Tuesday, December 10: Annual Conservation Celebration and Chili Supper
Speaker: Kathy Stark, Artist, Author & Parks Ambassador, on "The Wilderness of North Florida's Parks"
6:00 PM, Trinity Episcopal Parish Hall, Melrose




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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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 September through April.
Field trips and walking workshops are on scheduled Saturdays.


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.

Fall 2019-Spring 2020, Programs and Activities
Tuesday, September 10, 2019, 6:45 p.m.
Program: Birds of Two Worlds - The Conservation Ecology of Florida’s Swallow-tailed Kites and Snail Kites
Speaker: Ken Meyer, PhD, Ex. Dir., Avian Research and Conservation Institute (ARCI), Gainesville, FL

Two Florida raptors of conservation concern illustrate the stark contrasts between co-mingling species in their behavior, habitats, movements, and the threats they face.
Saturday, September 28, 2019
Field Trip: Beginning Bird ID at Gold Head Branch State Park
Meet at 7:45 a.m. at Melrose Heritage Park (west side) to carpool or or 8:30 AM at Gold Head State Park at the Mill Site Parking Lot ($5 per car park entrance fee.)
SFAS Contact: Laura Berkelman, 352-475-2023 or lberkelman@windstream.net

Learn basics of birdwatching followed by a walk in the woods to practice new skills. Approx. 2 hours.
Difficulty Level 2: May involve uneven terrain; 1-2 miles.
Tuesday, October 8, 2019, 6:45 p.m.
Program: Gulls of Florida
Speaker: Michael Brothers, PhD,Dir. (Ret.), Marine Science Center, Ponce Inlet, FL

Gulls with their varying plumages can present some of the most formidable identification problems in the world of birds. Learn about the wide range of gull species found in Florida and how to find the rarer visi-tors from other continents.
Saturday, October 19, 2019
Field Trip: Migratory Birds at Newnans Lake State Forest
Meet at 7:45 a.m. at Melrose Heritage Park to carpool or at 8:15 AM at the Lake Pithlachocco Trailhead at Newnans Lake State Forest
SFAS Contact: Laura Berkelman, 352-475-2023 or lberkelman@windstream.net

Anne Casella, past president of Alachua Audubon, helps us look for migratory species on the east side of Newnans Lake State Forest. The area is managed for sparrows, but we may also see warblers making their way south. Approx. 3 hours. Difficulty Level 3: May involve elevation change, uneven terrain, and/or be greater than 2 miles.
October 2019, specific date to be announced.
Fun Work Day: Annual Etoniah Rosemary Survey, Etoniah Creek State Forest (See previous years.)
Start at Etoniah Creek State Forest Office, 8:30 am
SFAS 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. (Also Halloween candy!) Call Joyce King to volunteer.
Tuesday, November 12, 2019, 6:45 p.m.
Program: Of Faeries, Softballs and the Invasion of the Flying Killer Armadillos
Speaker: Timothy Gaudin, PhD, Biology, Ecology & Environmental Science, UT, Chattanooga, TN

Learn about Florida’s only living armored mammal, the diversity of armadillos, and the evolution of the armadillo group. Gaudin will focus on the nine-banded armadillo, our local species, including impacts on its human neighbors.
Saturday, November 16, 2019
Field Trip: Paddle the Ichetucknee
Meet at 7:45 a.m. at Melrose Heritage Park to carpool or at park site TBA. Park entry fee: $6 per car.
SFAS Contact: Joy Segall, 352-475-6234 or jrsegall@verizon.net

Join naturalist, local history buff and master river guide Lars Anderson for a memorable paddle through shaded hammocks, floodplain forests and wildlife-rich wetlands on the crystalline Ichetucknee. Approx. 3 hours.
Difficulty level 3: May involve elevation change, uneven terrain, and/or be greater than 2 miles.

Limit: 24 people. $30 trip fee, covers equipment.
Call Adventure Outpost 386-454-0611 to make your reservation.
Tuesday, December 10, 2019, 6:00 p.m.
Conservation Celebration, Chili Supper and Program: The Wilderness of North Florida’s Parks
Speaker: Kathy Stark, Artist, Author & Florida Parks Ambassador

Parks can provide much needed rest and inspiration for humans as well as habitats for some of Florida’s other residents. Explore what makes each park in north Florida unique, from ecology and wildlife to his-tory and natural beauty. Using a creative blend of art and education, Stark will showcase our area’s fan-tastic wilderness resources.

Along with the program, we will have live music as conservation organizations from our area join us for this annual celebration. Please bring a dessert to share. (Pictures of past events)

Thursday, December 19, 2019
120th Christmas Bird Count (Previous years)

SFAS Contact: Joyce King 352.475.1999 or joyceking2635@gmail.com

The world’s oldest citizen-science project relies on volunteers to collect data that contribute to bird conservation, indicate the movement, declines & advances in bird populations & indicate 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!
Difficulty level varies.
Contact Joyce by December 1 to participate.
Tuesday, January 14, 2020, 6:45 p.m.
Program: Fungi - Not Just Weird Plants
Speaker: Matthew Smith, PhD, Dept. of Plant Pathology, UF; Curator, Fungal Herbarium, FL Museum of Natural History, Gainesville, FL

Join us on a fascinating journey into the mysterious world of fungi and how they differ from plants and animals. Our journey will include some of Florida´s local fungi. By the way, do you know why we aren’t using the term “mushroom”? Be there and find out.
Saturday, January 18, 2020
Field trip: Sweetwater Wetlands Park
Meet at 7:45 a.m. at Melrose Heritage Park (west side) to carpool or at 8:30 at Sweetwater Wetlands Park, 325 SW Williston Road, Gainesville.Park entry fee: $5 per car.
SFAS Contact: Sallie Carlock, 561-908-6525 or santafeaudubonfl@gmail.com

A great outing for beginners! Michael Drummond, Alachua County Environmental Protection Dept., joins us for a walk at this man-made wetland with great bird diversity. The birds are accustomed to humans, so they are not very skittish. Approx. 2 - 3 hours
Difficulty Level 2: May involve elevation change, uneven terrain, and/or be greater than 2 miles.
Tuesday, February 11, 2020, 6:45 p.m.
Program: Burmese Pythons: Threat to Nesting Wading Birds?
Speaker: Peter Frederick, PhD, Dept. of Wildlife Ecology & Conservation, UF, Gainesville, FL

Learn from the premier expert on Florida colonial nesting birds about this invasive species and its poten-tial effects on large South Florida colonies of wading birds such as herons, egrets, storks and ibises.
Friday-Monday, February 14-17, 2020
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 14-17, 2020. You can count from any location, anywhere in the world, for as long as you wish!

Log on to http://gbbc.birdcount.org/ for complete information and how to get started.
Saturday, February 22, 2020
Field trip: Santa Fe Zoo Excursion
Meet at 7:45 a.m. at Melrose Heritage Park to carpool/caraavan or 8:45 AM at the entrance to the Zoo, 3000 NW 83rd St., Gainesville.
SFAS Contact: Gloria Sheffield, 352-514-9364 or sheffieldglo@aol.com

Tour the Santa Fe Teaching Zoo with many animals found in Florida including Bald Eagle, Barred Owl, Blue-winged Teal, Roseate Spoonbill, Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake, Florida Red-bellied Turtle, and Eastern Indigo Snake. Our visit includes an animal encounter where we meet and touch 3 to 4 animals. Approx. 2 hours.
Difficulty Level: 0 - Impaired mobility has been considered for this trip. The SFAS Contact has details.

Participants must wear closed-Toed shoes!
Limit: 20 people. Prepayment of $10 to SFAS required by February 11
Tuesday, March 10, 2020
11th Annual Meeting and Potluck Dinner, 6:00 p.m.
Arrive with dish at 6:00 p.m.Dinner at 6:20 p.m.Meeting at 6:50 p.m.
After the potluck dinner we’ll have our annual meeting, name our Conservationist of the Year and present our 3rd Annual Photography Show.

To contribute photographs, contact Laura Berkelman by March 1 at (352) 475-2023 or lberkelman@windstream.net
Please bring a dish to share that serves about 8 people.
Saturday, March 28, 2020
Field trip: Bolen Bluff Trail at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park
Meet at 7:45 a.m. at Melrose Heritage Park (west side) to carpool or at 8:45 AM at the Bolen Bluff parking area in Paynes Prairie State Park.Park entry fee: $6 per car
SFAS Contact: Gina Hopen, 954-802-0922 or ghendurocat@yahoo.com

This trail at the south rim of the park loops through a magnificent hardwood hammock with a large diver-sity of animals. Bolen Bluff is an open grassy knoll halfway along the loop. Approx. 3 hours.
Difficulty Level: 3 - May involve elevation change, uneven terrain, and/or be greater than 2 miles.
Tuesday, April 14, 2020, 6:45 p.m.
Program: Nocturnal Wildlife of North Florida
Speaker: Nan Soistman, Sunrise Wildlife Rehabilitation, High Springs, FL.

Are you curious about some of native wildlife that bring our North Florida nights to life? Great Horned Owls, Barn Owls and opossums are a few of these rarely seen creatures that share our natural world. Come meet some of the human and animal ambassadors from Sunrise Wildlife Rehabilitation.
Saturday, April 25, 2020
Field trip: Birding Cedar Key by Boat
Meet at 11:45 AM at Melrose Heritage Park to carpool/caravan or at 1:30 PM at Tidewater Tours, 302 Dock St, Cedar Key.
SFAS Contact: Elisabeth Summers-Howe, 904-250-6996 or seagypsytiki26@yahoo.com

Experience the pristine waters of Cedar Key by boat! Travel to the outer islands of the Cedar Keys Na-tional Wildlife Refuge to experience the rich avian fauna and marine life. Encounters may include peli-cans, willets, different species of terns and gulls, godwits, oystercatchers, dunlins, dowitchers, dolphins and stingrays. The boat departs at 2 PM at the Tidewater Tours dock in Cedar Key. Approx. 2 hours
Difficulty Level: 0 - Impaired mobility has been considered for this trip. The SFAS Contact has details.

Limit: 25 people. Prepayment of $26 to SFAS required by April 11.