For reports on these trips, click here. Trip Findings are generally on Page 2 of the Observer newsletter. ___________________________________________________________
FIELD TRIPS FOR JAN. 20 TO FEB. 21, 2008 SCHEDULERS: THROUGH FEB. 3, TIM FITZER, 870-5207,firstname.lastname@example.org AFTER FEB. 3, RICHARD BARBIERI, 966-4603,email@example.com Sunday, January 20, 8am Habitat Restoration Day at Effie Yeaw Leader:Jack Hiehle, 967-0777 Join Jack for a fun day at Effie Yeaw Nature Area in Ancil Hoffman Park.Why stay home watching a “silly” football game, when you can be in the fresh air and nature?Possible tasks include weed removal, pond clean-up, erecting fencing around oak trees for protection and checking bird nest boxes.You will have fun, meet new friends and contribute to the environment.Please call Jack if you plan to come or if you have any questions. Saturday, January 26, 8:15am Rush Ranch and King Ranch Leaders:Maureen Geiger, firstname.lastname@example.org And Joanne Castro This trip to Solano County will begin with a birding tour of Rush Ranch, an operating cattle ranch dating back to the Gold Rush days, which is owned and managed by the Solano Land Trust.Joanne Castro has lead birding tours for Napa-Solano Audubon for many years and will introduce us to the birds of Rush Ranch and the surrounding Suisun Marsh.Maureen will then lead us to the King Ranch, another Solano Land Trust property just off Hwy. 680.This site, high above Solano County, with a spectacular view of the surrounding area, is good for Golden Eagles and other raptors as well as Burrowing Owls and Say’s Phoebes.Bring lunch and liquids, and be prepared for possible muddy conditions.Meet at the Park & Ride in West Sacramento.From I-80, take the West Capitol exit; turn left at the light; then left again into the lot.This trip will last into mid- to late-afternoon. Sunday, January 27, 8am Salt Springs Valley Leader:Tim Fitzer, 870-5207,email@example.com This area is located in western Calaveras County about a half-hour drive from Sacramento.The open valley and its lake are home to many wintering ducks, hawks, eagles, owls and grassland birds.This is a unique area you will want to visit.The trip will last into the afternoon so bring lunch, liquids, warm clothing and FRS radios.Meet at the Park & Ride at the southeast corner of Sheldon Road and Highway 99. Tuesday, January 29, 7:30am Gray Lodge & Colusa Wildlife Area A Joint Trip with Yolo Audubon Leader:Sami LaRocca, (530) 908-0288 firstname.lastname@example.org Come join Sami on a Tuesday winter day to see these two similar wetland habitats.On the ride north we’ll look for Tundra Swans in the flooded rice fields.If you haven’t been to Gray Lodge during the winter months this is just the place to go to see spectacular views of Snow Geese as well as numerous species of ducks.These waterfowl attract Bald Eagles and other raptors.This is a long car loop with good opportunities for walking.At the Colusa Wildlife Area we may see some species such as Eurasian Widgeon which we may have missed earlier.Meet the group coming from Davis at the Jack-in-the-Box in Woodland, off Hwy 5 at County Road 102 and East Main.All levels of birders are welcome.Bring water, lunch, binoculars and scopes.There is a $2.50 per person fee at Gray Lodge; it’s also a good place to purchase a Duck Stamp to support this essential habitat.NOTE:High winds or significant rain cancels this trip. Saturday, February 2, 8am Sun City, Lincoln Leader:Dave Pearson, 408-4273Firesparkbird@yahoo.com Explore the varied habitat of the Lincoln hills with Dave who knows this area well.He will be checking the ponds and other nearby sites for ducks and shorebirds as well as the “grand canon of Lincoln Hills” otherwise known as the Canyon Oaks Trail for sparrows, other winter residents and raptors.Take Hwy. 65 north, turn right on Twelve Bridges Drive, left on East Lincoln, right on Del Webb Blvd., and follow to the Meridians Restaurant.Meet Dave in front of the lodge in the parking lot.This trip will end late morning. Sunday, February 3, 9am East Lawn Cemetery Leader:Mary Beth Metcalf, 456-7382 Meet Mary Beth at the corner of 43rd Street and Folsom Blvd.; park on 43rd Street.The trees in the cemetery are a winter home to many species of birds.In past years Mary Beth has found Golden-crowned Kinglets, Red-breasted Sapsucker, and Black-throated Gray Warbler, in addition to the usual birds.This is a slow paced half day walk and excellent for beginners.
Wednesday, February 6, 8am Jacob Lane area, American River Parkway Leader:Jack Hiehle, 967-0777 Join Jack on a 4 hour walk looking at native and non-native plant species, mammals and birds.This walk is great for beginning and more experienced nature lovers.Meet Jack at the end of Jacob Lane, which runs south off Fair Oaks Blvd., between Arden and Eastern. Saturday, February 9, early River Walk Bird Count Cosumnes River Preserve Recorded 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, February 9, Sunset Trip, 2 pm till dark Sandhill Cranes and Other Wintering Birds of the Sacramento Valley A “Save Our Sandhill Cranes” sponsored trip Co-ordinator:Mike Savino, 446-1392 Sandhill Cranes are the focus of this trip, but the experienced birding leaders will also help you identify the waterfowl and shorebirds that winter here.Ducks, swans and geese, as well as shorebirds, feed in the flooded fields and marshy areas of the delta, and hawks patrol overhead.Meet at the Cosumnes River Preserve Visitor Center parking lot, at 2 p.m., where we will stroll the boardwalk in the Lost Slough Wetlands, then drive out along Desmond Road and possibly further, searching for more cranes and other birds.Optional dinner afterwards with SOS Cranes board members for further discussions.Dress for changeable weather; bring scopes and FRS radios if you have them.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 10, 7:30am Best Slough and Yuba County Wetlands Leader: Richard Barbieri, 966-4603 email@example.com Best Slough's drainage runs west out of the foothills and ends near Hwy 70 to meet with Algodon Slough which runs south and feeds into the Bear River. It's here at this confluence that Richard will lead you to see some of Yuba County's wetland habitat and surrounding properties.Meet Richard at the Park & Ride at Hwy 99 and Elkhorn Blvd.Take I-5 north from Sacramento; at the I-5/Hwy 99 split, take 99 and take the first exit after the split.Turn left over the freeway; the Park & Ride is on the southwest corner. Wednesday, February 13, 8am Yolo Wildlife Area Leader:Dan Tankersley, firstname.lastname@example.org This marshy area, just minutes from downtown Sacramento, is a winter refuge for a good variety of ducks and shorebirds, as well as the larger waterbirds and a variety of sparrows.Uncommon birds are frequently found here.Dan plans a longer stay at the first stop, with a scope set up to give you good views of the birds, so grab your cup of coffee (and a doughnut?) and plan to meet him at the first parking lot inside the wildlife area. This outing will last from 3 to 4 hours.From Sacramento take I-80 across the Yolo Causeway and turn right onto the frontage road just past the causeway.Turn right at the stop sign; circle under the freeway; then make a left up onto the levee and down into the wildlife area.This trip will end before noon.Beginners are encouraged to come. February 15-16-17-18 Great Backyard Bird Count Where ever you are, don’t forget to count birds, for at least 15 minutes, on at least one day, in an area of your choice (doesn’t have to be your backyard), and record the results at www.birdsource.org/gbbc. February, 16, 17 & 18 (President’s Day Holiday) Eureka/Arcata area Leaders, Dan Brown 362-2458, email@example.com Joe Ceriani, email -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. Saturday, February 16, very early Tall Forest Bird Count Cosumnes River Preserve Recorded 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. Sunday, February 17 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, and can include removing noxious weeds, pond clean-up, and other chores, so call Jack for details and meeting time and place. Wednesday, February 20, 8am Estates Drive area, American River Parkway Leader:Jack Hiehle, 967-0777 This morning walk along the river will be in an area just upstream from the Watt Ave. Bridge at the end of Estates Drive in Carmichael.Join Jack on this stretch of the river as he shares with you his knowledge of plants, mammals, and of course, birds.Meet Jack at the end of Estates Drive, which runs south off Fair Oaks Blvd., between Watt and Eastern Avenues. Thursday Feb. 21, 8am Grizzly Island Wildlife Area and Robinson Road Leader: Sami LaRocca (530) email@example.com Lets go to Solano County in late winter to see which hawks are still around on Robinson Road.We’ll have a chance to see Prairie Falcon and Mountain Plovers which are often found in this area.Then on to Grizzly Island, where a $2.50 day use fee is needed.Here we’ll drive around and check the wetland and grassland habitats for lingering wintering birds.Meet at the Park & Ride lot off Mace Boulevard (NE of Hwy 80; behind Ikeda’s) in Davis at 8:00 am.Bring water, snacks and lunch.All levels of birder welcome, some binoculars will be available. We’ll plan on returning by early afternoon. NOTE: High winds or a significant rainstorm cancels this trip.