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 5- December 14, 2014 Scheduler, Maureen Geiger, 444-0804, email@example.com
Wednesday, November 5, 8am Cosumnes River Preserve Boardwalk and Woodbridge Road Leader: Cathie LaZier, 457-6882 firstname.lastname@example.org Our Sandhill Cranes are back for the winter, joining swans, geese and a wide variety of duck species. Yellowlegs and Wilson’s Snipe will be in the shallower water, and other shorebirds are possible. We’ll walk the CRP boardwalk loop first; then drive along Desmond Road for more views of waterfowl. Then we’ll drive to Woodbridge Road, making a couple of birding stops. Meet Cathie at the Nugget Market at 8 am. Going south on I-5, take the Florin Road West exit; go west to the first signal light, (Greenhaven Drive), and make a U-turn. The parking area for the market will be on the right. Secondary meeting place is the CRP Visitor Center parking lot about 8:30 am. Bring water and snacks and dress for changeable weather. FRS radios and spotting scopes are helpful if you have them. This is a great trip for beginning birders.
Saturday, November 8, 8:00am Gray Lodge Wildlife Area Leader: Frank Gray, 723-5249 Fgray4birds@aol.com This 9,200 acre state wildlife preserve, about 60 miles north of Sacramento, contains many marshland and riparian habitats. Located along the Pacific Flyway, it provides spectacles of hundreds of waterfowl, including thousands of Snow and White-fronted Geese, as well many duck species. Eurasian Wigeon.is a possibility. Wintering raptors are also expected. We will drive along the auto tour loop and walk at some designated areas. After touring the wildlife area, we will likely visit other nearby areas depending upon water availability and other factors. A day pass for $4.32 per person is available at the wildlife area. Bring liquids, lunch, and clothing and footwear suitable for changeable weather. Frank will bring one scope, bring more scopes and 2-way radios if you have them. This is a good trip for beginning and intermediate birders, as Frank will point out various bird identification features, and more experienced birders will also enjoy the trip. “Pouring” rain and or high wind cancels the trip. No “taping in” birds and not a “rarities chase.” We will likely be back at the Park and Ride by 3 pm. Voluntary car-pooling is encouraged. Meet 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 an immediate left again into the Park and Ride lot.
Sunday, November 9, 7:30am King Ranch/Lynch Canyon/American Canyon Wetlands Leaders: Maureen Geiger, 444-0804 or 281-6652 email@example.com Ken Poerner, 707-580-6277 firstname.lastname@example.org Solano County has wonderful birding in a variety of habitats. Join Ken and Maureen as they drive through the King Ranch looking for eagles and other raptors, burrowing owls and rock wrens; 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 driving west to the American Canyon Wetlands to see myriad shorebirds and ducks which may be close enough for very 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 by 7:45-7:50 am.
Saturday and Sunday, November 8th & 9th Lodi Sandhill Crane Festival Learn more about the event and register for tours at www.cranefestival.com or call 800-581-6150.
Thursday, November 13, 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, November 15, 8:00 am Flood and Waverly Roads, San Joaquin County Leaders: Linda Pittman, 715-1876 email@example.com Dan Tankersley, 662-1290 firstname.lastname@example.org The Flood/Waverly rolling grasslands in eastern San Joaquin County are excellent for wintering raptors. We’ll be looking for 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, lunch and liquids as the trip will last into the afternoon. FRS Radios and scopes are helpful.
Saturday, November 15, 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 birders Sheila Green and Carla Barbaro from Audubon. For directions, see sacnaturecenter.net.
Sunday, November 16, 7:30am Sacramento Parks and Cemeteries Leader: Cliff Hawley, 300-2495 yellowhammerCA@gmail.com Sacramento has some excellent city parks and cemeteries that are great for birds. Mountain species like Mountain Chickadee, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Pine Siskin, and sapsuckers are attracted to the islands of ornamental conifers and huge trees. Our local wintering species will be found with a chance to find some rarities. Possible stops include East Lawn Cemetery, Sutter’s Fort, Capitol Park, Southside Park and Old City Cemetery. This trip will last until late morning. Meet Cliff at the Save Mart shopping center at 5600 Folsom Blvd. From Hwy. 50, exit on 65th Street Exit and turn left or south onto Folsom Boulevard. The Save Mart will be about 10 blocks further
Sunday, November 16 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.
Wednesday, Nov.19, 8:00am 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, Wild Turkey, California Quail, American Bittern, Green Heron, Pied-billed Grebe 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.
Thursday-Monday, November 20th through 23rd Central Valley Birding Symposium 2014 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. Enjoy the ever popular “stump the experts” bird ID panel which is always fun and interesting. Field trips visit surrounding hot spots to celebrate the diversity of birds wintering in the Central Valley. For more information and to register, go to http://www.2013cvbs.org/. (Yes, 2013 for the 2014 event).
Saturday, November 22, 8 am Sutter's Landing Regional Park Ben Graber, 844-8682 firstname.lastname@example.org Join Ben to visit a new birding destination for SAS. He will lead a low-key trip along the American River Parkway to find the common and resident species of this landmark area of Sacramento. This time of year, many species are possible with wintering raptors, shorebirds and songbirds. This is a great trip for beginners and experienced birders as well. The trip will end before noon and is located close to downtown Sacramento. Bring liquids and be prepared to walk several miles in the Parkway. From Business 80 heading east (towards Cal-Expo), exit on E Street, turn left onto E and then right on 28th Street which dead ends at the Park. Heading west on Bus. 80, also take the E Street exit; turn right onto E Street, then right again onto 28th and proceed to the Park
Saturday, November 22, 3:30pm Sandhill Cranes and Other Wintering Birds of the Sacramento Valley A Save Our Sandhill Cranes-sponsored trip Coordinator: Mike Savino, 446-1392 Our Sandhill Cranes are back! They, as well as a variety of ducks, swans, geese, and 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 3:30pm 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.
Sunday, November 23, 8am Sacramento Wildlife Refuge Leader: Andi Salmi, 691-7216 email@example.com Andi will be looking for the enormous flocks of ducks, geese and swans that winter in the valley or stop to feed on their way south. This is also a good place for raptors, and Bald Eagles can be found here regularly. There is a 3.7 mile driving route and a great viewing platform as well. This trip will last into early afternoon, so bring lunch, drinks and warm clothes. FRS radios are helpful on this trip. 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. Please note there is a fee for each vehicle at the refuge: $6 for a day pass, or a $12 Refuge Annual Pass. Or for $3 more purchase a Duck Stamp and support all national wildlife refuges. This is a good trip for newer birders and experienced birders alike.
Sunday, November 23, 3:30pm Sandhill Cranes and Other Wintering Birds of the Sacramento Valley See information for November 22nd trip.
Saturday, November 29 Beginning Birding Field Trip 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 and wetland birds. Registration is required. Contact Cathie LaZier at firstname.lastname@example.org, 457-6882.
Saturday, November 29, 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 29, 8am and Sunday, November 30, 8am Lincoln Grasslands Trips #1 and #2!! Leaders: Richard Barbieri, 761-1124 email@example.com Tim Fitzer, 870-5207 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 30, 8am Lincoln Grasslands Trips #2 Leaders: Scott Hoppe, 835-8471 email@example.com Mark Martucci, 833-6722 firstname.lastname@example.org See write-up, above.
Sunday, November 30, 3:30pm Sandhill Cranes and Other Wintering Birds of the Sacramento Valley See information for November 29th trip.
Saturday, December 6 ARNHA WILDLIFE COUNT Join fellow birders for this annual census of birds and other wildlife on the American River Parkway. Contact compiler Bill Avery, email@example.com, (email preferred) or at 369-0750 or 769-3357.
Saturday, December 6, 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 abundant, cranes are frequently overhead, and there’s a chance to see snipe, yellowlegs, and stilts. Meet at the Visitor Center. Further directions and maps are available at www.cosumnes.org.
Sunday, December 7 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.
Sunday, December 7, 9:30am-12:30pm Nimbus Fish Hatchery/American River Leader: Ed Harper, 971-3311 email@example.com 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. This trip will last until late morning. Meet at the Nimbus Fish Hatchery parking lot. From Hwy. 50 go north on Hazel Avenue; turn left on Gold Country Blvd and the Hatchery is on your right.
Wednesday, December 10, 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. Then we’ll check 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 $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, December 13, 8am Robinson Road Area Leaders: Tim Fitzer 870-5207 Spskua2@comcast.net Ann Burris, 947-7573 Burris.email@example.com 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 14, 8am Discovery Park Leader: Maureen Geiger, 444-0804 or 281-6652 firstname.lastname@example.org This park at the confluence of the American and Sacramento Rivers is a great place for a walk in any season. Join Maureen to look for winter arrivals and resident species generally found in the park such as Yellow-billed Magpies, Nuttall’s Woodpeckers, Red-shouldered Hawks and White-tailed Kites. This is a good area for winter sparrows; other possibilities include wrens, woodpeckers and bluebirds. Generally, there is an unlocked restroom near the beginning of the walk. This walking trip will last until late morning. To reach Discovery from I-5, exit onto the Garden Highway and head east to the first traffic light. Turn right into the park. In the park, you need a Sacramento County Parks Annual Pass, or you must stop at the kiosk and register, paying the $5 entrance fee. From the kiosk, turn left at your first opportunity and then left again, driving a short distance to the farthest parking lot at the south end of the archery range where we will meet.
The various Christmas Bird Count dates and locations can be found here.