Field Trips

September 29th, 2014
 
Aquatic Park and Waterfront, San Francisco
Saturday, October 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).

 

Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline, Oakland
Garretson Point to Arrowhead Marsh and back
Sunday, October 19, 8:00 to 11:30 am
Maureen Lahiff, MLahiff@aol.com, 510.484.6529 

We’ll meet at Garretson Point and work our way towards Arrowhead Marsh, looking for returning shorebirds and grebes. Some ducks may have arrived for the winter already. Sparrows and warblers will be returning for the winter. Some terns may still be here. Resident Blacknecked Stilts, Double-crested Cormorants, egrets, and Great Blue Herons will be feeding and hanging out, along with Brown Pelicans. We may hear the Ridgway Rails at Arrowhead Marsh. This is a great place to see at least some of the birds fairly close up, and a rewarding place to bird for both beginners and experienced folks. It’s a great place for families, as they can easily leave the trip at any time the kids (or adults) have had enough for the day. The 8:00 am start time is to take advantage of the tides.

We’ll walk a total of about 3 miles on paved, level pathway, watching out for the runners and bicyclists. There are restrooms and water available near Garretson Point and at Arrowhead Marsh. The parking lot at Garretson Point is reached from Edgewater Drive off Hegenberger Road. From I-880, take Hegenberger towards the Oakland Airport. If you are coming from I-880, turn right on Edgewater and drive to the end. Google Maps link: https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=zPaCuZBhQ8Xk.kPW-VKGrXma0

 

Fort Mason Community Garden, San Francisco (3rd Sunday bird walk)
Sunday, October 19, 8 – 10 am

David Assmann, David_Assmann@Yahoo.com
Assistant leaders this month: Erica Rutherford and John Colbert 

Meet in front of the Community Garden to explore several different habitats in this compact part of GGNRA. Migration should be picking up, with flycatchers, vireos, warblers and tanagers coming through.  The garden should have a variety of land birds, and there may be flycatchers in the Battery. We’ll scan Aquatic Park for water birds and shorebirds (and look for the Gannet).   Restroom in meadow, ample parking if there is no race on the waterfront (also easily accessible by transit). Google Map: http://goo.gl/maps/RKZwU

 

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.

 

Arrowhead Marsh, Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline, Oakland
Thursday, October 23, 2014, 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 Ridgway’s (formerly 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 0.7 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. Google Maps link: https://goo.gl/maps/725hs

 

November

 

Tilden Nature Area, Tilden Park, Berkeley, (1st Friday bird walk)
Friday, November 7, 2014, 8:30 am- 10:30 am

Leader TBD. Alan Kaplan is taking the week off, but will return for the 2nd Friday bird walk next week. Meet in the parking lot in front of the EEC and Little Farm. Water and restrooms at the start and mid-way. 

 

Berkeley Municipal Pier, foot of University Avenue (2nd Friday bird walk)
November 14, 2014, 8:30 am – 10:30 am
Alan Kaplan, LNKPLN@earthlink.net, or (510) 526-7609 for messages. 

Today’s theme is Gulls – another in our series, Gulls I Want to Know Better! Spotting scopes would be very welcome. Restrooms and water at the start.

 

Birds of the San Francisco and San Pablo Bays Cruise with Dolphin Charters
Sunday, November 16,  2014, 8:45 AM – 4:00 PM
Leader: Eddie Bartley 

This trip is now FULL. You may register to be placed on the waiting list in case of cancellations.

San Francisco Bay, the largest and one of the most important estuaries along the Pacific Flyway, is right in our own backyard.  Join us as we cruise from Berkeley to the Golden Gate Bridge and north into San Pablo Bay, hugging the shorelines and waters that are home to thousands of wintering birds. Leaving from Berkeley, we will proceed along the old Berkeley ferry pier to see what’s shaking, turn north and head over to Southhampton Shoal, and then on to the Richmond Inner Harbor and Brooks Island and its breakwater. Leaving this area we’ll travel to Red Rock before passing under the Richmond/San Rafael Bridge and our views of East and West Brothers Islands. This trip offers water bird and marine mammal viewing in stunning locations, many of which can only be seen by boat.  In addition to the many ducks, loons, pelicans and gulls that come into the Bay for the winter, we can also expect to see resident cormorants, grebes, terns and murres.

Dress in layers. Bring liquids and lunch. Trip is limited to 25 people.

Cost is $85 for GGAS members and $95 for non-members.

Click here to register online for the trip. Once the trip is full, you can register to be added to the waiting list.  If you do not have access to a computer, call the GGAS office to register at 510.843.2222.

Depart and return: Berkeley Marina (Directions and trip details will be provided to registered participants).

 

Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline, Oakland
Garretson Point to Arrowhead Marsh and back
Sunday, November 30, 9:00 am- 12:30 pm
Maureen Lahiff, MLahiff@aol.com, 510.484.6529 

We’ll meet at Garretson Point and work our way towards Arrowhead Marsh. By the end of November, hundreds of wintering shorebirds will have arrived. The male ducks will be starting to show their fine courting plumage. A teal trifecta is possible, along with Pintails, Northern Shovelers, and American Wigeon, if we’ve been blessed with rains to create good habitat. Many diving ducks also winter here, including scaup, Common Goldeneye, and Ruddy Ducks. So do five species of grebes. Resident Blacknecked Stilts, Double-crested Cormorants, egrets, and Great Blue Herons will be feeding and hanging out, along with Brown Pelicans. We may hear the Ridgway’s Rails at Arrowhead Marsh.

This is a great place to see many of these birds fairly close up, and a rewarding place to bird for both beginners and experienced folks. It’s a great place for families, as they can easily leave the trip at any time the kids (or adults) have had enough for the day.

We’ll walk a total of about 3 miles on paved, level pathway, watching out for the runners and bicyclists. There are restrooms and water available near Garretson Point and at Arrowhead Marsh. The parking lot at Garretson Point is reached from Edgewater Drive off Hegenberger Road. From I-880, take Hegenberger towards the Oakland Airport. If you are coming from I-880, turn right on Edgewater and drive to the end. Google Maps link: https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=zPaCuZBhQ8Xk.kPW-VKGrXma0 

 

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. 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/

 

Oceanic Society Pelagic Trips

The Oceanic Society offers guided whale-watching and seabird-watching trips to the Farallon Islands every Saturday and Sunday from May through November.  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.

Oceanic Society guides with particular expertise in birding will be guiding the following trips:

Susan Sherman – September 21, October 4, November 9, 29

David Wimpfheimer – October 11 and November 1

Roger Harris – September 20, October 5, November 2

 

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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/.