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


    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

    • Friday, April 24, 2020
    • 7:00 AM - 12:30 PM
    • Refuge Headquarters
    • 12
    Registration is closed

    Chasing Rare & Endangered Ones

    Endangered Ones Trip

    This tour will span the refuge in search of its rare and endangered songbirds. Experts on the species will take you to shady, relatively moist woodlands of oak and juniper to listen and look for Golden-cheeked Warblers. At the other end of the refuge, we will listen for the raspy songs of Black-capped Vireos in and around thickets of scrubby oaks, sumacs, and greenbriars. Along the way we hope to spot other Hill Country birds.

    Targets: Golden-cheeked Warbler, Black-capped Vireo

    van from HQ 30 Min 1way Easy to Moderate between locations *stop between locations
    AMERICAN BIRD CONSERVANCY(ABC)
    ABC's mission is to conserve native birds and their habitats throughout the Americas. Our commitment to bird conservation remains absolute, even while some other groups shift their mission to prioritize people over wildlife. We believe unequivocally that conserving birds and their habitats benefits all other species — including people.

    WILLIAMSON AUDUBON GROUP(WAG)
    Williamson Audubon Group promotes the appreciation of birds by sharing knowledge and experience.

    • Friday, April 24, 2020
    • 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    • Flat Creek Estate, 24912 E Singleton Bend, Marble Falls TX 78654

    Meet & Greet at Flat Creek Estate Vineyard & Winery

    Mix with your fellow birders while lunching and tasting at the award winning Flat Creek Estate only 5 miles and 7 minutes from refuge headquarters.

    If you are arriving for the morning tours or later in the day please join us for this Meet & Greet.  There will be folks from all over the country. Exchange birding information, local tips and just enjoy yourself.

    The Bistro at Flat Creek is offering lunch in conjunction with the wine tasting tour. You are welcome to explore the grounds and birds while sipping. The Bistro at Flat Creek has been voted best winery food and the wines have won numerous awards.

    Lunch will be at 1:00 in the pavilion

    Following lunch, a presentation will be given by Ed Sones, a raptor, wading and shorebird rehabilitation expert.  Ed works with Austin Wildlife Rescue and has over 30 years experience rehabilitating raptors.  He takes in around 250 raptors a year.  Ed will be bringing some of the birds to the winery and you will get the opportunity to get a close look. 

    The optional wine tasting will follow the presentation.

    Reservation are required for the Tasting and/or Flat Creek lunch.

    Click the logo below for reservations.


 


Email- friends@friendsofbalcones.org

Mail- Friends of Balcones

  PO Box 4678

Lago Vista TX 78645

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