September 2018 Yellowbill

31 Aug September 2018 Yellowbill


President’s Message

Welcome to Fresno Audubon Society’s 2018-2019 season. We have been working over the summer organizing field trips and discussing the strategic direction of Fresno Audubon. Thanks to Susan Estep for organizing the Wednesday Walks and to Kevin Enns-Rempel for the Saturday field trips over the summer. The Wednesday Walk trip list as it stands today can be found here, and the Saturday trip list can be found here. Be sure to check the calendar for the latest details as they become available.

September brings migration, and it is also time for your membership renewal. You may renew online on our website here. If you choose to renew by mail you can download a membership form here. Please use our new mailing address:

Fresno Audubon Society
PO Box 3315
Pinedale, CA 93650

Our first field trip of the season will be a Saturday trip to Lost Lake Park with Kevin Enns-Rempel on the 8th of September. The first Wednesday trip will be to the Wastewater Treatment Plan with me, Robert Snow, on the 12th, and we will visit Shaver Lake with Larry Parmeter on Wednesday 26 September.

Four of your board members, Barbara Bailey, Judy Johnson, Radley Reep and myself met over the summer to discuss the strategic direction of Fresno Audubon. We went over our mission statement and vision, and thought about some of the issues we see. The mission of Fresno Audubon is to “engage local communities in building a sustainable environment for people, birds, and other wildlife through education, science, and advocacy.” One of our conclusions was that we could be more effective at meeting our mission if we partnered with more like-minded organizations. We already have a partnership with Sierra Foothill Conservancy where we lead birding outings on the SFC properties. We also partner with the Bureau of Land Management to teach introduction to birding at the San Joaquin River Gorge. To explore whether more partnering was possible, in July we met with Sharon Weaver, Executive Director of the San Joaquin River Parkway and Conservation Trust. We offered to do bird surveys on the Parkway properties and to teach introduction to birding at the River Center, which Sharon welcomed enthusiastically. We will be calling for volunteers for these new endeavors in the coming months.

As part of our review of our strategic direction we created surveys to get your input about what you like and don’t like about our activities. The first two of these surveys are available now at these links:

FAS Communications

FAS Activities

Our first General Meeting of the year will be on Tuesday 11 September at the UC Center. At that meeting we will be asking for your input on such things as the member meetings themselves, field trips, our communication tools (eBlast, blog and website), citizen science,  advocacy and other volunteer opportunities. Please take the surveys now; it only takes a few minutes, and your input is very important.

One element of our mission is advocacy, and several of our board have been advocating to the Fresno County Board of Supervisors regarding the update of Fresno County’s General Plan to the year 2040. The General Plan is what lays out the rules for county land use.  If we want a sustainable environment where people and birds thrive we need to pay attention to the General Plan. At the last board of supervisors meeting both Barbara Bailey (for Fresno Audubon) and Radley Reep (for the League of Women Voters) spoke to the supervisors and encouraged them to increase public involvement in the General Plan 2040 update. We are following up with individual supervisors, so I joined Radley at a short meeting with Supervisor Magsig to reinforce the message that the county’s process has not been totally above board and that outreach needs to be improved. Thanks to Radley for his enormous efforts to follow the county’s planning processes and bring inconsistencies to light. We all benefit from his hard work.

We invite you to participate in a new fundraiser for Fresno Audubon: in mid-September there will be a month-long birdathon to raise funds for our birding classes and for updates to our website. There are many ways to participate in the birdathon either by leading a birding trip or by pledging for species seen. We will discuss the details at the September general meeting and through future eBlasts.

Over the summer we also completed and launched our on-line store for purchasing hats and shirts with the Fresno Audubon logo. You can also buy Tricolored Blackbird and Yellowbilled Magpie pins. The store can be  reached from the menu on the website, or it can be found here. You can also buy these items at the member meetings and save the shipping costs. Just visit the table staffed by Nancy Griesser to see the merchandise.

Finally, the Audubon California Assembly 2018 will take place this year in Long Beach November 2-4. Details can be found here. The assembly is a great place to meet colleagues from other chapters as well as staff of Audubon California. Barbara Bailey and I have already signed up; we hope to see you there.



September Meeting
Fresno Audubon Strategic Planning
11 September 2018
UC Center

Come join the first general meeting of the Fresno Audubon Society’s (FAS) 2018-2019 season on September 11 as we discuss the future of our organization. Your board wants to hear from you about your desires for the strategic direction of FAS. We will discuss field trips, member meetings, our mission, our communication tools (eBlast, blog and website), birdathon, volunteer opportunities and more.

As part of our review of our strategic direction we have created surveys to get your input about what you like and don’t like about our activities. Please complete the surveys before our September meeting so that we get the most our of our face-to-face time together.  The first two of these surveys are available now at these links:

FAS Communications

FAS Activities

We hope to see you on September 11 at 7:00 at UC Center, 550 E Shaw Ave, Fresno, CA 93710.


Field Trips

Our field trip schedules are coming together thanks to the hard work of Kevin Enns-Remple (Saturday field trips) and Susan Estep (Wednesday Walks). A pdf schedule of the trips as they now stand is available here. The list still has a few holes in it, mostly missing trip leaders, but September is finalized. The Wednesday Walk trip list as it stands today can be found here, and the Saturday trip list can be found here. Our new website has a calendar that allows you to see all the details of an upcoming trip as they become finalized. Included in the details is a map showing the meeting point for the trip. The calendar is subscribable, which allows you to integrate it into whatever electronic calendar you use. Updates to events will appear as they are made. We encourage you to subscribe.

September Field Trips

Saturday 8 September 2018 – Lost Lake Park with Kevin Enns-Rempel

Yellow Warbler

Yellow Warbler by Gary Woods

Join us for the first field trip of the Fresno Audubon Society’s 2018-2019 season on Saturday 8 September 2018. Kevin Enns-Rempel will lead a field trip to Lost Lake Park on September 8. Fall migration should be underway, and we hope to spot some of those songbirds passing through on their way to winter habitats.

Meet on the north end of the Walmart parking lot at Blackstone & Ashlan at 6:45 am. We will leave there for the park in Friant by 7:00 am. Be prepared for some easy walking. Bring food and drink for lunch, since the trip might extend into the early afternoon. Call Kevin at 559-313-4546 if you have any further questions.

Leader Kevin Enns-Rempel,, ‭(559) 313-4546‬

Checklist: binoculars, bird guide, water, sun protection and lunch.

Wednesday 12 September 2018 – Fresno/Clovis Wastewater Treatment Plan with Robert Snow

Wilson's Phalarope by Gary Woods

Wilson’s Phalarope by Gary Woods

On  Wednesday 12 September 2018 we will be visiting the Fresno Wastewater Treatment Plant (WTP). Susan Estep is handling the logistics of entry, which requires that names be submitted in advance to the plant security personnel. Please let Susan know you will attend by Tuesday 6 September by sending your name as it appears on your state-issued ID to her email You must bring that ID with you to be allowed entry.

The group will meet at the Walmart parking lot at the corner of Ashlan and Blackstone at 7:45 am for a 8:00 am departure to the WTP. Secondary meeting point is at the facility, 5607 W Jensen Ave, Fresno, CA 93706 at 8:15 am. With migration beginning we expect to see plenty of shorebirds and other migrants and perhaps Peregrine Falcons. After birding the ponds we will move to Kearney Park for lunch and a chance at Yellowbilled Magpies.

Checklist: ID, binoculars, bird guide, water, sun protection and lunch.

Leader: Robert Snow,, (650) 483-2347

Wednesday 26 September 2018 – Shaver Lake with Larry Parmeter

Green-tailed Towhee

Green-tailed Towhee by Gary Woods

We will meet at the Target at Riverpark shopping center at 7:45 am for an 8:00 am departure and carpool to Camp Edison at Shaver Lake. We will spend the morning at Camp Edison, and after lunch will drive out to the Dinky Creek Meadows (also known as Swanson Meadows). This should be a good opportunity to see mountain birds such as Pileated Woodpecker, Cassin’s Finch, Pygmy Nuthatch, Mountain Quail, and Brown Creeper, along with many fall migrants passing through the mountains. This will be a long day because of the travel time required to reach Shaver Lake.

Checklist: binoculars, bird guide, water, sun protection and lunch.

Leader Larry Parmeter,, (559) 276-8753.


by Jeff Davis

This section will return next month.

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