Day 1:  Arrival into Louisville, Ky, with Late Afternoon
Birding

The trip starts with flights into Louisville, Kentucky.
  • Participants can arrive at anytime during the day.  The
    hotel in Clarksville (just across the Ohio River in
    Indiana) will provide airport shuttle service throughout
    the day.
  • If enough participants arrive before 3:00, Norm will
    likely lead a little birding trip at Lapping Park and/or
    perhaps a few other spots in the Louisville/Clarksville
    area that afternoon.  
  • Jerry has opened his home for a BBQ for supper.  
    The birding there will provide opportunities to see
    Northern Parula, Louisiana Waterthrush, Ovenbird,
    Blue-winged Warbler, Wood Thrush, Ruby-throated
    Hummingbird and more.
  • We will stay in Clarksville that evening.

Day 2:  Falls of the Ohio State Park and more Louisville
Area Birding

After an early breakfast, we will enjoy some early morning
birding at the Falls of the Ohio State Park.  We ought to be
building up a good list of migrating and nesting warblers,
including Tennessee and Blackpoll.  With some luck, we
might find a Black-throated Green Warbler.  We should also
start to build up our shorebird sightings and find several gull
species.  We should also pluck several Black Vultures from
the Turkey Vultures.  We should also have good looks at
Chimney Swifts and Purple Martins.

This is an excellent karst site with the Devonian era
limestone creating the Falls of the Ohio.  This area of rapids
stopped riverboat traffic during the 19th century before the
dam was constructed.  This area was frequented by early
naturalists, like John James Audubon, and continues to
attract birders today.  Many rarities have been seen here,
and rare bird alerts are common at this site.  Particularly
good for gulls in the winter and migrating shorebirds in late
summer/fall.  In the late spring the largest colony of Black-
crowned Night Herons in Kentucky occurs here, as well as  
large groups of Great Egrets and other shorebirds.  If the
water is down, the spot can be good for migrants of all
sorts.  

The afternoon will likely provide an opportunity for continued
birding in the area, including another stop at Lapping Park
and/or perhaps Creason Park (Beargrass Nature
Conserve).  This Louisville city park and Kentucky state
nature preserve has long been viewed locally as a “migrant
trap”.  A visit during migration usually yields birds like the
Tennessee, Magnolia or Chestnut-sided Warblers, Scarlet
Tanager, Rose-breasted Grosbeak and more.  

At some point during the day, we will make our way to
Madison, Indiana, where we will spend the night.

Day 3:  Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge and Clifty
Falls State Park

We have arranged for a visit to Big Oaks National Wildlife
Refuge in the morning, and the visit will be worth all the time
we can spend here.  Birding here is excellent and is a must
for a few key trip species -- Henslow’s Sparrow, Cerulean
Warbler, Kentucky Warbler and more.  Public access here is
limited (as this location was used for military maneuvers).  A
number of areas are dangerous due to live ammunition
hidden in the ground (and we want to stay clear of those
parts of the Refuge).  We will likely have a park ranger along
to keep us in safe areas and to maximize good birding.  We
are hoping to spend 3 to 5 hours of good birding here
during the trip, but we must respect all public access rules.

Note:  Public access issues must be respected here (and
are sometimes determined by the US military).  If we cannot
get in this day, we will likely move itinerary around to assure
we get a visit here.  

At some point during the day, we will grab lunch and then
head over to Clifty Falls State Park, another of several good
birding sites in the area.

We will spend the night in Madison.

Day 4:  Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge and
Spring Mill State Park

After an early breakfast, we will head towards Muscatatuck
National Wildlife Refuge only about one hour away.  

Habitats at Muscatatuck include lakes, marshes, fields and
woodlands.  The Prothonotary Warbler can be seen here in
the riparian habitats that it prefers.  We will also have a
chance at some migrating shorebirds and will find numerous
duck species on the lakes.  Meadows will be filled with the
songs of the Eastern Meadowlark, and we should find Field
Sparrow, Indigo Bunting and Prairie Warbler.  The
woodlands here should have Nashville, Black-and-white,
Kentucky and Tennessee Warblers and several more good
birds.  

Later in the day, once the birding dies down at Muscatatuck,
we will head towards Spring Mill State Park.  

Spring Mill State Park has a whole lot to offer for birders and
for those who just like to kick back and enjoy nature.  We will
take some time birding at the Donaldson Woods Nature
Preserve, which is the largest virgin forest tract remaining in
Indiana.  This area is good for species like Pileated
Woodpecker.  In the towering trees, migrants like the
Blackburnian Warbler are singing high in the treetops.  On
the other side of the natural park near the entrance to
Donaldson Cave, the Red-headed Woodpecker is fairly
common.  

We will spend the next two nights at the lodge at Spring Mill
State Park.  The bird feeders here also have Northern
Cardinal, White-breasted Nuthatch, Tufted Titmouse, Downy
Woodpecker, Carolina Wren and more.

Day 5:  Spring Mill State Park (and Cave) and Shawnee
Karst Preserve

We will likely have time for some early morning birding
before being first in line (ideally) at the cave tour at Spring
Mill State Park.  Early tours are most likely to see Cave Fish
and Cave Crayfish.  The tour is sometimes not available if
there has been flooding in the area.

After the cave tour, we will likely have time for some late
morning birding before having lunch at the beautiful Spring
Mill Lodge.

In the afternoon, we will offer the group a few options.  (1)
Some participants might just like wandering around this area
to relax and have some fun.  (2) The rest of the group will
likely head to Shawnee Karst Preserve.

Shawnee Karst Preserve has Jerry Lewis as the property
manager and patron.  This property helps protect the
watershed of a world-class cave system, including habitat for
the Northern Blind Cavefish (
Amblyopsis spelaea) and the
Blind Crayfish (
Orconectes inermis).  Several other rare
invertebrates are also reported to be in the cave.

In the later afternoon, we will visit the Buddha Karst Nature
Preserve.  This location offers both birding and a cave visit.  
The 1 mile loop nature trail will provide us the chance to find
a number of grassland species, including Field Sparrow and
Grasshopper Sparrow.  We will also take about 10 minutes
to look inside Buddha Cave.

We will spend a second night at Spring Mill State Park.

Day 6:  Hemlock Cliffs and Binkley Cave and late PM
Flights Home

We will start early as we head to the north side of the Ohio
River for a visit to the scenic and birdy Hemlock Cliffs.  This
is one of the birding hot spots which we will check today.  We
hope to find several key species here.

As the day starts to get hot, we will visit Binkley Cave, which
is the longest cave in cave-rich Indiana.  So far this cave has
been mapped at 35 miles.  We will visit several spots in the
cave with safe public access.   Jerry will show us several
cave species, not likely to be seen on any other wildlife tour
in the world.  

By about 3:30 in the afternoon, we will need to return to our
vehicles and head back to the airport.

We should be at the Louisville airport by 5 PM, for flights out
after 6:30 PM.

We can arrange hotels (at an extra cost) in nearby
Clarksville to support morning fights home.  Hotels here run
about $90 per room.
About Norm and Jerry Lewis
Pricing Details
Detailed Itinerary and Pricing
$1,690 for the main trip, including five
breakfasts, lodging for five nights, bird
guide, cave wildlife expertise, access
fees, driver, trip planning and other
services for six days and five nights of
birding and wildlife watching.  This is
the price for 6 or more participants.  

Single Supplement:  $300  

Additional Costs:  $130 to $190 will
likely be your cost for additional meals
at restaurants and/or for picnic
lunches.  You will pay your own meal
tab for lunch and supper.
Karst Wildlife and Birding
will be run in spring, 2014
Golden-winged Warbler
by Bill Schmoker
Cave Salamander
by Jerry Lewis
Pipistelle Bat
by Jerry Lewis
Cave Crawfish
by Jerry Lewis
Prothonotary Warbler
by Bill Schmoker
For more information or to sign up, call Charles at 888-203-7464 or Charles directly
at 720-320-1974 or by email at
info@PIBird.com.  Or, feel free to firm up with Norm
Lewis at 303-988-5544.

Indiana Karst Wildlife
and Birding
with Jerry & Norm Lewis
Red-headed Woodpecker
by Bill Schmoker
Cave Millipede
by Jerry Lewis
Chestnut-sided Warbler
by Bill Schmoker
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
by Bill Schmoker
Indigo Bunting
by Bill Schmoker
Brown Thrasher
by Bill Schmoker
Prothonotary Warbler
by Bill Schmoker
by Bill Schmoker