Field Trips

April 22nd, 2015
 
 
Garin Regional Park, Hayward, Alameda County
Friday, May 1, 8:30 a.m. – noon
Anne Hoff, anne2210b@sbcglobal.net 

Garin hosts many very accessible birds in spring. We’ll see breeding behavior and possibly several nests. Among the highlights are orioles, wrens, bluebirds, and warblers. Habitats include riparian, grassy lawn and hillside, freshwater pond, and tall eucalyptus trees often hosting raptors. Heavy rain cancels. Meet in first parking lot to your left after the kiosk at the end of Garin Ave. off Mission Blvd. Directions: http://www.ebparks.org/parks/maps. The park may be collecting fees ($5).

 

Canon Drive, Tilden Park, Berkeley
Friday, May 1, 5:30 -7:30 a.m.
(Special early first Friday bird walk)
Alan Kaplan, LNKPLN@earthlink.net, or (510) 526-7609 for messages 

This is our Fourth Annual Dawn Chorus Birdwalk. Biology and significance of the dawn chorus will be our topic. Meet at the foot of Canon Drive in Tilden Park (turn right to the first parking lot in front of the stone restroom). Restrooms at start; water mid-way. Moderate pace on flat ground.

 

Tilden Park Nature Center, Berkeley
Friday May 1, 8:30-10:30 a.m.
(Regular first Friday bird walk)
Alan Kaplan, LNKPLN@earthlink.net, or (510) 526-7609 for messages 

Neuroscience of Bird Song (how songs are made and learned) will be our topic.
Meet in the Tilden Nature Area parking lot (in front of the EEC and Little Farm).
Restrooms and water at the start and mid-way. Moderate pace on flat ground.

 

Mitchell Canyon, Mount Diablo State Park, Contra Costa County
Saturday, May 2, 8:30 a.m. to noon
Maureen Lahiff, MLahiff@aol.com, 510.484.6529
Steve and Carol Lombardi, hotrock175@gmail.com, cell 925/785-0130 

There’s great “parking lot birding” here. On the trail, we’ll hear and see warblers – Orange-crowned and Wilsons and possibly Nashville, Black-throated Gray, Townsend’s, Hermit, and MacGillivray’s. Good chances for Hutton’s and Warbling vireos, and just maybe flycatchers.

We’ll walk out and back, about 4 miles total, mostly on the Mitchell Canyon Nature Trail, which is mostly level. Our hike begins in oak savannah and soon enters the riparian community along Mitchell Creek. This trail is famous for wildflowers, including the rare endemic Mount Diablo globe lily (also called fairy lantern).

Meet in the parking lot at the end of Mitchell Canyon Road in Clayton. Google Maps link http://goo.gl/maps/iBbWz. Take CA 24 or I-680 to Ygnacio Valley Road.  After about 8 miles, turn right on Clayton Road. Turn right again on Mitchell Canyon Road and continue to the end. Contact Maureen if you have questions.

This trip is rewarding for both beginners and experienced birders. If you’d like to borrow a pair of binoculars from GGAS, please let Maureen know. Parking fee at Mitchell Canyon is $6 per vehicle; $5 if you’re at least 62 years old. Restrooms and water are available at the Staging Area. Please bring water to carry on the trail.

 

San Francisco Botanical Garden
Sunday, May 3, 8:00—10:30 a.m.
(First Sunday bird walk)
Dominik Mosur, polskatata@yahoo.com; Allan Ridley, allanrid@pacbell.net; Helen McKenna; Ginny Marshall, ginnybirder@sbcglobal.net; Kimberly Jannarone, kmj@ucsc.edu; Robert Cullison, robbo50@sbcglobal.net. (Leaders vary by month.) 

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

 

Heron and egret rookeries, Downtown Oakland
Wednesday, May 6, 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Marissa Ortega-Welch, mortegawelch@goldengateaudubon.org

Downtown Oakland is home to a big colony of nesting Black-crowned Night-Herons and Snowy Egrets. Join Golden Gate Audubon and the Rotary Nature Center as we visit the nesting sites and learn why we think they should be the unofficial mascot of Oakland!

We’ll meet in front of the main library at 125 14th Street and take a short walk to visit the nests nearby. Wear comfortable walking shoes and a sun hat. Bring binoculars if you have them. Some binoculars available to borrow. This walk is part of GGAS’s outreach campaign to promote appreciation and protection of Oakland’s downtown rookeries. You can read about the campaign on our blog at goldengateaudubon.org/blog-posts/art-flash-mob-for-oakland-herons/, or in the S.F. Chronicle at goldengateaudubon.org/wp-content/uploads/Oaklands_Avian_Ambassadors.pdf.

NOTE: This walk is geared to people who are new to birding and to the herons. We will be focused on the heron/egret rookeries, rather than spotting a large number of species.

 

Vollmer Peak, Tilden Park, Berkeley
Friday, May 8, 8:30 — 10:30 a.m.
(Second Friday bird walk)
Alan Kaplan, LNKPLN@earthlink.net, or (510) 526-7609 for messages 

We’ll walk up towards Vollmer Peak (it is a bit steep for last section) and work on bird song some more. Meet at the Tilden Steam Train (Redwood Valley Railway) parking lot at Grizzly Peak Blvd. and Lomas Cantadas.

Google Maps link: https://goo.gl/maps/kL0Ag. Restrooms at the start; bring water. The paved road wends up to a flat section before the peak 

 

Corona Heights, San Francisco
Friday, May 15, 8 – 10 a.m.
(Third Friday bird walk)
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

 

Aquatic Park and Waterfront, San Francisco
Saturday, May 16, 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). 

 

Ft. Mason Community Garden, San Francisco
Sunday, May 17, 8:00 – 10:00 a.m.
(Third Sunday bird walk)
David Assmann. David_Assmann@Yahoo.com 

The focus will be looking for late migrants in May and nesting birds in June.  May can bring a surprise migrant, and there is a chance the Northern Gannet will be back on Alcatraz and visible via scope (it was seen on Alcatraz on April 10th). Nesting birds could include Downy Woodpeckers and Hooded Oriole. We’ll also check out the Black Point Battery for flycatchers and warblers, and scan Aquatic Park for water birds.  May 17th is also the day for Bay to Breakers so keep that in mind when coming across town to Fort Mason.  Meet in front of the Community Garden to explore several different habitats in this compact part of GGNRA. Restroom in meadow. Ample parking if there is no race on the waterfront (also easily accessible by transit). Heavy rain cancels. http://goo.gl/maps/RKZwU 

North Beach/Telegraph, San Francisco
Sunday, May 17, 8:00 – 9:30 a.m. 
Carlo Arreglo, 415.533.7081, 
arregloc@gmail.com 

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.

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. 

 

Middle Harbor Shoreline Park, Oakland
Wednesday, May 20, 8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.  
(Third Wednesday bird walk)                                
Penn Hughes, penn.hughes@att.net or (510) 499-5491 for messages.                  

Shore birds, ducks, terns, gulls, pelicans, passing passerines. The park is at 2777 Middle Harbor Rd. Take I-880 to 7th Street exit, left onto 7th at the bottom of the freeway interchange exit ramp. Alternately, drive to West Oakland Post Office, the big one, and keep going on 7th to the same freeway interchange. Continue on 7th Street, through the port area. 1 mile from the interchange, at a stoplight, the street name changes to Middle Harbor Road where 7th Street turns right. Middle Harbor Park may be reached from 7thStreet (left turn) or from Middle Harbor Road (right turn). Meet at LEFT parking lot in Middle Harbor Park (near the Naturalist’s trailer).

Many restrooms. Please, no dogs. Google Maps link: https://goo.gl/maps/g6eSW 

 

Heron and egret rookeries, Downtown Oakland
Wednesday, May 20, 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Marissa Ortega-Welch, mortegawelch@goldengateaudubon.org

Downtown Oakland is home to a big colony of nesting Black-crowned Night-Herons and Snowy Egrets. Join Golden Gate Audubon and the Rotary Nature Center as we visit the nesting sites and learn why we think they should be the unofficial mascot of Oakland!

We’ll meet in front of the main library at 125 14th Street and take a short walk to visit the nests nearby. Wear comfortable walking shoes and a sun hat. Bring binoculars if you have them. Some binoculars available to borrow. This walk is part of GGAS’s outreach campaign to promote appreciation and protection of Oakland’s downtown rookeries. You can read about the campaign on our blog at goldengateaudubon.org/blog-posts/art-flash-mob-for-oakland-herons/, or in the S.F. Chronicle at goldengateaudubon.org/wp-content/uploads/Oaklands_Avian_Ambassadors.pdf.

NOTE: This walk is geared to people who are new to birding and to the herons. We will be focused on the heron/egret rookeries, rather than spotting a large number of species.

 

Lake Merritt and Lakeside Park, Oakland, Alameda County
(Fourth Wednesday bird walk)
Wednesday, May 27, 9:30 a.m. – noon
Hilary Powers, 510.834.1066, hilary@powersedit.com; Ruth Tobey, 510.528.2093, ruthtobey@gmail.com 

Come catch the last of the winter migrants, watch the cormorant rookery in full swing, and perhaps coo over some baby ducks and geese.

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: While the boathouse lot near the spherical cage is closed for wetlands restoration, the best parking is 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.

 

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; 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/

Oceanic Society Pelagic Trips

The Oceanic Society offers guided Gray Whale watching trips between December 20, 2014 and May 10, 2015. This trip is from 9 am -12 pm 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 www.oceanicsociety.org.

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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.

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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. His current list can be found through the Ohlone Audubon web site. There is also a Meetup page that lists birding walks and events throughout the Bay Area: www.meetup.com/Bay-Area-Birding/.