North Shore Birding Festival

North Shore Birding Festival

Sunday, Jan 19, 2020 from 5:30am to 7:00pm


Schedule:

Trip 21

5:30am - 11:00am

Sunrise Photography and Birding – Mostly driving, some walking

McDonald Canal Pavilion, 24600 CR 448A, Mount Dora, FL 32757. $35, includes bag lunch. Leaders: Milton Heiberg (Orange Audubon Society) with Earl Horn (Florida Ornithological Society).  5:30 a.m.?11:00 a.m. Maximum participants: 20.   Lake Apopka has remarkable opportunities for sunrises from northern locations like Clay Island, and sunsets from Magnolia Park in Apopka and Newton Park in Winter Garden. Sunrise will occur at 7:19 a.m. on this date.  We will meet at the McDonald Canal Pavilion at 5:30 a.m. (it takes a while to drive to the lake shore). We will drive through normally locked gates to a tower overlooking beautiful Lake Apopka. Your trip leaders will provide both photo and bird identification tips at sunrise and throughout the morning. See Trip 2 for possible sightings. The trip includes a bag lunch. This allows you to conveniently participate in an afternoon trip.

Trip 22

6:30am - 3:30pm

Intensive Birding Lake Apopka North Shore – Mostly driving, some walking

McDonald Canal Pavilion, 24600 CR 448A, Mount Dora, FL 32757. $60, includes bag lunch. Leaders: Gian Basili (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) and João Jara (Birds & Nature Tours Portugal).  6:30 a.m.?3:30 p.m. Maximum participants: 20.  This trip is for the more avid and tireless of our festival participants. Due to limited parking along the roads, forming carpools is required.

Trip 23

7:00am - 11:00am

Bird Banding at Lake Lotus Park   – Some walking

Lake Lotus Park, 1153 Lake Lotus Park Road, Altamonte Springs, FL 32714. $20, no lunch included. Leaders: Andrew Boyle (Wekiva Bird Banding Station) with Melissa Gonzalez (Orange Audubon Society) and Jason Ward (National Audubon Society). 7:00 a.m.?11:00 a.m. Maximum participants:  15. The Wekiva Bird Banding Station began in the 1990s, and now operates at Lake Lotus Park, a 150-acre park in Altamonte Springs. Over 75 species have been banded since the program began at Lake Lotus Park. Over 2,500 individual birds processed. Andrew Boyle, the licensed bander, will demonstrate the process and explain what the station’s studies have shown about migration patterns and life cycles of the birds. Depending on how many birds we capture, participants may be able to hold and release a bird after it is banded!  For possible sightings,  check out the Wekiva Basin blog at wekivaband.blogspot.com. After this trip, you can go out to lunch at one of the many nearby restaurants, then catch an afternoon field trip (Trips 27?31).

Trip 24

7:00am - 4:00pm

Birding Lake Apopka North Shore – Mostly driving, some walking

McDonald Canal Pavilion, 24600 CR 448A, Mount Dora, FL 32757. $60, includes bag lunch. Leaders: Greg Miller (Wildside Nature Tours) (morning only) with  David Hartgrove (Halifax Audubon Society), Lorri Lilja and John Thomton (Orange Audubon Society). 7:00 a.m.?4:00 p.m.  Maximum participants: 22.  Due to limited parking along the roads, forming carpools is required.

Trip 25

7:30am - 11:00am

Pine Meadows: Sparrows, Buntings, & Other Wintering Songbirds – Mostly driving, some walking

Pine Meadows Conservation Area, 2280 Pine Meadows Golf Course Rd, Eustis, FL 32726. $35, includes bag lunch. Leaders: Gallus Quigley (Lake County Parks and Trails) with Gigi DelPizzo (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission) and Rebecca Smith (Archaeopteryx Tours). 7:30 a.m.?11:00 a.m.  Maximum participants: 20. Pine Meadows Conservation Area is a 770-acre public land that features more than six miles of passive recreational trails. Pine Meadows consists of open water, wetlands, wet meadow, and a small upland area of pine flatwoods. Habitat restoration continues to improve the wetlands, uplands and meadows to increase biodiversity of fish, birds and other animals. Possible sightings: This property is a popular destination for birders due to the nearly 120 species seen there, including the Henslow’s Sparrow and Bald Eagle.

Trip 26

8:00am - 11:00am

Waterfowl of The Villages by Golf Cart– Mostly driving, some walking

Orange Blossom Hills Country Club, 1542 Water Tower Circle, Lady Lake, FL 32159. $25, no lunch included. Leaders: Alice Horst and The Village Birders. 8:00 a.m.?11:00 a.m. Maximum participants: 18.  The Villages is an enormous Central Florida 55+ community spanning 32 square miles in Lake, Sumter, and Marion Counties. Its many golf courses have retention ponds that attract some great waterfowl each winter. For example, a Long-tailed Duck was present in winter 2019. Bald Eagles, Great Horned Owls, and other birds are also viewable. Members of The Village Birders will share their 4-person golf carts with trip participants on a pre-scouted survey of waterfowl in the area. After this field trip, we will dine out (not included in trip price) in a popular lunch spot.

Trip 27

12:30pm - 2:30pm

Dora Canal Birding Boat Ride – Boating

Rusty Anchor - Dora Canal Tours, 400 W. 4th Avenue, Mount Dora, FL 32757. $40. Leader: Greg Miller (Wildside Nature Tours).  12:30 p.m.?2:30 p.m. Maximum participants: 17. Travel with Captain Scott in his 38-foot pontoon boat across Lake Dora into the Dora Canal and back, with Greg Miller identifying birds and sharing information about them. Possible sightings include Ruddy Ducks, Wood Ducks, nesting Ospreys, Limpkins, Great Blue Herons (possibly nesting) and other wading birds, Bald Eagles, and wintering songbirds.

Trip 28

12:30pm - 3:30pm

Digiscoping – Mostly driving, a minimum of walking

McDonald Canal Pavilion, 24600 CR 448A, Mount Dora, FL 32757. $20. Leader: Robert Wilson (Kowa Sporting Optics). 12:30 p.m.?3:30 p.m.  Maximum participants: 10.  Due to limited parking along the roads, forming carpools is required. This afternoon field trip from the McDonald Canal Pavilion to several North Shore locations will allow you to learn how to take great photos through a spotting scope. Digiscoping—attaching a camera or smart phone to a spotting scope—minimizes impact on wildlife by extending focal lengths and eliminates the challenge of manual focus. Robert, a retired professional photographer who is now one of our country’s top digiscopers, will share tips on capturing bird photos with your cell phone even when a spotting scope is not available. Bring your own scope or share those Robert will bring from Kowa Sporting Optics, one of our festival sponsors. Email festival@orangeaudubonfl.org to let us know you will need to use a loaner during the trip. Possible sightings: Wading birds are great subjects on which to focus, and Red-shouldered Hawks and Ospreys often perch cooperatively. The early end time on this trip allows you time to bird on your own and then work your way over to the Mid-Florida Research and Education Center, 2725 S. Binion Rd., Apopka, FL  32703, for a 4:30 p.m. meet-and-greet, dinner and Friday Keynote presentation.

Trip 29

12:30pm - 4:00pm

Recording What You See: ebirding and Checklists, Lake Apopka – Mostly driving, some walking

McDonald Canal Pavilion, 24600 CR 448A, Mount Dora, FL 32757. $25. Leaders:  Chris Newton (Kissimmee Valley Audubon Society) with Kathy Rigling (Orange Audubon Society) and Jason Ward (National Audubon Society).  12:30 p.m.?4:00 p.m.  Maximum participants: 22.  On this afternoon field trip from the McDonald Canal Pavilion into various Lake Apopka North Shore locations, we will not only look for birds but also show you how to record your sightings on eBird and achieve recognition for levels of Florida birding achievement. 

Trip 30

3:00pm - 5:00pm

Dora Canal Birding Boat Ride – Boating

Rusty Anchor - Dora Canal Tours, 400 W. 4th Avenue, Mount Dora, FL 32757. $40. Leader: Greg Miller (Wildside Nature Tours).  3:00 p.m.?5:00 p.m. Maximum participants: 17.  Travel with Captain Scott in his 38-foot pontoon boat across Lake Dora into the Dora Canal and back. Possible sightings include Ruddy Ducks, Wood Ducks, nesting Ospreys, Limpkins, Great Blue Herons (possibly nesting) and other wading birds, Bald Eagles, and wintering songbirds.

Trip 31

5:00pm - 7:00pm

Sunset Photography and Birding – Mostly driving, some walking

McDonald Canal Pavilion, 24600 CR 448A, Mount Dora, FL 32757. $20. Leaders: Steve Coleman with Lynn Marie Folts (Orange Audubon Society)  5:00 p.m.?7:00 p.m.  Maximum participants: 20. Lake Apopka has remarkable opportunities for sunsets from Magnolia Park in Apopka and Newton Park in Winter Garden. The Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive closes at sunset, so that opportunity is not available. Sunset will occur at 5:54 p.m. on this date. We will meet at the McDonald Canal Pavilion at 5:00 p.m. and form carpools, then drive through normally locked gates across the Apopka Beauclair Canal to an area with beautiful sunset views of the marshes. Your trip leaders will provide both photo and bird identification tips.