Thanks to all of our fantastic field trip leaders and others who helped make the 2007 series a success. Stay tuned to our website in late winter to learn about our upcoming 2008 Wetland Field Trips

WWA invites you to get your feet wet and experience the wonders of wetlands first hand on one of our upcoming field trips. Unless otherwise noted, field trips are free for WWA members and $10 for non-members. To register for a field trip, email or call our office at 608-250-9971.

Bring a water bottle and dress appropriately for weather, walking and wading (recommended summer marsh wear: long sleeved shirts, long pants, rubber boots, wide brimmed hat, and mosquito repellent). In most cases, field trips will occur rain or shine, but we will cancel in case of hazardous weather. Call WWA or the trip leader the day before if the weather is questionable. Be aware that Lyme disease is present in parts of the state. Prevent tick bites by wearing clothes that cover your skin and by checking your skin and clothing for ticks after participating in field trips.

2007 Field Trip Schedule
April 10: Sky Dance of the Woodcock, UW Arboretum (Dane Co.)
>> April 12: Frogs Night Out, Mazomanie Wildlife Area (Dane Co.)
>> May 6: Frogs of the Bog Evening Walk (Ozaukee Co.)
>> May 13: Birds of Faville Grove Sanctuary (Jefferson Co.)
>> May 16: Cherokee Marsh South Unit (Dane Co.)
>> June 2: Backwater Riverboat Tour of Upper Mississippi River (Crawford Co.)
>> June 16: Dragonflies of Germania Marsh & Comstock Bog (Marquette Co.)
>> June 30: Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid Survey and Habitat Management Tour (Rock Co.)
>> July 21: The Cultural and Natural History of Horicon Marsh (Dodge Co.)
>> September 22: Train Ride into Tiffany Wildlife Area (Buffalo Co.)
>> September 22: Tour of Zeloski Marsh (Jefferson Co.)

Sky Dance of the Woodcock, UW Arboretum

Dane County
Tuesday, April 3, 7:00 - 8:30 pm POSTPONED: The stormy and cold forecast means that woodcocks will not likely be active. This trip has been rescheduled for the same time on Tuesday, April 10.
Field trip leader: Arboretum naturalist
Space limited; call WWA to register: 608-250-9971

The American woodcock (Scolopax minor), depends on wetland habitats for feeding. A popular game bird in parts of the U.S., the American woodcock is also of interest to non-hunters because of its fascinating mating and foraging behaviors. We will attempt to view this funny-looking bird and witness its amazing spring ritual for attracting mates. We can never guarantee that wildlife will appear on cue, but we will hopefully be able to hear and see woodcock performances near the Arboretum Visitor Center. Naturalists will talk about the woodcock, it's wetland connections, and other rites of spring that can be seen on an April evening.

Meet at the UW Arboretum Visitors Center. In Madison, heading west on the Beltline (Hwy 12), take the Seminole Highway exit and go north. After several blocks you will see the sign at the Arboretum entrance. Turn right into the Arboretum and continue until the road ends at the McKay Visitors Center parking lot.
Click here for a map

Frogs' Night Out, Mazomanie Wildlife Area
Dane County
Thursday, April 12, 6:45 - 9 pm POSTPONED: The cold forecast means that frogs will not likely be active. This trip has been rescheduled for the same time on Thursday, April 19.
In partnership with:
Madison Audubon Society
Field trip leader: Bob Hay, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Free and open to the public; call WWA to register: 608-250-9971

Bring a sense of adventure on this trip as you look at the world from a different perspective -- through sounds. Besides listening for a variety of frog calls, participants will learn about frog lifestyles and wetlands ecology. Bring a flashlight and dress for wet conditions.

NOTE: The trip will be cancelled if the daytime high temperature is below 45°F, and in case of very strong winds or heavy rain. The rain date for this trip is April 19. Call trip leader Bob Hay only if you have questions; work: (608) 267-0849 or home: (608) 829-3123.

Meet at the Mazomanie Wildlife Area at 6:45 p.m. From Hwy 14 in Mazomanie, drive north on County Hwy Y for about 4 miles. Just before the highway bends to the east (right), turn left on Law's Drive. Travel on the access road about 0.25 miles and turn left onto the first gravel road. Follow this about 1.5 miles until it deadends at a parking lot. The trip leader will be there to meet you. The trip will last until 9:00 p.m. Plan to walk about 1/3 mile to the site.

Frogs of the Bog Evening Walk
Ozaukee County
Sunday, May 6, 7:00 - 9:00 pm
Field trip leader: Jim Reinartz, UW Milwaukee Field Station
Space limited; call WWA to register: 608-250-9971

Come "see" the Cedarburg Bog in a brand new way - through sound. Listen for a variety of frog calls including Wood frog, Spring peeper, Chorus frog, and American toad and possibly Cope's gray tree frog and Eastern gray tree frog. We'll also learn about frog lifestyles and mating behaviors as well as ecology of the bog. Bring a flashlight and wear footgear that can get muddy and wet; bring rain gear if appropriate.

Cedarburg Bog is the most intact large bog in southeastern Wisconsin and composed of a mosaic of vegetation types. Once part of a large glacial lake, the bog is a relict community - a southern example of the type more commonly found in northern Wisconsin. There are six lakes remaining within the bog, all with varying sizes and depths. The 245-acre Mud Lake is the largest, followed by the 34-acre Long Lake. Surrounding the lakes are areas of emergent aquatic vegetation while just outside this zone is a successional shrub-carr area. Most unusual is a string or "patterned" bog, unique here because it lies far south of its usual range in North America. It is composed of ridges of stunted cedar and tamarack that lie in an open flat sedge mat. The meadow vegetation consists of narrow-leaved sedges, pitcher plant, bogbean, water horsetail, arrow-grass, orchids, and the insectivorous sundew and bladderwort. A conifer-swamp hardwood forest is adjacent to the bog. There is a very diverse flora and fauna; many that are more common in northern boreal forests and that are at their southern range limit here. Cedarburg Bog is owned by the DNR and UW-Milwaukee and was designated a State Natural Area in 1952.

The main Field Station property is located in the Town of Saukville, Wisconsin, about 30 miles (45 minutes) north of Milwaukee and 1 hour 45 minutes from Madison.
Map here.

  • From Milwaukee: Take I-43 north to Hwy 33, then take Hwy 33 west to Blue Goose Road (4.3 miles west of Saukville). Take Blue Goose Road south 1.9 miles to the Field Station, the 2nd driveway on the west side of Blue Goose, south of Knollwood Road.
  • From Madison: Take Hwy 151 NE to Hwy 60 East. Take Hwy 60 east to Co Hwy Y. Take Hwy Y north about 4 miles to St. Augustine Road. Follow St. Augustine Rd. east for 1 mile; St. Augustine Rd. then turns north and becomes Blue Goose Road. The Field Station will be on your left.

  • Birds of Faville Grove Sanctuary
    Jefferson County
    Sunday, May 13, 7:15 am
    In partnership with:
    Madison Audubon Society
    Field trip leaders: David Musolf & Roger Packard
    Call WWA to register: 608-250-9971

    Experience Madison Audubon Society's Faville Grove Sanctuary with resident managers David Musolf and Roger Packard. Participants will hike through northwestern Jefferson County's recessional glacial terrain while viewing its attendant array of plant communities (wetland, prairie, sedge meadow, perched tamarack bog, fen, savanna, and woodland). We expect to see Sandhill Cranes, various migratory waterfowl and songbirds, hawks, grassland birds and other resident species. It is not unusual to see at least one flock of cormorants en route to Green Bay. Meet at the west unit of the sanctuary at 7:15 a.m; the trip will last 2-3 hours.

    From Madison travel east on I-94 to the Lake Mills/Waterloo exit, then go 3 miles north on Hwy. 89 to the old farmstead at N7710 Hwy. 89. If you have questions, call David weekdays at (608) 265-4562.

    Cherokee Marsh Walk, South Unit
    Dane County
    Wednesday, May 16, 6:30 pm
    Part of a series of
    Watershed Walks hosted by Benedictine Women of Madison
    Field trip leader: Russ Hefty, City of Madison Parks
    Call WWA to register: 608-250-9971

    Meet Russ Hefty, Conservation Resource Supervisor for the City of Madison Parks Division. View wetland restoration efforts at Cherokee Marsh, where more than 640 acres of wetland habitat have been lost in the past 150 years due to dam management and artificially high water levels on the Yahara River. The sedge meadows along the river provide unique habitat for myriad wildlife species including sandhill cranes, herons and a variety of waterfowl.

    Start location: 802 Wheeler Road, Madison. Go north on Hwy 113 (Northport Drive) and then north on School Rd to the junction with Wheeler Rd. Take Wheeler Rd and continue past the waste oil depot on gravel road to parking lot by boat launch.

    Backwater Riverboat Tour of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge
    Crawford County; boat leaving from Prairie du Chien
    Saturday, June 2, 10:00 am - 12:00 noon
    Field trip leader: Jon Stravers,
    Audubon Upper Mississippi River Initiative
    Registration fees: WWA Members - $20, Non-members - $30, 12 & Under - $15
    Join WWA today to get member rates
    Space limited is limited on this popular trip!
    Download the registration form (PDF, ~ 0.2 MB) or call WWA to reserve your spot: 608-250-9971

    Cancellation Policy: WWA will refund registration fees for cancellations made on or before Friday, May 18, 2007. No refunds will be made after this date. Thank you for understanding our need for this policy.

    This special two-hour riverboat tour will explore a variety of riverine wetland habitats including open backwaters, side channels that border floodplain forests as well as the main channel. We expect to see a significant variety of migrating and nesting birds since the Mississippi River Flyway is one of the most noteworthy bird migration flyways in the world and these tours occur during peak migration and nesting periods for many species of birds. Tours will be on board a Coast Guard inspected vessel with a licensed pilot.

    The meeting location is at the south end of Lawler Park on St. Feriole Island in Prairie du Chien. Lawler Park stretches along the west side of St. Feriole Island along the Mississippi River. Coming into Prairie du Chien on 18/35, continue on 35 (Marquette Rd) to intersection with Blackhawk Ave., the main east-west street through downtown Prairie. Turn left on Blackhawk Ave. and take it as far west as you can until it brings you right to the parking area along the river wall and right next to the docking and loading area.

    Dragonflies of Germania Marsh & Comstock Bog
    Marquette County
    Saturday, June 16, 9:00 am (Madison carpool meeting at 7:45 am)
    In partnership with:
    Southern Wisconsin Butterfly Association and Madison Audubon Society
    Field trip leader: Mike Reese
    Call WWA to register: 608-250-9971

    Learn about the identification, biology, behavior, beauty, and life-style of the various dragonfly species we encounter at these two different wetland sites. Leader, Mike Reese, has an excellent website devoted to butterflies and damselflies of Wisconsin (wisconsinbutterflies.org) and he took most of the photographs for the new book Damselflies of the North Woods. Bring binoculars if you have them (close-focusing ones work best) or just get close! It's best to wear long pants and a hat for protection from the sun. Bring mosquito repellent for the shady areas.

    The Southern Wisconsin Butterfly Association is a new chapter of the North American Butterfly Association (NABA), a group of butterfly enthusiasts that watches and works to conserve butterflies. SWBA's next meeting (Sat., April 28, at 10 a.m., in Madison at Alicia Ashman Public Library) will feature Dorothy Legler, an avid butterfly watcher, who will discuss how to use native plants to attract butterflies to your yard. For more information about SWBA, including a list of 2007 field trips, one of which is cosponsored with WWA, visit the SWBA website.

    Meet in Madison to carpool and leave at 7:45 am from the middle of the parking lot at the northeast Cub Foods. From the intersection of Highways 30 and 51 (Stoughton Rd.) go north on 51 and take the first right turn, which leads to Nakoosa Trail and Cub Foods. Or meet at 9 a.m. in Marquette County. Directions: From Montello travel north on Hwy 22 for nearly 10 miles. Just past the Mecan River, turn right (east) onto Duck Creek Avenue. Go 1.5 miles to Duck Creek Road and follow this south less than a mile to the parking lot on the east side of the road just north of the Mecan River. To register for this trip call (608) 250-9971. If you have a question about the trip contact Mike at 920-787-2341 (Wautoma) or mikereese@wisconsinbutterflies.org.

    Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid Survey and Habitat Management Tour
    Rock County
    Saturday, June 30, 9:00 - 11:30 am
    Bring lunch/water and participate in the survey (to continue into the afternoon)
    Field trip leaders: John Van Altena and Ursula Petersen
    In partnership with:
    DATCP's Endangered Species Habitat Program, Lake Koshkonong Wetlands Association and Madison Audubon Society
    Space limited; call WWA to register: 608-250-9971

    View and learn about Eastern prairie fringed orchid (Platanthera leucophaea), a federally threatened species, just as it begins to bloom for the season. We will gather on an oak savannah hill to discuss the site history and management and then walk through low-lying old field, sedge meadow and related habitats to view efforts to control reed canary grass while protecting the orchids. Wear long pants and sturdy shoes that can get wet/muddy. Bring insect repellent, sun protection and rain gear. Binoculars and field guides will be useful. Bring picnic lunch/water if you wish to participate in the afternoon survey. Tour will be held rain or shine.

    Take I-39/90 south to the 59-Milton exit. Go east ~2 miles on Hwy 59 and as 59 bends south, turn left (east) on County Hwy N. Go ~2 miles and turn left on Vogel Rd. Turn right on County Line Rd. and go ~1/2 mile to a gate with ribbons on the right. Drive in and up the oak savanna hill to park. Overflow parking alongside the drive up.

    The Cultural and Natural History of Horicon Marsh
    Dodge County
    Saturday, July 21, 9:00 am 12 Noon
    Field trip leader: Bill Volkert, Wildlife Educator/Naturalist for DNR at Horicon Marsh
    Call WWA to register: 608-250-9971

    This field trip will explore the past, present and future of Horicon Marsh. It will begin with an overview of the pre-glacial and glacial geology of eastern Wisconsin and how these events shaped the Horicon basin, and its relationship to other landform features of the region. This will be followed with an overview of the archeological record of the area and the importance of this marsh to humans over the past 12,000 years.

    Like so many of our wetlands, Horicon Marsh has seen its greatest changes since the time of modern settlement, including an effort to ditch and drain the marsh for agricultural purposes. Today, Horicon Marsh is a restored wetland that has healed many of the wounds of the past. As a state wildlife area, national wildlife refuge, unit of the Ice Age Scientific Reserve, a Globally Important Bird Area, and a Wetland of International Importance - Horicon Marsh is a wonderful example of the resilience of nature, an increasing human understand and respect for our wetlands, and a haven for a vast diversity of wildlife. In spite of these successes, Horicon Marsh is not without continuing human impacts. This field trip will explore all of the above topics through an audio-visual presentation, outdoor hike, and in-depth discussion of the many facets that make this one of the most important wetlands in the Upper Midwest.

    We will meet at the Horicon Field Office. For a map and directions, please see the
    Horicon Marsh website.

    Train Ride into Tiffany Wildlife Area
    Buffalo County (near Durand, WI)
    Saturday, September 22, 9:30 am - 3:00 pm
    Leaders: Kris Johansen, Karen Voss, Nate Moldrem and others
    Registration fees: WWA Members - $12, Non-members - $22, 12 & Under - $8
    Join WWA today to get member rates
    Space limited; call WWA to reserve your spot: 608-250-9971
    Cancellation Policy: WWA will refund registration fees for cancellations made on or before Friday, September 7, 2007. No refunds will be made after this date. Thank you for understanding our need for this policy.

    Take a ride in an antique open-air train approximately eight miles into Tiffany Bottoms State Natural Area’s extensive lowland hardwood wetlands and open wet prairies near the mouth of the Chippewa River.Participants can expect to see expansive lowland hardwood forests, sloughs of the Chippewa River and open wet prairie meadows with blooming flowers and grasses exceeding six feet in height. Tiffany Wildlife Area and Tiffany Bottoms State Natural Area offer excellent birding opportunities. The trip will be led by several naturalists and biologists from the WI Department of Natural Resources and UW-Eau Claire. Two to three hikes (0.25 - 0.5 miles each) are planned to access various wetland and prairie habitats. There will be a lunch stop during the day; participants should bring a bag lunch.

    Durand is about 15 miles northeast of the Mississippi River, on the banks of the Chippewa River in Pepin County, WI. Durand is about 3.5 hours (200 miles) from Madison and 45 minutes (30 miles) from Eau Claire. From Durand, take State Highway 25 south approximately 4 miles. As you travel south from Durand, you will notice that Hwy. 25 parallels an old railroad track. Approximately 4 miles south of Durand, Thibodeau Road "T's" with Hwy. 25, on the east (left) side of Hwy. 25. To the west (right) look for a small Tiffany Wildlife Area parking lot. Park here; we will depart on the train from here. If you see a dozen or so railroad cars "in storage" along a track, about 200 feet to the west of the road, you have gone a bit too far south on Hwy 25.

    Tour of Zeloski Marsh
    Jefferson County
    Saturday, September 22, 9:00 am - 12 noon
    In partnership with:
    Madison Audubon Society
    Field trip leader: Nolan Kollath

    Zeloski Marsh, a Madison Audubon Sanctuary, has become a major stopover for shorebirds. Observations of more than 23 species were made there during spring migration. At the time of this trip at the end of September, shorebirds will be stopping over again on their way south. The marsh is also a major stopover for waterfowl and wading birds. For more details on Zeloski Marsh see the Madison Audubon Sanctuaries webpage.We will walk 1.5 miles to get to the best viewing. Bring binoculars and a lunch. If you have questions, contact Nolan at nkollath@charter.net.

    Meet at the DNR parking lot at the end of Alley Road at 9:00 am. Alley Road is on Jefferson Co. Hwy S (west of Lake Mills), south of Co. B and north of Co. A.

    Back to Top