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.
FIELD TRIPS, JANUARY 31ST THROUGH MARCH 18, 2015 SCHEDULER RICHARD BARBIERI, email@example.com , 761-1124
Saturday, January 31st, 7am Yolo/Solano Big Day Leader: Scott Hoppe, 835-8471 firstname.lastname@example.org Get set for a full day of birding “hot spots” of Yolo and Solano Counties to see how many species we can tally. Last year’s trip totaled 121 species. 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; then to the Yolo Bypass, 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.
Saturday, January 31st, 3:30pm Sandhill Cranes and Other Wintering Birds of the Sacramento Valley Save Our Sandhill Cranes and Sacramento Audubon Coordinator: Mike Savino, 446-1392 This is the prime time to see our Sandhill Cranes, as well as a variety of ducks, swans, geese, and shorebirds feeding in the flooded fields and marshy areas of the delta, with hawks patroling overhead. Meet at the Cosumnes River Preserve Visitor Center deck at 3:30pm to hear a brief talk about Sandhill Crane behavior, biology and status. Then we’ll follow the trail at Lost Slough Wetlands, for views of the cranes, 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 and for families
Sunday, February 1st, 8am Birding the Best Places Leader: Tim Manolis, 485-9009 email@example.com Tim is going to take you birding where the best birds are. Meet him at the Natomas Fish Hatchery to bird along the American River and perhaps look for other birds of interest recently reported in the vicinity. This will be a half day trip, and should be of interest to experienced as well as beginning birders. From Hwy 50 go north on Hazel Avenue; turn left on Gold Country Blvd. and the hatchery is on your right.
Tuesday, February 3rd, 12pm (noon) Colusa National Wildlife Refuge Leader: Dan Tankersley, 662-1290 firstname.lastname@example.org Join Dan for an afternoon of birding at this wonderful NWR. This time of year the majority of white geese are Ross’s, and the afternoon “fly-in” can be spectacular if the weather cooperates. There will be many duck species as well as other wetland birds. Eurasian Wigeon is often seen here and we can expect many raptors with the possibility of Bald Eagle and Peregrine Falcon. Birding will include the viewing platform, driving around the tour route, and an easy walk on the riparian trail. 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 & Ride. From Sacramento, take I-80 west to Mace Blvd. (Exit #75); turn right (north) and then right again to the Park & Ride behind 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. You may want to bring snacks and liquids as the trip will end around 4 p.m.
Wednesday, February 4th, 8am William Pond Park Leader: Larry Hickey, 962-0387 Larryhickey1@gmail.com Meet Larry along the first parking area just past the entrance kiosk for this morning walk looking for wintering and resident birds. Along the river mergansers, goldeneye, herons and egrets can be found in the backwaters. California Quail, Western Bluebirds and Lark Sparrows may be found in the park area and various raptors may be spotted. Trip will end before noon. A Sac County Park Pass or $5 entry 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.
Saturday, February 7th, 7:30am Mather Lake Leader: Wayne Blunk, 876-0457 Wayne.Blunk@gmail.com Mather Lake is one of Wayne’s favorite birding locations, and he usually turns up quite a list of bird species. Join him to look for a nice variety of resident and migrant birds. Possibilities include White-tailed Kites, California Quail, American Bittern, Green Heron and Common Yellowthroat. Meet in the parking lot of Mather Regional Park; from Highway 50, go south on Zinfandel about 2-1/2 miles. After crossing Douglas Blvd. take the first left into the park area. There is a $5 per car entrance fee; your Sac County Parkway pass is valid here. This is a wonderful trip for beginning birders.
Sunday, February 8th, 7:30am Yuba County Wetlands
Leader: Richard Barbieri, 966-4603 email@example.com
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 Park & Ride by Brookfield’s Restaurant, 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, and park on the right in the Park & Ride. Bring lunch, layered clothes, and scopes and FRS radios if you have them.
February 13 through 16 Great Backyard Bird Count www.birdsource.org/gbbc 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, or join one of the field trips and the leader will input the group’s checklist.
Friday, February 13th, 8am William Pond Park Leader: Cathie LaZier, 457-6882 firstname.lastname@example.org Let’s count birds for the Great Backyard Bird Count. Cathie will post our results on the GBBC website. Meet her at the first parking area just past the entrance kiosk. We’ll check out 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 a $5 entry 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.
Saturday, February 14th, 8am Discovery Park Leader: Maureen Geiger, 444-0804 Or 281-6652 email@example.com Join Maureen for another chance to count birds for the GBBC. This park at the confluence of the American and Sacramento Rivers is a great place for a walk in any season with open lawns, revegetated sections and dense riparian stands. Maureen will be looking for resident species such as Red-shouldered Hawks, White-tailed Kites and Yellow-billed Magpies plus still wintering sparrows. Woodpeckers and White-breasted Nuthatches are also possibilities, and Hermit Thrushes can be common. This is an easy walking trip for beginners and experienced birders and will last until late morning. To reach Discovery from I-5, drive east on the Garden Highway, turning right into the park at the first traffic light. Past the kiosk turn left at your first opportunity and then left again, driving a short distance to the farthest parking lot at the archery range. A Sac County Park Pass or $5 entry fee is required for all vehicles.
February 14, 15 & 16, President’s Day Weekend Eureka/Arcata/Crescent City area Leaders, Tim Fitzer, 870-5207, firstname.lastname@example.org Joe Ceriani, 707-476-9127, email@example.com Join Tim and Joe for 3 days of birding along California’s North coast, visiting some of the traditional spots in the Eureka, Arcata and Crescent City areas and possibly some of Joe’s new favorite spots. Please contact Tim or Joe for further details.
Sunday, February 15 Beginning Birders’ Walk Cosumnes River Preserve 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. This trip will focus on wintering waterfowl, sorting out the different duck species, and looking at some other wetland birds. Registration is required. Contact Cathie LaZier at firstname.lastname@example.org, 457-6882.
Wednesday, February 18th, 8am till 11am Glenn Hall Park, Paradise Beach, American River Parkway Leader: Sally Walters Schmoldt, 710-1077 email@example.com Join Sally for a morning bird walk along the levee and willow covered sand bars of the American River. Sally will be looking for wintering sparrows and waterfowl, plus the resident wrens, towhees, and other small passerine birds. 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. This is an excellent trip for beginners.
WEEKEND TRIP, February 21st and 22nd Merced County refuges and grasslands Leader: Dan Brown, 916-704-0951 firstname.lastname@example.org Co-leader: Dale Azavedo Join Dan and Dale for a full weekend of birding the wetlands and grasslands around the Merced area. We will start Saturday morning birding several private duck club properties. Duck season is over in mid- February and these duck clubs can really be packed with birds! We will check out the area prior to the field trip for best birding and access, as muddy roads can be a problem and are not recommended for low clearance vehicles. After we have had our fill of the private areas, we will spend the rest of the day birding the National Wildlife Areas nearby. We will overnight in Merced for an early start Sunday morning to bird the grasslands and foothills of Eastern Merced County. This area is known for big numbers of raptors, including all the winter species (Ferruginous, Rough-legged, Prairie Falcon, Merlin). On a trip to the area last year, we had 10 Ferruginous Hawks, 5 Rough-legged Hawks and numerous individuals of both eagle species! Because we will be visiting private lands, this trip will be limited to 15 participants. Please contact Dan Brown for information on meeting place and time on Saturday morning and lodging in Merced on Saturday night with an option of lodging on Friday night to be closer to the meeting place in the morning.
Saturday, February 21, 7am until noon Michigan Bar and vicinity Leader: Chris Conard, 203-1610 email@example.com We will focus on Michigan Bar Rd and may visit portions of Latrobe and Meiss Rds, though access will be partially dependent on road conditions and recent weather. Vast areas of open grassland and blue oak woodland interspersed with rocky outcrops and the Cosumnes River provide habitat for winter raptors, resident and winter songbirds, Lewis's Woodpeckers and perhaps a surprise or two. We'll have a mix of car birding (bring FRS radios if you have them) and short to moderate walks. Meet at the Park and Ride on Hwy 16 (Jackson Hwy) just west of Sunrise Blvd and the Folsom South Canal (7 miles east of Watt Ave). Steady rain cancels.
Saturday, February 21st, 10:30 Effie Yeaw Family Nature Walk Join Theresa Blue and Maureen Geiger of Sac Audubon and a Nature Center docent for a family friendly nature walk at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center in Carmichael. Acorn Woodpeckers, Wild Turkeys, and other resident birds, as well as some wintering species, will be active. Reservations are not needed, families can simply show up and enjoy a one-hour walk in the lovely Nature Area with naturalists/birders who know the area and enjoy sharing their knowledge. For directions, see sacnaturecenter.net.
Sunday, February 22nd, 8am Bushy Lake Leader: Darrell Mohr, 225-3999 firstname.lastname@example.org Meet Darrell 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. Darrell will be looking for a variety of resident and wintering species. With most leaves fallen from the trees, there will be better views of the lake, and Wood Ducks are a good possibility. This will be a 1 to 2 mile hike that will take 2 to 3 hours. You may want to bring water. This is a good trip for beginners and more experienced birders.
Sunday, February 22nd Beginning Birding 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. We explore the varied habitat at William Pond, looking at wintering sparrows, some waterfowl and shorebirds at the river, and those small confusing bushtits, titmice and kinglets. Registration is required. Contact Cathie LaZier at email@example.com, 457-6882.
Friday, February 27th, 8:30am Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area Leader: Marlene Ishihara, 635-9758 IshiM2000@comcast.net 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 as well as raptors. 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, at the beginning of the auto tour. FRS radios and scopes are helpful on this trip, which is a good trip for both beginners and more experienced birders. Trip will end before noon. If the bypass is closed due to flooding, the trip is canceled.
Saturday, February 28th, 8am North Natomas Regional Park Leader: Ben Graber, 844-8682 Bgraber984@gmail.com Join Ben for a leisurely morning walk around the North Natomas Regional Park. We can expect to see a wide variety of grassland species including Meadowlarks, Ring-necked Pheasants, and Savannah Sparrows, along with herons, egrets, and waterfowl. Various wintering species of raptors, including falcons, are also possibilities. This trip will include approximately 2 to 3 miles of walking over flat terrain, and bringing liquids is recommended. Meet Ben at the parking lot on the North side of New Market Drive across from Inderkum High School. New Market Drive is off Truxel Road approximately a mile north of Interstate 80. This is a great trip for both beginning and more experienced birders.
Saturday, February 28th, 3:30pm Sandhill Cranes and Other Wintering Birds of the Sacramento Valley Save Our Sandhill Cranes and Sacramento Audubon Coordinator: Mike Savino, 446-1392 Our Sandhill Cranes will be leaving soon to migrate to their nesting grounds. Don’t miss this opportunity to see them, as well as a variety of ducks, swans, geese, and shorebirds. Meet at the Cosumnes River Preserve Visitor Center deck at 3:30pm to hear a brief talk about Sandhill Crane behavior, biology and status. Then we’ll walk the Lost Slough Wetlands trail for views of the cranes, 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 and for families
Saturday, February 28, 2015 Family-Friendly Birding Walk Where: Cosumnes River Preserve Leaders: Sandra Steurer-Beseler and Wendy Money Join us for a family-friendly birding walk at Cosumnes River Preserve. We’ve paired this morning walk with the preserve’s Ducks and Scopes event. Families can join Sandra and Wendy on a walk through the preserve's various habitats in search of a wide variety of birds, then learn about and view the abundant waterfowl through scopes. The birding walk will begin at 9 a.m. and incorporate the Ducks and Scopes event. Trails are conducive to strollers and little ones. Please email Wendy Money at firstname.lastname@example.org to register and get exact meeting location.
Sunday, March 1st, 7am Highway 37 and Schollenberger Park, Petaluma Leader: Mark Martucci, 833-6722 email@example.com From the West Sacramento Park & Ride, Mark will lead the group towards Petaluma, with various birding stops along Hwy 37. Moving on to the Petaluma area, 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.
Sunday, March 1st, 3:30pm Sandhill Cranes and Other Wintering Birds of the Sacramento Valley A Save Our Sandhill Cranes and Sacramento Audubon trip Coordinator: Mike Savino, 446-1392 See write up for Feb. 28th.
Saturday, March 7, 8am Lake Solano/Putah Creek Leaders: Tim Fitzer and Ann Burris Tim: 870-5207, firstname.lastname@example.org Ann: 947-7573, email@example.com This is a great area to find Pileated Woodpecker, Phainopepla, Brown Creeper, Barrow’s Goldeneye and many other late wintering birds. Meet Tim and Ann 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.
Saturday, March 7, 9am Nature and Birding Walk Cosumnes River Preserve Not an Audubon trip, but a great walk for beginning birders, this monthly First Saturday morning walk at the CRP is led by docents who will share information about the preserve, and help you identify the various birds and plant life. This time of year waterfowl are still abundant and spring is arriving on the preserve. Meet at the Visitor Center. Further directions and maps are available at www.cosumnes.org .
Sunday, March 8, 7am Note: Daylight Savings Time, clocks forward! Golden Gate Park, San Francisco Leader: Ron Storey Co-coordinator: Mark Martucci, 833-6722 firstname.lastname@example.org Meet Mark at the West Sacramento Park & Ride, (from Sacramento, take the West Capitol Ave. Exit #81; turn left at the light and then left again into the Park & Ride lot), at 7am. Alternate meeting place is the boathouse at Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park at 9:00 am. We will bird around Stow Lake, including the island in the middle of the lake. After birding Stow Lake we will drive to Middle Lake and the surrounding area. We will then drive to the Sutro (Cliff House) area to look for ocean going birds. If there is a rare bird (i.e. Rustic Bunting) in the area our plans will change after our walk around Stow Lake. You can expect to see Townsend’s Warbler, Pygmy Nuthatch, and Brown Creeper at Stow Lake. On past trips Ron has found both turnstone species, Wandering Tattler, Surfbird, and Red-throated Loon, not to mention the rarities Tufted Duck and Orchard Oriole on this field trip. Bring a lunch and dress in layers. This is a great trip for beginners and experienced birders. Heavy rain will cancel.
Sunday, March 8, 2015 Building Nest Boxes Leaders: Richard Barbieri and Jenner Junghans Where: Effie Yeaw Nature Center When: 9 a.m. to noon Ages: 10-15 years old* Join Richard and Jenner at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center to build and take home your very own nest box for birds such as the Oak Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch and Bewick’s Wren. With spring right around the corner, birds are busy looking for the right location to raise a family. Maybe a pair will pick your nest box! Kids will also learn how to find just the right location for their nest box in their backyard (take-home instructions will be provided for parents) and what birds need to be able to successfully raise their young. If time allows, we’ll take a short walk around Effie Yeaw Nature Center to look for local birds and their nests. Each child must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. This workshop is limited to 10 children. To register, please email Jenner Junghans at email@example.com.
Thursday, March 12, 8am Mather Lake Leader: Mark Sawyer, 968-1661 Marksawyer3383@yahoo.com Mather Lake is fast becoming one of the area’s most popular birding locations, with quite a list of bird species. Join Mark to look for a nice variety of resident and migrant birds. Possibilities include White-tailed Kites, American Bittern, Green Heron, Pied-billed Grebe and Common Yellowthroat. If you bring your camera Mark may give you some photography tips as well. Meet in the parking lot of Mather Regional Park; from Highway 50, go south on Zinfandel about 2-1/2 miles. After crossing Douglas Blvd. take the first left into the park area. There is a $5 per car entrance fee; your Sac County Parkway pass is valid here. This is a wonderful trip for beginning birders.
Saturday, March 14, 8am Wolf Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary, North Natomas Leader: Maureen Geiger, 281-6652 firstname.lastname@example.org This is a little known 60-acre wetlands created when an area of open pasture in Rio Linda was used as a borrow pit to provide dirt for levee improvements in the North area of Sacramento. Mid-March should provide a good variety of species in the open water and wetland perimeters which have been planted with native riparian shrubs and trees. Maureen will walk the perimeter and explore the different habitats along the way. On a recent visit, two Beavers were seen napping in the sun on top of their lodge near the middle of the pond. This trip will last until late morning and will involve walking on a fairly good, flat trail which may be muddy depending on rainfall. From Sacramento take I-5 north, then follow Hwy.99/70 north 1.1 miles. Take the Elkhorn Boulevard exit 525B and, turning right, continue 3.1 miles, cross Steelhead Creek, and make an immediate right turn on Sorrento into a large, unpaved parking lot. You will see a sign for the Walter S. Ueda Parkway in the parking lot.
Sunday, March 15, 6am North Bay Birding Leader: Scott Hoppe, 835-8471 email@example.com We will be exploring the area north of San Francisco, known as the North Bay. Scott will most likely concentrate on locations surrounding the Napa-Sonoma Marshes Wildlife Area. This area is known for high concentrations of shorebirds, waterfowl and raptors. Likely stops will include American Canyon Wetlands, Huichica Creek and Hudeman Slough. But the itinerary could change depending on reports and conditions. This trip is designed for the adventurous, so be prepared for a full day of birding and fun. Bring lunch, liquids and layered clothing, as weather can be unpredictable in the Bay Area. Meet Scott 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 and Ride lot.
Wednesday, March 18, 9am Effie Yeaw Nature Center Cathie LaZier, 457-6882 firstname.lastname@example.org This area of the parkway is excellent for birding and Cathie will be looking for early nesting birds and returning migrants, as well as blooming wildflowers. This is a very good trip for beginners, as well as more experienced birders. Meet in the Nature Center parking lot in Ancil Hoffman Park in Fair Oaks. The trip will end by noon. A Sac County Park Pass, ARNHA membership card or $5 entry fee is required for all vehicles.