GRAND NORTH DAKOTA
July 6 - 14, 2018
Endless skies, vast expanses of sweeping prairie grasslands, and abundant birdlife (especially in the prairie pothole region) characterize a summer birding trip to this “sleeper” destination. North Dakota has more National Wildlife Refuges than any other state in the nation and is home to the unique geology and rugged landscape that is the Badlands. Combined with its overall rural landscape, the birding possibilities are limitless. Specialty birds we’ll seek on the trip include Ferruginous Hawk, Sprague’s Pipit, Baird’s Sparrow, and Chestnut-collared Longspur. We’ll also see a variety of waterfowl, raptors, shorebirds, and many species whose breeding range is centered on the prairie pothole region including Sharp-tailed Grouse, American White Pelican, Marbled Godwit, Wilson’s Phalarope, Swainson’s Hawk, and Dickcissel. Remnant patches of native prairie have an amazing array of wildflowers, and there are interesting butterflies and mammals to see as well. Places we may visit include Horsehead Lake, Long Lake NWR, Lostwood NWR, and Theodore Roosevelt National Park in the Badlands. Tour starts and ends in Bismarck.
ACTIVITY LEVEL: MODERATE
This tour has been given an activity level of Moderate. It is considered a more active tour with daily intermediate to long-distance walking, including uneven terrain and hills. Potential for unseasonably hot or cold weather. Those with physical limitations should take these factors into consideration, or contact the tour leader for details.
PACE, WEATHER, AND TRAVEL CONDITIONS:
Our days in the field will usually begin about 7:00 a.m. and will end about 6:00 p.m. On most days lunches will be in the field (we have coolers for cold food and drinks), and we will provide ample opportunity to get them before the day begins. The trip involves easy-to-moderate walking over flat and somewhat hilly terrain.
Temperatures will be warm to hot (and dry), though early morning and evening may be cool. Expect a temperature range from approximately 50-90 degrees F. Rain or thunderstorms are a possibility, so raingear is advised. The sun is very strong, especially at this time of year, so sunscreen and a brimmed hat are advised. Biting insects such as mosquitoes may be present at several locations.
TOUR SIZE: Travel during this tour will be in vans, with no more than 6 participants plus a leader in one van. Tour size is limited to 12 participants.
Additional information about the tour, with specific meeting times, a list of participants, addresses of motels, lists of things to bring, a reading list, a list of probable/possible birds, further information about weather, dress, etc., will be mailed to all participants well in advance of the tour.
DATES: Friday July 6, 2018 (meet at our hotel in Bismarck at 6:30 pm) to Saturday July 14, 2018 (flights home anytime)
PRICE: Cost for this tour is TBA, but estimated at $2099/person based on double occupancy; single supplement about $375. A deposit of $500 will hold your place until May 1, 2018 when full payment becomes due.
PRICE INCLUDES: Motel accommodations for 8 nights, tour leadership, ground transportation while in North Dakota, and entrance fees to all areas on the itinerary. It does not include meals or airfare to/from Bismarck.
SEND DEPOSITS & OTHER PAYMENTS TO:NJA Eco-Travel, c/o Rene’ Buccinna,
600 Route 47 North,
Cape May Court House NJ 08210
Please make checks payable to New Jersey Audubon
Marbled Godwit photo courtesy N. Cooke