banner

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 Coordinators Pat Kirkpatrick at patkirkpatrick14@gmail.com or Rubi Abrams at rabrams2@pacbell.net.

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 Rubi.

 

Pacific Northwest

March 9-13, 2017

Harlequin Duck by Bob Lewis

Harlequin Duck by Bob Lewis

This new addition to our Travel Program — led by Harry Fuller — will focus on wintering birds of the Pacific Northwest that spend the summer in nesting territories further north.

We’ll bird Puget Sound including Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, then along the Hood Canal and north to the upper tip of the Olympic Peninsula.  We will overnight two nights in Sequim. From there we’ll ferryboat to Port Townsend, overnighting in Skagit. We’ll see Trumpeter Swan, Harlequin & Long-tailed Duck, Rhino Auklet, Pacific Loon, Barrow’s Goldeneye, Brant, Black and White-winged Scoter, Northern Shrike, Evening Grosbeak and many others.  We may also get to see Orca during a ferryboat ride between Port Townsend and Whidbey Island.

Costs: $350 per person, which covers van, ferryboat fees, and park fees.

Participants pay for their own accommodations, meals, and travel to SeaTac Airport. Limited to 10 participants.

Contact Rubi Abrams rabrams2@pacbell.net or Pat Kirkpatrick patkirkpatrick14@gmail.com for more information.

 

Cuba: Birding and Environmental Communities

April 5 – 16, 2017

Cuban Tody / Photo by Holbrook Travel

Cuban Tody / Photo by Holbrook Travel

Three spaces left!

Explore the wildlife and culture of Cuba before it becomes overwhelmed with touristic development! Join us for a 12-day journey led by the renowned Holbrook Travel Company. This is an opportunity to observe a wide variety of Cuba’s 360-plus species of birds, including specialties like the Bee Hummingbird, Cuban Tody, and Zapata Wren.

For many from the United States, Cuba’s diverse habitats and wildlife have been enigmatic subjects of fascination due to the decades-long restrictions on travel. This program focuses on the unique people, avifauna, and environments of this isolated yet biodiverse nation.

  • Explore Cuba’s diverse habitats, including mangroves, wetlands, scrub, coast, and semi-deciduous forest, in search of different avian species.
  • Visit Bermejas, a popular nest-building site on the Zapata Peninsula, known for hosting a wide variety of birds, especially woodpeckers.
  • Go birding at Cueva de Los Portales, a cave famous for being Che Guevara’s headquarters during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
  • Enjoy a performance by artists of the Korimacao Community Project.
  • Look for endemic species like the Cuban Tody, Cuban Green Woodpecker, and the country’s national bird, the Cuban Trogon.
  • Walk around Old Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Sip a mojito in the footsteps of Hemingway while live music echoes all around.

Cost: $3,900 per person includes all meals, accommodations, and activities mentioned in itimeray, in-country transportation, full-time guide, and bottled water on the bus. Does NOT include domestic or international airfare, gratuities, or items of a personal nature. Single supplement is $945. Holbrook Travel is available to advise you on (or book) air travel to Cuba. By April, there should be commercial flights directly from the U.S. to Cuba.

Limited to 11 participants.

Contact Rubi Abrams rabrams2@pacbell.net or Pat Kirkpatrick patkirkpatrick14@gmail.com for detailed itinerary and more information.

 

South Texas in Spring Migration

April 9 – 18, 2017 

GRJA April Sable Palms TX 0668 100dpi

Green Jay by Eddie Bartley

Our 2015 and 2016 trips to South Texas for spring migration were such a hit that we’re offering it again. Join Eddie Bartley and Noreen Weeden of Nature Trip to visit the famous spring avian migrant traps during the peak period of the Gulf of Mexico spring migration.

  • Explore Mustang, Padre Islands, Corpus Christi, Laguna Atascosa, Sabal Palms and surrounding areas.
  • Experience the distinctive sub-tropical habitats of the Rio Grande Valley in wonderful parks and refuges.
  • Observe unique avifauna and other wildlife that exists nowhere else in the US.
  • Enjoy a full day nature tour of the world famous King Ranch.
  • Travel as a small group in a spacious and comfortable van with experience nature and bird guides.

Cost: $2,850 per person based on double occupancy (single supplement $600), including all transportation, park fees, lodging and all meals. Air and ground transportation to Corpus Christi is not included. Limited to 8 participants.

Limited to 8 participants. Cost and dates to come soon.

Contact Pat Kirkpatrick patkirkpatrick14@gmail.com or Rubi Abrams rabrams2@pacbell.net for more information.

 

Southeast Arizona

April 25 – May 1, 2017

Elegant Trogon by Bob Lewis

Elegant Trogon by Bob Lewis

This trip has been so popular that we are offering it again in 2017. Mark Pretti leads birding trips throughout the hemisphere, but Arizona is his home state… and 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’ll 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’ll likely see Elegant Trogon, Vermilion Flycatcher, Painted Redstart, Grace’s Warbler Lucy’s Warbler, Red-faced Warbler, three species of Myiarchus flycatcher, and Thick-billed Kingbird, as well as up to 10 species of hummingbirds.

COST: $1,950 per person, double occupancy, and includes all lodging, meals, tips, admission fees, guide services and ground transportation from Tucson, AZ. Single supplement is $160. Limited to 8 participants.

Contact Pat Kirkpatrick patkirkpatrick14@gmail.com or Rubi Abrams rabrams2@pacbell.net  for more information.

 

Southern Oregon

May 26 – 29, 2017

Calliope Hummingbird by Harry Fuller

Calliope Hummingbird by Harry Fuller

Harry Fuller will lead this ever-popular Memorial Day weekend trip for the sixth year. Folks rave about this trip and you will too, hitting some of the best birding spots of Southern Oregon – Mt. Ashland, the Siskiyou Mountains, and Klamath Basin.

Harry who is based in Ashland, Oregon, will help you spot Sandhill Cranes, nesting Ospreys and Bald Eagles, Great Gray Owls, Vaux’s Swifts, White-headed Woodpeckers, Green-tailed Towhees, Dusky and Hammond’s Flycatchers and many more!

Cost: $325. Does not include lodging, transportation to the meeting point in Oregon, or most meals. Limited to 10 people.

Contact Rubi Abrams rabrams2@pacbell.net or Pat Kirkpatrick patkirkpatrick14@gmail.com for more information.

 

 

 

Oaxaca, Mexico

December 5 – 15, 2017 

Western Mexican Chachalaca by Liz & Larry Kuo

Western Mexican Chachalaca by Liz & Larry Kuo

The state of Oaxaca is wonderfully diverse in flora and fauna, history, culture cuisine and scenery. Led by Mark Pretti of Mark Pretti Nature Tours, this trip is designed to provide optimum exposure to this richness at a comfortable pace while enjoying unique and superb lodging, great natural history and birds. You will:

  • Explore Teotitlan, a Zapotec town well known for its weavings and impressive ruins of Monte Alban as well as its birds.
  • Enjoy Sierra Jaurez to enjoy the Madrean forest with giant agaves and other flowering plants to see the endemic bird species of the area.
  • Move onto the Sierra Miahuatlan mountain ridge area surrounded by pine forest to see many hummingbirds and orioles, etc.
  • Traverse a spectacular transect from the high mountains to the Pacific coast with stops in the evergreen forests of the coffee growing areas.
  • Visit the Puerto Escondido area at the mouth of the Rio Colotepec, rich in shorebirds.
  • Enjoy a day of culture, cuisine and ethnobotany with the staff of Seasons of My Heart Cooking School.

Cost: $3,000-$3,100 per person, double occupancy. Includes all meals, lodging, entrance fees and local transportation. Single supplement is $250. Limited to 9 participants. Contact Pat Kirkpatrick at patkirkpatrick14@gmail.com or Rubi Abrams at rabrams2@pacbell.net  for a detailed itinerary or more information.

 


Our remaining 2016 trips are now full.

Eastern South Africa

Oct. 13 – 26, 2016 

Optional Western Cape extension – Oct. 26-31

Lion by Leon Fouche

Lion by Leon Fouche

This trip is FULL.

Fulfill the dream of a lifetime! This small group tour by South Africa-based Rockjumper Birding Tours will give you unparalleled access to the amazing wildlife of that country.

The Eastern South Africa trip begins in Johannesburg (you should arrive on October 12) and then head northwards to birding in the Rust-De-Winter area. The 14-day main trip includes these highlights:

  • Three days in Kruger National Park where you’ll see the “Big 5”—Lion, African Elephant, Leopard, African Buffalo and White Rhinoceros. See great birds including five species of vultures in the bushveld.
  • Two days in Wakkerstroom and surrounding areas for viewing birds in the wetlands.
  • Bushveld birding in Mkuze Game Reserve, excellent habitat for raptors and flock birding.
  • St. Lucia, a World Heritage Site nestled on the shores of a lake. Venture on to a nearby river mouth for views of Hippopotamus and Nile Crocodile.
  • Isimangaliso Wetland Park for grassland and forest birds. You might also see Common Reedbuck, Warthog and Common Zebra, as well as Red Duiker and Samango Monkey.
  • Dlinza Forest with coastal and mist belt bird species.
  • The forested hills of Karkloof for many African endemics. Continue onto the grasslands to track down the Blue Swallow.
  • Day trip up the Sani Pass into Lesotho for highland endemics.
  • Head from Underberg to Durban to either fly home or continue with the Cape Extension.

Cost for main trip: ZAR 48,500.00 per person sharing (approx. US $3,960.00) Single supplement ZAR 3,350.00 (approx. US $275.00 per person.) Limited to 6 participants.

The six-day extension to the Western Cape includes these highlights:

  • Cape Town, with a visit to  the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens to see the magnificent Protea gardens.
  • Seabird boat outing to see the pelagic birds off Cape Town, and Boulders Beach in Simons Town to see the African Penguin colony.
  • Hottentots-Holland Mountains to see the Cape Rockjumper.
  • West Coast National Park with its scenic coastal reserve and Langebaan Lagoon.
  • The fruit-growing valley of Ceres and the semi-arid, central plateau of Karoo.
  • Return from Ceres to Cape Town and departure.

Cost for Western Cape extension: ZAR 19,500.00 per person sharing (approx.: US $1,595.00) Single supplement ZAR 650.00 (approx. US$165.00 per person.) Limited to 6 participants.

Here’s what GGAS birding instructor Bob Lewis has to say about visiting South Africa with Rockjumper:

I’ve traveled with them on a private tour to the area of Capetown and the Karoo, and their leader was a delight.  Not only did he fulfill my wish that I obtain a good photo of a Cape Rockjumper, he also knew the best place for a great dinner and good wine!  I’ve also been with Rockjumper on a photo tour to Madagascar, and another private tour to Borneo.  In all cases the tours were well organized and the leaders a pleasure to be with.  I can highly recommend any tour Rockjumper operates.

Both the main trip and extension include all meals; accommodations; ground transportation; park, reserve and garden fees; pelagic outing; routine gratuities such as hotel and restaurant staff; local guides at certain sites; and guiding services and costs of Rockjumper leader.

They do NOT include ANY international or domestic flights; visa fees; beverages and bottled water; special gratuities such as for the Rockjumper tour leader; or trip insurance.

Contact Pat Kirkpatrick patkirkpatrick14@gmail.com or Rubi Abrams rabrams2@pacbell.net  for more information.

 

Oaxaca, Mexico

December 6 – 16, 2016 

This trip is FULL.

The state of Oaxaca is wonderfully diverse in flora and fauna, history, culture cuisine and scenery. Led by Mark Pretti of Mark Pretti Nature Tours, this trip is designed to provide optimum exposure to this richness at a comfortable pace while enjoying unique and superb lodging, great natural history and birds. You will:

  • Explore Teotitlan, a Zapotec town well known for its weavings and impressive ruins of Monte Alban as well as its birds.
  • Enjoy Sierra Jaurez to enjoy the Madrean forest with giant agaves and other flowering plants to see the endemic bird species of the area.
  • Move onto the Sierra Miahuatlan mountain ridge area surrounded by pine forest to see many hummingbirds and orioles, etc.
  • Traverse a spectacular transect from the high mountains to the Pacific coast with stops in the evergreen forests of the coffee growing areas.
  • Visit the Puerto Escondido area at the mouth of the Rio Colotepec, rich in shorebirds.
  • Enjoy a day of culture, cuisine and ethnobotany with the staff of Seasons of My Heart Cooking School.

Cost: $2,975 per person, double occupancy. Includes all meals, lodging, entrance fees and local transportation. Single supplement is $250. Limited to 8 participants.

Contact Pat Kirkpatrick patkirkpatrick14@gmail.com or Rubi Abrams rabrams2@pacbell.net  for more information.