Field Trips

June 1st, 2017
 

Lake Merritt and Lakeside Park, Oakland
Wednesday, June 28, 9:30 a.m. – noon
(Fourth Wednesday bird walk)
Hilary Powers, 510.834.1066, hilary@powersedit.com; Ruth Tobey, 510.717.3264, ruthtobey@gmail.com

Summer is a-comin’ in and the birds are a-goin’ out – but we might have a few Eared and Horned Grebes in breeding plumage. The cormorant rookery will be in full swing, and the lake and surrounding park will surely have other delights to offer.

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.

 

San Francisco Botanical Garden
Sunday, July 2, 8 — 10:30 a.m.
(First Sunday bird walk)
Dominik Mosur, polskatata@yahoo.com; Allan Ridley, allanrid@pacbell.net; Helen McKenna; Ginny Marshall; Robert Cullison, robbo50@sbcglobal.net; Angie Geiger, acgeig@sbcglobal.net; Kimberly Janarone, kmj@ucsc.edu (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 AM. 

 

Tilden Nature Area, Tilden Regional Park, Berkeley
Friday, July 7, 8:30 — 11:00 a.m.
(First Friday bird walk)
Alan Kaplan, LNKPLN67@gmail.com or (510) 526-7609 for messages. 

Meet in the Tilden Nature Area parking lot (in front of the EEC/Little Farm) for a walk to Jewel Lake and back again. Today’s theme: Breeding Bird Atlases of Bay Area counties. Restrooms and water at the start and mid-way. 

 

Hilltop Lake Park, Richmond
Wednesday, July 12, 9 — 10:45 a.m.
Cathy Bleier, 510-414-5719 (cell); csbleier@sbcglobal.net.

Let’s look for what we can find in the doldrums of summer.  Last month’s baby Coots, Pied-billed Grebes, and Wild Turkeys were fun, along with the passel of Hooded Orioles (must be those palms upslope around the mall).  Easy, flat 0.75 mile walk around Hilltop Lake in Richmond. Freshwater pond surrounded by willows, cattails, and native and ornamental trees and shrubs. Check out ebird bar chart for this location at: http://ebird.org/ebird/barchart?byr=1900&eyr=2017&bmo=1&emo=12&r=L1405454.

If you’re coming from Highway 80, take Richmond Parkway exit west off highway 80 (east from San Pablo Ave.), turn on to Lakeside Drive and then your immediate first left into the YMCA parking lot. Follow the arrows (parts of the lot are one-way) to the left down to lower parking lot and then up again and turn left to the far end of the lot at the entrance to the park. Carpool if you can since most of the lot belongs to the Y and it’s now busy with summer camp. Please bring binoculars. NO RESTROOM AVAILABLE AT THIS SITE.

 

Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center, Hayward
Friday, July 14, 9 a.m. — Noon
(Second Friday bird walk; leaders vary by month)
Steve and Carol Lombardi, cell 925/785-0130, hotrock175@gmail.com 

July is the start of southbound shorebird migration, so early shorebirds should be coming through. The Least and Forster’s Tern colonies should still be active. And teenage Avocets and Stilts should be hanging around with their parents. We’ll walk from the interpretive center to the tern colonies and return, about 3 miles on wide, level roads. All skill levels welcome. Port-a-potty, but no water, available at start. The interpretive center should be open by the time we return, and has “real” restrooms and water, along with lots of interesting displays. (http://www.haywardrec.org/150/Hayward-Shoreline-Interpretive-Center).

The H.A.R.D. Interpretive Center is near the end of Breakwater Ave. in Hayward. From west-bound Hwy 92, exit Clawiter (last exit before the SM Bridge); go straight across the Clawiter intersection, make a left past the Union 76 station onto Breakwater Ave.; Breakwater has recently been realigned, so in 0.3 miles, make a left to continue on Breakwater at the new intersection. The interpretive center is about 1 mile on your right (Breakwater dead ends just past the interpretive center). Google Maps link: https://goo.gl/maps/SoMZ8Kcvxmk 

 

Fort Mason Community Garden, San Francisco
Sunday, July 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. The focus will be looking for late nesting birds and possibly some early migrating shorebirds.  The garden will have a variety of land birds. Although July is usually fairly quiet there can be surprises.  Last July a Summer Tanager showed up. 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). Google Maps link: https://goo.gl/maps/v8etgWCoSyJ2 

 

Dimond Park and Sausal Creek, Oakland
Wednesday July 19, 8:30 – 10:00 a.m.
(Third Wednesday bird walk)
Penn Hughes, penn.hughes@att.net or (510) 499-5491 for messages.

Meet at the parking lot above the recreation center. We will loop through the lower creek area, then through the playground area, and then up Sausal Creek.

The car entrance to Dimond Park is at the corner of Hanly Road (from Lyman Road (Fruitvale Avenue)) and El Centro Avenue (from Park Blvd.)  The road loops left up to the parking lot. There are rest rooms in Dimond Park, for sure open later, perhaps NOT OPEN at 8:30am. Please, no dogs. 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! 

 

Corona Heights, San Francisco
Friday, July 21, 8 — 10 a.m.
(Third Friday bird walk)
Kimberly Jannarone, kmj@ucsc.edu (Leaders vary by month.)

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. Change due to parking lot closure: Meet on Museum Way, outside of the closed Randall Museum parking area.  Those who drive to the event should park on Roosevelt Way and walk the short distance down Museum Way. Although the Randall has temporarily moved to new quarters during renovation, this monthly walk will continue to meet at the Museum Way location. Google map: https://goo.gl/maps/nji7XAvpnbM2 

 

Hayward Shoreline (Winton Ave. Access), Hayward
Saturday, July 22, 9 a.m. — noon
Cathy Bleier, csbleier@sbcglobal.net, 510-414-5719

Come join me for a 3 to 4 mile round trip walk along Hayward Shoreline on a rising tide, from Winton Ave north.  Let’s see what shorebirds, passerines, raptors or others we can find.  Check out the possibilities at ebird:  http://ebird.org/ebird/barchart?byr=1900&eyr=2017&bmo=1&emo=12&r=L470891. Please bring binoculars and a hat and water for sun, or possibly a jacket for fog and wind! Take Winton Ave exit off 880, drive to its end, past the slough and then turn right and drive to the very end of the parking lot where there’s an outhouse.

 

Lake Merritt and Lakeside Park, Oakland
Wednesday, July 26, 9:30 a.m. – noon
(Fourth Wednesday bird walk)
Hilary Powers, 510.834.1066, hilary@powersedit.com; (Ruth is off this month, but will return)

We will observe the progress on the Double-crested Cormorant colony, check for nests and newly fledged young for Robins and Bluebirds and observe the Canada Geese in their molt

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.

 

Further Out


Farallon Islands Pelagic Trip with Alvaro’s Adventures – Half Moon Bay
(GGAS Centennial Field Trip)
Friday, August 11 — 6:30 a.m. check-in for 7 a.m. departure, with return between 5 and 5:30 p.m.
Alvaro Jaramillo and GGAS trip leader Maureen Lahiff

August is the premier time to see nesting birds such as Tufted Puffin, Common Murres, Pigeon Guillemot and Cassin’s Auklet. Offshore shearwaters, Black-footed Albatross, storm-petrels, Humpback and perhaps Blue whales! The star of the show is Southeast Farallon Island, the most important seabird island on the West Coast south of Canada.

Golden Gate Audubon’s earliest conservation battles involved protecting the Farallon Islands from oil dumping. Learn about the natural and human history of these mountaintop islands 26 miles off the coast, and the challenges of preserving this crucial habitat. This trip leaves from Pillar Point Harbor in Half Moon Bay.

Cost:  $135 per person. Advance registration required with payment by credit card or Paypal at http://alvarosadventures.com/ggas-farallon/. Limited to 33 people. Spaces will be held for GGAS members until July 24; after that, any remaining spaces will be available to the general public.

To honor Golden Gate Audubon’s Centennial, Alvaro will make a donation to GGAS for every person attending this trip.

Are you new to birding on the open ocean and curious about what to expect? Read about “Pelagic Birding for Beginners” by Maureen Lahiff on our blog

 



Pelagic Trips

See birds of the open water! (And maybe some marine mammals.) Shearwater Journeys, Alvaro’s Adventures, and the Oceanic Society all offer trips from the Bay Area. Register in advance since these trips often fill up. Never tried a pelagic (ocean) birding trip? Read our blog post on Pelagic Birding for Beginners!

Shearwater Journeys Pelagic Trips

Shearwater Journeys has offered GGAS members discounted pelagic trips for more than a decade. 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 Gray Whale watching trips from Half Moon Bay. Some of their guides have particular expertise in birds; ask their office for dates of trips with bird experts. 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.

 



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.



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.

We also post all our field trips on Meetup.com, which can be a convenient way to get reminders of each upcoming trip via email. See www.meetup.com/Golden-Gate-Audubon-Society/.

 



Other Bay Area Bird Walks

Mike Simms compiles a quarterly list of bird walks throughout the Bay Area, including walks by other Audubon chapters. His current list can be found through the Ohlone Audubon web site.