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.
Saturday, March 3, 8am North Fork Pleasant Grove Creek (Roseville area) Leader: Scott Dietrich, 208-4976 firstname.lastname@example.org The North Fork Pleasant Grove open space area is a river flood plain area scattered with old growth Valley Oaks, riparian habitat and a small wetlands area. It’s usually a great place to see raptors such as Barn Owl, American Kestrel, Red-tailed Hawk, White-tailed Kite, Red-shouldered Hawk and Cooper’s Hawk. Also present are some waterfowl including Wood Duck, Mallard, and often Hooded and Common Merganser. Also seen here are Great Egret, Great Blue Heron and Green Heron. Of course there will still be many winter birds, Northern Flicker, sparrows and finches as well as the resident oak habitat birds, Acorn and Nuttall’s Woodpecker, White-breasted Nuthatch, Oak Titmouse and Western Bluebird. Meet Scott at Paul Dugan Park in the northeast part of Roseville. In Roseville drive north on Woodcreek Oaks Blvd. past Blue Oaks Blvd; then turn right onto Diamond Woods Circle and drive a short distance; Paul Dugan Park will be on your right. Or, coming from Sacramento, take I-80 east to Hwy 65; take 65 north to Blue Oaks Blvd; take Blue Oaks Blvd. west to Woodcreek Oaks Blvd, and go north on Woodcreek Oaks to Diamond Woods, then right to Paul Dugan Park. (Thomas Bros Map 219 D1, for those without Internet!) This newer area for Sacramento Audubon trips will be of interest to beginning and more experienced birders.
Sunday, March 4, 7am Highway 37 and Ellis Creek, 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 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.
Saturday, March 10 ARNHA Bird and Breakfast Fund Raiser Effie Yeaw Nature Center, 489-4918 Join Sacramento Audubon leaders for a birding walk followed by a delicious breakfast. This fund raiser for the American River Natural History Association is an annual event, and the leaders usually find nesting Anna’s Hummingbirds and Bushtits. Various woodpeckers and other small woodland birds, as well as herons, egrets and waterfowl on the river, will also be seen. Red-shouldered Hawks are frequently found in the oak woodland. This fund raiser supports ARNHA’s educational work. For sign-up information and price phone the Nature Center at 489-4918.
Saturday, March 10 Beginning Birding Field Trip for adults William Pond Park Limited to 10 people; registration required This field trip is for people who aren’t entirely comfortable joining field trips as well as those who have birded a bit but would like to be better birders. A brief parking lot talk will focus on choice and use of binoculars and a brief overview of birding etiquette and ethics. A $5 donation is requested to cover the costs of hand-out materials. The field trip will focus on finding and identifying common birds in a variety of habitats and will be led by two or more experienced Sacramento Audubon trip leaders. Each tripis limited to 10 participants. Register via email to Cathie at firstname.lastname@example.org, (put “Beginning Birder” in the subject line), giving your name, phone number and email address, or by calling Cathie at (916) 457-6882 and leaving your name and phone number. Following registration you will receive additional information regarding the field trip.
Sunday, March 11, 8am (Note: Daylight Savings Time begins today.) Effie Yeaw Nature Center Leader: Cathie LaZier, 457-6882 email@example.com 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 or $5 entry fee is required for all vehicles.
Mather Lake is a great area for sparrows, waterfowl and raptors. American Bittern, Great-tailed Grackle and Black-crowned Night Herons are also fairly common here. Meet Mark in the parking lot of Mather Regional Park at the corner of Douglas Road and Eagle’s Nest Road for this morning trip. A Sac County Park Pass or $5 entry fee is required for all vehicles.
Saturday, March 17 Family Friendly Trip - Mather Lake, Rancho Cordova Leader: Sheila Green These family trips require pre-registration and fill up quickly. Register for trips by contacting Maureen Geiger, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 444-0804. More details here.
Note that Dan is starting from the Watt Avenue access this time. Join him at one of his favorite spots along the Parkway in search of resident and wintering birds. There are well worn trails and some that require a little more work, so depending on everyone's ability, he will decide how strenuous the walk will be. Meet Dan at the Watt Avenue entrance to the Parkway in the first parking lot on the left as you drive in. Park access is off LaRiviera just east of Watt Avenue. A Sac County Park Pass or $5 entry fee is required for all vehicles.
Development in Folsom over the past 25 years covered most of the habitat between Folsom's city core, Hwy 50 and El Dorado Hills, but small pockets of marshland, oaks and riparian forest remain along Humbug and Willow Creeks, including an impressive array of trails. We'll look for marsh birds, including rails, sparrows and other species on a 3.75-mile loop. If energy and interest persist, we'll continue by checking Folsom Lake and the oak woodlands near Mormon Island (another two miles of walking). We'll meet at the McDonald's (170 Iron Point Rd) by the Folsom Outlets. From Sacramento, take Hwy 50 exit 23 at Folsom Blvd and turn left. Turn right on Iron Point Rd, make a U-turn at the first light and turn into McDonald's.
Join Darrell for this auto-tour route in a wetland area just minutes from Sacramento. Depending on the extent of the flooded fields there should be good numbers of shorebirds and waterfowl. Swallows, raptors and blackbirds should be well represented also. This is a great trip for both beginning and experienced birders. Bring scopes and FRS radios if you have them. . 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.
Meet Tim and Mark at the Park & Ride off I-80 in West Sacramento to LEAVE at 7 a.m., or meet Ron at 9 a.m. at the boat house at Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. Ron will lead us to the top of the hill on the island in the middle of Stow Lake. Pigmy Nuthatch, Townsend’s Warbler, Allen's Hummingbird and Brown Creeper are common here. In the past this area has produced Tufted Duck. We will then bird around Middle Lake (Mew Gulls) in the park; then venture to the Sutro Baths area near Ocean Beach and Cliff House. Here we usually see both Turnstones (Ruddy and Black), Surfbirds, and Wandering Tattler. This is an excellent trip for beginners who want to birdwatch outside of their normal areas. Bring a lunch and plan on spending the day birdwatching in San Francisco. For the West Sac Park & Ride take the West Capitol Ave. Exit #81; turn left at the light and then left again into the Park & Ride lot.
Mather Lake is one of Wayne's favorite birding locations. The lake and its surrounding grasslands host a wide variety of birds. Great-tailed Grackle and Yellow-headed Blackbirds both nest at the lake. Meet Wayne in the parking lot of Mather Regional Park at the corner of Douglas Road and Eagle’s Nest Road for this morning trip. A Sac County Park Pass or $5 entry fee is required for all vehicles.
Join Tim on this early spring morning for a trip to Arbuckle and then up Sand Creek Road. Target birds include California Thrasher, Mountain Quail, Lawence's Goldfinch and Pileated Woodpecker. The road can be rough and all wheel drive is recommended. Bring a lunch and liquids and be prepared for a afternoon return. Meet at the Bel Air shopping center on Arena Blvd. From Sacramento, take I-5 north to Arena Blvd., go west (left) over the freeway. Take the first left, Duckhorn Rd., and then turn right into the parking area. We will meet on the north side of the parking lot between Wells Fargo and Golden 1.
Paul will lead you on a morning walk along the American River. You will see a nice variety of resident birds and maybe a few early spring migrants. 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.
Caswell Memorial State Park is located in the Central Valley near the town of Ripon, about an hour south of Sacramento. The park’s position along the meandering Stanislaus River affords a combination of water, mature cottonwood riparian and valley oak woodland vegetation. Its multi-level tall tree canopy, low scrubs and vines provide lush cover, nesting and foraging habitat, and is a magnet for a variety of resident and migrant bird species. For more information about the park, go to www.parks.ca.gov, click on “Find A Park” and use the drop-down menu to find Caswell. Passerines, including several species of swallows, sparrows, woodpeckers and warblers are park specialties in Spring and Summer, and resident Red-tailed and Red-shouldered Hawks, and Great Horned Owls nest here. The park is surrounded by ag lands, so Swainson’s Hawks are seen regularly here this time of year. California Thrasher and Wrentit, not that common on the valley floor except in riparian areas, are also here.
There is a day-use fee per vehicle to enter the park. Plan to spend several hours in the park along some of the numerous nature trails, so bring food and water. The trails are generally level, but these paths and the vegetation along them may be damp. Dress appropriately. We will meet at the Park & Ride on the east side of Hwy 99 near the Sheldon Rd. exit. Take Hwy 99 south from Sacramento to the Sheldon Road exit. The new off ramp here cloverleaf’s and then crosses over the freeway. After crossing, proceed to the second signal light; turn right on East Stockton Blvd and proceed about a ¼ mile to the lot.
Join Mark for a morning walk checking out the resident birds, and looking for early nesters and spring migrants. Meet Mark at the boat launch parking area at the very end of the entrance road. This is a good trip for beginners. Sailor Bar is at the south end of Illinois Avenue, off Winding Way, just west of Hazel. A Sac County Park Pass or $5 entry fee is required for all vehicles.