AAS Field Trips

Please join us! Non-members are always welcome.

All AAS field trips are free to all – membership is not required.  Attendees are responsible for paying the entrance fee at some field trip locations like Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park. Field trip participants are required to sign our waiver/release form. Please note the difficulty levels at the end of each field trip description. Here are some items to consider carrying on any field trip: binoculars (a must), water, insect repellant, sunscreen, hat, sturdy shoes, rain gear for sudden downpours, notebook, camera, and contact information.

Below is our current field trip schedule. View the schedule and descriptions/details on each field trip in our Google calendar (below) and on our Facebook page

Upcoming Field Trips (Fall 2023)

Our guided Wednesday bird walks at Sweetwater Wetlands Park are held each Wednesday morning, beginning at 8:30 a.m. from September 1st through the end of May.

Alachua Audubon Events Calendar

Weekend Field Trips

St Marks NWR Field Trip

January 20 & 21, 2024

For overnight accommodations, check out Shell Island Fish Camp, 440 Shell Island Road in St. Marks, FL.  It is close by and reasonably priced.  

Day One, Saturday

Meet-up time. 9:00 am; Estimated end time. 5:00 pm

Meet field trip leader, Don Morrow at the St. Marks NWR Visitor Center parking lot, 1255 Lighthouse Road, St. Marks, FL.

January is prime duck & shorebird time at St. Marks. Based on current conditions, we will be trying to maximize sightings of duck and shorebird species, while also including other wintering birds at the refuge. Target species will be American Black Duck, White-faced Ibis and Vermilion Flycatcher. We will drive the thirteen-mile round trip from the Visitor Center to the Lighthouse, making several stops based on then-current conditions. One stop may include a 1.75-mile hike. The remaining stops should have minimal walking.

We will be carpooling from the visitor center to limit our carbon footprint. We’ll break briefly for lunch.

Day Two, Sunday

Meet-up time. 8:00 am; Estimated end time. 2:00 pm

Meet-up location. Mashes Sands Beach parking lot, 901 Mashes Sands Road, Panacea, FL.

(2.25 miles down Mashes Sands Road from US 98, Go west on US-98, turn left at Angelo’s Restaurant, just before the Ochlocknee River Bridge.)

We’ll start the day looking for coastal shorebirds and scanning the mouth of the Ochlocknee River from Mashes Sands, a Wakulla County park.

We’ll then cross the Ochlocknee River and make several stops in Franklin County at Bald Point for oystercatchers and other stray shorebirds and along Alligator Point looking for scoters, gannets and loons. The 2:00 pm end time is aspirational and everyone is free to leave when they need to.

Both St. Marks NWR and Bald Point State Park have entrance fees. St. Marks honors federal passes and duck stamps; Bald Point SP honors state park passes. Mid-January weather can be freezing to warm, often during the same day. Dress in layers. Bring optics, lunch, water, sunscreen and a joyful attitude. Expect to see between 75 and 100 species during the field trip. This will be a good two days of birding.

Bird Rambles

Tuesday, September 26th, 2023; 8:30 am
Tuscawilla Preserve Bird Ramble (an easier, more leisurely outing than our more energetic weekend fare).

Meet up at Tuscawilla Preserve south of Micanopy for a 1.5 mile trail and enjoy an expansive view from the new observation platform (courtesy of Alachua County Trust and Alachua Audubon). Parking is available across the street from the preserve at the Micanopy Native American Heritage Preserve. Read about the preserve and watch a 3-minute video at https://www.alachuaconservationtrust.org/tuscawilla-preserve-guide.

We’ll be looking primarily for migrating warblers and residents.
Driving directions:
-Coming from Gainesville on US-441: Turn right (west) on SE 165th Ave/SE Tuscawilla Rd; then drive 0.3 miles. Parking will be on the right.
Difficulty: 1 (easy access, 1-2 miles, level terrain)