From Segway tours of secluded ecotourism attractions to a 5K run around Leesburg, Lake County’s 3rd Annual Wings & Wildflowers Festival is offering new events that will appeal to birders and beyond.
The festival, to be held Oct. 3-5 at Venetian Gardens, located at 201 E. Dixie Ave., Leesburg, will spotlight Lake County’s growing reputation as Florida’s premier birding destination and features field trips to birding hotspots and wildflower havens.
New to the festival this year are two guided Segway tours through Emeralda Marsh, a 7,000-acre conversation area considered to be the crown jewel of Lake County birding. It is best known for viewing herons and egrets, and is home to a vast array of species including the King Rail, Purple Gallinule, Limpkin and Barn Owl. The tours are $50 per person and will be held at 7 a.m. Friday, Oct. 3 and Saturday, Oct. 4.
Sponsored by Advocare of Eustis, the “Running is for the Birds 5K” is a family-friendly run/walk at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 4, beginning at Venetian Gardens and winding through the City of Leesburg’s Venetian, Fountain Lake and Magnolia trails. Registration is $15 and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Florida Ornithological Society.
Also for the first time, nature enthusiasts are invited to join Patricia Burgos of Lake County Water Authority and Shari Blisset-Clark of the Florida Bat Conservancy for the free “Wildflowers and Bats” field trip from 2- 4 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 3. Staff will discuss the efforts taken to convert a pasture into a lively wildflower meadow and visit the Flat Island bat houses to learn the benefits of inviting bats into home gardens.
To sign up for these and many other Wings & Wildflowers events, visit www.wingsandwildflowers.com. For up-to-date festival information, follow www.facebook.com/WingsandWildflowers or www.twitter.com/wingswildflower.
August 30 – September 2, 2013 (Labor Day Weekend) –Fri/Sat/Sun/Mon – 8:00 AM Q Ranch / Mogollon Rim /Tonto National Forest On Friday, carpool (requires high clearance vehicles) to historic Q Ranch near Young, AZ where 150 species of birds have been identified including raptors, tanagers, orioles, hummers, swallows, sparrows, warblers, and Mountain Bluebirds. Expect lots of other natural beauty, including post-monsoon wildflowers and dragonflies. Dark clear night skies at 5600 feet with plenty of stars. Combine birding with brief hikes to nearby scenic and historic locations.
Tour the 1000-year-old Q Ranch Mogollon-Culture Pueblo ruins. Depart ranch Monday after early birding and brunch. Ranch is a relatively poor cell-phone zone, but Verizon service is available within a few miles. All meals included. $135/person/night for shared room (we will link up sharers if possible). $200/person/night for single room. Full online or check payment is due by July 31, 2013 (www.qranch.com). Limited to 12 people total. Riders will pay ~$50 each for drivers’ gas cost. No out-of-the-way departures and ret! urns – you must be able to carpool from and return to Tucson or Phoenix and ride in someone else’s vehicle. For reservations and more info, contact trip leader Steve Buck (email@example.com). Birding leader (present at Q Ranch only): Ken Furtado (firstname.lastname@example.org).
More info at www.tucsonaudubon.org/what-we-do/birding/fieldtrips.html
The Yolo Audubon Society is organizing a field trip to Marin County to check in on the annual Hawk Watch of the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory. This is the opportunity for birding enthusiasts to observe hawks, falcons, vultures and accipiters that migrate along the Pacific Flyway. For more information visit www.yoloaudubon.org
Date: 3 October 2012
Meeting Place: Marketplace Shopping Center
City: Davis, Yolo County
Keynote speaker Kevin Karlson will be joining in every field trip of this popular annual event. As an accomplished bird, wildlife photographer and professional tour leader who has published a host of articles for an assortment of magazines, journals and books, Kevin currently writes the Birder’s ID column for Wild Bird Magazine. His program features “Birds on the Wind: The Miracle of Migration”. For more information on this exciting event, please visit the The Rockport-Fulton Hummingbird Website.
Dates: 13-16 September 2012
Country: United States