Field Trips

July 14th, 2014
 
Lake Merritt and Lakeside Park, Oakland, Alameda County
Wednesday, August 27, 9:30 a.m. – noon
Hilary Powers, 510.834.1066, hilary@powersedit.com; Ruth Tobey, 510.528.2093, ruthtobey@gmail.com 

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.

This is high summer at Lake Merritt, meaning the variety will be way down. But you’ll get really good looks at the ones who are here, from hummingbirds to breeding cormorants.

Take the 12, N, or NL bus to Grand and Perkins, and walk into the park on Perkins. Best parking is at the boathouse lot near the spherical cage. Entry, via Bellevue near Children’s Fairyland, is $2 if the kiosk is occupied when you arrive (which it probably will be). Buy a 2-hour ticket and try to park in the boathouse lot, where no one checks how long cars are parked.

 

Crab Cove and Elsie Roemer Bird Sancturary, Alameda
Saturday, August 30, 8:30 – 11:30 am
Maureen Lahiff, MLahiff@aol.com, 510.484.6529 

Close-up views of shorebirds and other waterbirds. Come into Alameda via the Webster Street Tube.  You’ll be on Webster Avenue. Take Webster until it ends at Central Avenue.  Turn right on Central and then take the first left onto McKay Avenue at the Crab Cove Visitors Center sign.  We’ll meet at the end of McKay, just past the Crab Cove Visitors Center.  Free parking should be available on McKay.

To make the most of our time to bird, we’ll drive from Crab Cove to the Elsie Roemer Bird Sanctuary at the other end of Crown Memorial Beach. We’ll be walking short distances on level paths. Bring water and sun protection. Spotting scopes welcome. Restrooms and water available at the Crab Cove Visitors Center and along Shoreline Drive. Google Maps link for the Crab Cove Visitor Center is https://goo.gl/maps/NecZ1

 

Glen Canyon Park – San Francisco – FAMILY BIRD WALK
Sunday August 31 – 9:30 a.m. to noon
Anthony DeCicco, adecicco@goldengateaudubon.org

This is part of a series of GGAS Summer 2014 bird walks geared to families with children or to more experienced “junior birders,” and led by our expert Eco-Education staff.  This  walk is suitable for all ages of children. For details and directions, please see goldengateaudubon.org/kidsbirdwalks.

 

September 2014

 

Tilden Nature Area, Berkeley, First Friday GGAS Birdwalk
September 5, 2014, 8:30 – 10:30
Alan Kaplan, LNKPLN@earthlink.net, or (510) 526-7609 (messages). 

Meet in the Tilden Nature Area parking lot (near the entrance to the EEC and Little Farm).

Today’s theme is Biographies of Steller and Steller’s Jay! His visit to Kayak Island in 1741 was the first time a naturalist from Europe came to Western North America.

Moderate pace, flat road out to Jewel Lake and back. Restrooms at start and middle; water along the way.

  

Middle Harbor Shoreline Park, Oakland, Alameda County
Saturday, September 6, 8:30 – 11:30 am
Maureen Lahiff, MLahiff@aol.com ,510.484.6529 

Come see a really good mudflat – a really good restored mudflat. Many migratory shorebirds are back for the winter or stopping to rest and feed on San Francisco Bay on their journey further south. They will join water birds who are here year-round. This hidden gem of a birding site is in the midst of the Port of Oakland, at the end of 7th Street. There are great views of the Bay Bridge. Restoration of shallow tidelands in the Middle Harbor Area continues.

It’s an 8:30 AM start because of the tides. We will be walking on level, paved paths, so this trip is accessible for birders with mobility limitations. Bring lots of water, sunscreen, and hats. If you have a spotting scope, it will be very useful.

The parking area and the observation tower have restrooms. The Google Maps link for Middle Harbor is https://goo.gl/maps/ZnpWv. For information about the park, visit the Port of Oakland website http://www.portofoakland.com/community/

 

San Francisco Botanical Garden
Sunday, September 7, 8 – 10:30 a.m.
Dominik Mosur, polskatata@yahoo.com; Allan Ridley, allanrid@pacbell.net; Helen McKenna, 415.566.3241; Ginny Marshall, ginnybirder@sbcglobal.net; Kimberly Jannarone, kmj@ucsc.edu; Robert Cullison, robbo50@sbcglobal.net. (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.

 

Bayfront Park at the end of Tennent Avenue in Pinole, Contra Costa County.
Friday, September 12, 2014, 8:30 -10:30 – Second Friday Birdwalk
Alan Kaplan, LNKPLN@earthlink.net, or (510) 526-7609 (messages) 

Bayfront Park is a Pinole city park. Parking is limited here, but abundant on Tennent Avenue before the RR tracks. Returning Shorebirds and Shorebird Ecology are our themes today. Spotting Scopes would be very welcome. Moderate pace, restrooms may be available. Water treatment plant is next door but you should bring your own! Google Maps link: https://goo.gl/maps/YGq7D

 

Coastal San Francisco
Saturday, September 13, 8:00 am – 3:00 pm
Dan and Joan Murphy, murphsf@comcast.net 

Meet at 8:00 a.m. in the parking lot between South Lake and Middle Lake in Golden Gate Park. It is just past the second stop sign on Chain-of-Lakes Drive from the intersection of 41st and Lincoln. From Kennedy Dr., turn left at Chain-of-Lakes Drive and drive just past the lake to the left. We will bird the Chain-of-Lakes, then drive to other locations that may or may not include other spots in Golden Gate Park, Land’s End, the Presidio, the Cliff House, Fort Funston and Lake Merced in a search for early fall migrants. In the past we have seen a large variety of migrating flycatchers, vireos, warblers, sparrows and finches. We may see some of the early hawk migration as well. We plan to end the day between 2 and 3 at Lake Merced. Wear layers for variable coastal weather. Bring lunch and liquids. Since we will not finish the trip where we start it would be best to make carpool arrangements with that in mind. 

 

Fort Mason Community Garden, San Francisco
Sunday September 14, 8 – 10 am
David Assmann, David_Assmann@Yahoo.com

Note: The regular 3rd Sunday walk will be on the 2nd Sunday this month. 

Meet in front of the Community Garden to explore several different habitats in this compact part of GGNRA. The focus will be looking late nesting birds and possibly some early migrating shorebirds.  The garden should have a variety of land birds, and there may be flycatchers, vireos and sparrows in the Battery. We’ll scan Aquatic Park for water birds and rocky shorebirds. Restroom in meadow, ample parking if there is no race on the waterfront (also easily accessible by transit). Please note that this field trip is on the 2nd Sunday of the month (normally it would be on the 3rd Sunday). Heavy rain cancels. Google Map: http://goo.gl/maps/RKZwU 

 

North Beach/Telegraph Hill and eBird Instruction, San Francisco
Tuesday, September 16, 8:00 – 10:00 a.m. 
Carlo Arreglo, 415.533.7081, arregloc@gmail.com 

This month’s walk will be half birding and half eBirding.

First, we’ll look at North Beach and Telegraph Hill in a different way—as birders— in this walk for people of all ages and levels. Beginners are especially welcome! We’ll start at the Coit Tower parking lot and make our way around Telegraph Hill, including, possibly, a descent and ascent of the Greenwich and Filbert Steps. We’ll look for resident and migratory birds while taking in some great views of two stunning bridges.

Next, we’ll go over some basics of eBird. If you’ve ever been curious about eBird, I’ll show you how to set up an account, how to record your sightings, and how to use other basic features. We will most likely—though this is subject to change—walk to the North Beach branch of the San Francisco public library for an eBird tutorial.

Meet 8:00 AM at the Coit Tower parking lot. You can park your vehicle here or in street parking if available on the way up to Coit Tower.  Note that the 39 bus does NOT run this early. The 30, 45, and 8x buses stop at Washington Square and from there it’s about a four block walk uphill.

 

NOTE: Penn Hughes’ 3rd Wednesday walks will return in October 

 

Corona Heights, San Francisco
Friday, September 19, 8 – 10 a.m.
Brian Fitch; Dominik Mosur, polskatata@yahoo.com (Leaders vary by month.) 

Meet in front of the Randall Museum, 199 Museum Way, at the end of Museum Way off Roosevelt. 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. Google map: http://goo.gl/maps/CZNlr

 

Coyote Point, San Mateo County
Saturday, Sept. 20, 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Martha Wessitsh, (415)681-8059: cell: (415)533-4470, martha@wessitsh.com

Take Hwy. 101 south to San Mateo. Take the Poplar Ave. Exit. Turn right on Humboldt to Peninsula. Turn right on Peninsula. Go over the freeway, stay straight at the light and you will be on Coyote Point Drive. There is a $ 5:00 entrance fee but if you get there early, or tell the attendant that you are going to the yacht harbor you may not have to pay.

Alternate route (the way I go): South on 280 to Trousdale, left on Trousdale to El Camino Real, right on El Camino to Peninsula then left and straight on as stated above.

Meet at the parking lot next to the CuriOdyssea museum. We should see incoming shore birds and land birds also. Restrooms are available. Google Maps link: https://goo.gl/maps/nWDEA

 

Aquatic Park and Waterfront, San Francisco
Saturday, September 20, 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). 

 

Berkeley Waterfront and Bay – FAMILY BIRD WALK
Sunday September 21, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Anthony DeCicco, adecicco@goldengateaudubon.org

This is part of a series of GGAS Summer 2014 bird walks geared to families with children and led by our expert Eco-Education staff.  This  walk is suitable for all ages of children. .For details and directions, please see goldengateaudubon.org/kidsbirdwalks.

 

Birds and Bats at Lake Chabot (East Bay) – FAMILY BIRD WALK
Tuesday September 23, 6 p.m.
Marissa Ortega-Welch, mortegawelch@goldengateaudubon.org
PLEASE NOTE the change of location and date.

This is part of a series of GGAS Summer 2014 bird walks geared to families with children and led by our expert Eco-Education staff.  We will explore the birds that are most active at dusk and then look and listen for bats as they come out to hunt at night. A naturalist from East Bay Regional Parks will join us to teach us about our local bats. This walk is suitable for children aged 8 and up. Advance RSVP required; registered participants will be e-mailed the exact meeting location. Please note there is a $5 parking fee at Lake Chabot. For details and directions, please see goldengateaudubon.org/kidsbirdwalks.

 

Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline—Arrowhead Marsh, Oakland
Wednesday, September 24, 9:00 am -11:30 am
Gary and Chris Bard, chrisbalameda@gmail.com, 510.301.2987 

The shoreline offers excellent views of shorebirds, waders, and dabblers. Arrowhead Marsh is the home of numerous Clapper Rails. In winter large rafts of scaup and goldeneye float offshore. Occasionally, raptors soar overhead. The walking is on flat ground. Please bring a scope if you have one. Dress in layers. Rain cancels trip. Restroom is available near parking lot.

From I-880 south in Oakland, exit at Hegenberger Rd. Turn right onto Hegenberger, continue .7 mile across a small bridge over a channel, and turn right on Pardee Dr. Continue to Swan Way and turn left, then turn right into the park. Meet at the parking lot at the end of road.

 

Lake Merritt and Lakeside Park, Oakland, Alameda County
Wednesday, September 24, 9:30 a.m. – noon
Ruth Tobey, 510.528.2093, ruthtobey@gmail.com. (Hilary will return next month.) 

The first of the winter migrants may be arriving this month, so come see what’s new at the lake! 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.

Take the 12, N, or NL bus to Grand and Perkins, and walk into the park on Perkins. Best parking is at the boathouse lot near the spherical cage. Entry, via Bellevue near Children’s Fairyland, is $2 if the kiosk is occupied when you arrive (which it probably will be). Buy a 2-hour ticket and try to park in the boathouse lot, where no one checks how long cars are parked.

 

October 2014

 

Orinda Connector Trail, Contra Costa County
Wednesday, October 1, 8:00 – Noon
Tim Howe, 510-435-6654, timgh88@yahoo.com 

Let’s walk the Orinda Connector Trail and find what birds we can. Meet at the parking area of San Pablo Dam Rd. and Bear Creek Rd. north of Orinda. We’ll walk along the trail to the lake and back. It should take about 4 hours plus. Bring fluids, snacks, lunch. No bathrooms. Google Maps link: https://goo.gl/maps/84Utf 

 

San Francisco Botanical Garden
Sunday, October 5, 8 – 10:30 a.m.
Dominik Mosur, polskatata@yahoo.com; Allan Ridley, allanrid@pacbell.net; Helen McKenna, 415.566.3241; Ginny Marshall, ginnybirder@sbcglobal.net; Kimberly Jannarone, kmj@ucsc.edu; Robert Cullison, robbo50@sbcglobal.net. (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.

 

Corona Heights, San Francisco
Friday, October 17, 8 – 10 a.m.
Brian Fitch; Dominik Mosur, polskatata@yahoo.com (Leaders vary by month.) 

Meet in front of the Randall Museum, 199 Museum Way, at the end of Museum Way off Roosevelt. 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. Google map: http://goo.gl/maps/CZNlr

 

Lake Merritt and Lakeside Park, Oakland, Alameda County
Wednesday, October 22, 9:30 a.m. – noon
Hilary Powers, 510.834.1066, hilary@powersedit.com; Ruth Tobey, 510.528.2093, ruthtobey@gmail.com 

The first of the winter migrants may be arriving this month, so come see what’s new at the lake! 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.

Take the 12, N, or NL bus to Grand and Perkins, and walk into the park on Perkins. Best parking is at the boathouse lot near the spherical cage. Entry, via Bellevue near Children’s Fairyland, is $2 if the kiosk is occupied when you arrive (which it probably will be). Buy a 2-hour ticket and try to park in the boathouse lot, where no one checks how long cars are parked.

 

 

Pelagic Trips

See birds of the open water! (And maybe some marine mammals.) Both Shearwater Journeys and Alvaro’s Adventures 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. Our annual trip from Sausalito to the Farallon Islands to observe the largest breeding seabird colony south of Alaska on the West Coast will be held on August 3. Departing from Sausalito at 7 am, sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge, we head to the islands to see nesting tufted puffins, other seabirds, seals and whales. This trip sells out every year. Please book early. Rate: $177; GGAS members: $142. Parking $2/person.

Departures from Half Moon Bay:  August 2, 16, 17, 23; September 7. 8. 15, 21, 24; October 5, 12. Rate: $196; GGAS members: $161. Parking is free.

Departures from Bodega Bay: September 1 & 19. Rate: $218; GGAS members: $183. Parking is free.

Departures from Monterey Bay: August 1, 8, 15, 22; September 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 25, 26, 27, 28; October 4, 11. Save $10 on parking with our vouchers.

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; debi@shearwaterjourneys.com. 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: http://alvarosadventures.com/boat-trips/pelagics/

 

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Carpooling 

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 http://groups.yahoo.com/groups/GGACarPool. 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.

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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 ggas@goldengateaudubon.org and ask to receive the Field Trips e-newsletter. Include your name, preferred email address, plus (for our records) your postal address.

Our Field Trips are also listed on Meetup, a web site that helps people find local events that interest them. If you join Meetup, you can get individual email reminders for each GGAS field trip, or download the schedule to your Outlook or Google calendar. See www.meetup.com/Golden-Gate-Audubon-Society/.

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Other Bay Area Bird Walks

Mike Simms compiles a quarterly list of bird walks throughout the Bay Area, including walks by other Audubon chapters. For his current calendar, click here. There is also a Meetup page that lists birding walks and events throughout the Bay Area: www.meetup.com/Bay-Area-Birding/.