Participants will meet at the Paonia River Park at 8:30 a.m. and carpool up Stevens Gulch road to various sites, then out Forest Road 265 and back to Paonia on Hwy 133 (slightly less than 100 miles with various side trips). To minimize disturbance to birds, the trip is limited to 16, who must preregister with trip leader Dennis Garrison at his email or at (970) 985-2244. If there is substantial additional interest, a second date will be arranged. Roads are gravel and in good shape, so most cars are fine for this trip.
The trip will visit known past and present purple martin nesting sites from Windy Point to Mule Park to the West Muddy. We will be discussing aspen ecology, future Forest Service projects in the area, martin life history, nest boxes, and looking for any and all birds we can find along the way. Bring binoculars and a bird book, a lunch, maybe a folding chair, a jacket, and some good shoes. There will not be a lot of hiking but we will wander off into the woods in a few places. Expect mosquitoes. We are typically done by mid-afternoon, depending on how much we talk.