Field Trips
OAS Field Trips are free and open to the general public. Depending on the destination, entry fees may be required. We welcome all levels of birdwatchers including those with disabilities.

Wednesday field trips, led by veteran birder Mike Mencotti, are designed to increase birding skills and watch bird life change with the seasons in local parks. New birders are especially welcome. Each trip will have a specific focus and all trips will cover many birding skills from the basics on up. All are welcome, especially beginners! Binoculars are essential.
Simply contact the field trip leader to obtain further details about any trip.

Remember to dress for the weather.
Trips occurring during a winter storm warning are automatically canceled.

2017 Upcoming Field Trips..

February 25, 2017 (Saturday)   8:00 AM – 12:00 PMLake Erie Metropark
Leader: Mike Mencotti
Meet in the parking lot for the Marshland Museum.  This trip was extremely popular last year, and why not?  It is simply the best place for winter birding in southeast Michigan.  We ought to have a variety of gulls, waterfowl and winter passerines. 
A Metropark daily or annual pass is required.

March 15, 2017 (Wednesday)   8:00 AM – 12:00 PM          Early Migrants and Waterfowl
Leader: Mike Mencotti; Email
Bird behavior clues and bird song will be highlighted at Robert Long Nature Park, Walled Lake and Heritage Park. Expect to see the first wave of passerine migrants, and waterfowl will be increasing in number and variety. Meet in the parking lot of Robert Long on 14 Mile Road, just west of the M-5 (Haggerty) Connector.

March 19, 2017 (Sunday)   8:00 AM – 1:00 PMBelleville Lake
Leader: Jim Koppin
Visiting the Lower Huron River Lakes for early migrant waterfowl, gulls, and residents.  Meet at French Landing Park, 12090 Haggerty rd., just south of I-94. We may push upriver near Ann Arbor after stopping somewhere for lunch, depending on reports and ice conditions.

April 8, 2017 (Saturday) 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM Maple River State Game Area
Leader: Jeff Stacey
We'll search for late waterfowl and early migrants at this under-birded preserve. Last year we found 63 species despite poor weather conditions. Meet at the Park & Ride on South Williams Road off US-127 (exit 91) and we'll carpool from there to several sites in the state game area. Bring a snack since there are no services in the immediate area.

April 12, 2017 (Wednesday)   8:00 AM – 12:00 PM        Waders, Swallows and Sparrows
Leader: Mike Mencotti; Email
We will focus on bird song for this trip at Robert Long Park and Heritage Park. Meet in the parking lot of Robert Long
on 14 Mile Road, just west of the M-5 (Haggerty) Connector.

April 22-23, 2017 (Saturday - Sunday)  Berrien County
Leader: Don Burlett
This early spring trip is for interesting species found on the west side of the state. Brewer's Blackbird, Longspurs and other passerines have been seen in the past. We'll leave Friday and drive west, staying in the Sawyer-New Buffalo area both nights. Carpooling will be encouraged. Click HERE for full details..

April 23, 2017 (Sunday)  8:00 AM - 12:00 PM    Walled Lake & Robert H. Long
Leader: Mike Mencotti
This is an alternate trip for anyone who isn't going on the Berrien County trip but still would like to take advantage of this prime early migration weekend. Meet at the 13 mile road parking lot, south of Walled Lake (Lakeshore Pavilion Park). We'll start at Walled Lake for waterfowl and then move on to Robert H. Long for some passerines. If time permits, we may go to Heritage Park as well.

April 26, 2017 (Wednesday)   8:00 AM – 12:00 PM        Early Migrants
Leader: Mike Mencotti; Email
Spring migration will be picking up across the board. We will watch feeding behavior and work on general ID skills at Kensington Metropark (Metropark pass is required for entry into the park). Meet in the Nature Center parking lot.

April 30, 2017 (Sunday)   8:00 AM – 12:00 PM        Stony Creek by Bike
Leader: Dave Frye
We'll meet in the car park at Eastwood Beach at 8:00am and explore Stony Creek Metropark looking for early migrants and waterfowl. We'll ride some of the woods trails and then circle the lake during our visit. Bring your bikes and GEAR UP! A Metropark daily or annual pass is required..

May 6, 2017 (Saturday)   7:00 AM – 12:00 PM +    Magee Marsh
Leader: Jim Koppin
Visiting the Magee boardwalk and nearby areas. Spring Warblers! This famous Midwest Hotspot usually does not disappoint. Meet at the west end "warbler" deck" at 7am. Those wishing to meet at 8am, please contact the trip leader so arrangements can be made to hook up. Pack a lunch - this will be an all day trip as there is plenty of habitat to cover. Past trips have yielded 80+ species.

May 10 2017 (Wednesday)   8:00 AM – 12:00 PM              Warblers and Vireos
Leader: Mike Mencotti; Email
This week we will focus on how to differentiate between and identify Warblers, Kinglets and Vireos at Robert Long and Heritage Park. Meet in the parking lot of Robert Long on 14 Mile Road, just west of the M-5 (Haggerty) Connector.

May 13, 2017 (Saturday)   8:00 AM – 12:00 PM       Oak Openings Metropark / Irwin Prairie
Leader: Don Burlett
This trip will focus on the Oak Openings area along with Irwin Prairie. We'll meet at the Nature Center at Mallard Pond off Oak Openings Parkway at Oak Openings, just west from Wilkins Road. We'll bird this area some and then drive up to Irwin Prairie to check out the wildlife there. Pack a lunch and come for the fun of migration in this area. Carpooling is suggested.

May 24, 2017 (Wednesday)   8:00 AM – 12:00 PM       Flycatchers and More!
Leader: Mike Mencotti
This is THE week for birding in southeast Michigan. We will just have a lot of fun and see a large variety of birds. Stops: Robert Long and Heritage Park. Meet in the parking lot of Robert Long on 14 Mile Rd., just west of the M-5 (Haggerty) Connector.

June 3, 2017 (Saturday)   8:00 AM – 12:00 PM       Nyanquing & Bay City SRA
Leader: Jeff Stacey
Meet in the parking lot of Bay City SRA. From there we'll carpool up to Nyanquing Point State Wildlife Area. Our main target will be Yellow-Headed Blackbirds, but there are plenty of other interesting birds there as well. We'll return to Bay City and bird around Tobico Marsh to finish the trip.

June 11, 2017 (Sunday)   8:00 AM – 12:00 PM       Thumb Wild Card
Leader: Ed Lewandowski
The location and target species for this trip will be determined by the leader shortly ahead of time, depending on what is currently being seen in the thumb area. Consult this site (or the Oakland Audubon Facebook page) for more details as the date approaches.

June 24, 2017 (Saturday)   8:00 AM – 12:00 PM       Butterflies at Independence Oaks
Leader: Kathleen Dougherty
Meet at the Camp Wilderness Parking Lot at Independence Oaks County Park for a 2 mile birding hike. At 10am, Butterfly expert Dwayne Badgero will join the group to search for butterflies. Bring water! Park entry fees apply.


Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is an annual, 116 year-old national bird survey sponsored by the National Audubon Society, conducted on a specific day during the months of December and early January. This survey is conducted across the United States, all Canadian provinces, Mexico, Samoa, South America, and several other countries. The CBC is the longest running citizen science project in the world and OAS has participated in it for over 50 years. Membership is not required. 

See trip reports below

CBC Results and Field Trip Reports: