Kansas Birding & Beers Weekend (October 23-25, 2020)

“The Middle Of It All”

Much has been written over the years about Cheyenne Bottoms and Quivira National Wildlife Refuge in Kansas.  These wetlands fall square in the middle of the Central Flyway and are two of the most important stopover sites for migrating shorebirds in the world.  Up to 250,000 waterfowl and nearly half of all North American shorebirds migrating east of the Rockies stop in the area to rest and refuel during migration.  Of the 460+ bird species known to Kansas, more than 310 species have been observed at Quivira and more than 340 at the Bottoms. Flocks of Sandhill Cranes pass through in the spring and fall, with an occasional group of Whooping Cranes. Where there are waterfowl and shorebirds, there will be birds of prey.

In addition to birding at Cheyenne Bottoms and Quivira, we’ll explore some of Kansas’ scenic byways and geologic wonders like Monument Rocks and the newly opened Little Jerusalem.

Join us for an unforgettable fall migration birding trip to The Middle Of It All.

ITINERARY

Day 1 (Fri, Oct 23): Denver/ Monument Rocks/ Cheyenne Bottoms/ Great Bend ~ Morning departure from Denver.  Picnic lunch at Monument Rocks, a series of large, heavily sculpted chalk monoliths designated as a National Natural Landmark.  Afternoon birding at Cheyenne Bottoms and a visit to the Kansas Wetlands Education Center. Evening arrival to Ellinwood.

Accommodations: The Historic Wolf Manor

Meals: Lunch and Dinner

Estimated drive times today: Denver to Monument Rocks – 4.25 hrs; Monument Rocks to Cheyenne Bottoms – 2.5 hrs; Cheyenne Bottoms to Ellinwood – 30 mins

Day 2 (Sat, Oct 24): Great Bend/ Quivira NWR/ Oakley ~ We’ll spend much of the day birding at Quivira National Wildlife Refuge with a possible return to Cheyenne Bottoms if recent sightings warrant a second visit.  

Accommodations: Sleep Inn & Suites – Oakley or similar

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Estimated drive times today: Ellinwood to Quivira National Wildlife Refuge – 45 mins; Quivira NWR to Oakley – 3 hrs

Day 3 (Sun, Oct 25): Oakley/ Little Jerusalem/ Denver ~ Our day begins with a nature walk and birding at the recently opened Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park. The 332-acre park encompasses 220 acres of badlands – fragile, but ruggedly spectacular geologic formations with 100-foot-tall spires and cliffs of eroded Niobrara Chalk, a layer of rock deposited about 85 million years ago. We’ll make our way back to Denver with birding stops en route.  

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Estimated drive times today: Oakley to Little Jerusalem – 30 mins; Little Jerusalem to Denver – 4.5 hrs

DETAILS 

Price: $755* per person based upon double occupancy.  

Single supplement: $60* – subject to availability.

Price includes accommodations, transportation in a 12-passenger van (Ford Transit or similar), full-time driver/ guide (Sheridan Samano – Reefs to Rockies), activities, and meals as listed in the itinerary.

Group size: Minimum 6 participants; Max 9 participants + Sheridan Samano