree, go east on 10th two blocks to Piedmont. Turn left (north) on Piedmont & pass 11th St. You'll see Quattro's and Willy's on your right. Meet in the parking lot directly behind this building, which also houses the Piedmont Park Conservancy. The park entrance is just past these restaurants on the right. Parking lot entrance: N 33 47.025 W 84 22.746

 

Parking: There is parking on 11th St. across Piedmont from the Community Center. The Atlanta Botanical Garden Parking Garage is an option (enter from Piedmont Ave. north of the Community Center across from the Prado; fee approx. $4 for two hours). From the Gardens, walk through Piedmont Park and around Lake Clara Meer on either side until you get to the Community Center on Piedmont Ave. across from 11st St.

 


Field Trip: Reynolds Nature Preserve

Wednesday 7/8 8:00AM

W.H. Reynolds Nature Preserve (Clayton County)

 

Leader: Anne McCallum

Cell contact morning of walk: 678.642.7148

 

Birding Focus: We will look for winter woodland birds such as woodpeckers, including Pileated Woodpeckers, and Barred Owls. The trail is very wide, flat, and is less than 2 miles round trip. It passes through mature deciduous forest and along several ponds. Check out their website above for more details. Restrooms are available.

 

Parking: Google these coordinates or program your GPS:

33.601464, -84.346874

 

Directions: Just south of Atlanta, take Exit 233 from I-75. Take Hwy. 54 North (Jonesboro Rd.) about 0.9 mile to the light at Reynolds Rd. (Walmart will be ahead on your left). Turn left on Reynolds Rd. and go about another 1.1 mile to the parking lot, which will be on your left just after the road has turned a bit to the left.

 


Field Trip: Noonday Creek Trail (east section)

Sunday 7/12 8:00AM

Noonday Creek Trail (Cobb County)

 

Leader: Angelia Jenkins

Cell contact morning of walk: 678.570.4891

 

Birding Focus: We will work along the 'sparrow field' in hopes of finding sparrows and other grass/weed-loving birds. Next it's on to the large, grassy 'water control bowl' and its dense riparian corridor for more sparrows, wrens, and other breeding birds. Once the sun has warmed up the shadowy, brushy corridors and fields just north of the parking lot, we'll finish here in hopes of encountering some flocks with resident birds. Conditions are mostly level walking on a paved trail. Waterproof shoes/boots will help in high grass and weeds but are not a necessity. Any level of skill is welcome. Participants may leave at any time during the walk.

 

Parking: Program your GPS or Google these coordinates for a map: 34.023854, -84.548456

 

Directions: From I-75 take Exit 269. Drive east on Barrett Pkwy. for about 1 mile. Turn left on Bells Ferry Rd. The parking lot for the meeting spot is on the left, just after where Bell's Ferry Rd. crosses Noonday Creek.

 


Field Trip: Piedmont Park

Saturday 8/1 8:00AM

Piedmont Park (Fulton County)

 

Leader: Jason Ward

Cell contact morning of walk: 404.759.7770

 

Birding Focus: We'll be looking for breeding residents. All levels welcome. Excellent for beginning birders or those desiring gentle terrain. Walk lasts ~ 3 hours with ~ 2.5 miles on foot. There are restrooms available at the lake house, dog park, and tennis courts.

 

Directions: From 10th St. & Peachtree, go east on 10th two blocks to Piedmont. Turn left (north) on Piedmont & pass 11th St. You'll see Quattro's and Willy's on your right. Meet in the parking lot directly behind this building, which also houses the Piedmont Park Conservancy. The park entrance is just past these restaurants on the right. Parking lot entrance: N 33 47.025 W 84 22.746

 

Parking: There is parking on 11th St. across Piedmont from the Community Center. The Atlanta Botanical Garden Parking Garage is an option (enter from Piedmont Ave. north of the Community Center across from the Prado; fee approx. $4 for two hours). From the Gardens, walk through Piedmont Park and around Lake Clara Meer on either side until you get to the Community Center on Piedmont Ave. across from 11st St.

 


Field Trip: Reynolds Nature Preserve

Wednesday 8/12 8:00AM

W.H. Reynolds Nature Preserve (Clayton County)

 

Leader: Anne McCallum

Cell contact morning of walk: 678.642.7148

 

Birding Focus: We will look for winter woodland birds such as woodpeckers, including Pileated Woodpeckers, and Barred Owls. The trail is very wide, flat, and is less than 2 miles round trip. It passes through mature deciduous forest and along several ponds. Check out their website above for more details. Restrooms are available.

 

Parking: Google these coordinates or program your GPS:

33.601464, -84.346874

 

Directions: Just south of Atlanta, take Exit 233 from I-75. Take Hwy. 54 North (Jonesboro Rd.) about 0.9 mile to the light at Reynolds Rd. (Walmart will be ahead on your left). Turn left on Reynolds Rd. and go about another 1.1 mile to the parking lot, which will be on your left just after the road has turned a bit to the left.

 


Field Trip: Piedmont Park

Saturday 9/5 8:00AM

Piedmont Park (Fulton County)

 

Leader: Jason Ward

Cell contact morning of walk: 404.759.7770

 

Birding Focus: We'll be looking for breeding residents. All levels welcome. Excellent for beginning birders or those desiring gentle terrain. Walk lasts ~ 3 hours with ~ 2.5 miles on foot. There are restrooms available at the lake house, dog park, and tennis courts.

 

Directions: From 10th St. & Peachtree, go east on 10th two blocks to Piedmont. Turn left (north) on Piedmont & pass 11th St. You'll see Quattro's and Willy's on your right. Meet in the parking lot directly behind this building, which also houses the Piedmont Park Conservancy. The park entrance is just past these restaurants on the right. Parking lot entrance: N 33 47.025 W 84 22.746

 

Parking: There is parking on 11th St. across Piedmont from the Community Center. The Atlanta Botanical Garden Parking Garage is an option (enter from Piedmont Ave. north of the Community Center across from the Prado; fee approx. $4 for two hours). From the Gardens, walk through Piedmont Park and around Lake Clara Meer on either side until you get to the Community Center on Piedmont Ave. across from 11st St.

 


Field Trip: Reynolds Nature Preserve

Wednesday 9/9 8:00AM

W.H. Reynolds Nature Preserve (Clayton County)

 

Leader: Anne McCallum

Cell contact morning of walk: 678.642.7148

 

Birding Focus: We will look for winter woodland birds such as woodpeckers, including Pileated Woodpeckers, and Barred Owls. The trail is very wide, flat, and is less than 2 miles round trip. It passes through mature deciduous forest and along several ponds. Check out their website above for more details. Restrooms are available.

 

Parking: Google these coordinates or program your GPS:

33.601464, -84.346874

 

Directions: Just south of Atlanta, take Exit 233 from I-75. Take Hwy. 54 North (Jonesboro Rd.) about 0.9 mile to the light at Reynolds Rd. (Walmart will be ahead on your left). Turn left on Reynolds Rd. and go about another 1.1 mile to the parking lot, which will be on your left just after the road has turned a bit to the left.