Thrashers and Wildflowers - Red Rock Audubon

Join us for a field trip to the Searchlight area to look for thrashers, desert blooms and learn about Avi Kwa Ame National Monument.

19 Attendees
Event Type: Field Trip
Open to Non-members: Yes
Members Price: $0
Non-members Price: $0
Start Time: 03/25/2023 06:30 AM
End Time: 03/25/2023 02:00 PM

Location: Railroad Pass Hotel & Casino

    1500 Railroad Pass Casino Rd
    Henderson NV, 89002

Registration Closed

Steve Dougill and Alex Harper will lead a carpool trip to the Searchlight area to look for thrashers and other birds, wildflowers, and learn about Avi Kwa Ame National Monument. With dense joshua tree forests and rugged mountains making up the landscape, this area of southern Nevada is known for its dense thrasher populations and its significance to the Yuman-speaking tribes of Avi Kwa Ame (Spirit Mountain). In late March, signs of spring come as singing birds and blooming flowers. 

We will meet at 6:30am at the Railroad Pass Casino. Because high clearance vehicles are better suited for navigating some roads, we ask that those with SUV's or high clearance vehicles volunteer to drive and that other participants offer gas money.

After consolidating vehicles, we will drive about an hour to the Searchlight area. We will stop at a Denny's to use the restroom. From there, we will visit several sites, including the Walking Box Ranch for Gilded Flicker and Bendire's Thrasher. In other areas, we will search for Le Conte's Thrashers. Other birds that we will look and listen for include Red-tailed Hawk, American Kestrel, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Loggerhead Shrike, Crissal and Sage Thrashers, Rock and Cactus Wrens, and Black-throated Sparrow. We may encounter spring wildflowers following this past winters rains.

After searching for Bendire's and Le Conte's Thrashers in different locations, we will visit the town of Searchlight. During our visit, partners of Red Rock Audubon Society will be working on a mural to celebrate the designation of Avi Kwa Ame National Monument. We will stop by to say hello to these partners and see the mural, which will include birds and wildlife unique to the region. Searchlight is also a small town with a few amenities and hosts Curve-billed Thrashers. We will eat a picnic lunch at a park in Searchlight and continue birding in Searchlight before heading back to the railroad pass casino.

6:30 am – meet at Railroad Pass Casino (exact location: https://goo.gl/maps/wxdKBknmPUS5tngK7)

6:45 am – wheels rolling from Railroad Pass Casino for those carpooling.

7:30 am – restroom stop at Denny’s in Searchlight

7:40 am - leave the town of Searchlight to bird in the Wee Thump area. For some of these roads, high clearance vehicles are recommended. 

11:30 am – back in Searchlight. We will visit the mural to say hello to the muralists, look for Curve-billed Thrashers, and eat a picnic lunch. 

We plan to be back at Railroad Pass Casino by 2:00 pm, but we ask that you be flexible on this trip. 

Please bring at least two liters of water, snacks, lunch, a wide-brimmed hat, extra layers for wind protection, closed-toed shoes and sunscreen.

The Walking Box Ranch area falls within a designated Nevada Important Bird Area (IBA). You can read more about this IBA here: Wee Thump Joshua Tree Forest | Audubon Important Bird Areas

You can read more about Avi Kwa Ame (Spirit Mountain) here: Avi Kwa Ame.

All participants must register. If you need to cancel, please do so through your account, clicking "My Events", and selecting the trip that you want to cancel. Our trips are popular and we want to make sure people can sign up.

About the trip leaders:

Steve Dougill grew up birding as a young kid in urban UK and hasn't stopped since.  He has worked in many countries with conservation and bird non-profit groups and now calls Las Vegas home.  More than anything he loves sharing his passion for birds and their habitats, and learning from all who call birds friends.

Alex Harper is an avid birder and lover of the Mojave Desert. He enjoys observing how birds interact in an ecosystem, birding by ear, mindful birding, and being in nature.

Registration Closed