Field Trips

 

Things are warming up in Georgia and spring migration will soon be upon us. Atlanta Audubon field trips are a great way to learn more about our breeding residents and migrating 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 spring, and we hope you can get out and learn more Georgia's resident and migratory 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: Piedmont Park

Saturday 6/3 8:00AM

Piedmont Park (Fulton County)

 

Leader: Jason Ward

Cell contact morning of walk: 404.759.7770

 

Birding Focus: We'll be looking for migrants 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: Fernbank Forest

Saturday 6/3 9:00AM

Fernbank Forest (DeKalb County)

 

Leader: Vinod Babu and Gus Kaufman

Cell contacts morning of walk: 413.230.6276 (Vinod); 404.483.7457 (Gus)

 

Birding Focus: Come discover 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. Restrooms are available in the museum lobby. Guidelines to help you make the most of this program can be found at:

Guidelines for Outdoor Programming. All ages are welcome. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Advance reservations required.

 

Cost: included with Museum admission, free for Fernbank Members and free for Atlanta Audubon Society members. Advance reservations are required at 404.929.6400. Questions in advance may be directed to Eli at x6396. Participants should check in at the Museum ticketing counter, then meet the walk leaders in the Museum lobby. Participants should meet the walk leader in the Museum Lobby beginning at 8:45am. The group will depart promptly at 9:00 a.m. Due to the nature of the program, latecomers will not be accepted. Participant capacity is 25 people, so make your reservations today!

 

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: Vaughters' Farm

Friday 6/9 8:30AM

Panola Mountain State Park (DeKalb County)

 

Co-sponsored by Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites

 

Leader: Mary Kimberly and Anne McCallum

Phone contact day of walk: 404.308.6279 (Mary); 678.642.7148 (Anne)

 

Birding Focus: The Vaughters' Farm Meadow Loop is a 1.25-mile trail completed thanks to a generous grant from REI. We will look for woodland and grassland breeding birds. Meadowlarks have been spotted along this trail, an uncommon find in DeKalb County. This easy, unpaved trail offers unbeatable views of the Vaughters' barn, rolling hills, and grassy meadows.

 

Directions and Parking : From I-20, take Exit 74, Evans Mill Rd. At the end of the exit ramp, head south on Evans Mill, which will become Woodrow Rd. after you go through a traffic light. Woodrow Rd. will dead-end into Klondike Rd. Turn right onto Klondike and travel less than 1/2 mile to the parking lot on your left, across from the Vaughters' historic barn. We will meet in the parking lot at the trailhead at 3366 Klondike Rd., Lithonia, GA. Google these coordinates for a map or program your GPS: 33.6841894,-84.114098.

 

Bring $5 cash to cover the parking fee, which will be collected by a Panola Mountain State Park representative. 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.

 


Field Trip: Olde Rope Mill Park

Sunday 6/11 8:00AM

Olde Rope Mill Park (Cherokee County)

 

Leader: Roseanne Guerra

Cell contact morning of walk: 678.358.4916

 

Birding Focus: We hope to see some Cliff Swallows, Indigo Buntings, and Prairie and Prothonotary Warblers as well as the usual summer breeding birds. The trail will be along Little River and the ruins of the 1850's-1950's rope mill, and along a power cut. Trails are not paved, and are flat to moderate. We will walk approximately 2.5 miles. Mosquitos can be bad; repellant will be available. Restrooms are available at the parking lot.

 

Directions and Parking: Olde Rope Mill Park is very convenient to I-575. From I-575, take Exit 9 (Ridgewalk Pkwy.) and go east (The Outlet Shoppes will be on your right). At the first traffic light, turn left (north) onto Olde Rope Mill Park Rd. and drive until the road dead ends at the park. If you run late and intend to catch up, we will be walking the Mill Trail, which is across the footbridge over Little River (downriver loop first, then upriver to the train trestle). Google these coordinates or program your GPS:

34.1242443,-84.5316593

 

 


Field Trip: Reynolds Nature Preserve

Wednesday 6/14 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 migrating and resident birds such as woodpeckers (including Pileated Woodpeckers), warblers, thrushes, 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: Constitution Lakes

Saturday 6/17 8:00AM

Constitution Lakes, (DeKalb County)

 

Co-sponsored by Friends of Constitution Lakes

 

Leaders: Joy Carter and Mary Kimberly

Cell contacts morning of walk: 404.822.0030 (Joy); 404.308.6279 (Mary)

 

Birding Focus: We'll look for summer breeding 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: Piedmont Park

Saturday 7/1 8:00AM

Piedmont Park (Fulton County)

 

Leader: Jason Ward

Cell contact morning of walk: 404.759.7770

 

Birding Focus: We'll be looking for 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 7/12 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 resident birds such as woodpeckers (including Pileated Woodpeckers), warblers, thrushes, 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: Constitution Lakes

Saturday 7/22 8:00AM

Constitution Lakes, (DeKalb County)

 

Co-sponsored by Friends of Constitution Lakes

 

Leaders: Joy Carter and Sheila Stevens

Cell contact morning of walk: 404.822.0030 (Joy)

 

Birding Focus: We'll look for summer breeding 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: Piedmont Park

Saturday 8/5 8:00AM

Piedmont Park (Fulton County)

 

Leader: Jason Ward

Cell contact morning of walk: 404.759.7770

 

Birding Focus: We'll be looking for 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 8/9 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 resident birds such as woodpeckers (including Pileated Woodpeckers), warblers, thrushes, 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 8/19 8:00AM

Chattahoochee Nature Center (Fulton County)

 

Co-sponsored by Chattahoochee Nature Center (CNC)

 

Leader: Iris Schumacher

Cell contact morning of walk: 404.791.9464

 

Birding Focus: We will look for summer resident birds of the river and forest including warblers, sparrows, woodpeckers, 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: Cochran Shoals (Interstate North)

Saturday 8/26 7:30AM

Cochran Shoals CRNRA (Cobb County)

 

Leader: Nathan Farnau

Cell contact morning of walk: 404.849.3843

 

Birding Focus: We'll be looking mainly for migrant songbirds including, flycatchers, vireos, thrushes, 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 4-5 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: Atlanta History Center

Sunday 8/27 8:30AM

Atlanta History Center

 

Leader: Rob McDonough

Cell contact, morning of walk: 404.754.8159

 

Birding Focus: We will be looking for early migrants and resident birds such as warblers, woodpeckers, raptors, flycatchers, sparrows, finches, and other passerines. The grounds of the Atlanta History Center (AHC) are an interesting mix of natural and created landscapes. There are six different designated garden areas. Recently, the gardens have been collectively named the Olga C. de Goizueta Gardens. Two of the individual areas, the Swan House Gardens and the Smith Family Farm Gardens, are designed to complement the historic interpretation of the buildings they surround. The Swan House is a 1920s Italianate mansion; as such the landscape around it consists predominately of formal elements such as a walled boxwood garden and a cascading fountain. The Smith House, on the other hand, is an antebellum farmhouse of the "Plantation Plain" style. Accordingly, the surrounding landscape consists of a small flower yard, vegetable gardens, and an area for field crops. It is a particularly good place to see Eastern Bluebirds.

 

This bird walk is recommended for beginner birders and families with children over 10. Please note that no dogs or strollers are allowed. The walk will cover 2-3 miles of mild hiking terrain. Hiking shoes, insect repellant, sunscreen, and water are recommended; bring binoculars.

 

Directions and Parking: Program your GPS or Google these coordinates for a map: 33°50'33.3"N 84°23'09.4"W.

 

From I-75 S, take Exit 255 (West Paces Ferry Rd.). At the end of the exit ramp, turn left onto West Paces Ferry Rd. Go approximately 2.7 miles. The AHC will be on your right.

 

From I-75 N or downtown, take the West Paces Ferry Rd (Exit 255). At the end of the exit ramp, turn left onto Northside Pkwy. At the next light, turn right onto West Paces Ferry Rd. Go approximately 2.7 miles. The AHC will be on your right.

 

From I-85 S, take Exit 88 (Cheshire Bridge/Lenox Rd.). At the end of the exit ramp, turn right onto Lenox Rd. Go approximately 1.9 miles until Lenox intersects with Peachtree Rd. (landmark: Lenox Square Mall). Turn left onto Peachtree Rd. Go approximately 2 miles. At the intersection of Peachtree, Roswell and West Paces Ferry Rds., turn right onto West Paces Ferry Rd. Go through two traffic lights. The AHC will be on your left.

 

Please park in the deck. We will meet at the entrance to McElreath Hall. This is the building housing the Cherokee Garden Library and the Kenan Research Center; it is located south of the parking deck.

 


Field Trip: Piedmont Park

Saturday 9/2 8:00AM

Piedmont Park (Fulton County)

 

Leader: Jason Ward

Cell contact morning of walk: 404.759.7770

 

Birding Focus: We'll be looking for 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 9/13 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 resident birds such as woodpeckers (including Pileated Woodpeckers), warblers, thrushes, 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.