Field Trips

 

Fall migration is winding down and wintering birds are arriving. Atlanta Audubon field trips will continue through the winter and are a great way to learn more about our permanent residents and wintering birds. 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 more our resident and wintering birds from Atlanta Audubon's enthusiastic field trip leaders.

 

Atlanta Audubon Society'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.

 

LIABILITY NOTICE: By signing up for a trip or attending a field trip sponsored by Atlanta Audubon, I acknowledge that these activities can be hazardous and that I could be injured. I agree that I am voluntarily participating in these activities and assume any risk of physical injury or damage to my property.

 

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: Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve

Wednesday 12/7 8:00AM

Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve (DeKalb County)

 

Leaders: Dave Butler and Mary Kimberly

Cell contact morning of walk: 404.580.3917 (Dave); 404.308.6279 (Mary)

 

Birding Focus: We will be looking for wintering birds and permanent residents, including woodpeckers and kinglets. We will be at the observation platform until 8 AM; meet us there if you are late. Duration of walk is two to three hours, but you may leave at any time. Parts of the trail may be very slippery or muddy if it has recently rained, so plan your footwear accordingly. Meet us at the observation platform until 8:00 AM if you arrive late. This walk is suitable for adults and children over 14 years of age. Please do not bring your dog. There are no restrooms, so please prepare ahead of time.

 

Directions and Parking (N 33 48.352 W 84 17.031): From I-285, take Exit 39A, Highway 78, Stone Mountain Fwy. west toward Decatur. Immediately after passing North DeKalb Mall on your right, you'll see a QuikTrip (QT) on your right. About 340 feet after the QT turn right on Harrington Dr. Go 0.6 miles to Wood Trail Ln. Turn right on Wood Trail Ln. and go 1,000 feet to Pine Bluff Dr. Park on the street at this corner, where the group will assemble. From I-85 north or south, take North Druid Hills Exit 89 east toward Decatur. In approximately three miles, go right on Hwy. 78/29/Lawrenceville Hwy. (at North DeKalb Mall) and follow directions as above. Google these coordinates for a map or program your GPS: N 33 48.352 W 84 17.031.

 


Field Trip: Panola Mountain State Park

Friday 12/9 8:30AM

Panola Mountain State Park (Rockdale County)

 

Co-sponsored by Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites

 

Leader: Lieren Forbes

Cell contact day of walk: 770.389.7801 (park office)

 

Birding Focus: We'll be looking for wintering and resident birds 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.

 

Directions and Parking (33.6320, -84.1466): 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 seven miles, then turn left onto Alexander 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. Meet at the Alexander Lake Parking area. Google these coordinates for a map or program your GPS: 33.6320, -84.1466.

 

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 Georgia public library, you can "check out" a ParkPass ahead of time, exempting you from parking fees. For details go to Things to Know.

 


Field Trip: Constitution Lakes

Saturday 12/10 8:00AM

Constitution Lakes, (DeKalb County)

 

Co-sponsored by Friends of Constitution Lakes

 

Leaders: Joy Carter and Sheila Stevens

Cell contacts morning of walk: 404.822.0030 (Joy)

 

Birding Focus: We'll look for resident and wintering birds. The site consists of open water, wetlands, and woodlands. Herons and egrets are often seen here. The site is also very good for woodpeckers. The trail is either paved or dirt and mostly gentle terrain. Waterproof shoes or boots are recommended if it has recently rained. Insect repellent is recommended. There are no restrooms so be sure to prepare ahead of time.

 

Directions and Parking: Google these coordinates for map or program your GPS: 33.68306, -84.34740. From I-20 take Exit 60 and go south on Moreland Ave. Drive 4.3 miles to intersection with S. River Industrial Blvd. SE and take a left turn. Take a slight right into the park, marked by a DeKalb County parks sign. The parking lot will be all the way at the end of this road. Meet in the gravel parking loop at the end of this driveway. Do not bring any valuables that you do not plan to carry with you.

 


Field Trip: Deepdene Park

Sunday 12/11 8:00AM

Deepdene Park, (DeKalb County)

​N Ponce De Leon Ave NE

Atlanta, GA 30307

 

Co-sponsored by the Olmsted Linear Park Alliance

 

Leader: Rob McDonough

Cell Contact: 404.754.8159

 

Birding Focus: This is the first bird walk for Atlanta Audubon's habitat restoration grant at this location. We will be looking for winter residents primarily but can also expect the year round residents. Warblers, thrushes, woodpeckers, wrens, and possibly sparrows are of particular interest. The trail is a mix of well maintained dirt path and paved sections. The terrain in general is smooth and provides easy walking though there are some minor elevation changes. Athletic shoes are fine for this walk. There will be no need for a scope. This is great walk for beginning birders, families, and people interested in exploring our urban bird pocket parks. The walk should last 1.5-2 hours. Time permitting we may walk down Ponce visiting other parks within the Olmsted Linear Park system. There are no restrooms at the park. Dogs are not encouraged but can be brought.

 

Directions and Parking: From the intersection of Clairmont Rd. and Scott Blvd. in DeKalb County, travel SW on Scott Blvd. for 1 mi. (after about 0.9 mi., the name changes to Ponce De Leon Ave NE). Turn right onto N. Ponce De Leon Ave NE. Free parking can be found along N. Ponce De Leon Ave NE. We will be meeting at the east end of the park in the mowed area near the intersection of Ponce De Leon Ave NE & N. Ponce De Leon Ave NE. Google these coordinates for a map or program your GPS:

33.773143, -84.318320.

 


Field Trip: Reynolds Nature Preserve

Wednesday 12/14 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 wintering and permanent resident 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.

 

Directions and Parking: 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. Google these coordinates or program your GPS:

33.601464, -84.346874

 

Public transportation: MARTA Routes 191 and 195 stop at Jonesboro Rd. at Huie Rd.: walk 0.5-mile west on Huie Rd., then right for a couple hundred feet to get to the preserve.

 


Field Trip: Piedmont Park

Saturday 1/7 8:00AM

Piedmont Park (Fulton County)

 

Leader: Jason Ward

Cell contact morning of walk: 404.759.7770

 

Birding Focus: We'll be looking for wintering and permanent residents. All levels are welcome. Excellent for beginning birders or those desiring gentle terrain. The walk lasts about three hours and covers approximately 2.5 miles. There are restrooms at the lake house, dog park, tennis courts, and Botanical Gardens.

 

Directions and Parking (N 33 47.025 W 84 22.746): From 10th St. and Peachtree, go east on 10th two blocks to Piedmont. Turn left (north) on Piedmont and pass 11th St. You'll see Quattro's and Willy's on your right. Meet in the parking lot directly behind this building (N 33 47.025 W 84 22.746), which also houses the Piedmont Park Conservancy. The park entrance is just past these restaurants on the right. Parkin is available on 11th St. across Piedmont from the community center. The Atlanta Botanical Garden parking garage is also an option (enter from Piedmont Ave. north of the community center across from The Prado; the fee is approximately $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 11th St.

 


Field Trip: Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge

Saturday 1/7 9:30AM

Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge (Madison County, Alabama)

 

Leader: Bob Orenstein

Cell contact, day of walk: 770.329.0116

 

Birding Focus: Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge (located near Huntsville, AL) is the winter home of a small flock of Whooping Cranes, plus larger numbers of Sandhill Cranes and many species of waterfowl. These may be observed from the comfort of a heated observation building, as well as in the surrounding area.

 

The Whooping Cranes that winter at Wheeler NWR are part of a reintroduced population of about 100 birds that have been bred in captivity and released into the wild. These cranes spend their summers in Wisconsin, and winter in various southeastern US. Individual cranes can be identified by colored leg bands, which are listed here:

Bring Back the Cranes.

 

We will meet at the observation building at 9:30 am. Lunch will be at the Old Greenbrier Restaurant, 27028 Old Highway 20, Madison, AL 35756 at about 12 pm (subject to space availability). Other birding locations will be planned for the afternoon, depending on recent sightings and weather conditions.

 

NOTE: This trip offers flexible options, and you are not obligated to participate in the entire itinerary. Please contact Bob Orenstein by email (robert.orenstein@ge.com) if you have questions.

 

Directions and Parking: If approaching from the west from the intersection of US-31 and AL-67 in southern Decatur, travel east 1.9 mi. to the entrance of the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center on the right. If approaching from the east and I-65, from the intersection of AL-67 and I-65, take AL-67 and travel 2.8 miles west to the Visitor Center on the left. Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge is about 3½ hours from Atlanta via I-20 & I-65. Refuge entrance and parking is free. Google these coordinates or program your GPS: N 34.5480, W 86.9505.

 

Additional Information:

 

For more information on the Whooping Crane recovery project, see these websites:

Endangered whooping cranes are back in Alabama; 'Craniacs' rejoice

Operation Migration

Bring Back the Cranes

 

The 14th North American Crane Workshop will be held in Chattanooga, TN on January 11-15, 2017. For information and registration, see:

North American Crane Workshop.

 

 


Field Trip: Noonday Creek Trail (west section)

Sunday 1/8 8:00AM

Noonday Creek Trail (Cobb County)

 

Leader: Angelia Jenkins

Cell contact morning of walk: 678.570.4891

 

Birding Focus: We'll be looking for wintering and permanent residents in wetland and woodland habitats. Likely species include Great Blue Heron, woodpeckers, and thrushes. Birders with any level of skill are welcome. The walk will be three plus 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.

 

Directions and Parking: 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. Meet at 1970 N Cobb Pkwy (KFC parking lot). Program your GPS or Google these coordinates for a map: 34.00125, -84.59163. Note that this location is NOT Noonday Creek Park!

 


Field Trip: Reynolds Nature Preserve

Wednesday 1/11 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 wintering and permanent resident 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.

 

Directions and Parking: 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. Google these coordinates or program your GPS:

33.601464, -84.346874

 

Public transportation: MARTA Routes 191 and 195 stop at Jonesboro Rd. at Huie Rd.: walk 0.5-mile west on Huie Rd., then right for a couple hundred feet to get to the preserve.

 


Field Trip: Murphey Candler Park

Wednesday 1/18 8:00AM

Murphey Candler Park (DeKalb County)

 

Co-sponsored by Friends of Murphey Candler Park

 

Leaders: Mary Kimberly and Linda Edwards

Cell contacts morning of walk: 404.308.6279 (Mary)

 

Birding Focus: Three main habitats (lake, wetlands, mixed woods) provide good species diversity. We'll look for winter 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.

 

Directions and parking: From I-285 on the north 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. Google these coordinates for a map or program your GPS: 33.909397, -84.322476.

 

 


Field Trip: Piedmont Park

Saturday 2/4 8:00AM

Piedmont Park (Fulton County)

 

Leader: Jason Ward

Cell contact morning of walk: 404.759.7770

 

Birding Focus: We'll be looking for wintering and permanent residents. All levels are welcome. Excellent for beginning birders or those desiring gentle terrain. The walk lasts about three hours and covers approximately 2.5 miles. There are restrooms at the lake house, dog park, tennis courts, and Botanical Gardens.

 

Directions and Parking (N 33 47.025 W 84 22.746): From 10th St. and Peachtree, go east on 10th two blocks to Piedmont. Turn left (north) on Piedmont and pass 11th St. You'll see Quattro's and Willy's on your right. Meet in the parking lot directly behind this building (N 33 47.025 W 84 22.746), which also houses the Piedmont Park Conservancy. The park entrance is just past these restaurants on the right. Parkin is available on 11th St. across Piedmont from the community center. The Atlanta Botanical Garden parking garage is also an option (enter from Piedmont Ave. north of the community center across from The Prado; the fee is approximately $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 11th St.

 


Field Trip: Reynolds Nature Preserve

Wednesday 2/8 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 wintering and permanent resident 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.

 

Directions and Parking: 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. Google these coordinates or program your GPS:

33.601464, -84.346874

 

Public transportation: MARTA Routes 191 and 195 stop at Jonesboro Rd. at Huie Rd.: walk 0.5-mile west on Huie Rd., then right for a couple hundred feet to get to the preserve.

 


Field Trip: Chattahoochee Nature Center

Saturday 2/18 8:00AM

Chattahoochee Nature Center (Fulton County)

 

Co-sponsored by Chattahoochee Nature Center (CNC)

 

Leader: Adam Betuel and Jason Ward

Cell contact morning of walk: 407.492.1139 (Adam); 404.759.7770 (Jason)

 

Birding Focus: We will look for winter residents of the river and forest including sparrows, woodpeckers, blackbirds, raptors, waterfowl, and waders. We will walk the paved trail leading down to the river and then continue onto the boardwalk by the Chattahoochee River. The boardwalk can be slick if it has recently rained. Dogs are not permitted. Restrooms are available in the Discovery Center.

 

Directions and Parking: Google these coordinates or program your GPS:

34.002356, -84.382846. From GA-400 north, exit on Northridge (exit #6) and bear to the right, back over the expressway. Immediately after crossing over 400, turn right onto Dunwoody Pl. Follow Dunwoody Pl. until it intersects with Roswell Rd. (1.2 miles). Turn right onto Roswell Rd. At the first traffic light after crossing the Chattahoochee River, turn left onto Azalea Dr. At the second traffic light, turn left onto Willeo Rd. The Chattahoochee Nature Center is located one-half mile on the right. CNC is offering free admission to those attending the walk, and parking is free. The group will meet on the porch of the scheduling office. The scheduling office is the small building to the left of the Discovery Center and to the Right of the large Gymnasium. Click here for a map of the CNC.

 


Field Trip: Piedmont Park

Saturday 3/4 8:00AM

Piedmont Park (Fulton County)

 

Leader: Jason Ward

Cell contact morning of walk: 404.759.7770

 

Birding Focus: We'll be looking for wintering and permanent residents. All levels are welcome. Excellent for beginning birders or those desiring gentle terrain. The walk lasts about three hours and covers approximately 2.5 miles. There are restrooms at the lake house, dog park, tennis courts, and Botanical Gardens.

 

Directions and Parking (N 33 47.025 W 84 22.746): From 10th St. and Peachtree, go east on 10th two blocks to Piedmont. Turn left (north) on Piedmont and pass 11th St. You'll see Quattro's and Willy's on your right. Meet in the parking lot directly behind this building (N 33 47.025 W 84 22.746), which also houses the Piedmont Park Conservancy. The park entrance is just past these restaurants on the right. Parkin is available on 11th St. across Piedmont from the community center. The Atlanta Botanical Garden parking garage is also an option (enter from Piedmont Ave. north of the community center across from The Prado; the fee is approximately $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 11th St.

 


Field Trip: Morgan Falls Overlook

Saturday 3/4 8:30AM

Morgan Falls Overlook Park (Fulton County)

 

Co-sponsored with the City of Sandy Springs

 

Leader: Roseanne Guerra

Cell contact morning of walk: 678.358.4916

 

Birding Focus: Join us for a family-friendly guided bird walk along the trail at Overlook Park. This fall walk will offer opportunities to see migrants and resident species. Binoculars will be available to borrow. Ages 6+ are welcome. This walk is free, but preregistration is required. To register, go to the Sandy Springs Recreation & Parks Department website. Or call 770.730.5600.

 

Directions and parking: From Roswell Rd. (GA Highway 9), go west on Morgan Falls Rd. for 1.2 miles to the parking lot. Meet in the parking lot for the park. Google these coordinates for a map or program your GPS. Parking lot entrance: 33.97004, -84.37996

 


Field Trip: Reynolds Nature Preserve

Wednesday 3/8 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 wintering and permanent resident 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.

 

Directions and Parking: 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. Google these coordinates or program your GPS:

33.601464, -84.346874

 

Public transportation: MARTA Routes 191 and 195 stop at Jonesboro Rd. at Huie Rd.: walk 0.5-mile west on Huie Rd., then right for a couple hundred feet to get to the preserve.

 


Field Trip: Lost Corner Preserve

Saturday 3/25 8:30AM

Lost Corner Preserve (Fulton County)

7300 Brandon Mill Rd. NW

Sandy Springs, GA

 

Co-sponsored with the City of Sandy Springs

 

Leader: Roseanne Guerra

Cell contact, morning of walk: 678.358.4916

 

Birding Focus: Join us for a family-friendly guided bird walk along the trail at Lost Corner Preserve. This walk will focus on learning the 10 most common birds in Atlanta. Binoculars will be available to borrow. Ages 6+ are welcome. Restrooms are available. This walk is free, but preregistration is required. To register, go to the Sandy Springs Recreation & Parks Department website. You may also register by calling 770.730.5600.

 

Directions and parking: From GA-400, take Exit 5B and go west on Abernethy Rd. for 1.9 miles. Turn right on Brandon Mill Rd. NW and go 1.4 miles. The entrance will be on your left and is at 7300 Brandon Mill Rd. NW. Google these coordinates for a map or program your GPS. Parking lot entrance: 33.9540715,-84.386592.

 


Field Trip: Piedmont Park

Saturday 4/1 8:00AM

Piedmont Park (Fulton County)

 

Leader: Jason Ward

Cell contact morning of walk: 404.759.7770

 

Birding Focus: We'll be looking for wintering and permanent residents. All levels are welcome. Excellent for beginning birders or those desiring gentle terrain. The walk lasts about three hours and covers approximately 2.5 miles. There are restrooms at the lake house, dog park, tennis courts, and Botanical Gardens.

 

Directions and Parking (N 33 47.025 W 84 22.746): From 10th St. and Peachtree, go east on 10th two blocks to Piedmont. Turn left (north) on Piedmont and pass 11th St. You'll see Quattro's and Willy's on your right. Meet in the parking lot directly behind this building (N 33 47.025 W 84 22.746), which also houses the Piedmont Park Conservancy. The park entrance is just past these restaurants on the right. Parkin is available on 11th St. across Piedmont from the community center. The Atlanta Botanical Garden parking garage is also an option (enter from Piedmont Ave. north of the community center across from The Prado; the fee is approximately $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 11th St.