Travel with GGAS

Are you thinking of traveling outside the Bay Area? Do you want to expand your life list while experiencing a different environment or a different culture? If so, consider these upcoming guided trips, all designed especially for GGAS. For information, a detailed itinerary, and registration, please contact GGAS Travel Coordinators Pat Kirkpatrick at or Rubi Abrams at

Each trip includes a registration fee that benefits Golden Gate Audubon’s conservation and environmental education programs. So you’re not only enjoying a terrific vacation, but you’re helping support Bay Area bird conservation!

We welcome suggestions for future trips. If you have been on a birding trip that was especially wonderful, experienced a terrific guide, or have a suggestion of an area to visit, please email Pat or Rubi.

FULL Baja, Mexico: Birding and Whale Watching

February 17-24, 2018

Magnificent Frigatebird by Juan-Carlos Solis

The tropical habitats of the southern peninsula are a major wintering area for birds from western North America and the near-shore waters are rich and diverse. The Cape Region’s specialties of mixed flocks of wintering passerines, shorebirds and Gray Whales will offer a wonderful experience of Baja. Your guide will be Juan-Carlos Solis of Quetzal Adventures, who is also a GGAS birding instructor.

Your trip will include:

  • Bird at an estuary in San Jose where freshwater meets the sea and on to a nearby desert.
  • Enjoy the northern foothills of the Sierra Laguna at 2500 ft to view several endemics that prefer the pine-oak woodlands
  • Head to the Gulf of California coast through the desert to see numerous Lark Buntings, Costa’s Hummingbirds and Loggerhead Shrikes.
  • Spend a full day in the La Paz region for shorebirds and go along sewage ponds and well-watered agricultural fields. Late afternoon visit to mudflats and mangroves.
  • Visit the fishing village of Magdalena Bay and board a small boat to get extremely close to Gray Whales and see plenty of pelagic birds.
  • Visit the charming town of Todos Santos and view more endemics.

Cost of trip: $2,684 per person, based on double occupancy. Single Supplement is $350. Limited to 10 participants. The trip includes comfortable accommodations in lodges and B&B’s, all meals, entrance fees, taxes, service charges and transportation throughout Baja, including the 3-4 hour boat ride to see the whales. Does not include international transportation to starting point in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico. If you are interested, contact Pat Kirkpatrick or Rubi Abrams 

FULL Costa Rica: Pacific Rainforest,

Chiriqui Highlands, and the Caribbean Slope

March 9-20, 2018

Turquoise-browed Motmot by Jerry Johnson

Costa Rica is blessed with remarkable biodiversity due to its tropical latitude, tremendous topographic diversity and strong conservation ethic. From the spoiled comfort of some of Costa Rica’s finest accommodations, you will stay in some of Costa Rica’s finest accommodations. Your guide Mark Pretti of Mark Pretti Nature Tours will help you:

  • Explore the Pacific slope where the tropical deciduous forest of the west coast meets the rainforest that runs to the border with Panama to see regional endemics. It’s a unique region for Scarlet Macaws.
  • Enjoy the mountains in the cloud forest seeing some of the endemic birds in the Chiriqui Highlands and Resplendent Quetzals.
  • Hike in one the premier birding spots in Costa Rica at Rancho Naturalista, well know for its hummingbirds and fruit feeders. 

Cost: Final cost to be announced, but will be between $3,300 and $3,400 per person, based on double occupancy. Single supplement is $330. This includes all lodging, meals, entrance fees and ground transportation from San Jose, Costa Rica. Limited to nine participants. If you are interested, contact Pat Kirkpatrick or Rubi Abrams


South Texas in Spring Migration

FULL April 15-24, 2018

NEW April 25 – May 4, 2018

Painted Bunting by Eddie Bartley

The last three trips to South Texas for spring migration were such a hit that we’re offering this destination again. Join Eddie Bartley and Noreen Weeden of Nature Trip to visit the famous spring avian migrant traps during the peak period of the Gulf of Mexico spring migration.

  • Explore Mustang, Padre Islands, Corpus Christi, Laguna Atascosa, Sabal Palms and surrounding areas.
  • Experience the distinctive sub-tropical habitats of the Rio Grande Valley in wonderful parks and refuges.
  • Observe unique avifauna and other wildlife that exists nowhere else in the US.
  • Enjoy a full day nature tour of the world famous King Ranch.
  • Travel as a small group in a spacious and comfortable van with experience nature and bird guides.

Cost: $2,850 per person based on double occupancy.  Single supplement is $600. This includes all transportation, park fees, lodging and all meals. Air and ground transportation to starting point of Corpus Christi is not included. Limited to eight participants. Contact Rubi Abrams or Pat Kirkpatrick for more information.


FULL Southern Oregon

May 25-28, 2018

Great Gray Owl by Harry Fuller

Harry Fuller will lead this ever-popular Memorial Day weekend trip for the seventh consecutive year. Folks rave about this trip and you will too, hitting some of the best birding spots of Southern Oregon – Mt. Ashland, the Siskiyou Mountains, and Klamath Basin.

Harry, a former GGAS field trip leader who is now based in Southern Oregon, will help you spot Sandhill Crane, nesting Ospreys and Bald Eagles, Great Gray Owl, Vaux’s Swift, White-headed Woodpecker, Green-tailed Towhee, Dusky and Hammond’s Flycatchers, and many more! Harry is also a popular author, his newest book co-authored with Peter Thiemann is entitled “Great Gray Owl in California, Washington and Oregon” and participants almost always see this species.

Cost: $325 per person. Does not include lodging, transportation to the meeting point, or most meals. Limited to 10 participants. Contact Rubi Abrams or Pat Kirkpatrick for more information.

FULLAlaska: Glacier Bay and Denali National Parks

May 27 – June 3, 2018

Willow Ptarmigan, the Alaska state bird by George C. Wood

Experience two of America’s most stunning national parks on this exciting trip to the wild, vast state of Alaska. You’ll bird temperate rainforests and tidewater glaciers in Glacier Bay National Park, and boreal forests, wetlands, and mountains in Denali National Park. Highlights include:

  • Half-day sea voyage from Juneau to Gustavus through the famous Inside Passage.
  • Private boat trip through Glacier Bay, where tidewater glaciers may be dropping icebergs into the sea. Seabird nest colonies.
  • Full day in Denali National Park.
  • Birding the Denali Highway, one of the premier scenic drives of the world.

In addition to enjoying great birds such as Harlequin Duck, Tufted and Horned Puffins, Willow Ptarmigan, Gyrfalcon, Boreal Chickadee, and Northern Hawk-Owl, you’ll learn about Alaska’s geology, plants, and wildlife. Your guides are Ivan Phillipsen and Emily Mount from Wild Latitudes, a small birding and nature tour company based in Portland, Oregon.

Note that the internal flight from Juneau to Anchorage, as well as your flights to and from Alaska are not covered by the trip fee. Please ask for the complete itinerary for more details.

Cost: $3,095 per person based on double occupancy. Single supplement is $750. This includes all meals, park fees, and ground/water transportation. Limited to 10 participants. Itinerary and details at Contact Rubi Abrams or Pat Kirkpatrick for more information.

FULL Peru Birding – Amazon to Andes

October 18-27, 2018


Peru has one of the greatest concentrations of biodiversity on Earth – perhaps the greatest in parts of western Amazonia.  It’s noted for the world’s second highest number of bird species after Colombia, and has more than 1,800 species recorded, including over 100 endemics.  With a rich pre-Hispanic heritage culminating in the remarkable Inca civilization, Peru is a paradise for those with a love for birds, and so much more.

Though each day will focus on birds, your expert guides from Holbrook Travel will introduce you to the full spectrum of Peru’s geographical, biological, and cultural riches, from rainforest to Andean mountains:

  • The chilly Humboldt Current, as unpredictable as it is bounteous, with its adjacent coastal deserts and oases.
  • The high Andes with its snow-capped peaks, puna grasslands, mountain lakes, the ancient city of Cuzco – center of the Inca universe – and the dusty, windswept fortress of Ollantaytambo.
  • The sacred Urubamba Valley, food basket to the Incas and gateway to mystical Machu Picchu and the eastern slope cloud forests. Of course you’ll visit Machu Picchu!
  • The lowland rainforests and rivers of western Amazonia.

Some of the many birds include Festive Coquette and Black-eared Fairy hummingbirds, Blue-crowned Trogon, Horned Screamer, Hoatzin, Cuvier’s Toucan, Inca Wren, Cusco Brush Finch, Collared Forest-Falcon, and dozens of Red-and-Green Macaws at a macaw clay lick.

Cost:  $3,125 per person, based on double occupancy. Single supplement is $355. Cost includes all meals, ground transportation, and flights within Peru. It does not include flights to and from Peru.

Limited to 12 participants. Contact Pat Kirkpatrick or Rubi Abrams for more information and a detailed itinerary or if you would like to be added to a waitlist for this trip.

FULL Oaxaca, Mexico

December 11-21, 2018

Orange-breasted Bunting by Ed Eder

The state of Oaxaca is wonderfully diverse in flora and fauna, history, culture cuisine and scenery. Led by the fabulous Mark Pretti of Nature Tours, this trip is designed to provide optimum exposure to this richness at a comfortable pace while enjoying unique and superb lodging, great natural history and birds. You will:

  • Explore Teotitlan, a Zapotec town well known for its weavings and impressive ruins of Monte Alban as well as its birds.
  • Enjoy Sierra Jaurez to enjoy the Madrean forest with giant agaves and other flowering plants to see the endemic bird species of the area.
  • Move onto the Sierra Miahuatlan mountain ridge area surrounded by pine forest to see many hummingbirds and orioles, etc.
  • Traverse a spectacular transect from the high mountains to the Pacific coast with stops in the evergreen forests of the coffee growing areas.
  • Visit the Puerto Escondido area at the mouth of the Rio Colotepec, rich in shorebirds.
  • Enjoy a day of culture, cuisine and ethnobotany with the staff of Seasons of My Heart Cooking School.

Cost: Final cost to be announced, but will be between $3,200 and $3,275 per person, based on double occupancy. Single supplement is $300. Includes all meals, lodging, entrance fees and local transportation. Limited to nine participants. If you are interested, contact Pat Kirkpatrick or Rubi Abrams for more information.