Field Trips

June 25th, 2015
San Francisco Botanical Garden
Sunday, July 5, 8 – 10:30 a.m.
(First Sunday bird walk)

Dominik Mosur,; Allan Ridley,; Helen McKenna; Ginny Marshall,; Kimberly Jannarone,; Robert Cullison, (Leaders vary by month.)

Meet at the front gate of the garden in Golden Gate Park, 9th Ave. at Lincoln Way.

The garden has several micro-habitats that attract an array of resident, migrant, and vagrant birds. This monthly trip is oriented toward helping beginning birders develop their skills. Entry is free before 9:00 AM.


EBMUD Valle Vista Staging Area, near Moraga
Friday, July 10, 8:30 – 11:00 a.m.
(Second Friday bird walk)
Alan Kaplan,, or (510) 526-7609 (messages)

EBMUD Permit-holders, particularly with leader permits, are especially invited, so we can have enough permits for the group. Restroom at the start; bring water. A variety of trails, some uphill to start.

To Valle Vista Staging Area: Take Hwy 24 east to the Orinda/Moraga exit. Right onto Camino Pablo, then continue straight onto Moraga Way for 4.5 miles. Right onto Canyon Road for about 1.2 miles. The parking lot will be on your left.


Family Birding along Strawberry Creek, Berkeley
Saturday July 11, 9:30  to 11 a.m.
Anthony DeCicco,

Bring your children or grandchildren for a morning of family birding along Strawberry Creek on the Berkeley campus. GGAS Eco-Education Director Anthony DeCicco will lead us along the path of Strawberry Creek to spot the birds attracted to the creek side habitat. We may spot Spotted Towhees, Cooper’s Hawks, Northern Flickers and other woodpeckers, Oregon Juncos and Brown Creepers. We can even poke around the creek to find some giant crawdads and pick some wild strawberries!
High quality binoculars available for all. Meet at the campus entrance on Oxford Street where Center intersects, in front of the metal sculpture near the Strawberry Creek.  Please RSVP so we plan for the appropriate number of people —


Point Reyes National Seashore, Marin County
Five Brooks and Bear Valley Visitor’s Center area
Sunday, July 12, 8:30 am to 12 noon
Maureen Lahiff, , 510.484.6529

What birds are around in July? As nesting season comes to a close, birds shift to molt and many begin to prepare for migration. These areas of Point Reyes have varied habitat, woodland trails and some brushy chaparral. There’s a pond at Five Brooks.

We will be walking on mostly level, hard-packed paths, so this trip is accessible for birders with mobility limitations. It will probably be cool, foggy and windy at the start, and then warm and sunny by the end of the morning. Bring lots of layers, from down to shirtsleeves, and water, sunscreen, and hats. The parking area at Five Brooks has pit toilets, and the one at the Bear Valley Visitors Center has flush toilets. Spotting scopes welcome and appreciated.

Meet at the Five Brooks parking area. To get there from the intersection of Sir Francis Drake Blvd. and Highway 1,  go south on Hwy 1 passing Stewart Horse Camp, for about 3.75 miles until you reach the brown National Seashore sign for Five Brooks. Turn right and drive to the parking lot at the end. The short URL for the Five Brooks turn-off from Hwy 1 is   (Note: To get from Highway 101 to the intersection of Sir Francis Drake and Highway 1, you can take either Sir Francis Drake or Lucas Valley Road.)


Martin Luther King, Jr. Regional Shoreline, Oakland
Wednesday July 15,  8:30 – 10:00 a.m.
(Third Wednesday Bird Walk)
Penn Hughes, or (510) 499-5491 for messages.

We will explore the area by the bridge over San Leandro Creek, and then counterclockwise, the shoreline along Arrowhead Slough, the MLK shoreline “wetlands”, and the shore along San Leandro Creek (Pray for rail. Pray for rain, too).

The address of MLK Regional Shoreline is on Edgewater, but don’t park there. Take Hegenberger Road toward Oakland International Airport. Turn right on Doolittle. Turn right again at first traffic light, Swan Way. Then take the first left. Drive straight ahead, and follow the road curving to the right and then the left into ­the parking lot near a large brown structure (the Observation Tower). Walk to the other end of the parking lot (away from where you drove in), and we will meet there overlooking Arrowhead Slough. Portable rest rooms available. Please, no dogs. EBRPD Map:


Corona Heights, San Francisco
Friday, July 17, 8 – 10 a.m.
(Third Friday bird walk)
Dominik Mosur, (Leaders vary by month.)

We will enjoy views of the city and bay as we circle Corona Heights, checking the east canyon woodland and north forest for residents and migrants, as well as monitoring the hilltop scrub and south cliff. The leaders emphasize birding by ear and the minimal use of binoculars.

Meet in front of the original Randall Museum building, 199 Museum Way, at the end of Museum Way off Roosevelt. Gather at the SE corner of the facility. Although the Randall has temporarily moved to new quarters during renovation, this monthly walk will continue to meet at the Museum Way location. Google map:



Aquatic Park and Waterfront, San Francisco
Saturday, July 18, 10 – 11:30 a.m.
Carol Kiser, 415.447.5000

On this walk for children and beginners, and all others, we will look for resident and migrating birds. Meet at the entrance to the Hyde Street Pier at Hyde and Jefferson on the western border of Fisherman’s Wharf. Nearby parking is at the foot of Van Ness Ave. (free for 4 hours), Ghirardelli Square, and the Anchorage. Dress in layers, wear wide-brimmed hat and sunscreen, and bring binoculars and guide books if you have them.  (We can provide binoculars and books if you don’t).


Fort Mason Community Garden, San Francisco
Sunday, July 19, 8 – 10 am
(Third Sunday bird walk)
David Assmann,

Meet in front of the Community Garden to explore several different habitats in this compact part of GGNRA. The focus will be looking for late nesting birds and possibly some early migrating shorebirds.  The garden will have a variety of land birds, including possibly Hooded Orioles. We’ll look for the Northern Gannet. We’ll also scan Aquatic Park for water birds.   Restroom in meadow, ample parking if there is no race on the waterfront (also easily accessible by transit). Google Map:


Lake Merritt and Lakeside Park, Oakland
Wednesday, July 22, 9:30 a.m. – noon
(Fourth Wednesday bird walk)
Hilary Powers, 510.834.1066,; Ruth Tobey, 510.528.2093,

This is the quiet season at the lake with the winter visitors gone – but the cormorant rookery will be in full swing, and it’ll be interesting to see who’s visiting the new wetland beside the children’s art center. And there’s never a bad day to visit Lake Merritt….

Meet at the large spherical cage near the Nature Center at Perkins and Bellevue. We will bird around there, then go up the garden path toward Children’s Fairyland or walk down the lake toward Embarcadero, after which we will cover what we missed.

Public transit: Take the 12, N, or NL bus to Grand and Perkins, and walk into the park on Perkins. Driving: The boathouse lot near the spherical cage is the best spot to park,but there;s also plenty of parking along Bellevue between the boathouse and the nature center.  Enter via Bellevue near  Children’s Fairyland; the $2 “two hour” pass is probably OK even though the trip is about three hours, as the dashboard cards don’t have a start time on them.


Hayward Regional Shoreline, Alameda County
Birding By the Bay: Shorebird Migration and More
Friday, July 31, 9:00 a.m. – Noon
Juan-Carlos Solis,, (925) 222-8573

Explore the southeastern shore of San Francisco Bay and look for migrating shorebirds, their predators and other avian inhabitants at one of the Bay Area’s most endangered habitats—salt marshes. Possible bird sightings are: Greater Yellowlegs, Long-billed Curlew, Snowy Plover, Northern Harrier, Peregrine Falcon, and Least Terns.

Meet just outside the Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center at 4901 Breakwater Ave. For directions go to:!birdinghaywardshoreline/c1n74

Google Maps link:


Pelagic Trips

See birds of the open water! (And maybe some marine mammals.) Shearwater Journeys, Alvaro’s Adventures, and the Oceanic Society all offer discounts to GGAS members. Register in advance since these trips often fill up.

Shearwater Journeys Pelagic Trips

Shearwater Journeys has offered GGAS members discounted pelagic trips for more than a decade. RESERVATIONS: Please send payment (personal check or money order), name, address, phone, email for each person booking, to Debi Shearwater; POB 190, Hollister, CA 95024; All discounted reservations are non-refundable, non-transferable. A return confirmation will be sent to you. All trips are accompanied by experienced, friendly and knowledgable leaders.

Alvaro’s Adventures Pelagic Trips

Led by Alvaro Jaramillo. Check the website for descriptions, pricing, and availability:

Oceanic Society Pelagic Trips

The Oceanic Society offers guided Gray Whale watching trips from Half Moon Bay. Some of their guides have particular expertise in birds; ask their office for dates of trips with bird experts. The cost is normally $125 per person, but GGAS members are eligible for a reduced rate of $105. To reserve at the discounted rate, call their office during business hours at (800) 326-7491 or (415) 256-9604 and ask for Donna Redstone or other staff. Want to charter an entire boat? They can also offer a GGAS discount for that. For details on their trips, see




If you are going on a field trip, would you welcome company? Do you have room in your car to take other birders? To help find a ride or offer a ride, sign up with GGA’s carpool group at When you sign up, you answer a few simple questions, then receive a confirming e-mail. Once you are a member, you post messages under “Need Ride” or “Offer Ride,” along with the destination and date. The more birders who sign up, the more useful the group will be. Birders are encouraged to help the driver with expenses by contributing to the cost of fuel and bridge tolls.


Field Trip E-newsletter and Meetups

Would you like to get a list of field trips sent to your email Inbox each month? Contact the Golden Gate Audubon office at and ask to receive the Field Trips e-newsletter. Include your name, preferred email address, plus (for our records) your postal address.

We also post all our field trips on, which can be a convenient way to get reminders of each upcoming trip via email. See


Other Bay Area Bird Walks

Mike Simms compiles a quarterly list of bird walks throughout the Bay Area, including walks by other Audubon chapters. His current list can be found through the Ohlone Audubon web site.