Thanks to all who helped make our 2008 field trip series a success. Click here to read about our 2011 Wetland Field Trip Series.

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.

2008 Field Trip Schedule
More dates coming soon!

April 1: Sky Dance of the Woodcock (Dane Co.)
>> RESCHEDULED DUE TO RAIN New Date - Thursday, April 17: Frogs Night Out, Mazomanie Wildlife Area (Dane Co.)
>> April 13: Tour Faville Grove (Jefferson Co.)
>> April 25: Evening at Cherokee Marsh (Dane Co.)
>> May 6: Frogs in the Bog (Ozaukee Co.)
>> May 10: Discover Ephemeral Ponds at Kettle Moraine State Forest - Southern Unit (Waukesha Co.)
>> May 18: Birding at Zeloski Marsh (Jefferson Co.)
>> RESCHEDULED DUE TO FLOODING June 14: Backwater Riverboat Tour of Upper Mississippi River (Crawford Co.) - New date: October 11
>> June 28: Butterflies of Cherokee Marsh (Dane Co.)
>> July 10: The Geology and History of Horicon Marsh (Dodge Co.)
>> August 3: Canoe Cherokee Marsh Ecological Restoration
>> September 13: Restoration of Riverine Wetlands and Waterfowl Habitat on the Wisconsin River (Columbia Co.)
>> September 20: Train Ride into Tiffany Wildlife Area (Buffalo Co.)
>> NEW DATE October 11: Backwater Riverboat Tour of Upper Mississippi River (Crawford Co.)

Sky Dance of the Woodcock, UW Arboretum

Dane County
Tuesday, April 1, 7:00 - 8:30 pm 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
This trip has been rescheduled for Thursday, April 17, 6:45 - 9 pm
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 45F, and in case of very strong winds or heavy rain. The rain date for this trip is April 17. 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.

Tour Faville Grove Sanctuary
Jefferson County
Sunday, April 13, 7:00 A.M.
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.

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.

An Evening at Cherokee Marsh
Dane County
April 25, 6:30 p.m.
In partnership with:
Madison Audubon Society
Field trip leaders: Tony Kalenic & Levi Wood
Call WWA to register: 608-250-9971

Cherokee Marsh is the largest wetlands in Dane County. An enormously diverse nature study area, Cherokee Marsh consists of a mosaic of wetlands, southern Wisconsin woodlots, old fields, restored prairie and oak savannah, two glacial drumlins and a section of the Yahara River. Observe cranes, the courtship flight of the woodcock and snipe, and several spring migrants.

Waterproof footwear is recommended.

Meet near Cherokee Marsh parking lot at the north end of Sherman Ave. on Madison's north side. If you have questions, please call Levi at 608-277-7959.

Frogs in the Bog
Ozaukee County
Tuesday 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.

  • Discover the wonder of Ephemeral Ponds at Kettle Moraine State Forest - Southern Unit
    Waukesha County
    May 10, 6:00 p.m. - 8, or 8:30 p.m.
    Field trip leader: Brick Fevold

    Come see the beauty and wonder of ephemeral ponds at the Kettle Moraine State Forest-Southern Unit. More than 20,000 acres of glacial hills, kettles, lakes, prairie restoration sites, pine woods and hardwood forests can be found in the Southern Unit, making this a popular area for a wide variety of visitors.

    Ephemeral ponds are depressions with impeded drainage (usually in forest landscapes), that hold water for a period of time following snowmelt and spring rains, but typically dry out by mid-summer. Common wetland plants found in this community (as well as other types) include yellow water crowfoot, mermaid weed, Canada bluejoint grass, floating manna grass, spotted cowbane, smartweeds, orange jewelweed, and sedges. They flourish with productivity during their brief existence, providing critical breeding habitat for certain invertebrates as well as for many amphibians such as wood frogs and salamanders. They also provide feeding, resting and breeding habitat for songbirds and a source of food for many mammals. Ephemeral ponds contribute in many ways to the biodiversity of a woodlot, forest stand and the larger landscape. Source: Wisconsin DNR

    Meet at the Forest Headquarters parking lot, click
    here for directions.

    Photos From the Trip:

    Photos below by Rachael Carlson

    Birding at Zeloski Marsh
    Jefferson County
    May 18
    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. 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. Alley Road is on Jefferson Co. Hwy S (west of Lake Mills), south of Co. B and north of Co. A.

    Butterflies of Cherokee Marsh
    Dane County
    Saturday, June 28, 10:00 A.M. - 12:00 P.M.
    In partnership with:
    Madison Audubon Society and Southern Wisconsin Butterfly Association
    Field trip leader: Kathy Kirk

    On this morning walk well observe and learn about butterflies, those small but exquisitely beautiful creatures that dance about our ankles in summer. Conservation Biologist Kathy Kirk will lead this two hour walk at Cherokee Marsh on the northeast side of Madison. We will observe a variety of butterflies as they take nectar from wildflowers, and learn about their identification, behavior, and lifestyle.

    Bring binoculars if you have them -- close-focusing ones work best. Its best to wear long pants and a hat for protection from the sun.

    Meet at 10:00 a.m. On the north side of Madison take Northport Drive (Highway 113) then turn north on Sherman Ave. Meet at the Cherokee Marsh parking lot at the north end of Sherman Ave. Call Kathy only if you have a question about the trip, at (608) 442-1642.

    The Geology and History of Horicon Marsh
    Dodge County
    Thursday, July 10, 6:00 - 8:30 P.M.
    Field trip leader: Bill Volkert, Wildlife Educator/Naturalist for DNR at Horicon Marsh

    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.

    New This Year: An update on the construction of the Horicon Marsh International Education Center, which is currently being built and expected to open this fall.

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

    Canoe Cherokee Marsh Ecological Restoration
    Jefferson County
    Sunday, August 3 8:30 a.m.
    In partnership with:
    Madison Audubon Society
    Field trip leader: Russ Hefty

    Learn about the facinating history and restoration story of Cherokee Marsh, the wetland at the mouth of Lake Mendota. When a dam at Tenny Park was created in 1849, and again in 1900, the Cherokee area was flooded with seven feet of water. The peat layer "delaminated" and rose to the surface forming a floating bog. But erosion over the decades has destroyed more than one square mile of wetland. Russ Hefty will show us how the shoreline of this floating bog is being stabilized by plantings to form a vegetation breakwater and silt fence. This should be peak bloom for the thousands ofAmerican Lotus Water Lilies used as a buffer! We hope to see a number of Great Egrets and other wetland birds.

    Bring your canoe or kayak and meet at 8:30 a.m. at the School road boat landing. Take School Road north from Northport Drive until the road starts turning east. Instead turn left onto the gravel road and proceed to the pier for Cherokee Marsh Conservation Park. Contact leader, Russ Hefty, at (608) 233-8513 or rhefty(at)ci.madison.wi.us, only if you have a question about the trip.

    Restoration of Riverine Wetlands and Waterfowl Habitat on the Wisconsin River
    Columbia County
    September 13, 9:00 am - 12:00 noon
    Field trip leader: Jeff Nania,
    Wisconsin Waterfowl Association

    Restorable wetlands along streams and rivers will be central to the future of wetland restoration in Wisconsin. These riverine systems are incredibly important ecologically -- they provide habitat for amphibians, fish, and birds (including game species) and help keep streams and rivers clean and healthy. Proximity to flowing waters that are dynamic and occasionally flood makes riverine wetlands virtually unfarmable and thus great candidates for restoration. The element of flow makes riverine wetland restoration highly complex and thus it is truly the cutting edge for wetland restoration. Join WWA and Jeff Nania of the Wisconsin Waterfowl Association as we explore different techniques for riverine wetland restoration and for improving waterfowl habitat at the Pines restoration site on the Wisconsin River. This will be a great trip for hunters and wetland enthusiasts alike.

    Meet at 9:00 am at the Petro Truck Stop at the intersection of I-39/94 and I-90/94 near Portage. We will have a brief introduction in the parking lot and then leave at 9:15 am for the Pines restoration site. We will carpool to the site and will get back to the parking lot by 12:00 noon.

    Train Ride into Tiffany Wildlife Area
    Buffalo County (near Durand, WI)
    Saturday, September 20, 9:30 am - 3:00 pm
    Leaders: Nate Moldrem and others TBA

    Registration fees: WWA Members - $12, Non-members - $22, 12 & Under - $8
    Join WWA today to get member rates. Space limited; reserve your spot today!
    Cancellation Policy: WWA will refund registration fees for cancellations made on or before Friday, September 5, 2008. 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 Areas 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.

    Backwater Riverboat Tour of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge

    Crawford County; boat leaving from Prairie du Chien
    Saturday, October 11, 10:00 am - 12:00 noon (ideal for fall migration and fall foliage)
    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) or call 608-250-9971 to reserve your spot.

    Cancellation Policy: WWA will refund registration fees for cancellations made on or before Friday, September 30, 2008. No refunds will be made after this date. Thank you for understanding our need for this policy.

    This special three-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 fall migration for many species of birds. And riverside trees will be approaching peak fall color, so it will be a beautiful morning on the River. 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.

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