by Eric and Joanna Reuter
Updates from the field trip co-coordinators:
Seeking a ride-share coordinator
It’s come to our attention that evening field trips and meetings may pose a barrier for those uncomfortable with driving at night. With board approval, we’re looking to set up a way for people in this situation to arrange a ride to field trips or meetings, especially evening ones. The current idea is to identify someone willing to act as a ride-share coordinator, maintaining a private list of people willing to offer rides, and people in need of one, so as to make private arrangements between the two. The goal here is to facilitate needed rides without publicizing anyone’s location, name, or needs. Acting as this coordinator shouldn’t be a major job but would require some attentiveness to email and a willingness to have your contact info posted (since both drivers and riders will need to reach you). If you think you could take on this role, please contact Eric & Joanna Reuter (firstname.lastname@example.org), who will be working to get this set up.
Seeking field trip leaders
The upcoming February 10th and March 9th Second Saturday walks still need leaders; if no one steps up these trips will not happen. Please consider helping CAS by volunteering to lead a birding walk at a location and time of your choosing. The March 9th Second Saturday trip could double as the annual Timberdoodle Trek, which we have not yet scheduled; Rocky Fork Lakes Conservation Area or Forum Nature Area are among the location possibilities. To lead a trip, you don’t have to be a skilled birder, just willing to organize and lead a group of people through an interesting setting (see guidelines for leaders here). Please contact Eric & Joanna Reuter (email@example.com) to volunteer. Please be in touch ASAP if you are interested in leading the February 10th trip. Thanks to all those who have led field trips so far this year, including several new leaders who have really helped us out!
Short-notice spring field trips
Spring weather is notoriously unreliable, so this year we’re going to experiment with scheduling some field trips last-minute to take advantage of good conditions within a reliable forecast window. Some may be listed in advance with a target date range, such as this Slow Birding field trip at Wild Haven. Others may not show up in the monthly newsletter but will be posted only to the website at the time of scheduling, where they’ll trigger the standard automatic reminder emails 5 and 1 days before the event. So be sure to sign up for the CAS email list if you aren’t receiving emails.
There are two self-guided walks at CAS properties that you can do any time you choose.
Moss walk (great for a warm winter day) at Wild Haven by Louise Flenner with a downloadable PDF: https://www.columbia-audubon.org/self-guided-moss-walk-wild-haven-nature-area/
Insect and bird walk at CANS by Donna Brunet using PocketSights app: https://www.columbia-audubon.org/new-walking-tour-at-columbia-audubon-nature-sanctuary/
Field trip report
Through the 2023-2024 season so far, CAS field trips have averaged 17 attendees and 22 species observed, a minor change from 2022-2023 (15 attendees and 27 species) though direct comparison isn’t accurate since we haven’t reached the spring migration season this year.