Field Trips

Field trips are typically scheduled at least once monthly, excluding January. All are welcome, but be sure to contact the leader if indicated. If a trip involves some driving, we arrange carpools at the meeting location indicated. Please remember to pay your driver (we recommend $0.25/mile divided by the number of passengers). Remember to dress for the weather and bring plenty of water, snacks, and sunscreen!

Upcoming Trips:

Please review the current VAS Guidelines and Waiver before registering for a trip.

August 25-27, 2021: Grays Harbor with Pelagic Trip

Black-footed Albatross

Leader: Randy Hill ( call or text to 360-975-2573; co-leaders Cindy McCormack and possibly Jim Danzenbaker, a spotter on the pelagic trip.

Trip travel type expectations: Pace: 1-2; Terrain:  A-C with mostly stops in route walking trails, along sandy beach, and from viewpoints.  The pelagic trip includes limited mobility standing or sitting while on the boat, but consider susceptibility to motion sickness and long hours of sun with appropriate preparation for variable ocean conditions.  Potential wet or breezy conditions suggest having layers, rain gear, and waterproof boots for comfort.

Targets are near and off-shore birds and mammals during a period of high species diversity:  albatross to alcids, whales, dolphins, ocean sunfish and more. Onshore a wide variety of late summer migrants including waterfowl, waders, shorebirds, gulls and songbirds in coastal bay and estuary, freshwater wetland and riverine, and some forest and other habitats.

Itinerary:  The group will be finalized by 8/20, with ride-sharing determined before the trip. 

We will meet on 8/25 at 07:15 at the Salmon Creek park-and-ride to carpool; no overnight parking.  Birding on the way with various stops along US-12 and Grays Harbor, possibly to Ocean Shores, and including Hoquiam WTP and possibly Bottle Beach; tidal timelines will determine the specific locations.  Lodging on your own, but suggested in Westport area as we meet on the boat the next morning by 05:45. 

8/26 is the pelagic trip with Westport Seabirds from 06:00 to 15:30.  When we return to dock, we can bird areas around Westport before dinner. 

8/27 will include more birding near Westport, with travel south to Tokeland and other locations around Willapa Bay before returning home by 6pm via SR-4.

Fully vaccinated only for this weekdays trip. Spotting scopes highly encouraged and bring Discover Pass if you have one for state parks visits.  You should bring motion sickness medication unless you have a positive track record on the open ocean without medication.  This link could be helpful to prepare:

Limit of 4 cars, 10 total participants but initially only 6 of the remaining 10 spots on this pelagic trip will be held for a limited period. It is recommended that you sign up early, certainly before the end of June, before spaces are filled.

Options for this trip include the described full three days, or one day pelagic trip only under the VAS allotment, or two days either with an early return after the pelagic, starting with the pelagic, or without the pelagic trip (land only) included. 

Sign-up should be through VAS field trips, but all lodging and payment for the pelagic trip will be the responsibility of participant.  Contact Randy with any questions and to secure the pelagic trip reservation and field trip registration.

SEPT. 7, 2021: Migration at Larch Mountain

Leaders: Jim Danzenbaker and Cindy McCormack; call or text Randy Hill to register: 360-975-2573

Target species are higher elevation (above 2000’) forest songbirds including warblers among other passerines, woodpeckers, raptors, and higher elevation migrant and resident species.  Also expansive views.

Itinerary:  Meet at 06:45 in Hockinson at the Fire District 3 eastside parking lot at 17718 NE 159th St. (45.737992, -122.490038).  From there, we will head up 139th St/NE Rawson Road to DNR land east to the L-1520 gate and park at the crossroads.

Northern Pygmy-Owl, Canada Jay, Western Bluebird and Townsend’s Solitaire nest locally; pikas and snowshoe hares are resident. We will be mostly stationary but also bird along the roads depending on wind conditions and weather; a diversion to another location is possible based on wind. Carpooling as much as possible; fully vaccinated only. Spotting scopes optional, but a Discover Pass is required on this DNR area. Limit of 6 cars, 12 total participants.

Trip travel type expectations: Pace: 1    Terrain:  some A-B   < one mile walking.

SEPT. 18, 2021: Klickitat County Fall Migration Count

Leaders: Randy Hill and others; call or text for additional details and to register: 360-975-2573

Target species are all birds found within an assigned route in Klickitat County, with a variety of resident and migratory species associated with higher elevation, drier grass and shrub, rocky, lake/riverine, agricultural, neighborhood and town, and/or mixed forests of eastern Washington. This is a continuing data collection event with team leaders and variable participation each year; for this reason the sign-up deadline is September 9th to assign participants to teams.

Itinerary:  Meeting point and start time to be determined.  An early start (likely by 05:30) required for travel east to reach whatever route is assigned; expect a full day.  Carpooling as much as possible following COVID protocols; fully vaccinated only.

We will be mostly birding along roads with stop-and-go at pullouts, some short walks, and on some routes using trails to cover as much habitat as possible. Spotting scope suggested although not required, but a Discover Pass is suggested as there are several DNR and WDFW areas where they are required.

Monthly Bird Walk calendar

Field trip reports

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