Check here in late August for 2018-9 schedule. See you in September.

SFAS Program Meetings
Active: Sept - April
Annual Report
When: Program Meetings are held the Second Tuesday of each month at 6:45pm.

Where:Trinity Episcopal Parish Hall, 204 SR 26, Melrose

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More detail on SFAS
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Photo Credits
Photographs displayed on this website are copyrighted and were provided with permission by:
Ann Stodola
Dr. Jeff Smith
John Sloane
Richard Segall
Carol Sallette
Anne Pierce
Ida Little
Joyce King
Ray Franklin
Bill Chitty
Sallie Carlock
Jan & Bill Bolte
Keith Bollum
Bob Bird

Programs are presented at the program meetings on the second Tuesday of each month
Field trips and walking workshops are on the Saturdays listed below.

About field trips
Come early and be ready to LEAVE at the times listed.
Bring water, binoculars, hat, sunscreen, and raingear.
Wear sturdy walking shoes. Binoculars are available on loan.

2017-2018 Field Trip Schedule
Saturday, September 23, 2017
Field Trip: Gold Head Branch State Park
Meet at 7:30 am at Melrose Heritage Park (west side) to carpool or 8:00 at Gold Head’s Rec. Hall. ($5 per car entrance fee.).
Leader: Joyce King 352.475.1999 or

Inspired by Dr. Sieving’s presentation, we’ll tune in to the vocalizations of birds to identify species and the messages they’re sending. Developing a keen ear to bird sounds allows us to eavesdrop on what’s happening around us, and offers a new dimension of nature awareness and appreciation.
Saturday, October 28, 2017
Field Trip: Hague Dairy
Meet at 7:45 AM at Melrose Heritage Park to carpool or at 8:15 AM at the dairy’s outdoor classroom parking.
Leader: Laura Berkelman 352.475.2023 or

UF owns this working dairy farm just north of Gainesville. Birds abound. We’ll have easy walking on dirt farm roads (approx. 1.5 mi.) and we might spot Yellow-headed Blackbirds, Cooper‘s Hawks, or Painted Buntings! (Duration: 2 hours at dairy.)
Tuesday, October 31, 2017.
Fun Work Day: Annual Etoniah Rosemary Survey, Etoniah Creek State Forest Previous Surveys
Meet at Etoniah Creek State Forest Office, 8:30 am
Contact: Joyce King, (353) 475-1999.

Found nowhere else, and listed as an endangered species. A census to assess the health of this rare plant population is held each October when the plants are in bloom. Volunteers are invited to participate; training is provided. (Halloween candy also provided!) Call Joyce King to volunteer (353) 475-1999
Saturday, November 18, 2017, 5 PM to 6:30 PM
Field Trip: Private visit to the Kika Silva Pla Planetarium at Santa Fe College
Meet at 4 pm at Melrose Heritage Park to carpool or 4:50 at the planetarium.
Leader: Gloria Sheffield at 352-475-5758 or

“Florida Skies” Show lasts about 50 minutes followed by night sky viewing. Wheelchair accessible. $5 per person.
Saturday December 16, 2017
Melrose Circle, 118th Christmas Bird Count Previous Counts

The oldest citizen science project in the world relies on volunteers to collect data that contributes to bird conservation and indicates the movement of birds, declines and advances in bird populations numbers, and the possible results of climate change. No need to be an expert birder! Each team will have experienced leaders who can help newcomers. If you can count, you can participate! Call Joyce at (352) 475-1999 for information.
Saturday, January 13, 2018
Field trip: Ron Robinson’s Backyard and Property
Meet at 7:45 am at Melrose Heritage Park (west side) to carpool. Leader: Joy Segall 352-475-6234 or

Ron attracts large numbers of birds to his property annually with landscaping and innovative, homemade bird feeders and water features. We’ll see a variety of colorful winter migrants as well as resident birds. (Approx. ½ mile in a yard including some uneven ground.)
Saturday, January 27, 2018
Event: Yesterday’s Festival, 9 am to 4 pm, Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park

Experience the Florida of days gone by! Re-enactors, Historic Demonstrations, Cast Iron Cooking, Live Music, Antique Cars, Steam Engines and Tractors, Park Ranger Tram Tours and so much more. Free with park admission. Call (352) 473-4701 for more information.
Friday-Monday, February 16-19, 2018
Citizen Science Event: The Great Backyard Bird Count

Launched in 1998 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, the Great Backyard Bird Count was the first online citizen-science project to collect data on wild birds and to display results in near real-time.
Now, more than 160,000 people of all ages and walks of life worldwide join the four-day count each February to create an annual snapshot of the distribution and abundance of birds.
We invite you to participate! Simply tally the numbers and kinds of birds you see for at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the count, February 16-19, 2018. You can count from any location, anywhere in the world, for as long as you wish!

If you’d like to participate, but don’t know how, join us Saturday, February 17th at the Melrose Library. At 10 AM we’ll have a beginners’ bird watching lesson. At 10:30 we’ll walk the grounds of the library and record what we see. At 11 AM we’ll demonstrate how to report the data to Cornell University and explain how it’s used.
Log on to for complete information and how to get started.
Saturday, February 24, 2018
Field trip: Lake City’s Treatment Wetland
Meet at 6:50 AM at Melrose Heritage Park (west side) to carpool or at 8:15 AM at SS Food Store about 1 block west I-75 Exit 423 (SR 47). Debbie Segal will lead us to the site, and the gates will close after we enter.
Leader: Joy Segall 352-475-6234 or

Join Debbie Segal and Alachua Audubon at the new man-made wetlands, not open to the public. Segal will describe how the area was designed and built to improve the quality of Lake City’s storm water runoff and help restore Florida’s natural wildlife. The birding should rival that of Gainesville’s Sweetwater Wetlands Park.
Time at the wetlands 2-3 hours.
Saturday, March 24, 2018
Field trip: Payne’s Prairie State Park
Meet at 8:00 AM at Melrose Heritage Park (west side) to carpool or at 8:50 AM at park headquarters, 100 Savannah Blvd., Micanopy, FL.
Leader: Lynne Peterson 805-706-0301 or

Park Services Specialist Amber Roux will be our guide, focusing on efforts to restore this park to its natural state.
Saturday, April 28, 2018
Field trip: Explore Bartram Trail on the St. Johns River
Meet at 7:45 AM at Melrose Heritage Park (west side) to carpool or 10 AM at the Palatka City Dock, 319 River St, Palatka, FL 32177.
Contact: Anne Pierce 352-481-4099 or

Board a 35 passenger boat and enjoy Sam Carr’s commentary as we follow portions of the Bartrams’ route along the St. Johns.
Boat trip will last 2 hours. Qualified wheelchair accessible; please inquire.
Cost $30 per person. Advance reservations required.
Saturday, May 5, 2018
Field trip: Camp Blanding with Allan Hallman
Meet at 7:45 AM at Melrose Heritage Park (west side) to carpool.
Contact: Gloria Sheffield at 352-475-5758 or

Late April and early May is egg laying time for Southeastern American Kestrels. It’s a good chance to see kestrels and their behavior of protecting the eggs.
Inside Camp Blanding, we will car caravan on paved trails, but there may be short stretches of walking on rough ground.
Summer, 2018
Possible Special Field Trip: Sea Turtle Nesting
Field trip is under development. Look for more information here in Spring.