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Travel with GGAS

See the birds of the world with Golden Gate Audubon!

See flamingos by the thousands in Namibia and visit Botswana’s greatest wildlife havens along the Okavango Delta. Get up-close views of grey whales and nesting seabirds off the coast of Baja California. Explore the birds, culture and cuisine of Oaxaca. Listen to the sounds of millions of puffins singing in the perpetual summer sunlight of the Icelandic coast. You can experience these adventures and so much more with Golden Gate Audubon.

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 patkirkpatrick14@gmail.com or Rubi Abrams at rabrams2@pacbell.net.

Each trip includes a registration fee that benefits Golden Gate Audubon’s conservation and environmental education programs. You will not only enjoy a terrific vacation, but you will help 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.

 

2018

Oaxaca, Mexico FULL

December 11 -21, 2018

Orange-breasted Bunting on Oaxaca trip, by Ed Eder

Harboring about ten percent of Earth’s biodiversity, Mexico is one of the most biologically rich countries in the world. During this natural adventure, explore and learn about some of that richness as you travel through the valley of Oaxaca, the bordering sierras, and the lovely Pacific coast.

Tropical deciduous forest, shade-grown coffee plantations, the lush evergreen forests of the Sierra Norte and the Sierra Madre del Sur, mangroves, beaches, and the arid scrub of the Oaxaca valley make up the varied sites you’ll visit to enjoy the birds, natural history, and culture of southern Mexico. During the journey, you wil experience fantastic birding as we search for species such as Dwarf Jay, Red Warbler, Bumblebee Hummingbird, Mountain and Citreoline Trogons, White-throated Magpie Jay, Ocellated Thrasher, Oaxaca Sparrow, Gray-breasted Woodpecker, Gray-barred Wren, Russet-crowned Motmot, Spot-breasted Oriole, and many others. You’ll also tour the Zapotec ruins of Monte Alban, visit a master weaver in Teotitlan del Valle, tour the Oaxacan Cultural Museum, enjoy a boat trip through a gorgeous mangrove estuary, and spend an unforgettable day with Seasons of My Heart Cooking School as we tour the Mercado Abastos, enjoy a superb lecture on regional farming, culture and cuisine, and savor a delicious lunch.

Cost: $3,200 per person, double occupancy; $300 single supplement. Limit 9 people

If you are interested, contact Pat Kirkpatrick patkirkpatrick14@gmail.com or Rubi Abrams rabrams2@pacbell.net for more information.

2019

Palm Deserts and the Salton Sea  FULL

January 28 – February 1, 2019

 

Greater Roadrunner by Eddie Bartley

On this five day tour explore California’s unique Mojave and Coloradan desert systems to search for specialized avifauna and other wildlife adapted to thrive in arid conditions PLUS the wildly scenic and wonderfully eccentric Salton Sea. With desert experienced nature & bird guides from Nature Trip, travel as a small group in a spacious and comfortable van  to visit San Andreas fault Geothermal zones, High Desert, Joshua Tree habitats, Palm Desert Oasis, the ultra-rich delta of the Imperial Valley, the incomparable Salton Sea, and Anza Borrego, California’s largest state park. Your guides for this trip, Eddie Bartley & Noreen Weeden, have been leading Nature Trip tours since 2004 in California and birding the Palm Desert region for over 25 years.

Estimated Expedition fees for this 4 night / 5 day trip: $1,450.00 per person USD based on double occupancy Single Supplement of $320.00

Contact Rubi Abrams rabrams2@pacbell.net or Pat Kirkpatrick patkirkpatrick14@gmail.com for more information.

 

 

Baja, Mexico: Birds and Whales Only 1 spot left!

February 23 – March 2, 2019

Xantu’s Hummingbird, photo by Shellie Bailey-Shah

Mexico’s southern Baja peninsula is a major wintering area for birds from western North America, and its near-shore waters are rich and diverse. You will bird the foothills, desert, estuaries, and coastlines, and spend one day going out in Magdalena Bay to observe mother Grey Whales with their calves. If you are lucky, the mothers might bring their calves to your boat to touch them, a most magical and memorable experience. Juan-Carlos Solis of Quetzal Adventures is leading this popular trip again and will help you find Xantus’s Hummingbird, Belding’s Yellowthroat, Vermilion Flycatcher, Crested Caracara, Lark Bunting, Blue-footed Booby, Magnificent Frigatebird, and more.

Cost: $2,684 per person, double occupancy. Limit 10 people.

If you are interested, contact Pat Kirkpatrick patkirkpatrick14@gmail.com or Rubi Abrams rabrams2@pacbell.net.

 

 

A South Texas Adventure   FULL

April 14 – 23, 2019

Green Jay by Eddie Bartley

Visit the famous avian migrant traps along the central & southern Texas Coast during the peak period of the Gulf of Mexico spring migration.

Easily explore the distinctive sub- tropical habitats of the Rio Grande Valley in wonderful parks & refuges. Observe unique avifauna and other wildlife that exists no where else in the U.S.Enjoy a full day nature tour of the world famous King Ranch.

Travel as a small group in a spacious and comfortable van with experienced nature & bird guides. Your guides for this trip, Eddie Bartley & Noreen Weeden, have been leading Nature Trip tours since 2004 in California & 2005 in Texas. Guides from Texas will also be employed during this expedition for areas where their local expertise is unique such as King Ranch.

Estimated Expedition fees for this 9 night / 10 day trip: $2,850.00 per person USD based on double occupancy Single Supplement of $750.00

Contact Rubi Abrams rabrams2@pacbell.net or Pat Kirkpatrick patkirkpatrick14@gmail.com for more information.

 

 

Southeast Arizona

May 11 – 17, 2019

Flame-colored Tanager by Carlos Alesandrini

Southeast Arizona is one of the most biologically diverse areas in the United States. Habitats include the Sonoran Desert with its dramatic columnar cacti, the Chihuahuan desert with its grasslands and desert scrub, and the dramatic “Sky Islands” where species from the Rocky Mountains and Mexico’s Sierra Madre come together. During this trip, encounter a great diversity of plants and animals and enjoy fine weather at one of the richest times of the year. Visit many of the birding and wildlife hotspots—Madera Canyon, the Patagonia area, Huachuca Canyon and the San Pedro River. You will likely see Elegant Trogon, Gray Hawk, Vermilion Flycatcher, Painted Redstart, Grace’s, Lucy’s, Red-faced and other warblers, Thick-billed Kingbird, multiple hummingbird species, and many more. Learn about the general ecology of the area and the relationships among southeast Arizona’s birds, plants, mammals, reptiles and insects. Mark Pretti, of Mark Pretti Nature Tours will be your guide in his home state.

Cost: $2,175 per person, double occupancy; $260 single supplement. Limit 8 people.

If you are interested, contact Pat Kirkpatrick patkirkpatrick14@gmail.com or Rubi Abrams rabrams2@pacbell.net.

 

 

Montana: Birds and Wildlife of Big Sky Country

June 25 – June 30, 2019

Chestnut-collared Longspur by USFWS

Montana is a beautiful, wild state with a wide range of natural wonders. Join this exciting tour of ‘Big Sky Country,’ to explore its charming birds and amazing mammalian fauna. The range of habitats on this tour– from open plains and wetlands to barren mountain slopes– will provide many opportunities to see a diverse group of birds, other animals, plants, and geological marvels. Visit the local wildlife refuges to look for grassland birds at Great Falls. Then work your way west and north along the Rocky Mountain Front. Spend a full day venturing into Glacier National Park for high-mountain bird species and you may see mountain goats, elk, or even a Grizzly Bear! After crossing the Rockies stay two nights at a lodge outside of White Fish. The Flathead Valley has numerous birding hotspots to explore. One possible highlight is a gondola ride to the top of Big Mountain, which has great views. Lastly, go on a safari-style drive through the National Bison Range where you will likely see herds of Bison as well as elk, deer, pronghorn, coyotes, and more.

Cost: $1,845 per person, double occupancy; $400 single supplement. Limit 10 people.

Contact Rubi Abrams rabrams2@pacbell.net or Pat Kirkpatrick patkirkpatrick14@gmail.com for more information.

 

Iceland: Birds, Botany, and Geology  FULL: Waitlist available

July 8 – 18, 2019

Atlantic Puffin by Wild Latitudes

You’ve probably heard that Iceland is a great place to visit for nature travelers. It’s true! This small island nation in the North Atlantic is like nowhere else in the world. Iceland’s combination of geologic wonders, abundant and ever-present bird life, and a subtle but fascinating ora make it a delightful country to explore.

Iceland emerged from the sea less than 20 million years ago as a great cluster of lava-spewing volcanic fissures. During the last Ice Age, the entire island was covered in thousands of feet of glacial ice. All life on the island today has descended from colonizing plants and animals that arrived after the Ice Age, which ended only 12,000 years ago. The plants and wildlife of Iceland are an interesting mix of European and North American species, as well as species representing either boreal or arctic environments. The low human population density on the island has allowed for nature to dominate Iceland’s beautiful landscapes.

What this far-flung land lacks in bird species diversity, it makes up for in sheer avian spectacle. Birds are singing, nesting, and foraging seemingly everywhere you go in Iceland. Millions of puffins and other seabirds crowd seaside cliffs while shorebirds and waterbirds are practically underfoot in many fields and wetlands. Their songs and cries fill the air 24 hours a day in the perpetual summer daylight. Naturalists who also love geology will get their fill of stunning volcanic landscapes, many of which have been sculpted over millenia by glaciers or the pounding sea.

Cost: $4,695 per person, double occupancy; $1400 single supplement. Limit 14 people.

Contact Rubi Abrams rabrams2@pacbell.net or Pat Kirkpatrick patkirkpatrick14@gmail.com for more information.

Namibia and Botswana FULL: Waitlist available

August 25 – September 5, 2019

Southern Carmine Bee-eater by Andre Stapelberg

This fabulous 12-day trip is a birding and wildlife adventure including the desert coast, the Namib Escarpment and two of the world’s greatest wildlife havens, Etosha National Park and the Okavango. We will sample an amazing variety of habitats, starting in Walvis Bay where we expect to see Greater and Lesser Flamingos (thousands), Chestnut-banded Plover and hopefully Damara Tern. A boat trip will likely afford sightings of Cape Fur Seal, Heaviside’s Dolphin and other mammals. We will then explore the scenic Erongo Mountain Range, where we’ll look for White-tailed Shrike, Rockrunner, Damara Red-billed Hornbill and many other birds. Then, four nights in the massive Etosha National Park should reward us with sightings of Kori Bustard, Secretarybird and hopefully Lion, Leopard, Cheetah (the big cats do need luck), Black Rhino, African Elephant, Burchell’s Zebra and many other mammals and birds. We then enter Botswana and stay a couple of days on the banks of the Okavango River just where this large river widens to form a giant inland delta that never reaches the sea, instead sinking into the deep sands of the Kalahari. Here on the Panhandle of the Okavango Delta, we may see Hippo, Nile Crocodile, Sable and Roan Antelopes and a big variety of birds such as Pel’s Fishing Owl, Slaty Egret, African Skimmer, lots of bee-eaters, kingfishers and lots more. We fly out of Maun, Botswana, on Day 12.

This trip will be led by Birding Ecotours, which is based in South Africa.

Cost: R 62,800 per person double occupancy (as of Aug 1, 2018=$4,762) Limit 8 people; Single supplement R9,100 ($690)

If you are interested, contact Pat Kirkpatrick patkirkpatrick14@gmail.com or Rubi Abrams rabrams2@pacbell.net.

 

 

Botswana and Namibia FULL: Waitlist available

September 6 – September 17, 2019

Bare-cheeked Babbler by Martin Benadie

This fabulous 12-day trip is a birding and wildlife adventure including the Okavango Delta, Etosha National Park, the Namib Escarpment and the desert coast. We start in Botswana’s, Okavango Delta before heading to one of the world’s greatest game parks, Etosha National Park. We then continue westwards first to the rugged Namib Escarpment, and finally to the coastal desert around the huge Walvis Bay lagoon. The habitats encountered during this tour are varied, from the wooded banks of the big Okavango River right through to the Namib Desert, and everything else in between. On the banks of Botswana’s Okavango River,  we will look for Hippo, Nile Crocodile, Sable and Roan Antelopes and a good number of birds that are more easily found in Botswana than elsewhere – these include the likes of Pel’s Fishing Owl, Slaty Egret, African Skimmer and others – plus stacks of brightly-colored bee-eaters, kingfishers and (as always) many more. We then head for one of Africa’s greatest game parks, the massive Etosha National Park, where we spend four nights. Here, we’ll look for all kinds of special birds such as the world’s heaviest flying bird, Kori Bustard, Secretarybird and stacks of others while we also make it an important goal to find African megafauna. We hope to find Lion, Leopard, Cheetah, Black Rhino African Elephant, Burchell’s Zebra and all the other big (and small!) mammals. We will look for localized birds of the scenic Namib Escarpment and end the trip in Walvis Bay where tens of thousands of Greater and Lesser Flamingos inhabit the huge Walvis Bay Lagoon and environs. Here, we can also do a morning boat trip in search of Cape Fur Seal,  Heaviside’s Dolphin and other marine mammals.

This trip will be led by Birding Ecotours, which is based in South Africa.

Cost: R62,800 per person sharing, assuming 8-9 participants. Or R68,100 if
only 7 participants. Or R72,750 if only 6 participants. Single supplement: R9,100 (for those not wanting to share a room or for whom we can’t find someone to share a room with)

If you are interested, contact Pat Kirkpatrick patkirkpatrick14@gmail.com or Rubi Abrams rabrams2@pacbell.net.

 

Oaxaca, Mexico

December 3-13, 2019

Boat-billed Heron by Michele Weisz

Harboring about ten percent of Earth’s biodiversity, Mexico is one of the most biologically rich countries in the world. During this natural adventure, explore and learn about some of that richness as you travel through the valley of Oaxaca, the bordering sierras, and the lovely Pacific coast.

Tropical deciduous forest, shade-grown coffee plantations, the lush evergreen forests of the Sierra Norte and the Sierra Madre del Sur, mangroves, beaches, and the arid scrub of the Oaxaca valley make up the varied sites you’ll visit to enjoy the birds, natural history, and culture of southern Mexico. During the journey, you wil experience fantastic birding as we search for species such as Dwarf Jay, Red Warbler, Bumblebee Hummingbird, Mountain and Citreoline Trogons, White-throated Magpie Jay, Ocellated Thrasher, Oaxaca Sparrow, Gray-breasted Woodpecker, Gray-barred Wren, Russet-crowned Motmot, Spot-breasted Oriole, and many others. You’ll also tour the Zapotec ruins of Monte Alban, visit a master weaver in Teotitlan del Valle, tour the Oaxacan Cultural Museum, enjoy a boat trip through a gorgeous mangrove estuary, and spend an unforgettable day with Seasons of My Heart Cooking School as we tour the Mercado Abastos, enjoy a superb lecture on regional farming, culture and cuisine, and savor a delicious lunch.

Cost: $3,300 per person, double occupancy; $300 single supplement. Limit 8 people

If you are interested, contact Pat Kirkpatrick patkirkpatrick14@gmail.com or Rubi Abrams rabrams2@pacbell.net for more information.