Upcoming Field Trips

Golden Gate Audubon offers more than 175 field trips annually for birders of all levels. Our trips explore local areas from Golden Gate Park to the East Bay shoreline and hills, as well as such wildlife-rich destinations as California’s Central Valley and the Sierra Nevada.

We also sponsor trips to other parts of the U.S. and to international destinations, including Latin America, Africa, and Australia. Field trips are led by experienced birders who are passionate in sharing their knowledge of birds and their habitats. See our Travel with GGAS page for upcoming travel opportunities.  

Local trips are free, except for any park entrance fees. Advance reservations may be necessary. It is advisable to confirm with the trip leader that a trip will take place as planned, especially if inclement weather is expected.

For questions about individual field trips, contact the leaders. If you cannot reach a leader, contact 510-843-2222 or email volunteer@goldengateaudubon.org.

Our free field trips are just one of the many ways that Golden Gate Audubon connects people with our local birds. For over 100 years we have been providing critical environmental education, conservation and habitat restoration (currently at 8 Bay Area sites). Our work is supported solely through the commitment of local members, volunteers, and donors. We receive no portion of National Audubon dues. If you are not currently a member, please consider joining now. You can be part of our vital community for as little as $35. It’s quick and easy to sign up on our membership page.

We hope you enjoy our field trips. We invite you to comment about any part of
our trips (leadership, venues, schedules). Send an email to ggas@goldengateaudubon.org

We encourage people to share rides to field trips!


Field Trips

June 1st, 2018

See the GGAS Centennial Exhibit!

The Lafayette Library & Learning Center,
3491 Mt Diablo Blvd, Lafayette, CA · (925) 298-5335
is NOW hosting GGAS’s “100 years of Protecting Bay
Area Birds” exhibit through the end of 2018.


December 2018


Miller/Knox Regional Shoreline, Point Richmond
Wednesday, December 12, 8:30 — 11:00 a.m.
Patricia Reese, greenhairstreak1@gmail.com

Please join me for a 2-mile walk in a park that has both landscaped and wild areas. We
will walk on flat trails around the saltwater lagoon and venture into the chaparral nearby.
We will also walk along the rocky shoreline at low tide. We may see some Eurasian
Wigeons among the flock of American Wigeons. There are 9 tree-shaded picnic areas
and 5 “real” restrooms. Please wear warm clothes for visiting the usually breezy
shoreline and sturdy shoes for walking on wet grass and along unpaved trails. Scopes
would be welcome and much appreciated.

To reach the park, take I-580 West toward the Richmond/San Rafael Bridge. In
Richmond take exit #8 for Canal/Garrard. Get in the left lane on the exit ramp before the
traffic light. Turn left on Canal Boulevard and go under the 580 overpass. Get in the
right lane, go just .1 miles and at the second traffic light (at the Chevron gas station),
make a right on West Cutting Boulevard and go .5 miles to the end. At the stop sign (a
T-intersection) make a left on South Garrard Boulevard and drive through the Ferry
Point tunnel. Continue to follow this road past Keller Beach for about 1/2 mile to the
main Miller/Knox park entrance on the right. We’ll meet in the first parking lot. This
Google Maps link will get you to the park, but not to the exact parking lot.

Note: this was erroneously listed as a car shuttle trip in the field trip email. It is not.


Bay Farm Island: Coast/Canal Walk, with shuttle
Friday, December 14, 8:30 a.m. — 12:30 p.m.
(Second Friday bird walk; leaders and venue vary by month)
Rusty Scalf,rscalf@sonic.net,510.495.5837

This will be a 3 mile walk: first half along the estuary coastline, the second half along
Bay Farm’s lovely canal which often affords great views of ducks: Goldeneye,
Canvasback, occasionally Hooded Merganser at close range.

We shall meet at 8:30 a.m. at Harbor Bay Landing Shopping Center. It’s a good sized
parking area so to avoid confusion let’s meet in front of the CVS pharmacy (885 Island
Drive, Alameda, CA; Google Maps link: https://goo.gl/maps/Bmt4u5m9Xpn). We shall
leave vehicles behind, then proceed to the end of Packet Landing Rd (in Google maps
use 200 Packet Landing Rd, Alameda, CA or use the Google Maps link:
https://goo.gl/maps/spATFYieF4r). The walk ends at the shopping center where we
meet and we will then ferry folks back to their cars. This walk is quite flat and very

Please email the leader if you plan to attend. This is a car-shuttle event.
Please read the description carefully before you come.


Lands End Trail, San Francisco
Friday, December 14, 8:30 — 10:30 a.m.
Taylor Nairn, taylornairn@gmail.com, 415-706-6182

We’ll walk along the Coastal Trail, at the north end of San Francisco. Opportunities to
view waterbirds and seabirds via the lookout at Sutro Baths. Along the trail, we’ll bird the
forests past the old railroad – with looks out for shorebirds along Mile Rock beach – and
through the forests behind the VA hospital for arboreal species and wintering sparrows.
Meet at: Land’s End Lookout visitor center parking lot, 680 Point Lobos Ave San
Francisco, CA, Google Maps link: https://goo.gl/maps/1RswFFjaed32.Trail is gradual,
but there are some steep steps near the VA hospital. Bathrooms are available at the
Land’s End Visitor Center.


Fort Mason Community Garden, San Francisco
Sunday, December 16, 8:00 — 10:00 a.m.
(Third Sunday bird walk)
David Assmann, david_assmann@yahoo.com

Meet in front of the Community Garden to explore several different habitats in this
compact part of GGNRA. Although migration is over, there are a number of wintering
species at Fort Mason, and the species count in December can be as high as 50. We’ll
explore Aquatic Park for returning Red-Breasted Mergansers and other ducks, grebes
and loons. It will be high tide, so we’ll look for Wandering Tattlers and Black Turnstones
on the pier. The garden and the Battery should have a variety of land birds, including
warblers, thrushes, woodpeckers and sparrows. Restroom in meadow, ample parking if
there is no race on the waterfront (also easily accessible by transit). Heavy rain cancels.
Google Maps link: http://goo.gl/maps/RKZwU


Martin Luther King, Jr. Regional Shoreline, Oakland
Wednesday, December 19, 8:30 — 10:30 a.m.  
(Third Wednesday Bird Walk) 
Penn Hughes, penn.hughes@att.net or (510) 499-5491 for messages.

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. Walk to the other end of the parking lot (away from where you drove
in), and we will meet there overlooking Arrowhead Slough. Results of the bird walk will
be reported on eBird. Include your email when you sign in on-site if you want to see the
eBird report. You can tweak it for what you remember that I don’t! Rest rooms available.
Please, no dogs.


Corona Heights walk canceled. The third Friday Corona Heights walk is taking
December off for the holidays and will return in January.


Arrowhead Marsh/Martin Luther King Jr. EBRP – BICYCLE TRIP, Oakland
Sunday, December 23, 10:15 a.m. — 12:30 p.m.
Kathy Jarrett, 510-547-1233, kathy_jarrett@yahoo.com

High Tide at approx 11:50 AM. Winter high tides are a good time to see rails, and if
there has been enough rain, lots of ducks and shorebirds in the seasonal wetlands.
Meet at EBRPD Tidewater Staging Area 10:15 am. We’ll ride the S.F. Bay Trail from
East Creek Point to Damon Marsh and Arrowhead Marsh. Return over the same route
or via Doolittle Dr and Fernside Blvd. Bring lunch and liquids, and dress in layers. All
levels of birders welcome. Bicycle helmet required. Rain cancels. e-mail or call for
mobile number.

Directions by car: Take High St. Exit from I-880 at in Oakland and go SW on High St.,
then turn left onto Tidewater Ave. (just before bridge to Alameda) and right into the
Tidewater Staging Area. (Look for a small brown sign.)

Bicycling directions from Fruitvale BART: Ride west on Fruitvale Ave and turn left onto
Alameda Ave, just before bridge to Alameda. Trail is on right on sidewalk; follow it south
to High St along estuary, jog left and cross onto Tidewater Ave, then right into the
staging area. Any train which arrives at Fruitvale BART by 9:50 should be adequate to
arrive at the trail head by 10:15. http://baytrail.org/get-on-the-trail/map-by-number/.


Lake Merritt and Lakeside Park, Oakland
Wednesday, December 26, 9:30 a.m. – noon
(Fourth Wednesday bird walk)
Ruth Tobey, 510.717.3264, ruthtobey@gmail.com; Hilary Powers,

December is as good as it gets here – and that’s very very good indeed. Come meet the
winter migrants on the lake, then see who’s hiding in the trees.

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 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.


Farther Out – December Registration Required!

Yosemite’s Bird Life
Friday — Sunday, May 17 — 19
Dave Quady, davequady@att.net; Dave Cornman

Signup by email beginning Noon on December 12 –  davequady@att.net

GGAS’s field trip to the lower and middle elevations of Yosemite National Park’s west
side had for decades been held on the weekend after Memorial Day. Last year, in a bow
to climate change, we scheduled the trip two weeks earlier – to the weekend before
Memorial Day. We’ll do the same this year, to improve our understanding of how bird
activity differs from our (formerly) “normal” time. We’ll also pay attention to the changing
conditions in two major firescapes: – from the two 2014 Foresta-area fires, and from
2013’s huge Rim Fire. Let’s see what we can learn.

This trip is limited to 20 participants. Sign-ups begin at noon on Wednesday, December 12
– by email only to davequady@att.net, please.
Participants have found it convenient
to camp at Hodgdon Meadow in the park (reservations open January 15; campground
fills up very fast), or to stay in campgrounds or commercial lodgings outside the park’s
Big Oak Flat entrance. Details, including meeting times and locations, and lodging
suggestions, will be provided to confirmed participants. Carpooling encouraged.


Special fee-based trips

Birds of the Delta — Boat trip with Dolphin Charters This trip is FULL but you may register to be on the waitlist
Sunday, February 10 — 9 a.m. to 4 or 4:30 p.m
GGAS trip leader: Hilary Powers, contact by email preferred, hhilary@salfelt.com;
Phone: cell, 510-502-1093 (day of trip only); landline, 510-834-1066

Registration: Register on line here.
Registration will close midnight Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2019.
Confirmed participants will be sent trip details and directions by email.
For registration questions email ggas@goldengateaudubon.org or call 510-843-2222 during office hours – Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, 9 a.m. to 12 noon.

Tour the Delta on board the comfortable Delphinus boat to explore the region’s rich habitats and see thousands of Tundra Swans, Snow Geese, White-fronted Geese, Sandhill Cranes, and Canada Geese, plus myriad ducks and overwintering and resident raptors. This full-day trip through the backwaters and channels of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta provides wildlife views you’d never get from the land, as well as a glimpse into the history and culture of this unique region. In recent years, participants have sighted six or more species of hawks in the first hour, including a nesting pair of Peregrine Falcons.

Departs and returns from the Antioch Marina. Limited to 29 participants. Please arrive 15 minutes early to ensure an on-time departure and bring your own lunch. Rain does NOT cancel but high winds may cancel. Registered participants will receive an email with directions and logistics about a week before the trip.

Cost:$105 for GGAS members, $140 for non-members. Non-member price includes a 2019 membership to GGAS.


Pelagic trips, including the Farallons

We’re listing these links to opportunities for seabirding, for your convenience.

Please contact them directly for more information, cost and reservations.

Debi Shearwater and Alvaro Jaramillo both lead outstanding trips and bring experienced sea-birders along as spotters. Their trips leave from a variety of ports, including Monterey (with the submarine canyon in Monterey Bay)

Alvaro’s Adventures

Alvaro Jaramillo   www.alvarosadventures.com
email: alvaro@alvarosadventures.com
Good dates for Farallons: August 11 and 12.
These Farallon trips leave from Pillar Point Harbor in Half Moon Bay.


Shearwater Journeys

Debi Shearwater     www.shearwaterjourneys.com
email: debi@shearwaterjourneys.com
Good dates for Farallons: August 5 and 12.


Whalewatching trips that include the Farallons

For either of these, look at the biographical sketches of the guides and then call and ask which trips have guides who are enthusiastic about birds as well as marine mammals.

These trips leave from Sausalito and San Francisco.

Oceanic Society

follow the links for Whalewatching and then Farallons
Contact link has phone numbers.
Good dates for Farallons: August 5 and 12.



GGAS Is Looking For New Field Trip Leaders

If you’re a birder and have favorite spots that you would like to share, please consider joining our cadre of volunteer field trip leaders.

It might sound a little scary (“Who me? I can’t lead a field trip.”) but it’s really fun and quite easy.

We’re planning some training walks.  We’ll help you write trip descriptions and find background resources on the places you love to go birding.

And you don’t need to be able to identify every bird. You’ll be successful by organizing an enjoyable walk at an interesting location.

Need a coach? If you’d like a mentor, we’ll match you up with an experienced field trip leader.

If you’re interested (even if you’re maybe a little interested, but also a little nervous) contact
Maureen Lahiff, adult education committee chair, 510.484.6529MLahiff@aol.com or our field trip coordinator, Steve Lombardi, hotrock175@gmail.com