Upcoming Field Trips
Rock Creek State Historical Park
8:00 a.m., Sunday, June 12
Rock Creek Station State Historical Park (SHP) provides public access to the Sandstone Prairie region of steep tallgrass prairie hills intersected by streams that carve dramatic rocky features hidden away in the corners of creeks. Clear rocky stream habitat is extremely limited in our area, but the drainages of Jefferson County are perfect for Louisiana waterthrushes which have a breeding stronghold in Jefferson County. This may seem surprising at first, but maps of this species' breeding range in Kansas indicate our western population of "Louies" is located geographically closer to the Kansas birds and their habitat than to other breeders in Nebraska. Our few public lands in this region suffer from forest fragmentation along the creeks leaving bare gaps in the canopy and can take a toll on Louisiana waterthrush habitat by encouraging undesirable grassy vegetation and brown-headed cowbird parasitism. Rock Creek SHP protects a remaining section of creek that still has mature forest on both sides of the creek. Our field trip hike will take us along the Rock Creek forest trails on a mission to locate Louisiana waterthrushes, Carolina wrens, and some of the hybrid/intergrade rufous-sided towhees that inhabit this park, as well as other woodland denizens.
Meet at 8:00 a.m. on Sunday, June 12, on the south side of the State Capitol in Lincoln, at 15th and H streets, across from the governor's mansion. Participants can either caravan or carpool for the 70-mile drive to Rock Creek SHP southeast of Fairbury or meet up with the group around 9:30 a.m. at the creek parking lot at the bottom of the hill. Shoes appropriate for uneven terrain and long pants for underbrush protection are recommended. Bring a water bottle, any snacks you may want, insect repellent, and binoculars if you have them. There is no fee and the public is welcome. If you have questions call John at 402-475-7275.