If you have questions regarding field trips or would like to check the status of trips in case of unfavorable weather conditions, please call the trip leader. If he/she cannot be reached, call the scheduler. Trips geared for beginners are highlighted in red. To get directions, you can also use the Birding Sites Map. Due to insurance requirements, Sacramento Audubon leaders are not allowed to organize carpools. Participants are, however, encouraged to voluntarily share rides. Any carpool arrangements are private arrangements between the driver and the passengers. Drivers must carry adequate insurance coverage. Please be courteous and share gas expenses with the driver.
Get set for a full day of birding “hot spots” of Yolo and Solano Counties to see how many species we can tally. We will begin at Lake Solano Park and Putah Creek for unique passerines and waterfowl, then head down Highway 113 to the Robinson Road area for raptors and possibly Mountain Plover. From there, we will proceed to the Yolo Bypass and the Davis Landfill and WWTP for more waterfowl, shorebirds and gulls. The itinerary can change depending on conditions and reports. For those interested, Scott would like to have a casual dinner nearby to tally up species and talk about what was seen. Scopes and FRS radios are helpful. Bring lunch, snacks, and dress for changeable weather. Meet Scott at the Mace Blvd Park and Ride at 7:00 am. From Sacramento, take I-80 west towards Davis to Mace Blvd (Exit #75); turn right at the light, then right again at the signal light to the Park and Ride entrance, a short distance beyond Ikeda’s Market. Rain cancels.
We will search the back roads of western Placer County for raptors, waterfowl, Tri-colored Blackbirds and Lewis’ Woodpeckers. This area is known for high concentrations of wintering raptors (up to 12 species can be seen in a day), and is also a magnet for wintering ducks and geese. We’ll also look for winter rarities that flock with Horned Larks and sparrows in the Brewer Road area. Lunch at the Chamberlain Cemetery will be followed by more birding along the rural roads on the way to Camp Far West Reservoir. Bring lunch, liquids and scopes and FRS radios if you have them, and be prepared for a full day of birding. Meet at the Brookfield’s Restaurant parking lot, 1817 Taylor Road, in Roseville. From Sacramento on I-80, take the Eureka Road offramp (Exit 105A) and continue straight through the signal light at Eureka Road and you’ll be on Taylor Road. Turn left just past the Shell Station. Brookfield’s is behind Shell.
The Colusa NWR is another great location in the Central Valley to view large waterfowl concentrations. There will be many duck species and plenty of Snow, Ross’s, Greater White-fronted and possibly a few Cackling Geese as well as other wetland birds. Eurasian Wigeon is often seen here and though it’s late in the season, there is a chance the Falcated Duck will still be present. We can expect many raptors with the possibility of Bald Eagle and Peregrine Falcon. We will spend a good amount of time on the main viewing platform, and then take an easy walk on a level trail through riparian habitat next to the main viewing pond. We will then take the short auto tour and finish our outing with a return visit to the platform. Be prepared for cold and damp weather. Weather permitting; there should be ample photo ops. Scopes and FRS radios will be helpful on this trip. Meet Dan at the Mace Blvd Park and Ride. From Sacramento, take I-80 west towards Davis to Mace Blvd (Exit #75); turn right (north) and then right again at the signal light to the Park and Ride entrance a short distance beyond Ikeda’s Market. We will meet on the south side of the parking lot in the row nearest the big round water tank. Rain, strong wind, or thick fog cancels. Bring snacks and liquids as the trip will end in the very late morning to very early afternoon.
Join Darrell for this morning walk along the American River. You will see a nice variety of resident birds and maybe some surprises. This is a great trip for beginning and more experienced birders. From Highway 50, drive north on Sunrise Blvd.; turn left on Fair Oaks Blvd. and take the first left on Pennsylvania. A Sac County Park Pass or $5 entry fee is required for all vehicles.
Streams and rivers draining from the foothills to the valley and farmers’ irrigation help to create these wetlands and winter habitat on surrounding properties. Join Richard on a trip to one of his favorite places to bird while he looks for ducks, geese, shorebirds, and birds of prey. Meet Richard at the Brookfield’s Restaurant parking lot, 1817 Taylor Road, in Roseville. From Sacramento on I-80, take the Eureka Road exit (105A) and follow straight through the first stop light at Eureka Road and you’ll be on Taylor Road. Brookfield’s will be on your left behind the Shell gas station. Bring lunch, layered clothes, and scopes and FRS radios if you have them.
Field Trips, February-March 2013
Sunday, February 10
Beginning Birder Field Trip
William Pond Park
These beginners’ field trips are designed to introduce new birders to the fun of birding. Limited to 10 adults per trip with 3 Audubon trip leaders, it’s a low-key introduction to finding and identifying birds. Registration is required. Contact Cathie LaZier at firstname.lastname@example.org, 457-6882.
It’s not just for backyards! Count birds for 15 minutes or more in your backyard or other favorite birding locale; then post your results online and see what’s happening in your area and across the country. It’s fun for all ages and skill levels. Check the website for more information.
Meet Cathie at the 1stparking lot on your right, just past the entrance kiosk. We’ll walk through the oak woodland, looking for small woodland birds and woodpeckers. We sometimes have good looks at Red-shouldered Hawks or Great Horned Owls. At the river we should see mergansers, goldeneye, herons, yellowlegs, Spotted Sandpipers and possibly a kingfisher. Walk will end by noon, and it’s a great walk for beginners. Our trip list will be posted on the Great Backyard Bird Count website. From Folsom Blvd., between Bradshaw and Mather Field Road, take Rod Beaudry Drive north into the park, (formerly called Goethe Park). A Sac County Park Pass or $5 entry fee is required for all vehicles.
Sunday, February 17, 8am to Noon Upper Lake Natoma Chris Conard 203-1610 email@example.com Be prepared for up to four miles of walking along the upper end of Lake Natoma in Folsom. We'll look for birds characteristic of the site such as Hutton's Vireo, Phainopepla, Rufous-crowned Sparrow and Purple Finch. On the lake, waterfowl, grebes and the occasional loon will be our targets. Should time and interest allow, we may visit Folsom Lake at the Mormon Island access, where Phainopepla is a near certainty and potential waterbirds are always worth a look. We'll meet at the Folsom City Park near the Zoo. From Highway 50 east of Hazel Ave, take the Folsom Blvd exit. Turn left and stay on Folsom Blvd for 2.7 miles, and then turn right on Natoma Street. After one mile, turn left at Stafford Street, and then turn right at the library and park in the lot in front of the city park. If there is steady rain we will cancel the trip.
February 16, 17 & 18, President’s Day Weekend Eureka/Arcata area Leaders, Tim Fitzer, 870-5207, firstname.lastname@example.org
Please mark your calendars and join Dan and Joe for 3 days of birding along California’s North coast. We will be birding some of the traditional spots in the Eureka and Arcata areas and possibly some of Joe’s new favorite spots. Please contact Dan or Joe for further details.
Join Marlene in this great area 10 minutes from downtown Sacramento. Depending on the extent of flooded fields on the auto tour route, there may be good numbers of shorebirds and waterfowl and possible raptors such as Peregrine Falcon. From Sacramento, take I-80 west, take the first exit (#78) at the west end of the Yolo Causeway. Turn right at the stop sign, go under the freeway, make a left up onto the levee, then drop down into the Wildlife Area. The trip begins at the first parking lot (Lot A), on your left. Scopes and FRS radios are helpful on this trip which is good for both beginners and more experienced birders. Note: trip will be canceled if bypass is closed due to flooding.
Saturday, February 23, 8am
Sutter Buttes and Gray Lodge WLR
Leaders: Don Schmoldt and Sally Walters email@example.com
(916) 739-6465, cell (916) 710-1077
We will drive around the edge of Sutter Buttes, along Pass Road, and West and North Buttes Roads; then to Gray Lodge State WLR. We will focus on wintering raptors in the Sutter Buttes area (and hopefully Mountain Bluebird and Rock Wren, among other species); and wintering waterfowl at Gray Lodge (and hopefully Bald Eagle). We will have lunch at Gray Lodge and then walk some of the visitor access trails. Bring lunch, water, spotting scope, and warm clothes. Please note that the only reliable restrooms will be at Gray Lodge. Trip will end late afternoon. Beginning birders welcome! Rain or heavy fog cancels.
Meet at 8 a.m. at the Mace Blvd. Park and Ride for voluntary car-pooling. From Sacramento drive west towards Davis on I-80, then right (north) onto Mace Blvd.; then right again at first signal light, to the Park and Ride, a short distance beyond Ikeda’s Market. Meet on the south side of lot, in the row nearest the large round tanks. From the Park and Ride we will drive north on Hwy 113 past Woodland and Knight’s Landing; and then left (north) onto George Washington Blvd. and continue about 10 miles to Hwy 20. Then left (west) on Hwy 20 about 3 miles to Acacia Road, then right (north) on Acacia. There is a small store/gas station at the corner of Acacia and Hwy 20, where we will regroup before starting the trip around the Buttes. There is a Port-a-potty here, but not always clean, so beware.
DFG (now Calif. Dept. of Fish and Wildlife) requires a Land Pass for Gray Lodge ($4.32/person). It may or may not be available at Gray Lodge. Land Passes should also be available at Walmart or CVS stores. Check DFG’s web site at www.dfg.ca.gov/licensing/landpass for Land Pass information.
Saturday, February 23, 3:30pm
Sandhill Cranes and Other Wintering Birds of the Sacramento Valley
A Save Our Sandhill Cranes-sponsored trip
Coordinator: Mike Savino, 446-1392
This is the last weekend of the Sandhill Crane trips, before they begin their migration. Meet at the Cosumnes River Preserve Visitor Center deck at 3:30 p.m. to hear a brief presentation of Sandhill Crane behavior, biology and status. Then we’ll stroll the boardwalk in the Lost Slough Wetlands, enjoying views of the cranes, wintering waterfowl and shorebirds. Afterwards, we’ll drive along Desmond Road and possibly to Woodbridge Road or Staten Island, to see flocks of cranes fly in to roost for the night. Dress for changeable weather and bring binoculars. Scopes are helpful. From Sacramento, take I-5 south to Twin Cities Road; go left (east) to the stop sign at Franklin Blvd.; turn right (south) on Franklin and, driving through the Preserve, watch for the Visitor Center parking lot on your left. Further directions and maps are available at www.cosumnes.org. This is a great trip for beginners.
Sunday, February 24
7am – mid afternoon
Northern San Joaquin County
Leader: Linda Pittman, 715-1876 firstname.lastname@example.org
Join Linda for a visit to diverse habitats in northern San Joaquin County. The Mokelumne River Day Use area and fish hatchery below Camanche Dam is a mix of oak woodland, riverine, and riparian habitat. This area has recently hosted Bald Eagle, Lewis’s Woodpeckers and Rock Wren. Flood and Waverly Roads are excellent for raptors and other open country birds. Be prepared for about a mile of walking. Bring lunch, layered clothes, and scopes and FRS radios if you have them. Meet at the Raley’s Shopping Center on Twin Cities Road just east of Hwy 99 in Galt near the It’s A Grind Coffee Shop (10420 Twin Cities Rd). This trip is good for both beginners and more experienced birders.
Sunday, February 24, 3:30pm
Sandhill Cranes and Other Wintering Birds of the Sacramento Valley
A Save Our Sandhill Cranes-sponsored trip
Coordinator: Mike Savino, 446-1392
This is the last Sandhill Crane trip of the season, so if you haven’t been to see them this year, be sure to join this trip. See details for Feb. 23rd.
Meet Cathie along the first parking area just past the entrance kiosk. We’ll walk down to some different spots on the river, where mergansers and goldeneye can be found in the backwaters and wrens and towhees call from the bushes. We’ll check out the heron rookery, then look at the pond area for Red-winged Blackbirds and Green Heron. California Quail, Western Bluebirds and Lark Sparrows may be found in the park area. Trip will end before noon. A Sac County Park Pass or $5entry fee is required for all vehicles. From the intersection of Fair Oaks and Arden, follow Arden east and it runs into the park. This is an excellent trip for beginners.
Join Maureen for a leisurely walk on a paved trail along the Laguna Creek wetlands. Although sandwiched between housing on the north and south, this trail meanders along the creek and marshy areas and is bordered by urban plantings including many oaks. The diversity hosts a nice variety of birds such as ducks, herons, passerines, sparrows in winter, and unexpected species always a possibility. This is a good walk for beginners and is handicapped accessible. This trip will last into late morning. Meet Maureen at the Sheldon Road Park and Ride on the east side of Hwy. 99 (Exit 288) south of Sacramento to carpool to the Park or 10-15 minutes later at Jack Hill Park. From Hwy. 99 south, exit at Elk Grove Boulevard; pass Elk Grove-Florin Road, and less than a mile later turn left onto Porto Rosa Drive. Follow to Jack Hill Park and the parking area. Restrooms are available in the parking lot.
From the West Sacramento Park & Ride, Mark will lead the group towards Petaluma, with various birding stops along Hwy 37. Moving on to Ellis Creek (near Schollenberger Park), he’ll look for Blue-winged Teal and a variety of other waterfowl, shorebirds, gulls, Common Yellowthroat and the occasional rail and possibly a Peregrine Falcon. Bring lunch and liquids and layered clothing. Meet Mark at 7 a.m. at the Park & Ride off I-80 in West Sacramento. From Sacramento, take the West Capitol Ave. Exit #81; turn left at the light and then left again into the Park & Ride lot. This is a great trip for both beginning and more experienced birders.
Join us for a morning bird walk along the levee and willow covered sand bars of the American River. From Highway 50 take Howe Ave. north to Fair Oaks Blvd. Turn left onto Fair Oaks and cross over the American River. Turn right on Carlson Ave., which is the first stop light past the American River bridge. Continue on Carlson Ave. to its end, at Glenn Hall Park. Meet on top of the levee. This will be a fairly easy walk, but expect some uneven terrain, gravel, sand, and rock cobble. We hope to see wintering sparrows and waterfowl, and resident birds including wrens, towhees, yellow-billed magpies and kinglets. It’s an excellent trip for beginners.
This is a great area to find Pileated Woodpecker, Phainopepla, Brown Creeper, Barrow’s Goldeneye and many other late wintering birds. Meet Tim at the Park and Ride off I-80 in West Sacramento. From Sacramento, take the West Capitol Ave. Exit #81; turn left at the light and then left again into the Park & Ride lot.
Join Mark at this Nature Conservancy area 20 minutes south of Sacramento. He will search the ponds and fields on Desmond and Franklin Roads for waterfowl, shorebirds and raptors. Walks along the boardwalk, bridge and trail areas should turn up other interesting species in this rich riparian area. Meet Mark at the Visitor Center parking lot on Franklin Blvd. From Sacramento, take I-5 south to Twin Cities Road, (Exit #498); go left (east) about 1 mile to the stop sign at Franklin Blvd.: turn right (south) on Franklin and, driving through the preserve, watch for the visitor center parking lot on your left. Further directions and maps are available at www.cosumnes.org.
Bird & Breakfast at Effie Yeaw on March 23 & 24
The American River Natural History Association (ARNHA) and Sacramento Audubon are teaming up again this year to offer a special weekend of morning birding trips coupled with wonderful breakfast fare. Known as "Bird & Breakfast", this event combines some of our best local bird guides pointing out nests and local rarities together with wonderful food, good coffee and other fun to help raise money for the Effie Yeaw Nature Center. No extensive birding experience is necessary - this event caters to all levels. This year will be truly special as it is both Saturday and Sunday. Saturday will be a longer bird walk; the traditional breakfast buffet featuring gourmet casseroles - and all tickets are $35. Sunday is more family friendly and the breakfast fare will feature pancakes done by the Carmichael Kiwanis plus other breakfast fare. Tickets for Sunday are $25 for 12 and older, $10 for ages 6-11. Both mornings start at 8am. As an added treat, Jim and Marilyn from the Mendocino-based Discount Binoculars will be here both days so you can try out their wide range of binoculars and spotting scopes - and they know what birders like!
We encourage you to participate in one of these mornings as the birding and the food are fabulous, plus you'll get to spend the best part of the day with your fellow birders. To make a reservation and set up your method of payment, please call the nature center at 916-489-4918 between the hours of 9am - 4pm from Tuesday through Sunday. This event almost always sells out so please make your reservation soon.