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Upcoming events

    • Saturday, December 14, 2019
    • 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    • Warbler Vista
    Register

    Get your hands dirty on the trails of Balcones as we improve upon and create new trails for our Refuge!

    Please join us for 6 work day sessions scheduled to work at Warbler Vista! RSVP for sessions you can attend.

    We will meet in the parking lot by the rest rooms.

    As always, please dress appropriately for working in the woods... sturdy shoes, work gloves, etc. We will have a water jug to refill peoples containers.

    Hope to see you there.

    Thanks,

    Dan Nugent

    Friends of Balcones Trail Committee

    • Wednesday, January 01, 2020
    • 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM
    • Doeskin Ranch
    • 20
    Register

    Fourth Annual 1st Day Hike  

    Please join us for our 4th annual hike celebrating the New Year. The hike will begin at 9:30 am January 1, 2020 at Doeskin Ranch. Meet in the pavilion.

    Hike up the hill on the Rimrock Trail and take in the expansive views. This has been called "one of the best trails in the Hill Country". Opt for a lower (less strenuous) hike along the Pond & Prairie and the Creek Trails. The contrast of open grassland and following a sparkling clear stream allows a hiker to experience the variety of the Texas Hill Country. Note the Pond Trail is wheelchair accessible. 

      

    Our expert hike leaders, Lynette Holtz and Jerry Stacy, both Master Naturalists and experts in plant identification, will talk about birding, plant identification and photography.  Bring your binoculars, cameras and questions. Note the Rimrock Trail is moderately difficult and includes several somewhat strenuous inclines. It is 2.2 miles long and will take us to the top of the hill shown in the photo above. Bring appropriate footwear and a walking stick or trekking pole if you prefer. 

    After the hike join us for hot chocolate (or lemonade, depending on the weather). Or bring your picnic lunch to enjoy at new pavilion.

    Registration is now open for members of Friends of Balcones NWR. Registration for all others will open December 14. 

    This is one of our most popular hikes and registration is limited to 30 people. The best way to ensure you don't miss out is to become a member of Friends of Balcones NWR. With your membership you will gain early access to this and many other exciting events throughout the year:

    https://www.friendsofbalcones.org/Individual/family-Memberships  

    Doeskin Ranch is located On FM 1174 about a mile or so north of the Cow Creek Rd. intersection on the east side of the road. 

    https://www.friendsofbalcones.org/admin/website/?pageId=1856853





    • Saturday, January 11, 2020
    • 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    • Warbler Vista
    Register

    Get your hands dirty on the trails of Balcones as we improve upon and create new trails for our Refuge!

    Please join us for 6 work day sessions scheduled to work at Warbler Vista! RSVP for sessions you can attend.

    We will meet in the parking lot by the rest rooms.

    As always, please dress appropriately for working in the woods... sturdy shoes, work gloves, etc. We will have a water jug to refill peoples containers.

    Hope to see you there.

    Thanks,

    Dan Nugent

    Friends of Balcones Trail Committee

    • Saturday, February 01, 2020
    • 6:30 AM - 6:00 PM
    • Flying X Ranch, 8339 South FM 1174, Bertram TX 78605
    • 0
    Join waitlist


    The 16th Annual

    SparrowFest 

    February 1, 2020


    Sparrow Identification Workshop

    Hosted by the Friends of Balcones Canyonlands NWR 

    Registration opens November 22, 2019

    Cost is $145 USD

    The central Texas Hill Country is one of the best locations in the United States for the study of native sparrows in late winter. 

    This all day workshop will focus on field identification of the twenty-plus species of native  sparrows that are regularly seen each year in central Texas. 

    Our talented leaders will take you to refuge tracts beyond the trails where 'little brown birds' play. 

    Learn how to identify the subtle differences and behavior of Texas wintering sparrows.

    About the Workshop        

    Level of physical difficulty - Moderate

    Level of birding difficulty - Moderate to Difficult

    Fun - Extreme!

    Attendees will be split into smaller groups to maximize opportunities for bird study. The instructors expect that workshop participants will have a good chance to see over 15 species of sparrows during the course of the day.

    We will alternate classroom sessions with morning and afternoon field trips to a variety of habitats which give participants the best opportunity to practice identification techniques and to maximize the chance to observe the large numbers and variety of sparrows present in the grasslands and scrub environments of the Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge. 

    The workshop leaders, Byron Stone, Bill Reiner, Randy Pinkston, and Jeff Patterson. all have a great deal of experience with teaching and conducting field trips to observe sparrows and other specialty birds of central Texas.

    Participants should be prepared for a variety of weather conditions, ranging from mild to bitterly cold. Average highs in February are in the low 60's; average lows are in the 40's. Chance of rain on any given day in February is about 25%. 

    The most important consideration is to bring sturdy footwear, since we will be walking in rocky, brushy terrain, often among prickly-pear cactus. Ideal footwear for this type of trip would be waterproof, leather hiking boots. We will spend several hours walking, although the pace will be slow, as we will (hopefully) be spending a fair amount of time observing flocks of winter sparrows and other birds. 

    Participants should bring binoculars and other appropriate birding gear. Each of the instructors will have a spotting scope and tripod, but workshop participants are encouraged to bring their own scopes if they wish. A water bottle and a small pack to carry snacks and gear are highly recommended.

    Registration includes a light "grab and go" breakfast, a hot lunch and a hot drink and snack after the last field trip.


    Map location of Flying X Ranch Maps (scroll down to Flying X directions.)  Note: Google Maps does not always display the correct location of the Flying X Ranch; please use directions provided in the link.

    The Flying X Ranch is a non-public part of the Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge

    Local housing options - Housing.

    Last day for registration and cancellation is January 2, 2020




    • Saturday, February 08, 2020
    • 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    • Warbler Vista
    Register

    Get your hands dirty on the trails of Balcones as we improve upon and create new trails for our Refuge!

    Please join us for 6 work day sessions scheduled to work at Warbler Vista! RSVP for sessions you can attend.

    We will meet in the parking lot by the rest rooms.

    As always, please dress appropriately for working in the woods... sturdy shoes, work gloves, etc. We will have a water jug to refill peoples containers.

    Hope to see you there.

    Thanks,

    Dan Nugent

    Friends of Balcones Trail Committee

    • Saturday, March 14, 2020
    • 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    • Warbler Vista
    Register

    Get your hands dirty on the trails of Balcones as we improve upon and create new trails for our Refuge!

    Please join us for 6 work day sessions scheduled to work at Warbler Vista! RSVP for sessions you can attend.

    We will meet in the parking lot by the rest rooms.

    As always, please dress appropriately for working in the woods... sturdy shoes, work gloves, etc. We will have a water jug to refill peoples containers.

    Hope to see you there.

    Thanks,

    Dan Nugent

    Friends of Balcones Trail Committee

    • Saturday, April 11, 2020
    • 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    • Warbler Vista
    Register

    Get your hands dirty on the trails of Balcones as we improve upon and create new trails for our Refuge!

    Please join us for 6 work day sessions scheduled to work at Warbler Vista! RSVP for sessions you can attend.

    We will meet in the parking lot by the rest rooms. 

    As always, please dress appropriately for working in the woods... sturdy shoes, work gloves, etc. We will have a water jug to refill peoples containers.


    Hope to see you there.

    Thanks,

    Dan Nugent

    Friends of Balcones Trail Committee

 


Email- friends@friendsofbalcones.org

Mail- Friends of Balcones

  PO Box 4678

Lago Vista TX 78645

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