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, November 14 through December 13, 2015. Scheduler, Maureen Geiger: New email: firstname.lastname@example.org, 444-0804 or 2811-6652
Saturday, November 14, 8am Ponds near Cal-expo and Costco, American River Parkway Leader: Jane Taylor, 587-3366 email@example.com Please hope for rain to fill the ponds in the Exposition Blvd. area of the American River Parkway! We will search for birds typical of late fall, such as waterfowl, passerines, raptors, herons and egrets, including Hooded Mergansers, Wood Ducks, crowned sparrows, California Quail, Wild Turkey and Merlin. If target ponds lack water, we will consider alternatives. Plan to walk 3 to 4 miles and wrap up by noon, so bring liquids and snacks, if desired. From Capital City Fwy., take Exposition Blvd. (exit #9A) west toward Costco; turn left/south on Tribute Road and follow around the bend. Park on the left side of Tribute in the eastern-most lot just before the Capital City Freeway. Heavy rain or high winds cancel.
Sunday, November 15, 12:30pm Flood and Waverly Roads in the Afternoon Leader: Linda Pittman, 715-1876 firstname.lastname@example.org (email preferred) The Flood/Waverly rolling grasslands in eastern San Joaquin County are excellent for wintering raptors. This year, we’ll be leaving later and looking for Short-eared Owls in addition to eagles, Ferruginous and Rough-legged hawks, falcons and other open country birds. Meet at the Galt Park and Ride. From Sacramento, take Hwy 99 south to the Twin Cities Rd/Hwy 104 exit (#277); turn left (east) on Twin Cities Rd, cross the freeway and turn right (south) on Stockton Blvd. The Park and Ride is just south of Twin Cities Rd. Bring snacks and liquids. Bring FRS radios and scopes if you have them. Note: there are no restrooms in this area! Heavy rain and wind cancels.
Thursday, November 19, 8am Sacramento Bar, American River Parkway Leader: Mark Martucci, 833-6722 email@example.com On this morning walk along the American River, you will see, and hear, a nice variety of resident and wintering birds. 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.
Thursday-Monday, November 19 through 22 Central Valley Birding Symposium 2015 This birding festival is considered one of the best festivals in the country. Birders flock from near and far to enjoy the company of other birders as well as great birders and naturalists in a variety of field trips and workshops. Field trips visit surrounding hot spots to celebrate the diversity of birds wintering in the Central Valley and hear three keynote speeches by top birders on relevant topics. For more information and to register, go to www.cvbirds.org/Symposium.htm
Saturday, November 21, 8am William Pond Park Leader: Cathie LaZier, 457-6882 firstname.lastname@example.org 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. 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 $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, November 21, 10:30am Effie Yeaw Family Nature Walk This family friendly nature walk will be at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center in Carmichael. Acorn Woodpeckers and Wild Turkeys are abundant, but sharp eyes and ears may find Spotted Towhees or Bushtits as well. Reservations are not needed, families can simply show up and enjoy a one-hour walk in the lovely Nature Area with naturalist Jaclyn from the nature center and birder Sheila Green from Audubon. For directions, see sacnaturecenter.net. This walk is good for beginning adults as well.
Sunday, November 22, 7:30am King Ranch/Lynch Canyon/American Canyon Wetlands Leaders: Maureen Geiger, email@example.com 444-0804 or 281-6652 Ken Poerner, firstname.lastname@example.org 707-580-6277 Solano County has wonderful birding in a variety of habitats. Join Ken and Maureen as they drive through the King Ranch looking for burrowing owls, rock wrens, eagles and other raptors; Lynch Canyon for lunch and a short hike into the valley looking for species similar to those at King plus ducks and grebes at the reservoir pond. A possible add on, depending on the tide, will be a visit to the American Canyon Wetlands where we may see myriad shorebirds and ducks in the tidal flats close enough for good looks. This trip will last to mid-afternoon, so bring lunch and liquids. FRS radios will be useful. Meet Maureen at the Park and Ride in West Sacramento. From Sacramento, take the West Capitol Ave. exit. Turn left and the Park & Ride will be on your immediate left. Second meeting place in Fairfield at the Safeway just east of the Waterman exit around 8 to 8:15am.
Saturday, November 28 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. Registration is required. Contact Cathie LaZier at email@example.com, 457-6882.
Saturday, November 28, 3:30pm Sandhill Cranes and Other Wintering Birds of the Sacramento Valley A Save Our Sandhill Cranes-sponsored trip Coordinator: Mike Savino, 446-1392 Sandhill Cranes are the focus of this trip but 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 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.
Saturday, November 28, 8am and Sunday, November 29, 8am Lincoln Grasslands Trips #1 and #2!! Leaders, Team #1: Richard Barbieri, 761-1124 firstname.lastname@example.org Tim Fitzer, 870-5207 email@example.com The grasslands and farmlands surrounding Lincoln provide some of the best winter birding in the Sacramento Valley. Because of the diversity and large area to be covered, back to back trips were offered last year. This year, once again, two teams of experienced field trip leaders will enter a friendly competition to show participants as many birds as possible. Richard and Tim will start Saturday, searching for the largest number of raptors and rarities; Scott and Mark will follow Sunday hoping to produce even better numbers. Both days, they will search the back roads of Placer County for a large variety of raptors, shorebirds, ducks, swans and sparrows plus specialty species such as Tri-colored Blackbirds and Lewis’ Woodpeckers. These trips will last into the afternoon, so bring lunch and liquids as well as scopes and FRS radios if you have them. Meet in the Park & Ride by Brookfield’s Restaurant, 1817 Taylor Road, in Roseville. From Sacramento on I-80, take the Eureka Road off ramp (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 area.
Sunday, November 29, 8am Leaders, Team #2: Scott Hoppe, 835-8471 firstname.lastname@example.org Mark Martucci, 833-6722 email@example.com See write-up, above.
Sunday, November 29, 3:30pm Sandhill Cranes and Other Wintering Birds of the Sacramento Valley See information for November 28th trip.
Tuesday, December 1, 7:30am Bobcat Ranch, Yolo County Leaders: Maureen Geiger, 281-6652 firstname.lastname@example.org Valerie Calegari, 416-7011 This beautiful 7,000-acre property owned by Audubon California is currently open to the public only for docent-led trips. Join Maureen and Valerie, Conservation Project Director (or the new Ranch Manager) for a rare opportunity to experience this unique property. On the hike through the blue oak woodlands, they will be looking for local and migrant bird species (which may include Golden Eagles, Lark Sparrows and Lewis’s Woodpeckers). We will also learn about the restoration efforts taking place and effects of the recent, nearby fire. Clear weather will give us fabulous views of the valley. This outing involves moderate hiking on fairly level ground and should last until lunch time. Bring liquids; a picnic lunch at the Ranch is possible or a return to Winters where there are several good restaurants. There are restrooms at the meeting site. Meet at the Park and Ride in West Sacramento for a 7:30 departure. Alternate meeting place is the parking lot next to Steady Eddy’s at 5 E. Main Street (intersection of Main and Railroad) in Winters by 8 am. To reach the Park and Ride, from I-80, take the West Capitol Avenue exit, turn left at the light and left into the lot.
Saturday, December 5 American River Natural History Association Wildlife Count Compiler: Bill Avery, 369-0750 or 769-3357 email@example.com (email preferred) Join fellow birders for this annual census of birds and other wildlife on the American River Parkway. Contact compiler Bill Avery for details.
Sunday, December 6 Nimbus Fish Hatchery/American River Leader: Ed Harper, 971-3311 firstname.lastname@example.org Join Ed for an informative walk along the American River and a chance to sharpen your identification skills. Ed is a great birder who will be looking for any interesting or unusual birds, with emphasis on tricky identification of the many gulls that winter on the River near Nimbus Dam. Herring, Thayer’s, Glaucous-winged, California, Ring-billed and Mew Gulls are all possibilities. Spotting scopes will be very useful, and be sure to bring your field guides for this intensive study. NOTE: This trip is limited to 15 participants, and registration is required. To register and for details, please contact Maureen Geiger at 444-0804 or email@example.com.
Sunday, December 6, 7am Bay Area Birding Leader: Scott Hoppe, 835-8471 shoppe01@surewest .net We will be exploring some popular birding spots around San Francisco Bay. Possible destinations include Arrowhead Marsh, Hayward Shoreline and, time permitting, Palo Alto Baylands. The Bay has a lot to offer in terms of diversity of shorebirds and waterfowl, and Scott will be watching posts and checking conditions to choose the best locations. Bring lunch, liquids and dress for possible cooler Bay Area weather. Meet at the Park and Ride 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. Rain cancels.
Saturday, December 12, 8am Robinson Road Area Leaders: Tim Fitzer 870-5207 Spskua2@comcast.net Ann Burris, 947-7573 Burris.firstname.lastname@example.org This is a great area for wintering Ferruginous and Rough-legged Hawks, Prairie Falcons, Merlins, curlews, possible Mountain Plovers, shrikes, and other interesting birds. Bring liquids, lunch, warm clothes, spotting scopes, and FRS radios if possible. Meet 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. Heavy rain or high winds cancel the trip.
Sunday, December 13, 9am-Noon Davis Wastewater Treatment Plant and Yolo County Landfill Area Leader: Steve Hampton, 956-0949 email@example.com Many birders find identification of gulls to be fairly daunting. Steve will help unravel the mysteries of sorting through some of the gulls which can often be found in a Yolo County locale famous for good numbers of wintering gulls. Curlews, other shorebirds, and ducks are also possible. Meet at the Mace Blvd. Park & Ride at 9am. From Sacramento, take I-80 to west to Mace Blvd. (Exit #75); turn right (north) and then right again to the Park & Ride behind Ikeda’s Market. From there we will proceed to the best place from which to view the gulls.
Sunday, December 13 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. Registration is required. Contact Cathie LaZier at firstname.lastname@example.org, 457-6882
DUCKS (AND MORE) IN SCOPES at Cosumnes River Preserve
October, Saturdays, 10/24 and 10/31, November, Saturday 11/14 and Sunday 11/29, December, Sunday 12/6 and Saturdays 12/12, 12/19 and 12/26, and, Friday, January 1.
A great trip for families, youth groups and newer birders, this is an opportunity to work on duck identification . as well as other wetland birds.
Stop by the Cosumnes River Preserve and check out “Ducks In Scopes”, where docents have a row of scopes set up, including lower ones for children, giving you good views of the many colorful ducks and other wetland birds. A microscope and hand lens provide close-up looks at “Duck Soup”, dishes of water dipped from the pond full of sand fleas, dragonfly nymphs, and other squiggly things that provide the protein the birds are feeding on. The Preserve is a quick drive from Sacramento – south on I-5 to Twin Cities Road; left (east) on Twin Cities for 1 mile; then right (south) on Franklin Blvd. The viewing area is in the first parking lot on your right as you drive into the preserve. Come any time between 10am and 2pm, on the following dates: November, Saturday 11/14 and Sunday 11/29, December, Sunday 12/6 and Saturdays 12/12, 12/19 and 12/26, and to start the New Year off right, Friday, January 1st.