Archive for the ‘Field Trips’ Category

May 2017 Field Trip

Saturday, May 20, 2017 – Broad Canyon Ranch
Broad Canyon Ranch is a great birding spot.  Through 2014, 208 species have been observed, including 47 species of concern in New Mexico.  The Southwestern Willow Flycatcher, Common Ground Dove, Peregrine & Prairie Falcons, Lazuli & Painted Buntings, White-throated Swift, Dickcissel, Summer Tanager and Golden Eagle are a smattering of notable sightings.  Meet at the NW corner of the parking lot for K-Mart just off US70/N. Main at 6:15am to carpool at 6:30am to Broad Canyon Ranch which is about 10 miles north of Radium Springs on NM 185.

March 2017 Fieldtrip

Saturday, March 18, 2017

We will explore some of the diverse habitat near the village of La Luz, north of Alamogordo.  Meet at the northwest corner of the K-Mart parking lot on Hwy 70 (closest to the Shell station) at 7:00 a.m.  Carpooling is encouraged for this all day trip.

February 2017 Fieldtrip

Saturday, February 18,  2017
Las Cruces citizen scientists will become part of the Great Backyard Bird Count conducted by Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society, by exploring the wetlands and other areas east of the Las Cruces Dam.  Meet at Sagecrest Park, 601 N. Roadrunner Parkway, at 7:00 a.m.

January 2017 Fieldtrip

Saturday, January 21, 2017


Waterfowl Identification Class Fieldtrip. Times and location (most likely Bosque del Apache NWR) to be announced at Jan 18 presentation.

December 2016 “Fieldtrip” – Annual Christmas Bird Count

Saturday, December 17, 2016


MVAS sponsored Christmas Bird Count of Las Cruces, including post-CBC celebration. Contact Wayne Treers coordinator and compiler at or (575)528-8696.

November 2016 Fieldtrip

Saturday, November 19, 2016 

Fieldtrip to Gardner Sod Farms, Santa Teresa, NM. Possible sightings include McCown’s Longspurs and other winter sparrows. Meet at Mesilla Town Hall, 2231 Avenida de Mesilla, at 7:00 a.m., to carpool to this great birding hotspot.

Fall 2016 Other Bird Watching Opportunities

Other Birdwatching Opportunities

MVAS Beginner Bird WalksMesilla Valley Audubon Society Beginner Bird Walks continue August 17 and run on the third Wednesday of every month. Future dates are September 21, October 19 and November 16, 2016. Don’t worry about reservations, just show up at 7:45 a.m. at the Tellbrook Park entrance, 4290 E. Winchester Road in Las Cruces. Birding will be done from the paved path that winds through the park, with short, optional excursions into the surrounding desert. Board member Wayne Treers is your guide (see Officers, Page 4).

Other Bird Walks
Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park, Leasburg Dam State Park, and Percha Dam State Park frequently offer free bird walks on Saturday mornings. Consult the websites for these parks for specific dates and times.


October 2016 Field Trip – A-Spear Ranch southwest of T or C

A-Spear Ranch
Saturday, October 22, 2016We’re going to A-Spear Ranch ( on Las Palomas Creek southwest of T or C, NM. Meet at the K-Mart parking lot at 7:00AM.   This 60,000-acre ranch is a private wildlife preserve. You will not believe you’re in southern New Mexico when you see this place. Mr. J.R. Absher, one of the partners in the A-Spear, will be our October program presenter.  Ample water, insect repellent, sunscreen, comfortable walking shoes, a wide-brimmed hat and lunch & snacks are strongly suggested.

September 2016 Field Trip – Leasburg Dam State Park

Leasburg Dam State Park
Saturday, September 24, 2016
In conjunction with the September program, we will visit Leasburg Dam State Park in Radium Springs, one of the better local birding hotspots. Board member C.J. Goin will lead this trip. Meet at the Park Visitor Center at 8 am (take I-25 exit 19 for Radium Springs and head SW–away from Interstate. Park entrance is to the right.  After the group is assembled, we will head to the lower, day use area of the park along the river.  Ample water, insect repellent, sunscreen, comfortable walking shoes, a wide-brimmed hat and snacks are strongly suggested.  For questions, contact C.J. Goin at or 575-202-1354.

August 2016 Field Trip – Gila River – Cliff, NM

Gila River, Cliff NM
Saturday, August 20, 2016
On Saturday, August 20, 2016, we will travel to the proposed site of the diversion of the Gila River in Cliff, NM. This is a fact-finding and birding field trip.  The Gila is NM’s last untamed, free-flowing river and one of the premier birding, fishing, hunting and hiking destinations in the Southwest. The proposed diversion at this site would decrease the amount of water flowing in the river seriously harming fish, wildlife, the forest, and the local economy. This particular site is one of the top birding sites on the entire Gila River.

We will meet at the McDonald’s on N. Main in Las Cruces (by the three crosses/N.Main/Solano intersection, also next to the Albertson’s supermarket on N. Main) at 5:45AM for a departure time of 6:00AM. I’d suggest parking in the Albertson’s parking lot as it’s larger than the McDonald’s one. I have room to take along three more passengers in my car. We’ll be stopping to meet the rest of the folks in Deming, so there is also the possibility of someone from Las Cruces driving to Deming and catching a ride the rest of the way there.  If you have a favorite driver you like to travel with or if you’re driving and know who you want as your passengers, you can make those arrangements before hand. Other carpooling from Las Cruces arrangements we can make on the spot Saturday morning.

TRAVEL DETAILS: We’ll be meeting up with the rest of the folks who are going in Deming at the Burger King (N. Gold Ave.) at around 07:00AM+/- to leave there at 07:15AM to head to the destination. It takes about 1 hr and 45 minutess to get there from Deming. From Deming we take US 180 through Silver City to Cliff NM, where we turn right onto Hwy 211; then we turn on to Hwy 293 to the end of the road. This is the Mogollon Box Day Use Area on the Gila River. From there, we’ll take a 30-45 minute walk to an overlook of the proposed diversion site. The walk includes a moderate uphill stretch along an old 4 wheel drive road and a crossing of Mogollon Creek, which is normally dry or with only minimal flow at this time of year. Wear, along with the rest of your clothes, walking shoes;  you’ll also definitely want insect repellent, sunscreen and a hat to keep the sun out of your face. Lunch/snack(s) are also great ideas, as you’ll be most likely to get hungry. And, of course, water! Do bring more than you think is enough, as dehydration is a most unpleasant experience!Regionally recognized avian expert Jarrod Swackhammer will be leading the hike, so bring along binoculars and come ready to see some great country and exciting birds (hopefully)!
Questions, comments? My phone and e-mail are below. Probably phone is the best way to get me if you want an immediate answer as my computer at home is kaput, and all my e-mail I now do from my office in Branigan Library. If you do e-mail, please put GILA Fieldtrip in subject line. Please get back to me by Wednesday the 17th at the latest, so I can then contact the overall trip coordinator and let her know what’s happening.
Looking forward to this!
Mark Pendleton
Mesilla Valley Audubon Society Fieldtrip Coordinator