Field Trips

November 1st, 2017

Point Pinole Regional Shoreline, Richmond
(Centennial and Second Friday bird walk)
Friday, November 10, 9:00 a.m. — noon
Cathy Bleier, 510-414-5719 (cell);; (leaders vary by month)

We’ll walk 2.5 — 3 miles along the shoreline and through grasslands and eucalyptus woodland. GGAS helped the East Bay Regional Park District acquire this park, one of the last natural shoreline areas of San Pablo Bay, in 1973.  Check out the bird life on ebird:

We’ll meet at the parking lot off Giant Highway, about a mile southwest of Atlas Road. Please bring binoculars. PARKING FEE MAY BE REQUIRED. Heavy rain cancels (call if you’re not sure). Google Maps link:



Audubon Canyon Ranch Martin Griffin Preserve, Bolinas Lagoon, Marin County
(Centennial bird walk)
Saturday, November 11, 10:00 a.m. — 1:00 p.m.
Maureen Lahiff, , 510.484.6529

This previously-scheduled trip had to be cancelled due to air quality issues from the Napa and Sonoma fires. If you’ve already signed up, you don’t need to contact Maureen again.

In 1961, Golden Gate Audubon was one of four local Audubon Chapters that helped to purchase Canyon Ranch to preserve a major heron and egret rookery. Come learn and see what’s happened since then. There are 4 short walks we can take, depending on weather and participants’ interests: to an overlook where we can see the shape of Bolinas Lagoon, to the Clem Miller Overlook to see wintering shorebirds and water birds, to the heronry overlook, and under the heronry along the creek. Participants may bring their lunch to eat at the picnic tables in the ranch yard after our walks, or venture on their own to near-by Bolinas. Restrooms and water available. ACR requests a donation from each participant. The suggested amount is $20.

This trip is limited to 16 people. Directions and more information will be provided to participants. To sign up, please email Maureen at . 


Birding the Bay Trail by Bicycle
Sunday, Nov 12, 9:30 a.m. — 1 p.m.
Cathy Bleier (510) 414-5719,, and Pat Greene, (415) 481 5469,

Meet at 9:30 AM at the south end of Bolivar Drive in Aquatic Park in Berkeley near the playground and restrooms. (This is a 10 minute ride from North Berkeley or Downtown Berkeley BART; there is also parking along Bolivar). We’ll ride ~15 flat miles, birding a falling tide. We’ll go first around Aquatic Park, then take the multiuser bridge to the Bay Trail, possibly head partway to Emeryville, then north past Pt. Isabel to Meeker Slough. Helmets required. Bring binoculars and snacks; wear layers. Call or email Pat if you want to borrow binoculars. Rain cancels. If the weather is questionable, send your e-mail address to Pat ( to receive early AM news on the status of the ride.  Email Cathy Bleier with other questions ( This birding ride is co-listed with Grizzly Peak Cyclists.


Hilltop Lake Park, Richmond
Wednesday, November 15, 9:00 — 10:45 a.m.
Cathy Bleier 510-414-5719 (cell);

Join me for my monthly walk at Hilltop Lake. 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:

If you’re coming from Highway 80, take Richmond Parkway exit west, turn on to Lakeside Drive by the Hilltop YMCA and then take first left into the YMCA parking lot. Follow the parking lot arrows down to lower lot, up again and left to the end of the lot at the entrance to the park. Please bring binoculars. Also, despite heavy daily use by Y patrons (including me!), there have been occasional break-ins, so please don’t leave valuables in sight. NO RESTROOM AVAILABLE AT THIS SITE. Heavy rains cancel. Call if you’re not sure. Google Maps link:


Penn Hughes’ Third Wednesday walk will return


Corona Heights, San Francisco
Friday, November 17, 8 — 10 a.m.
(Third Friday bird walk)
Brian Fitch, (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:


Birds of the San Francisco and San Pablo Bays
Cruise with Dolphin Charters
Saturday, November 18, 8:45 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Leader Maureen Lahiff, 510 484-6529 cell,

This trip is FULL.

San Francisco Bay, the largest and one of the most important estuaries along the Pacific Flyway, is right in our own backyard. Join us as we cruise from Berkeley toward the Golden Gate Bridge and north into San Pablo Bay, hugging the shorelines and waters that are home to thousands of wintering birds.

Leaving from Berkeley, we will proceed along the old Berkeley ferry pier to see what’s shaking, turn north and head over to Southhampton Shoal, and then on to the Richmond Inner Harbor and Brooks Island and its breakwater. Leaving this area we’ll travel to Red Rock before passing under the Richmond/San Rafael Bridge and our views of East and West Brothers Islands. This trip offers water bird and marine mammal viewing in stunning locations, many of which can only be seen by boat. In addition to the many ducks, loons, pelicans and gulls that come into the Bay for the winter, we can also expect to see resident cormorants, grebes, terns and murres.

Dress in layers. Bring liquids and lunch. Trip is limited to 29 people.

Cost is $85 for GGAS members and $95 for non-members.

Depart and return: Berkeley Marina (Directions and trip details will be emailed to registered participants about two weeks before.


Fort Mason Community Garden, San Francisco
Sunday, November 19, 8:00 — 10:00 a.m. (Third Sunday bird walk)
David Assmann,

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 November can be as high as 50. We’ll explore Aquatic Park for returning Red-Breasted Mergansers and other ducks, grebes and loons. The tide will be coming in, so we’ll look for Wandering Tattlers and Black Turnstones on the shore. 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:


Lake Merritt and Lakeside Park, Oakland
Wednesday, November 22, 9:30 a.m. – noon
(Fourth Wednesday bird walk)
Ruth Tobey, 510.717.3264,; Hilary Powers,

Yes, it’s the day before Thanksgiving! Come (and bring your house guests) for one of the year’s prime birding days at the lake – all the winter migrants should be here enjoying their stay at Club Bird.

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.


Elsie Roemer Bird Sanctuary and Crab Cove, Alameda
Sunday, November 26, 8:30 — noon
Maureen Lahiff,, 510.484.6529

Prelude: At 8:00 am, before too many runners and dog walkers are using the beach, there is a chance to see wintering Snowy Plovers. The symbolic plover enclosure ropes off a small area on the beach. Meet at the intersection of Shoreline Drive and Harbor Light Road, short URL

The millions of shorebirds that winter on San Francisco Bay make it a state and global Important Bird Area. Many ducks and other waterbirds winter here, too. Bring your Thanksgiving guests to see one of the big reasons to give thanks for SF Bay.

However you come into Alameda, please come to the intersection of Broadway and Shore Line Drive. Parking on Broadway and streets off Broadway is the best bet.

Except for when we’re on the beach to watch the plovers (from a respectful distance), we’ll be walking short distances on level, mostly paved paths, so this trip is accessible for birders with mobility limitations. Bring water and sun protection. Spotting scopes welcome and appreciated. Restrooms and water available along Shoreline Drive near the Sanctuary and at the Crab Cove Visitors Center. The short URL for Elsie Roemer Bird Sanctuary is and for the Crab Cove Visitor Center it’s