EVENTS: Choctawhatchee Audubon Society home page
PROGRAMS, FIELD TRIPS January through May 2015
A table of these events follows their descriptions.
Program meetings are free and open to the public: 6:30 PM in Room 130 on the ground floor of the Student Services Center at the Niceville Campus of Northwest Florida State College. For more information, click our Facebook link or call Walt Spence at 850-582-7064.
January 8 THURSDAY NIGHT PRESENTATION by Brett Williams, Adaptive Wild land Fire Management at Eglin AFB. 6:30 PM at the Niceville Campus of Northwest Florida State College. Brett Williams represents the Fire Management Office, Eglin AFB Florida. The presentation will be an introduction to the importance of fire to the longleaf pine ecosystem and the rare species it supports and how prescribed fire supports the military mission at Eglin AFB. Eglin AFB's science-based approach to managing fire and the tools the Eglin fire team uses to measure ecological restoration success will be shared and discussed in the context of ecosystem management.
January 24 SATURDAY FIELD TRIP to Valparaiso & Niceville Shorelines. Walt Spence 850 582 7064 Meet at Badcock Furniture Bayou Plaza, 699 John Sims Parkway, Niceville 7:30 AM Bring scopes & cameras for good photography tips.
February 5 THURSDAY NIGHT PRESENTATION by Dr. Bon Baltz, A Green Fire Presentation of Aldo Leopold’s Land Ethic. 6:30 PM at the Niceville Campus of Northwest Florida State College. Don Baltz is Professor Emeritus at Louisiana State University. The Green Fire DVD explores the life and legacy of famed conservationist Aldo Leopold and the many ways his land ethic philosophy lives on in the work of people and organizations all over the country today. The film shares highlights from Leopold's life and extraordinary career, explaining how he shaped conservation and the modern environmental movement. It also illustrates Leopold's continuing influence, exploring current projects that connect people and land at the local level. Meet urban children in Chicago learning about local foods and ecological restoration. Meet ranchers in Arizona and New Mexico who maintain healthy landscapes by working on their own properties, and with their neighbors, in cooperative community conservation efforts. Meet wildlife biologists who are bringing threatened and endangered species, from cranes to Mexican wolves, back to the landscapes where they once thrived. And learn how Leopold's vision of a community that cares about both people and land ties all of these modern conservation stories together, and offers inspiration and insight for the future.
February 13-14 FRI/SAT C.A.S. ANNUAL RETREAT to the Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge. Margaret Benner 850 678 6665 CLICK FOR DETAILS Arrive roughly 5 PM on Friday, Feb 13. First 10 people signing up will attend U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Crane Tour at 8:00 a.m. via 10-person van. More birding for all that day (Feb 14).
February 28 SATURDAY FIELD TRIP to Wright Landfill, Okaloosa Holding Ponds, and Niceville Spray Fields. Alan Knothe 850 208 1780 Meet at Coach N Four Restaurant, 1313 Lewis Turner Blvd 7:30 AM Look for waders, herons, ducks and hawks.
March 5 THURSDAY NIGHT PRESENTATION by Marie Harrison, Pollinators in Peril. 6:30 PM at the Niceville Campus of Northwest Florida State College. Marie Harrison is an author and contributing writer to Florida Gardening. Marie will discuss the role of pollinators in local ecosystems, reasons for their decline, the importance of choosing native plants and other key concepts. Diminishing populations of pollinators seriously impacts many species especially birds.
March 14 SATURDAY FIELD TRIP to the Eglin Reservation piney woods. Jackson Guard pass required. Malcolm Mark Swan 210 343 9082 Meet at Eglin AFB Armament Museum, 100 Museum Dr, Eglin AFB. 7:30 AM Search for Bachman’s sparrows and Red cockaded woodpeckers with an experienced birder. Annual Jackson Guard pass is available weekdays for $12 at Eglin Jackson Guard office 107 Hwy 85 North, in Niceville.
March 21 SATURDAY FIELD TRIP to South Walton Courthouse and the local area. Dee Nickerson 850 499 9269 Meet at Bluewater Bay Winn Dixie, 4512 East Highway 20, Niceville. 7:30 AM See early migrants, warblers and maybe a Northern Parula. Plan to have brunch together afterwards.
March 28 SATURDAY FIELD TRIP entitled Birding the Bayous by Boat. Walt Spence 850 582 7064 Meet at Badcock Furniture, Bayou Plaza, 597 w John C Sims PKWY, Niceville. 7:30 AM Bring your own human-powered watercraft, camera, water and safety equipment. You must register 2 weeks ahead for this activity.
April 5 THURSDAY NIGHT PRESENTATION by Walt Spence, A Photographic Essay on the Birds, Bugs, Reptiles and other local Beasties. 6:30 PM at the Niceville Campus of Northwest Florida State College. Walt Spence, Naturalist and Expert Photographer, will again dazzle his audience with a brilliant array of digital photography imagery capturing local wildlife in vivid color and in interesting poses.
April 11 SATURDAY Coastal Bird Stewardship Program Training Walk. Bonnie Samuelson 941 951 7704 Meet at Uptown Station, 99 Eglin Pkwy NE, Fort Walton Beach (city) 7:30 AM Learn what it takes to protect our nesting shorebirds such as Snowy plovers.
April 25 SATURDAY Estuary Festival, Rocky Bayou State Park. Margaret Benner 850 678 6665 Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park Rt 20, Niceville. 10:00 AM Spend a great day at the Park teaching children about birds.
May 2 SATURDAY FIELD TRIP to Veterans Park on Okaloosa Island for warblers, orioles, and herons. Malcolm Mark Swan 210 343 9082 Meet at NE corner of Emerald Coast Convention Center parking lot. 7:30 AM Wear a hat, sunscreen and closed shoes, bring water and plan to have brunch afterwards.
May 7 THURSDAY NIGHT PRESENTATION by Bard Hartshorn, TMDL, AquaLab, and Choctawhatchee Bay. 6:30 PM at the Niceville Campus of Northwest Florida State College. Brad Hartshorn is Regional Manager for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Environmental Assessment and Restoration Northwest and Northeast Offices. Hartshorn will describe how a small group of volunteers supported by the Okaloosa County Tourist Development Council, can commit to a long term water quality monitoring program. Water quality standards, measurements and trends in local waters will be discussed.
May 9 SATURDAY Coastal Bird Stewardship Program Training Walk. Bonnie Samuelson 941 951 7704 Meet at Bluewater Bay Winn Dixie, 4512 East Highway 20, Niceville, for North & Central folk, then parking lot at SW corner of Marler (Destin) Bridge over East Pass for jetties & beaches 7:30 AM then 8:00 AM Learn what it takes to protect our nesting shorebirds such as Snowy plovers.