Travel with GGAS
Are you thinking of traveling outside the Bay Area? Do you want to expand your life list while experiencing a different environment or a different culture? If so, consider these upcoming guided trips, all designed especially for GGAS. For information, a detailed itinerary, and registration, please contact GGAS Travel Coordinator Pat Kirkpatrick at firstname.lastname@example.org or her assistant Alexis Hummel at email@example.com.
Each trip includes a registration fee that benefits Golden Gate Audubon’s conservation and environmental education programs. So you’re not only enjoying a terrific vacation, but you’re helping support Bay Area bird conservation!
We welcome suggestions for future trips. If you have been on a birding trip that was especially wonderful, experienced a terrific guide, or have a suggestion of an area to visit, please email Pat or Alexis.
February 7-17, 2015
Panama is blessed with three of the most important ingredients for high biodiversity — location, location, location! Mark Pretti of Nature Tours will lead you through cloud, deciduous and rain forests, mangroves, beaches, and an abundance of rivers and streams to see upwards of 350 species while enjoying the comforts of great accommodations. The Gamboa Resort offers many good birds and wildlife on its grounds. The nearby Rainforest Discovery Center and 100-foot tall canopy tower offers sightings of Blue Cotinga, Green Shrike-vireo, Keel-billed and Chestnut-mandibled Toucans, Crane Hawks, and many others. You will enjoy a boat trip along the canal and the Chagres River. In addition to the many birds you will see, you’ll explore the general ecology, plants, insects, mammals and reptiles of the area. You will stay three great lodges: The Albrook Inn, Gamboa Rainforest Resort and The Canopy Lodge. Click here to see Mark Pretti’s description of the trip.
COST: $3,450 per person, double occupancy; includes all lodging, meals, drinks, guides, entrance fees, and ground transportation from Panama City. Limited to 10 people.
South Texas April 12-21, 2015
This trip is currently SOLD OUT.
This 10-day/9-night adventure with Eddie Bartley and Noreen Weeden of Nature Trip is timed to blend the Gulf of Mexico spring migration phenomenon with excursions through the distinctive sub-tropical habitats of the Rio Grande Valley to observe unique wildlife, especially the birds that exist nowhere else in the U.S. You will visit the famous avian migrant traps along the central and southern Texas Coast; explore the sub-tropical habitats of the Rio Grande Valley in wonderful parks and refuges; and enjoy a full-day nature tour of the world famous King Ranch. You will explore Mustang, Padre Islands, Corpus Christi, Laguna Atascosa, Sabal Palms and other exciting Rio Grande Valley refuges. You’ll see the Green Jay, Altamira Oriole, Olive Sparrow, amusing Chachalacas, many raptors and shorebirds.
COST: $2,750 per person, double occupancy. Fee includes all park fees, lodging, meals, and transportation from Corpus Christi. Limited to 8 people.
April 26 – May 2, 2015
This trip is currently SOLD OUT.
Mark Pretti of Nature Tours will lead this trip in his home state. Southeast Arizona is one of the most biologically diverse areas in the U.S. Habitats include the Sonoran and Chihuahuan desert as well as the dramatic “Sky Islands” where species from the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Madre come together. You will explore most of these habitats visiting many of the birding and wildlife hotspots —Madera Canyon, the Patagonia area, Ramsey, Huachuca, Carr Canyons and the San Pedro River. You will likely see the Elegant Trogon, Vermilion Flycatcher, Painted Redstart, Grace’s Warbler Lucy’s Warbler, Red-faced Warbler, three species of Myiarchus flycatcher, Thick-billed Kingbird as well as up to 10 species of hummingbirds. Click here to see Mark Pretti’s description of the trip.
COST: $1,650 per person, double occupancy. Includes all lodging, meals, tips, admission fees, guide services and ground transportation from Tucson, AZ. Limited to 8 participants.
Mountain Birding in Southern Oregon
May 22-25, 2015
Harry Fuller will be your guide for a birding trip to Mt. Ashland and Klamath Basin over Memorial Day Weekend. Arrive Friday, May 22 in time for dinner in Ashland. On Saturday, Harry will drive the group to the Siskiyous to see Sandhill Cranes, possible Great Gray Owls, MacGillivray’s Warblers, Vesper Sparrows, and Green-tailed Towhees, among many others. You will enjoy lunch at Greenspring Mountain Resort and continue birding on the way back to Ashland. Sunday morning will include birding in the Ashland parks and around Mt. Ashland. You can expect to see Screech Owls, Vaux’s Swifts, White-headed Woodpeckers, Dusky and Hammond’s Flycatchers, Yellow-breasted Chats and Lincoln Sparrows, among others. Return to dinner in Ashland. On Monday, May 25 (Memorial Day), you will rise at 6 am and head to the Klamath Basin looking for White-faced Ibis, Black Terns, nesting Bald and Golden Eagles, Swainson’s and Ferruginous Hawks. Harry knows the area well and is a resident of Ashland. Click here to read more about this trip on Harry’s blog. Or click here to read a firsthand account by a participant of Harry’s GGAS trip to eastern Oregon in June 2014.
COST: $285 per person. The trip includes transportation once in Ashland, dinner on Friday and lunch on Saturday, and guide services. The trip does NOT include lodging, transportation to Ashland, or other meals.
May 25-30, 2015
For a brief period of time during the short Arctic summer, the Nome eco-region is home to many Neo-Tropic and Indo-Asian migrant nesting birds, many of which you’ll observe in their breeding plumages. Rich Cimino of Yellow-Billed Tours has taken groups for several years to this area and recorded 94 species in 2014. Highlights may include Emperor Goose, Cackling Goose, Northern Goshawk, up to 21 Sandpiper species, Black Guillemot, Gyrfalcon, Gray Jay Bluethroat, Alder Flycatcher, Gray Jay and Arctic Warbler. You might also see Eastern Yellow Wagtail, Northern Shrike, Arctic Warbler and Hoary Redpoll.
The Nome journey is a birding marathon often lasting 10 hours/day. Riding on non-paved roads can be taxing while at the same time very rewarding. The scenery is an open landscape to the shores of the Bering Sea, mountains, rivers, tundra and Spruce forest.
COST: $2,900 per person, double occupancy, includes lodging, ground transportation, fuel, airport pick-up and drop-off and field guide services. Not included is airfare and meals. Arrive the evening of May 25 and depart the morning of May 30. Trip is limited to 7 people.
North Slope, Barrow, Alaska
May 30 – June 2, 2015
The Barrow eco-region records hundreds of nesting Arctic bird species annually, including all four Eider species. The 2014 trip had a Four Eider Day!! Led by Rich Cimino of Yellow Billed Tours, you’ll also be looking for several specific species of shorebirds in breeding plumage which nest in the tundra, including the White-rumped, Baird’s, Pectoral, Curlew, Stilt and Buff-breasted Sandpipers. In 2014, we found a wonderful male Ruff displaying with white courtship plumes. This was a rare treat for the participants to observe. The 2014 birders spotted 7 Snowy Owls, Red Phalaropes and arctic nesting Savannah Sparrows. You will conduct a daily sea watch, scoping the leading edge of the sea ice. You might also see White-winged Scoter, Thick-billed Murre and numerous Red-throated and Pacific Loons.
These trips are intense, often lasting 10 hours a day on non-paved roads. Be prepared for a great adventure.
COST: $2,675 per person, double occupancy. This includes lodging, ground transportation, and fuel. It does not include airfare or meals. Limited to 7 people. Arrive the evening of May 30 and depart the morning of June 2.
June 2-12, 2015
Mark Pretti of Nature Tours will be your guide for an adventure in Northern Colombia, the most bird-rich country on Earth. The unique topography supports a great number of bird species, including 80 endemics and 109 near endemics. You will begin in the coastal lowlands home to a variety of ducks, cuckoos, parrots, wrens, tyrants and puffbirds. You will then head to Minca in the foothills to see several hummingbird species as well as thrush, tanagers and flycatchers. You will enjoy the Sierra’s cloud forest and see many forest bird species. Your lodge at 2000 meters will provide cooler weather and a fantastic variety of birds at the feeders and near the lodge, possibly even the elusive Santa Marta Screech Owl. You’ll continue to higher elevations to see siskins, plushcaps, tyrannulets, thrush, antpitta and treehunders. Finally, you will head to Play La Roca for a couple of days to explore lagoons and nearby forests where you will see monkeys, butterflies and Lance-tailed Manakin leks. Click here to see Mark Pretti’s description of the trip.
COST: $3,150 per person, double occupancy, includes all meals, lodging, entrance fees and transportation from Barranquilla. Airfare to and from Baranquilla is not included. Limited to 8 people.
July 12-18, 2015
You will fly in to St. John’s on July 12th. David Trently of Partnership for International Birding (PIB) will your guide beginning with a bit of birding at the lodge for anyone who arrives before dark. The following morning, you will go to Cape Spear, the most easterly point of land in North America. There are good chances to see up to four species of shearwaters (Cory’s, Great, Sooty and Manx). In addition to murres, puffins, kittiwakes, etc., you might also see jaegers and Humpback Whales. Later in the day, you will take a two-hour whale and seabird watching boat trip. You will travel to Witless Bay, Portugal Cove, Cape Race and Mistaken Point area to see a variety of seabirds and songbirds. At Cape St. Mary’s Ecological Reserve, add to your list thousands of Northern Gannets and Common Murres nesting. Thick-billed Murres and Great Cormorants, as well as Ptarmigan and Caribou. Finally, you will explore Terra Nova National Park where you will have your best chance for some nesting boreal land birds—Black-backed Woodpecker, Alder Flycatcher, Veery, Pine Grosbeak, Crossbills, Ruffed Grouse and Northern Goshawk, among many others. On the way to the airport, we will stop nearby for a last birding adventure.
COST: $2,090 per person, double occupancy (6 nights). This includes access fees, guide services, ground transport and airport transfers. It does not include airfare or meals, except for one. Limited to 10 participants.
Tentative Dates Oct. 22 – Nov. 3, 2015
The lush mountainous island of Taiwan is a birder’s paradise. With over 680 recorded species, including 17 endemics, you are sure to add many lifers to your list. Eddie Bartley and Noreen Weeden of Nature Trip will act as your travel guides/agents and will join expert local guides to provide you with the best possibility of sighting the maximum number of birds. Highlights of your trip include birding in Taipei Botanic Garden and Wulai Aboriginal Cultural Center for Formosan Magpie and Black-browed Barbet; visiting Marble City of Hualien and Taroco Gorge looking for Styan’s Bulbul, Alpine Accenter and Taiwan Whistling Thrush; touring Hehuanshan in search of White-whiskered Laughing Thrush, Flamecret, Vinaceous Rosefinch, Taiwan Barbet, etc.; taking a ride on the Alishan Forest Railway to see the famous sunrise over Zhushan while looking for White-eared Sibia; birding at Tataka and the slopes of Yushan searching for Yellow Tit, Rufous-crowned and Rusty Laughing-thrush, Taiwan Wren-Babbler, Mikado Pheasant, etc.; looking for shorebirds on the Zengwen River Estuary; and finally exploring Dasyueshan National Forest for Taiwan Partridge, Swinhoe’s Pheasant and Taiwan Barwing. No trip to Taiwan is complete without a visit to the night market in Taipei after a tour of the city.
COST: $2,950 per person, double occupancy. This includes all transportation within Taiwan, all fees, taxes, meals, lodging, guide services and local medical insurance. It does NOT include air travel to Taipei and ground transportation to lodging in Taipei, nor dinner at the night market the last evening.