Field Trips

July 14th, 2014
Tilden Nature Center, Berkeley
Friday, August 1, 8:30 – 10:30 (First Friday birdwalk)
Alan Kaplan,, or (510) 526-7609 (messages). 

Meet at the Nature Area parking lot, near the Environmental Education Center and Little Farm. Today’s Bird Biographies: Goldfinches (Lesser and American). We’ll walk to Jewel Lake on a flat road. Restrooms and water at the start and mid-way. 


Middle Harbor Shoreline Park, Oakland, Alameda County
Saturday, August 2, 8:00 – 11:00 am
Maureen Lahiff, ,510.484.6529 

Many migratory shorebirds will be back or moving through the Bay Area, some still in partial breeding plumage. 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, now that the Naval Fleet Supply Industrial Center is closed.

It’s an 8:00 AM start because the tide will be going out, and the birds will be moving away from shore as the mudflats are exposed. 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. The parking area does have restrooms. The Google Maps link for Middle Harbor is For information about the park, visit the Port of Oakland website


San Francisco Botanical Garden
Sunday, August 3, 8 – 10:30 a.m.
Dominik Mosur,; Allan Ridley,; Helen McKenna, 415.566.3241; 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.


Bort Meadow, Chabot Regional Park (Oakland) — JUNIOR BIRDER WALK
Wednesday August 6, 7 p.m. 
Anthony DeCicco,

This is part of a series of GGAS Summer 2014 bird walks geared to families with children and led by our expert Eco-Ediucation staff.  This  walk is geared to intermediate or advanced “junior birders.” Sharpen your ID’ing and birding-by-ear skills at this beautiful location in the East Bay Hills. For details and directions, please see


El Polin Spring in the Presidio — JUNIOR BIRDER WALK 
Thursday August 7,  6:45 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Anthony DeCicco,

This is part of a series of GGAS Summer 2014 bird walks geared to families with children and led by our expert Eco-Ediucation staff.  This  walk is geared to intermediate or advanced “junior birders.” Sharpen your ID’ing and birding-by-ear skills at this beautiful location in San Francisco.. For details and directions, please see


Point Isabel Regional Shoreline, Richmond
Friday, August 8, 8:30 AM – 10:30 AM, (2nd Friday birdwalk)
Alan Kaplan,, or (510) 526-7609 

We’ll look for early returning shorebirds. Spotting scopes would be very welcome. Dogs will be present. Restrooms and water at the start. Pt. Isabel is at the end of Rydin Road, off of Central Avenue, Richmond.


North Beach/Telegraph Hill, San Francisco
Tuesday, August 12, 8:00 – 10:00 a.m.
Carlo Arreglo, 415.533.7081, 

Experience North Beach and Telegraph Hill in a different way in this walk for birders 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 but you may have to wait until DPW finishes their 8am street cleaning. Street parking is 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.


Corona Heights, San Francisco
Friday, August 15, 8 – 10 a.m.
Brian Fitch; Dominik Mosur, (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: 


Vollmer Peak Trail, Tilden Regional Park, Berkeley
Saturday, August 16, 2014, 7:30 AM in the Vollmer Peak Trail parking lot.
Emilie Strauss, 510-540-8749. 

We will search for montane migrants such as Western Tanager and Hermit Warbler and look for lingering MacGillivray’s Warbler and Lazuli Bunting. Expect to walk about 3 miles including some elevation change and rocky fire roads. Bring snacks and water. We will bird for about three hours.

From Fish Ranch Road take Grizzly Peak Blvd. south about 1 mile and turn right on Lomas Contadas (same exit as for the steam train). Immediately turn left on a small (unmarked?) road. After 0.1 miles, turn right into the Vollmer Peak parking lot (portapotty here but no water). The map is available at: Google Maps link: No sign-up necessary but further information available by calling the leader.


Aquatic Park and Waterfront, San Francisco
Saturday, August 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). 


Fort Mason Community Garden, San Francisco
Sunday, August 17, 8 – 10 am

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 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 if anyone brings a scope. 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). Heavy rain cancels. Google Map:


Elsie Roemer Bird Sanctuary, Alameda 
Wednesday August 20, 8:30am – 10:00am.   
Penn Hughes, or (510) 499-5491 for messages.

Fall migration is starting! Come look for shorebirds and other water birds. Elsie Roemer is on Shoreline Dr., Alameda, where Shoreline meets Broadway.  Drive down Broadway to Shoreline.  Park.  Use the cross walk if necessary to cross to the south side of Broadway, and from there cross Bayview Drive to get to Shoreline.  Meet at the bayside street corner of Broadway and Shoreline.   Restrooms are NOT close by. Please, no dogs.


Snag Lake Backpack Trip, Lassen Volcanic National Park
Friday – Monday, August 22-25
Robin Pulich; David Rice, 510.527.7210,

On this annual camping and birding trip to Lassen, we will backpack 3 miles to Snag Lake and spend three nights in primitive camping by a stream near a large meadow. We should see flocks of mixed warblers and other songbirds, plus resident birds of the mountains, Bald Eagles, and migrating shorebirds. We will be above 6,000 feet. To avoid impact on the fragile habitat, the trip is limited to 10 people. Participants are responsible for their own gear and food. Contact David Rice to reserve a space.


Concrete Bridge, Lake Merced, San Francisco
Saturday, August 23, 9:00 a.m. – noon
Angie Geiger, 415.264.0029, 

All skill levels welcome. Meet in the parking  lot at the west side of the concrete off of John Muir Drive.  We will look for Passerines and birds in and around the water.  Scopes will be very helpful, so bring yours if you have one. If time allows, we may carpool to Harding Park to look for additional birds there.  This is an easy walk on level ground.  A Port-a-Potty is available, but no other restrooms. Please contact me for directions if necessary.


Abbotts Lagoon, Point Reyes
Saturday, Aug. 23,  9:00 AM to about 12:00 PM
Martha Wessitsh, (415) 681-8059, cell: (415) 533-4470, 

Meet at the parking lot at Abbotts Lagoon. Shore birds should be beginning to come in.  Some land birds also, Wrentits all year round.  The leader has seen Ferruginous Hawks, on the ground no less, Snowy Plovers (maybe with babies?) and other interesting birds.

Directions:  Go west on Sir Francis Drake past Inverness.  There will be a fork in the road a bit later on.  Go RIGHT toward Tomales Point.  Keep going on that road.  You will eventually see signs for Abbotts Lagoon on the left. Restrooms available. Pretty flat walking but walking in sand might be difficult.    This trip will be limited to 15 participants. It seems to be a very popular trip, so get your reservations in early.  Email Martha and let her know you’re coming.


Lake Merritt and Lakeside Park, Oakland, Alameda County
Wednesday, August 27, 9:30 a.m. – noon
Hilary Powers, 510.834.1066,; Ruth Tobey, 510.528.2093, 

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,, 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


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

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


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

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


Birds and Bats in Del Valle Park (East Bay) – FAMILY BIRD WALK
Monday September 29, 6 p.m.
Anthony DeCicco,

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 bring a bat detector to help us hear the high frequency noises made by bats. This walk is suitable for  children aged 8 and up. Advance RSVP required. For details and directions, please see




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; 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:





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.

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


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: