The Wilder side of Piedmont Park! Birdwatching Hike with Audubon Society experts - Sat, Mar 5 2016

REGISTRATION REQUIRED: Once you've reviewed the event details, and decided you'd like to join us, you MUST sign up at the bottom of this page.

The Wilder side of Piedmont Park! Birdwatching Hike with Audubon Society experts

The Basics:
Event Type:Hike
Event Location: 1071 Piedmont Ave, by Piedmont Park Conservancy Community Ctr in Midtown Atlanta   Hike: The Wilder side of Piedmont Park!  Birdwatching Hike with Audubon Society experts  National Weather Service Forecast
Date(s) & Time:Sat, Mar 5 2016  7:45 am >> Sat, Mar 5 2016 11:15 am
Registration Opens: Wed, Mar 2 2016 10:00 pm
Registration Cut Off: Fri, Mar 4 2016 10:00 pm
Event Duration:3 Hours 30 Minutes
Difficulty Rating:D1: Easy
Distance:3 Miles
Trip Leader(s):
Charlie Cottingham
Larry Cooper
Email Trip Leader(s)
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Member Cost:None

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 21 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:15
Minimum Group Size:2
Number Registered So Far: 4 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: No


IN A NUTSHELL:   Hope you can join us for this birdwatching and wildlife walk hosted by our friends in the Atlanta Audubon Society and sponsored by the Piedmont Park Conservancy..  The weather is expected to be beautiful, with mostly clear skies and in the 40s and 50s during the event - rising to a high in the low 60s later in the day  Free streetside parking is usually available Saturday mornings along 11th Street, just west of Piedmont Ave - see detailed directions and parking tips below.  Please be on time - parked and ready to walk with us no later than 8:00 AM - otherwise you may miss the event entirely.  Bring binoculars if you have a pair - if not, the Audubon birders may have a pair or two available for you to share.
  Most Atlantans are probably unaware that Piedmont Park is a wonderful place for birdwatching although it's in the heart of midtown.  More than 175 different bird species have been observed there.  On this Audubon Society "field trip" guided by master birder Jason Ward, we'll explore the "wilder side" of the Park via its lesser known wooded trails and open meadows.  Thanks to Jason for permission to try his cell phone number (404-759-7770) if any of us need to reach him on the morning of the event.
  The Park's lakes, creeks, open lawns and forested habitats attract numerous water birds, songbirds and raptors, and it isn't uncommon to see gorgeous Great Blue Herons, Cooper's Hawks, Red-headed Woodpeckers or Scarlet Tanagers (as pictured above) - also other wild critters such as squirrels, fish, turtles & butterflies - and of course hundreds of species of beautiful native trees, plants and wildflowers.

EVENT PURPOSE, PLAN & PACE:  This birding walk will sharpen our ability to spot and observe birds and identify them from their body & wing markings, flight patterns, perching & feeding habits, and calls.  If you're chiefly an "exercise hiker," be advised that this will be an experiential and learning hike, with frequent stops for naked-eye and binocular birdwatching and for intent listening to birds that may or may not be in view.  Part of the route will a rugged unpaved portion of the Atlanta Beltline on the Park's eastern periphery. The walk is expected to be about 2.5 miles in total distance, with no more than about 200 feet of total elevation gain or fall along the way.
  At the end of this and other Audubon field trips the group usually gathers briefly in a quiet spot near the original meetup spot to discuss and tally the approximate number of birds of each species that have been identified either by sight or by song - and to summarize other observed wildlife.  You'll likely enjoy sticking around for this, but feel free to split from the group at any time if you like, provided you let the leaders know when you're departing.

PIEDMONT PARK CONSERVANCY BIRDING WEBPAGE:  Click for their invitation to the general public to attend these free Piedmont Park birding walks, guided year round on the 1st Saturday morning of each month by Audubon experts.

ATLANTA AUDUBON WEBSITE:  Click on "Field Trips" on this home page for details about this and other free upcoming birding walks.  Anyone with an interest in birds is welcome to attend these events even if you're not an Audubon Society member.

ONLINE FREE BIRDING GUIDE:  is the link to Cornell University's excellent birding website.  Use it to brush up on your birding knowledge and skills in the comfort of your own home or on your Smart Phone, etc.  Among other things, for each native species it provides song recordings, color photos, range maps, etc.

MORE about PIEDMONT PARK:  Now about 125 years old it first became world famous in 1895 as the site of Atlanta's Cotton States & International Exposition.  Volunteer members of the Piedmont Park Conservancy deserve much credit for the Park's dramatic improvements and excellent maintenance in recent years. The thriving Atlanta Botanical Garden in the NW corner of the 200-acre Park has also benefited the Park's popularity and reputation.  For more Info click and to access an online Color Map first click this link: 

Required Items to Bring:

• Wear weather-appropriate Clothing Layers and comfortable Walking Shoes (or athletic shoes or boots) - also 
if the forecast predicts the likelihood of rain consider bringing light emergency raingear.

Recommended Items to Bring:
Use our Event Checklists to make sure you have everything you need.

Binoculars if you have a pair (preferably light-weight).
Camera (ideally with a good zoom feature).
Birding Field Guide if you have one.
At least a half liter of Water for the hike, and esp.
     if it's cold wear a Cap, gloves, etc.

How to Get There:
Event Directions:

OUR "MEETUP SPOT" for this event is the paved patio beside the Piedmont Park Conservancy Community Center at 1071 Piedmont Avenue, just inside the "12th Street" entrance gate into the Park.  This is on the north side of the same building as "Willy's Mexicana Grill."
  For a zoomable map & satellite view of this meetup spot click on the Blue & Green "LOCATION" icon near the top of this article.  If you use GPS or you can
 augment my verbal instructions below by entering the following Lat/Lon coordinates of that spot as your "Destination Address":  33.78399,-84.37865

The following numbered directions assume that you're initially driving southward toward midtown from the north side of Atlanta via I-75 or I-85 South.  Note also my suggestions below for free streetside parking just west of the Park - or paid parking in the nearby Atlanta Botanical Garden parking deck. 

1. Via I-75 South or I-85 South as you near the I-75/ I-85 interchange (about ~2 miles north of downtown Atlanta) get into the second lane from the right side of either Interstate.
2. Avoid exiting onto the other Interstate, but as you pass the interchange bear right toward I-75 Exit #84 and exit there (for "17th St, 14th St and 10th St").
3.  Then bear leftward along the access road (a.k.a."Techwood Drive") for about 0.3 mile to the traffic light at 10th Street (bypassing 17th St and 14th St en route).
4. Turn Left onto 10th Street and go 0.6 mile eastward to the traffic light at Piedmont Ave.
5. Turn Left onto Piedmont Ave (northward).  Our meetup spot discussed above is 2 blocks ahead - just a few yards inside the Park to the right of the traffic light at 12th Street & Piedmont.  If you wish to look for free streetside parking a good bet is to turn Left off Piedmont onto 11th Street one block BEFORE you reach the 12th Street light.  On Saturday mornings there are usually some spots available alongside 11th St. between Piedmont & Juniper.
6. As mentioned above we'll meet on the patio of the Piedmont Park Conservancy Community Center - same building as "Willy's Mexicana Grill" - just a few yards inside the Park Gate near the Piedmont/ 12th St. traffic light. Look for others wearing binoculars around our necks.  Please be parked and ready to introduce yourself at about 7:45 AM to our "AOC subgroup" and to begin the birding walk at 8:00 AM with our friendly Audubon hosts and other guests.  (By the way,
 in the small lot directly behind the Community Ctr and "Willy's" there are sometimes a few free parking spots if you couldn't find a spot along 11th St.)

Can't find a free parking spot?  The multi-level parking deck at the Atlanta Botanical Garden is just a 5-minute walk from our meetup spot and costs only about $5 for 3 hours.  To reach it by car from the corner of Piedmont Ave. and 12th Street:  Drive north on Piedmont 0.2 mile to the traffic light at "The Prado" and turn Right into the main Botanical Garden entrance.  The parking deck is easy to find - at the top of the hill after you drive through the Garden entrance gate. The shortest walking route from the deck to our meetup spot is NOT via the same entrance road.  First walk southwestward down the paved pedestrian roadway that parallels the parking deck - then bear rightward and southward along the walkways inside Piedmont Park to the Piedmont/ 12th Street corner.

* We encourage all members to follow our Etiquette Guidelines while participating in AOC events.

Cost Includes:

Free Event with free park entrance and free parking, provided that streetside spaces along 11th Street, etc. are available.

Cancellation/Partial Attendance:   Please review the AOC cancellation policy.