For reports on these trips, click here. Trip Findings are generally on Page 2 of the Observer newsletter.
Field Trips, April 14 through May 18, 2008 Scheduler Carla Barbaro, 717-8808, firstname.lastname@example.org Saturday, April 19, 8am to noon Bushy Lake/Cal Expo floodplain Leader: Dan Brown, 362-2458Naturestoc@aol.com Meet Dan in the cul-de-sac at the south end of Ethan Way, just south of where Hurley Way goes into Gate 12 of Cal Expo. Dan will be looking for a variety of resident and early migrant species. This four mile hike will end before lunch. Bring water and appropriate footgear as it may be muddy.This is an interesting trip for both experienced and novice birders. Saturday, April 19, 6am or earlier Tall Forest Bird Count Cosumnes River PreserveRecorded Information, 684-2816 Meet at the farm center gate at the intersection of Desmond and Bruceville Roads, ON TIME to join this monthly bird count.Usually led by John Trochet, this area is normally closed, so this is your opportunity to bird there, and this is a great time of year for birding.John has an appreciation of nature on many levels, and a trip with him is always exciting.You must check the recorded information a day or two previously to get the exact meeting time and any other updated details.Arrive a little early, as this trip always leaves promptly. Sunday, April 20 Habitat Improvement Work Day Leader: Jack Hiehle, 967-0777 Help Jack restore native vegetation along the American River Parkway. Tasks vary from month to month, so call Jack for details and meeting time, usually early morning. Sunday, April 20, 7:30am Gibson Ranch Leader: Brian Gilmore451-9146 Join Brian exploring the fields and trails of Gibson Ranch for spring migrants and residents including bluebirds, woodpeckers, phoebes, kingbirds, warblers and hawks. Meet at 7:30 inside the park at the Gibson Ranch Store parking lot. There is a $5 per car entrance fee. From Sacramento take Bus. 80 (Capital Freeway) to the Watt Ave exit. Go north approximately 5.2 miles; turn left on Elverta Road, and cross Dry Creek Bridge. Gibson Ranch will be on the right.
Wednesday, April 23, 8 am Sailor Bar, American River Pkwy. Leader: Dan Tankersley, email@example.com This is a wonderful time of year to enjoy the American River and view a wide variety of species including waterfowl, resident and migrant birds and possibly beaver. This walk will include some moderately steep and uneven paths to provide great views. Bring water and snacks to last through late morning. Meet Dan at 8 am in the lower parking area of Sailor Bar. From Hazel take Winding Way west; then Illinois south into the park. There is a $5 parking fee. This is a great trip for newer birders. Saturday, April 26, 8:15 am Pine Hill, El Dorado County Leader:Jack Hiehle, 967-0777 Walk with Jack up to a Fire Lookout and explore till early afternoon, with a focus on the rare and endangered plants found in this special area.Jack will not ignore the birds, so bring your binoculars as well.Meet at 8:15 am at the north end of the parking lot of the Raley’s shopping center on the northeast corner of El Dorado Hills Blvd and Highway 50. Alternate meeting place is at 9 am at the gate on Pine Hill Road.(Hwy 50 to Bass Lake Road; north on Bass Lake Road to Green Valley Road; right on Green Valley (watch for a school on your right) and then turn left on Ulenkamp Rd.; follow Ulenkamp to Pine Hill Road; turn left on Pine Hill and follow it to the gate and meet Jack there.)This trip will last till early afternoon so bring a lunch and liquids. Saturday, April 26, 7:30 am Sweetwater Creek Leader: Richard Barbieri , 966-4603Offleash56@yahoo.com At this favorite spring hotspot you should find wild flowers in bloom and hear the song of the Yellow-breasted Chat. Richard will scout for Lazuli Buntings, Wrentits, California Thrashers, migrating hummingbirds, and colorful warblers.Meet Richard at the Bella Bru in the shopping center on the northeast corner of El Dorado Hills Blvd. and Highway 50. This will be a half day trip and is a good one for beginners. Sunday April 27, 7 am to 11:30 am Spring Migration at the SRCSD Bufferlands Leader: Chris Conard, firstname.lastname@example.org This morning tour of the Bufferlands will focus on finding migrant songbirds, resident breeders, and lingering winter residents. The heron, egret, and cormorant rookery will be in full swing and if water levels are right we could have excellent shore birding conditions. The Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District Bufferlands contain 2,650 acres of wetlands, riparian forest, grasslands, vernal pools, and restored habitats.From Sacramento take I-5 south. Exit at Meadowview/Pocket Road (just south of Florin) and turn left (east) over the freeway. Turn right (south) on Freeport Blvd (the third light). After one mile, just before the town of Freeport, turn left on Stonecrest, and follow it over the freeway and south to the locked gate. Be prepared for potentially muddy trails and up to 3 miles of walking.
Sunday, April 27, 2008, 7am SHARP Mines Rd. /Del Puerto Canyon Leader: Gary Fregien, email@example.com This is a full day outing.Mines Road and Del Puerto Canyon are located southeast of Livermore, about an hour and a half south of Sacramento.This is primarily a road trip, but with several stops and short walks, encompassing three counties along the birding route: Alameda, Santa Clara and Stanislaus.The trip’s timing and varied habitats typical of the coastal mountains and canyons should produce numerous spring migrants as well as resident birds.Expect Phainopepla, Lawrence’s Goldfinch, Lewis’s Woodpecker, Bald Eagle, Bullock’s Oriole and many more.We will visit one regional park, Lake del Valle, where there will be a day-use fee to enter the park.Meet Gary at the Park & Ride off I-80 in West Sacramento.Take the West Capitol Ave. exit; turn left at the light and then left again into the Park & Ride lot.Car pooling is strongly advised, due to limited access at stops and the distance traveled.When we DEPART the lot at 7 am sharp, we will back-track to I-5 and proceed south and west to the Livermore area.Bring along hand held radios, food and water. Saturday, May 3, 7am Auburn State Recreation Area/Drivers Flat and Ruck-a-Chucky Leader:Scott Hoppe, 835-8471Shoppe01@earthlink.net We will be exploring the beautiful canyon of the Middle Fork of the American River off Foresthill Road to look for spring migrants and resident breeding birds.This is Scott’s favorite ‘secret’ birding spot.Among the great birds to be found are Calliope Hummingbird, Willow and Pacific-slope Flycatchers, Hutton’s, Cassin’s and Warbling Vireos, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, and numerous warblers such as Nashville, Yellow, Townsend’s, Black-throated Gray and Yellow-breasted Chat.Walking will be up to a mile at a time with moderate inclines.This trip will end mid-day, but plan to lunch on the banks of the river.Meet at the Horseshoe Bar Road Park & Ride in Loomis off I-80 at 7am. Sunday May 4, 7:30am to noon Cronan Ranch, Coloma Area Leader: Maureen Geiger, firstname.lastname@example.org Come on a hike with Maureen through beautiful rolling, oak-studded hills off Hwy. 49 near Coloma. This BLM property is intersected with many hiking trails and is home to a large variety of foothill habitat birds. Several species of raptor nest here or may be seen such as White-tailed Kite, Red-tailed and Red-shouldered Hawk and Northern Harrier. Other specialties include Rufous-crowned Sparrows and other sparrows, woodpeckers, flycatchers, goldfinches, towhees, swallows, meadowlarks, wild turkey and migrating warblers. This trip will include several miles of easy hiking; trails may be muddy. Meet Maureen at 7:30 in El Dorado Hills at El Dorado Hills Blvd. and Hwy. 50. at the Bella Bru Coffee Shop in the Raley’s shopping center parking lot. The trip concludes at noon; however, there are numerous sites in the Coloma area to enjoy a picnic lunch.
Tuesday, May 6, 8am till noon Sailor Bar Area, American River Pkwy. Leader:Jack Hiehle, 967-0777 Meet Jack at the end of Emperor Street to explore the plants, birds and animals of this riparian corridor along the American River Parkway.From Winding Way, turn south on Kenneth, then east on Emperor Street to the end. Wednesday, May 7, 7:30am Sacramento Old City Cemetery, Broadway and Riverside Blvd. Leader:Maureen Geiger, email@example.com Discover the variety of birds that live in and migrate through this historic city cemetery near the heart of downtown Sacramento.This walking tour is perfect for beginning birders.Meet Maureen at the cemetery’s main gate at Broadway and 10th Street.Visitors may park in the lot across from the 10th Street gate and meet inside the cemetery entrance.This will be a short walk, 1 – 2 hours.The tour is a public service of the Old City Cemetery Committee and is offered under the auspices of the Division of History & Science of the City of Sacramento.Call Maureen or email if you have questions. Saturday May 10 River Walk Bird Count, 5:30am or earlier Cosumnes River PreserveRecorded Information, 684-2816 Meet at the Visitor Center on Franklin Blvd. south of Twin Cities Road, for this monthly birding census trip.It’s a great birding area, always full of surprises, and joining the group trip is a good way to find out what’s happening at the preserve.This walk covers about four miles, and, at a leisurely pace, should take approximately five hours, so be sure to bring a lunch and liquids.You must check the recorded information a day or two before to get the exact meeting time and any other updated details. Saturday May 10, 7:00am Sweetwater Creek Leader: Carla Barbaro, firstname.lastname@example.org This is a wonderful area for spring birding. Bring water for a half day exploration of the trails looking for migrants, wild flowers and nesting birds. Past favorites are goldfinches, orioles, bluebirds, Yellow- breasted Chats, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers and Lazuli Buntings. Meet at the Bella Bru in the shopping center on the northeast corner of El Dorado Hills Blvd. and Highway 50.This is a fun trip for all levels of birders. Sunday, May 11, 7:30am Spenceville Wildlife Area Leader: Richard Barbieri (966-4603)Offleash56@yahoo.com This scenic recreational area of rolling hillsides, streams, reservoirs and ponds offers a variety of wildlife. This trip will include several short hikes and one optional 5 mile hike over uneven terrain. Possible birds include Yellow-breasted Chat, Lewis’s Woodpecker, rails, warblers, and more. Bring lunch, plenty of water, and dress for changeable weather. Meet Richard at Brookfield’s restaurant in Roseville (NOT Madison location). Take Eureka Road exit off I-80; go right on Eureka and first left at the stoplight (Taylor Road). The restaurant is located behind the Shell gas station. Wednesday 14, 11:45am to 1pm Purple Martins in Old Sacramento Leader: Maureen Geiger, email@example.com Enjoy wonderful close looks at Purple Martins, where they nestin OldSacramento.You will also see nesting White-Throated Swifts and probably Cliff and Tree Swallows. Previous years have turned up other interesting species as well. Meet Maureen on the east side of the Railroad Museum along Second Street. Saturday, May 17, 5:30am or earlier Tall Forest Bird Count Cosumnes River PreserveRecorded Information, 684-2816 Meet at the farm center gate at the intersection of Desmond and Bruceville Roads, ON TIME to join this monthly bird count.Usually led by John Trochet, this area is normally closed, so this is your opportunity to bird there.John has an appreciation of nature on many levels, and a trip with him is always exciting.You must check the recorded information a day or two previously to get the exact meeting time and any other updated details.Arrive a little early, as this trip always leaves promptly. Saturday, May 17, 7:30am Goethe Park Leader:Cathie LaZier, firstname.lastname@example.org Some young birds may still be in the nest; others traveling with parents begging for food, and some wildflowers will still be blooming.We’ll walk the oak woodlands to the river and see what we find.This is a good trip for novice birders.There is a park entrance fee of $5 per car; if you want to carpool in, meet Cathie at 7:20 on Rod Beaudry Drive just off Folsom Blvd.This trip will end by noon. Sunday May 18, 7:30am Mather Field Leader: Wayne Blunk, 876-0457 Mather Lake area is one of Wayne’s favorite birding locations. Join Wayne to look for resident birds andspring migrants. Targeted birds will be Yellow-headed Blackbirds, Black-headed Grosbeaks, White-tailed Kites, Wild Turkey, and Green Heron. Meet Wayne in the parking lot of Mather Regional Park at the corner of Douglas Road and Eagle’s Nest road for this half day trip. There is a $5 fee per car.This is a wonderful trip for beginner birders. Sunday, May 18 Habitat Improvement Work Day Leader:Jack Hiehle, 967-0777 Help Jack restore native vegetation along the American River Parkway.Tasks vary from month to month, so call Jack for details and meeting time, usually early morning.
These events are not sponsored by the Sacramento Audubon Society and are listed just for your information.
Vernal Pool Guided Tours at the Rancho Seco Howard Ranch Trail Saturday April 19th and May 3rd. Come join us for Vernal Pool Walks at the Rancho Seco Howard Ranch Trail led by trained naturalists from the Cosumnes River Preserve! Walks will begin at 9am and be held on Saturday April 19th and May 3rd. The 7-mile Rancho Seco Howard Ranch Trail is a hiker’s paradise! The trail begins by winding around the north end of Rancho Seco Lake along willow scrub and riparian marsh habitat. As the trail leaves the waters edge, it travels up onto a flat terrace supporting a mosaic of vernal pools and grassland habitat. This terrace also offers dramatic views of extensive blue oak woodlands in the foothills and the far-off peaks of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. When filled with water, vernal pools are crucial to the short life cycle of federally listed threatened and endangered species, such as the California Tiger Salamander, fairy shrimp, tadpole shrimp, and Western spadefoot toad. In the spring, masses of flowering plants carpet the basins of these pools creating a sight not to be missed. Participants will meet at the trailhead at 9am. The trailhead is located at the North Dam parking lot in Rancho Seco Recreation Area off Highway 104. Rancho Seco Recreational Area is open daily from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and there is a $5 charge per vehicle. More information on the Rancho Seco Howard Ranch trail is available on SMUD's website . For more information call (916) 684-2816 or visit Cosumnes River Preserve website .
Creek Week Tours
Saturday April 19, 1:30 pm-3:30 pm Bufferlands Birds and Blooms Tour Leader: Roger Jones, 875-9174 Thousands of waterfowl and other wetland birds winter at the Fishhead Lake wetlands, and many live year-round to nest and raise their young. California poppies, lupines, owl’s clover, and baby blue-eyes grow around the uplands and wetland edges. Come enjoy the birds and flowers on a leisurely 1-mile walk with wildlife biologist Roger Jones. The meeting location is weather-dependent, so call Roger or email email@example.com the week preceding the event for exact meeting location and directions.
Sunday April 20 & 27 – 10:00AM and 1:00 PM. Mather Vernal Pool Flower Walks Join the Mather vernal pool docents of the Sacramento Chapter of the California Native Plant Society for a 2 hour tour to explore this magic carpet of flowers. These unique wildflowers bloom only for a brief period in the spring. Meet at the Splash Center at 4426 Excelsior Road. See www.sacvalleycnps.org for directions. For more information and to sign up, call (916)737-WILD. Reservations are required. The tour is provided free of charge by trained CNPS docents, however donations are greatly appreciated.
Wednesday, April 23, noon – 2 p.m. Local Fish Fauna Leader: Steve Scott, 875-9307 What lurks in the murky depths of Sacramento’s urban creeks? Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District (SRCSD) Bufferlands staff will demonstrate fish sampling techniques, help with hands-on fish identification, and discuss the natural history of California’s diverse fish communities. This tour includes a ½ mile walk and an opportunity to see some of the Bufferlands riparian and wetland habitat restoration projects within the Morrison and Laguna Creek floodplains. The meeting location is weather dependent, call or email firstname.lastname@example.org the week preceding the event for exact meeting location and directions.
Wednesday, April 23, 6:30 p.m. Steelhead Creek Beaver Pond Walk Leader: Mary Tappel, 925-1933 Early evening is the best time to see beaver activity and lots of other local wildlife. Take a stroll with Mary through Wolf Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary. Meet at the Ueda Parkway Staging area parking lot on Elkhorn Blvd. and Sorrento Rd. east of Steelhead Creek. Call or email email@example.com before April 23 for further information or directions. NOTE: this event will be cancelled in the event of heavy rain.
Sunday, May 4,10AM - 5PM “Bring back the Natives” Garden tour A free, self guided tour of 60 Alameda & Contra Costa County gardens - requires registration. Guided Tours on Saturdays April 12, April 26 & May 3. Native Plant Sale Extravaganza: Sat & Sun, May 3 & 4 Details at www.BringingBacktheNatives.net
BLM Offers Spring Tours at Pine Hill Preserve The Folsom Field Office, Bureau of Land Management, has scheduled six springtime guided field trips to view wildflowers and other features at the Pine Hill Preserve in western El Dorado County. The Preserve is managed under a cooperative agreement among nine federal, state, and county agencies and consists of 4,002 acres in five separate units to protect rare plants that grow in gabbro-associated soils. The Pine Hill Preserve may be one of the most botanically diverse areas in California. The spring wildflower display is spectacular and five plant species are listed as threatened or endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act, and three of those are found nowhere else in the world.
The guided field trips, all on Saturday, are scheduled as follows: April 26 (Cameron Park) (Birding) May 3 (Cameron Park) May 10 (Pine Hill) May 17 (Cameron Park) May 31 (Pine Hill) June 7 (Salmon Falls)
The birding trip on April 26 starts at 7 a.m. and features prominent birder, Chris Conard, who will speak about the birds of the preserve. All other field trips start at 9 a.m. Field trip participants will meet at designated areas and car pool to the site. All are asked to bring a lunch or snacks, water, sturdy shoes, hats, sunscreen and insect repellant.
All trips are limited to 30 participants. Participants must pre-register with the BLM. For more information, please contact the Bureau of Land Management, Folsom Field Office, 63 Natoma St., Folsom Calif. 95630, or call (916) 985-4474. Barbara Williams can be contacted directly by e-mail at Barbara_Williams@ca.blm.gov.