Field Trips, past and present

Past and currently scheduled field trips are listed here by date in descending order (i.e., latest first).

Sacramento Delta Boat Trip - Marin Audubon Members Only. Online Signups Begin December 11, 2017
Location: Boat leaves from and returns to the Antioch Marina
Trip Leader(s): David Wimpfheimer
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Sunday, February 04, 2018
Start Time: 8:15 AM
End Time: 4:30 PM
Description: Join us aboard Dolphin Charters' River Dolphin for a wonderful day of exploring the richness of the California Delta with naturalist David Wimpfheimer as our guide. Ronn Patterson, a Bay Area historian, naturalist, and owner of Dolphin Charters, will be our captain. The boat is very comfortable and the outer decks provide views over the levees of the amazing array of birds found in the Delta during the winter. This rich area hosts a wide variety of raptors including Swainson's Hawks, Peregrine Falcons, and Great Horned Owls. Large numbers of shorebirds, Sandhill Cranes, Tundra Swans, Snow, Canada and White-fronted Geese, ducks, as well as gulls, terns, bitterns and passerines make the cruise a highlight for birders. Uncommon mammals such as beaver, river otter, and mink often add interest to the cruise. We also will learn about the history, ecology and politics of the levees and the Delta as we travel through its meandering channels.

Given that our boat trip is limited to just 25 participants, this trip is limited to Marin Audubon Society "Members Only" at a cost of $105. Our "Members Only" field trips are limited to chapter-supporting members of Marin Audubon Society (MAS). A membership with National Audubon Society does not qualify for participation in MAS "Members Only" field trips. Our "Members Only" field trips are a specific benefit we provide to MAS chapter supporting members for their support of Marin Audubon and the work MAS undertakes in protecting and managing local habitats for the benefit of Marin's resident and migratory birds.

Registration and payment for the trip will begin on December 11, 2017. Register at www.marinaudubon.org. (For Non-MAS members, we invite you to join MAS at www.marinaudubon.org to participate in this trip.)

We recommend booking your space asap as our boat trips frequently sell out quickly. Include the name, email address, and contact phone number of each participant. Those confirmed on the trip will receive directions to the Antioch Marina and other instructions prior to the trip.
Link: http://marinaudubon.org/events-sacramento-delta-boat-trip-tickets.php

Yolo County
Location: Yolo County
Trip Leader(s): John Klobas
Start Date: Saturday, January 27, 2018
Start Time: [not specified]
End Time: [not specified]
Description: Save the date! Details will be added later.

Cypress Grove & Tom's Point
Location: Cypress Grove
Trip Leader(s): John Kelly
Start Date: Thursday, January 25, 2018
Start Time: [not specified]
End Time: [not specified]
Description: Save the date for this special trip! Details will be added later.

Bolinas Lagoon
Location: Bolinas
Trip Leader(s): Jim White & Bob Battagin
Start Date: Saturday, January 20, 2018
Start Time: [not specified]
End Time: [not specified]
Description: Save the date! Details will be added later.

Loch Lomond Yacht Harbor
Location: San Rafael
Trip Leader(s): Jim White
Start Date: Monday, January 15, 2018
Start Time: [not specified]
End Time: [not specified]
Description: Save the date! Details will be added later.

Birding the Northwest Passage
Location: tbd
Trip Leader(s): David Wimpfheimer
Start Date: Thursday, January 11, 2018
Start Time: [not specified]
End Time: [not specified]
Description: Save the Date! Details will be added later.

The Ponds at Las Gallinas
Location: Las Gallinas, San Rafael
Trip Leader(s): Sande & Bob Chilvers
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Thursday, January 04, 2018
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: Beginning birders are especially welcome on the first Thursday of each month for a leisurely walk around the Las Gallinas ponds. Join our skilled leaders as we search for waterfowl, waders, songbirds, raptors, and shorebirds. Wintering waterfowl have been arriving and provide interesting weekly sightings. Other uncommon species arrive unexpectedly such as the Loggerhead Shrike and Merlin observed by our November field trip participants.

We welcome bird enthusiasts of all levels. We all help each other to find and identify the birds, so come assist in our search. You don't even have to arrive on time because we spend the first 30-60 minutes studying the birds around the first pond and the group is easy to find. Heavy rain cancels.

Directions: From Hwy 101, exit at Smith Ranch Rd. Drive east on Smith Ranch Road toward McInnis Park. Turn left immediately after crossing the railroad tracks and drive about .5 mile through the LGVSD gates and into the parking lot at the end of the road. Meet the group by the bridge just past the parking lot. There is an outhouse in the parking area for public use or you can use the bathrooms at nearby McInnis Park.

Note the earlier starting time: 8:30 am

Richardson Bay
Location: Richardson Bay Audubon Center in Tiburon
Trip Leader(s): Bob Hinz
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Monday, December 11, 2017
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: We'll start with a walk through the Richardson Bay Audubon Center property to the "back beach" where with scopes we can see the eastern shores of the islands as well as the bay. Then it's off to the cove at the end of the bay where we may get close looks at a number of shorebird and waterbird species. Finally, we will walk along the path to Harbor Cove Way for a closer look at Pickleweed Island. Heavy rain cancels.

Directions: The Richardson Bay Audubon Center is at 376 Greenwood Beach Road. Take the Tiburon Blvd. exit from Highway 101 and drive about 0.8 mile to Greenwood Cove Road. Turn right at the traffic light toward the Audubon Center, which is about 0.5 mile farther.

Shollenberger Park
Location: Petaluma
Trip Leader(s): Peter Colasanti
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Saturday, December 09, 2017
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 1:00 PM
Description: With over 230 species recorded, Shollenberger Park is one of the major birding hotspots in the North Bay. Over half those birds are possible in early December. Let’s spend a morning watching winter birds before it turns cold. If time and interest permits, we may extend to Ellis Creek. Heavy rain cancels.

Directions: Going north on Hwy 101 from Marin, take the second Petaluma exit, which is Route 116 (Lakeville Hwy). Go east about one mile to South McDowell Blvd (4th traffic light) and turn right. Take the third right on Cader Lane and park in the lot at the end.

The Ponds at Las Gallinas
Location: San Rafael
Trip Leader(s): Sande & Bob Chilvers
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Thursday, December 07, 2017
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: Beginning birders are especially welcome on the first Thursday of each month for a leisurely walk around the Las Gallinas ponds. Join our skilled leaders as we search for waterfowl, waders, songbirds, raptors, and shorebirds. Wintering waterfowl have been arriving and provide interesting weekly sightings. Other uncommon species arrive unexpectedly such as the Loggerhead Shrike and Merlin observed by our November field trip participants.

We welcome bird enthusiasts of all levels. We all help each other to find and identify the birds, so come assist in our search. You don't even have to arrive on time because we spend the first 30-60 minutes studying the birds around the first pond and the group is easy to find. Heavy rain cancels.

Directions: From Hwy 101, exit at Smith Ranch Rd. Drive east on Smith Ranch Road toward McInnis Park. Turn left immediately after crossing the railroad tracks and drive about .5 mile through the LGVSD gates and into the parking lot at the end of the road. Meet the group by the bridge just past the parking lot. There is an outhouse in the parking area for public use or you can use the bathrooms at nearby McInnis Park.

Note the earlier starting time: 8:30 am

No. 12, Birding in Marin Series: Bahia, Rush Creek & Rowland Avenue Wetlands
Location: Novato
Trip Leader(s): Jim White and Bob Battagin
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Saturday, December 02, 2017
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Description: Please meet at the foot (east end) of Bahia Drive in Novato where Marin Audubon has completed a large restoration project. Shorebirds, ducks, herons, swallows, and rails will be reaping the benefits here for years to come. After viewing the birds and the restoration area, we intend to walk the trail along the edge of the mixed oak woodland. Next we plan to drive around to the end of Topaz Street to view the Horseshoe Pond where some diving ducks, including a few Barrow's Goldeneyes, like to winter. During the day we will practice some bird counting to help prepare for the upcoming Christmas Bird Count season. After lunch we will take a look at two nearby areas - Rush Creek and the Rowland Avenue wetlands. Heavy rain cancels.

DIRECTIONS: From Hwy 101 in North Novato, take the Atherton Avenue exit east about 0.9 miles, then turn left onto Bugeia Lane, which becomes Bahia Drive. Follow it to the end where there is street parking.

No restrooms available here.

Hamilton Wetlands
Location: Hamilton Field, Novato, CA
Trip Leader(s): David Sexton and Bill Jones
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Start Time: 8:00 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: In an annual trip to this fabulously restored habitat, Hamilton Wetlands Volunteers, David and Bill, will lead us to view the wetlands and celebrate the return of shorebirds to this former flight line and landing strip. The trip will start with a stop at the nursery where Nursery and Restoration Manager, Christina Mc Whorter, will give a brief update on the restoration and replanting progress after which our group will be allowed to visit several portions of the wetlands not usually accessible to the public. Our outing will cover both the east side and the southwest sides of the wetlands as we search for early returning shorebirds and ducks. We hope to see Sandpipers, Plovers, Yellowlegs, Willets, Long-biilled Curlews, and Marbled Godwits. We may be fortunate enough to see Phalaropes, American Wigeons, Pintails, Ruddy Ducks, and Northern Shovelers of the fall migration as well as Avocets, Black-necked Stilts, Herons, Grebes, Gulls and Terns. No recording of bird counts or estimations of flock sizes will be required of participants on this particular field trip!

DIRECTIONS: The outing will start at the Novato Skate Park at 1200 Hamilton Parkway. Take Exit 459 from Highway 101 toward Ignacio Blvd, Bel Marin Keys Blvd. Turn right on Nave Drive, then left onto North Hamilton Pkwy. The skate park is on the left. We will carpool from there. We will finish at the south end of the wetlands at noon with parking at the pool and ball fields on Hanger Avenue.

Christmas Bird Count Practice
Location: Hamilton, near Novato, CA
Trip Leader(s): David Sexton and Susan Kelly
Host: Susan Kelly, quailfriend@yahoo.com, or phone (415) 883-9505
Start Date: Sunday, November 26, 2017
Start Time: 1:00 PM
End Time: 4:00 PM
Description: Calling All Birders!
If you're thinking about participating in one or more of the three Christmas Bird Counts that Marin Audubon sponsors or just wondering what they're all about, join David Sexton and Susan Kelly for a hands-on training and information session.

David and Susan are the organizers and compilers of the Cheep Thrills Christmas Bird Count in northern Marin, which will take place on Thursday, December 14th. The other two Christmas Bird Counts are the Point Reyes Count on December 16 and the Southern Marin Count on December 30.

We'll meet at the picnic tables in the South Hamilton Park at 1:00 pm and spend about 30 minutes talking about the process, and then we'll walk out on the trail to the wetlands and count birds, recording them on the checklist for practice.

Directions:
From south Marin: Take Hwy 101 north to Nave Drive (the first exit in Novato). Follow Nave Drive for .5 mile and at the second stoplight turn right onto Main Gate Road. Follow Main Gate Road for about .5 mile until you come to the City of Novato Arts Center (just past the Unity of Marin Church, which will be on your left). At that point - where you must turn either left or right - make a right turn (following the signs to the History Museum). At the next stop sign, continue straight (on S. Palm Drive). Drive to the end of S. Palm Drive and then turn right onto Hanger Avenue. Stay on Hanger Ave. for .5 mile, driving past the Coast Guard Hanger, and turn right into the parking lot with a big sign that says "South Hamilton Park." Park and walk over to the playground, where you’ll find us at the picnic tables.

From north Marin: Take Hwy 101 south to the Bel Marin Keys/Hamilton Parkway exit. Turn right as you exit the freeway, then turn right at the next stoplight. Drive down the frontage road past the shopping center (Safeway, etc.) until you come to the first stop light, which is at Hamilton Parkway (just past McDonald's). Turn left onto Hamilton Parkway, drive .7 mile, then turn right. Turn left at the next stop sign, onto S. Palm Drive. Follow it to the end and then turn right onto Hanger Drive. Stay on Hanger Ave. for about .5 mile (drive past the Coast Guard Hanger) and turn right into the parking lot with a big sign that says "South Hamilton Park." Park and walk over to the playground, where you'll find us at the picnic tables.

Heavy rain cancels this event.

For more info about the three 2017 Christmas Bird Counts or to sign up, see http://marinaudubon.org/christmas-bird-count.php or click the link below.
Link: http://marinaudubon.org/christmas-bird-count.php

San Francisco Bay Boat Trip - Marin Audubon Chapter Supporting Members Only
Location: San Francisco Bay, The boat departs from the Berkeley Marina
Trip Leader(s): John Klobas and Sarah Brooks
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Sunday, November 19, 2017
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 4:00 PM
Description: The San Francisco Bay complex comprises one of the largest and most important estuaries along the Pacific flyway, is located in our backyard, but remains relatively unvisited. Our appreciation of the dynamics of the bay can change dramatically in the course of a day from a new perspective on the water.

Join John Klobas and his daughter Sarah Brooks for a memorable day as we cruise the bay with Ronn Patterson of Dolphin Charters in search of natural and cultural history, birds, and marine mammals. Fall is the season of mild weather and calm water on the bay as we cruise by ten islands, under two bridges, and up two creeks in four counties in search of migrating and resident waterfowl, water and shore birds, and marine mammals that call the bay's habitats home.

Leaving from the Berkeley Marina, we'll cruise the Richmond shoreline, travel by Red Rock, under the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, investigate the Brothers Islands, then head west to the Marin Islands and San Rafael Creek where we will look for Peregrine Falcons and Black Oystercatchers.

We then head south past San Quentin and into Corte Madera Creek, continue south along the Marin shoreline, then turn into Raccoon Strait, where we begin to search for Harbor porpoise, which have only recently returned to the bay after being absent for more than six decades. We'll bird Alcatraz on our way across the bay as we head toward San Francisco, where we get a close look at WWII ships, sea lions, and the bustling waterfront. From there we head toward Treasure Island, around Yerba Buena Island with its Harbor seal haul outs, under the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge, and back to the Berkeley Marina.

The trip is limited to 25 Marin Audubon Chapter Supporting members. Given that this trip is limited to just 25 participants, it is limited to Marin Audubon Society "Members Only" at a cost of $105. Our "Members Only" field trips are limited to chapter supporting members of Marin Audubon Society (MAS). A membership with National Audubon Society does not qualify for participation in MAS "Members Only" field trips. Our "Members Only" field trips are a specific benefit we provide to MAS chapter-supporting members for their support of Marin Audubon and the work MAS undertakes in protecting and managing local habitats for the benefit of Marin's resident and migratory birds.

REGISTRATION AND PAYMENT FOR THE TRIP ARE NOW UNDERWAY. Register at the link below. (For Non-MAS members we invite you to join MAS at www.marinaudubon.org to participate in this trip.) WE RECOMMEND BOOKING YOUR SPACE ASAP AS OUR BOAT TRIPS FREQUENTLY SELL OUT QUICKLY. Include the name, email address, and contact phone number of each participant. Those confirmed on the trip will receive directions to the Berkeley Marina and other instructions prior to the trip.
Document/Field Trip Report: FTR SF Bay boat trip.pdf
Link: http://marinaudubon.org/events-san-francisco-bay-boat-trip-tickets.php

No 11 Birding in Marin: Las Gallinas Storage Ponds and Hamilton Wetlands
Location: San Rafael, and Novato, CA
Trip Leader(s): Jim White and Bob Battagin
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Saturday, November 18, 2017
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Description: The Las Gallinas ponds are a great place for good views of many kinds of ducks and raptors. This is an easy 1.5 miile walk where many other species may be seen, including Ridgway's Rail and Sora. After a lunch break we will go to the Hamilton Wetlands in Novato. This extensive wetland was recently reconnected with the Bay after two decades of planning and work, and the birds have repopulated the area in big numbers. We will see the waterfowl, shorebirds, raptors, and other species that have made these new wetlands their home. DIRECTIONS: We will meet at Las Gallinas. From Hwy 101, take the Smith Ranch Road exit east toward McInnis Park. Turn left immediately after crossing the railroad tracks and continue about 0.5 mile to the Las Gallinas Ponds parking lot at the end of the road.

Laguna de Santa Rosa
Location: Sonoma County
Trip Leader(s): Lisa Hug
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Sunday, November 12, 2017
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: [not specified]
Description: We will join Lisa for a leisurely 2-miile loop walk starting at the Laguna de Santa Rosa Trailhead Parking Lot. The trail is fairly flat and goes through open meadow, abuts a riparian forest along the Laguna channel and around a lovely pond. We may see White-tailed Kites, Red-shouldered Hawks, Lincoln's Sparrows, Western Bluebirds, Pied-biilled Grebes and any number of surprises. Bring binoculars, water, snacks, and layered clothing. There is a restroom available. The walk should last about three and a half hours. We may explore a few other areas afterwards for people who want to continue birding. DIRECTIONS: From Marin, take US 101 North. Take Exit 488B to merge onto CA 12 toward Sebastopol. The Laguna de Santa Rosa Trailhead is on Highway 12, about 1 mile east of Sebastopol. It is between Llano Road and Morris Street on the north side of the road.

Rodeo Lagoon Encore
Location: Marin Headlands and Sausalito
Trip Leader(s): William Legge and David Wiechers
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Saturday, November 04, 2017
Start Time: 7:30 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: Back by popular demand, William and David are offering another morning of fall birding at Rodeo Lagoon. This is their "patch" where we observed 63 species on our September walk. With large numbers of birds moving through the area this time of year it's sure to be interesting with unusual sightings a definite possibility. We will be targeting scarcer late fall migrants. We will begin the morning with a Sea Watch at 7:30 AM. Those arriving later may join us at 8:30 AM for a circuit of the lagoon. DIRECTIONS: Head south on Hwy 101 and take the last Sausalito exit just before the Golden Gate Bridge. At the exit stop sign, turn right and go under the freeway, then follow the road down to the left. Within 300 feet turn left at the sign to the Marin Headlands (This is the only available left turn before you begin the descent into Sausalito). You should see the tunnel with the five-minute light. Proceed through the tunnel on Bunker Road to the Rodeo Lagoon Parking Lot at the end and meet by the bridge over the channel to the beach.

The Ponds at Las Gallinas
Location: San Rafael, CA
Trip Leader(s): Bob Chilvers, Len & Patti Blumin
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Thursday, November 02, 2017
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: Beginning birders are especially welcome on the first Thursday of each month for a leisurely walk around the Las Gallinas ponds. Join our skilled leaders as we search for waterfowl, waders, songbirds, raptors, and shorebirds. With fall migration underway, we are likely to spot new arrivals and maybe even a rare, unexpected migrant such as the Palm Warbler seen by many in our group in October. We welcome bird enthusiasts of all levels. We all help each other to find and identify the birds, so come assist in our search. The Las Gallinas Valley Sanitary District reports that their current work on the Miller Creek project will not interfere with public access to the area, so we can continue to plan on the usual parking arrangements there. DIRECTIONS: From Hwy 101, exit at Smith Ranch Rd. Drive east on Smith Ranch Rd. toward McInnis Park. Turn left immediately after crossing the railroad tracks and drive about .5 mile through the LGVSD gates and into the parking lot at the end of the road. Meet the group by the bridge just past the parking lot. There is an outhouse in the parking area for public use or you can use the bathrooms at nearby McInnis Park.

Left of the Fault - Point Reyes Big Day Blast Trip Signups Required
Location: Pt Reyes National Seashore
Trip Leader(s): Keith Hansen
Host: Janet Bodle, email: jlbodle@hotmail.com
Start Date: Wednesday, November 01, 2017
Start Time: 7:30 AM
End Time: 4:30 PM
Description: This Trip is Full. Join renowned bird artist Keith Hansen for a full, fine-feathered day of fall birding at Point Reyes. Sometimes thought of as "too late" for fall migrants, November is often an under appreciated time for finding rare birds. We will attempt to see at least 100 species "west of the San Andreas Fault!" We will meet in Point Reyes Station and carpool to the Outer Point hitting as many of the migrant traps as is possible. Time permitting we'll increase the list by hitting the Teal Ponds, Heart's Desire Beach, and maybe Bear Valley and Five Brooks. This is an all-day trip that is not for the faint of heart or those just looking for a leisurely bird walk. Bring a lunch and plenty of liquids. Be dressed for good, to less than good weather. Feel free to bring a scope. Only a big storm will cause us to cancel. There is no charge for this trip but signup is required, as the number of participants is limited. Contact Janet Bodle from 9 AM Monday, October 9 to Friday, October 27 if you wish to sign up. Email Janet at jlbodle@hotmail.com. AFTER 5 PM October 27 the trip slots will be filled and the participants notified. Any vacant slots after that will be allotted on a first-come, first-served basis. Please note this trip is full, as of Oct 27. Thank you for your interest.

Sandhill Cranes on Woodbridge Road
Location: Near Lodi, CA
Trip Leader(s): Paul Tebbel
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Saturday, October 28, 2017
Start Time: 1:00 PM
End Time: 6:00 PM
Description: Join western US crane expert, Paul Tebbel, for a trip in the north Delta to observe sandhill cranes, swans, geese, and other waterfowl. Most of the trip will focus on cranes, which are known for their fascinating and intricate behaviors that they display while wintering in California. You’ll learn to differentiate between the lesser and greater subspecies; recognize young of the year; and hopefully will see dancing and/or territory displays. Our guide, Paul Tebbel, has been a student of cranes for over 40 years, including 11 years as manager of Audubon’s Rowe Sanctuary in Nebraska. This trip will cover general crane viewing from 1-4 PM, then will proceed to a good viewing spot to observe the fly-in until about 5:30 PM. Participants can leave after the general crane viewing to avoid driving in the dark. However, Paul tells us that the fly-in is both a visual and auditory spectacle. Attendees should bring binoculars, spotting scopes, bug repellent, munchies, water, and folding chairs. Very little hiking is involved. Directions: We will meet at Isenberg South on Woodbridge Road. To get to Woodbridge Rd from I-5, take Peltier from the north or Hwy 12 from the south. Get onto Thornton, which runs parallel (super close) to I-5 just to the east. Turn west on Woodbridge and go about 3 miles. Pass Isenberg North and proceed another half mile to Isenberg South. There is a lovely wetland there with an ag chemical plant in the background.

Cordell Bank Pelagic Trip - Rescheduled for Oct 22
Location: From Port O Bodega, Bodega Bay
Trip Leader(s): Steve Howell & Friends
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Sunday, October 22, 2017
Start Time: 7:00 AM
End Time: 5:00 PM
Description: Strong winds over coastal waters with a small craft advisory forced a disappointing cancellation of our October 1 trip to the Cordell Bank. However, the trip has now been rescheduled for Sunday, October 22, with space available for a few additional passengers interested in voyaging to this rocky undersea bank 22 miles west of the Point Reyes headlands. Our guide, Steve Howell, suggests that this revised date is potentially good for a number of birds not usually seen earlier in the month, particularly Laysan Albatross, Short-tailed Albatross, and Ancient Murrelet. Steve will be assisted by spotters Alan Hopkins, Peter Colasanti, Mark Dettling, and Mario Balibit, who are all pelagic experts eager to help us identify whatever swims or flies by. We sail on Rick Power's Sea Angler, a 65 foot fishing charter boat suitable for birding. Both experienced and beginning birders are invited to join this trip to one of the west coast's best locations for birds and whales. The cost will be $140 per person with the trip limited to Marin Audubon Society members. Our Members Only field trips are limited to chapter-supporting members of Marin Audubon Society (MAS). A membership with National Audubon Society does not qualify for participation in MAS Members Only field trips. Our Members Only field trips are a specific benefit we provide to MAS chapter supporting members for their support of Marin Audubon and the work MAS undertakes in protecting and managing local habitats for the benefit of Marin's resident and migratory birds. Registration and payment for the trip is now available again at www.marinaudubon.org. For Non-MAS Members we invite you to join MAS at www.marinaudubon.org to participate in this trip. WE RECOMMEND BOOKING YOUR SPACE ASAP AS THERE ARE ONLY A LIMITED NUMBER OF SPACES AVAILABLE AT THIS TIME. Include the name, email address, and contact phone number of each participant. There is always a chance the trip may need to be rescheduled at the last minute due to sea conditions (Let's definitely hope not!), so we need to be able to reach participants. As the trip date approaches, we will send an email with additional trip information. Be prepared for any kind of weather with layered clothing. A rain jacket and pants are essential no matter what the weather on shore. Take seasick medication if needed. You will be on the boat all day. Bring lunch, snacks, water, a hat, and plenty of sunscreen. Directions: Head north on Highway 101 from the town of Bodega Bay. Continue past the fire station and the Tides' Wharf in Bodega Bay. Turn left on Eastshore Road and head downhill to the port.
Document/Field Trip Report: FTR Cordell Bank 10.22.2017.pdf
Link: http://marinaudubon.org/events-bodega-bay-to-cordell-banks-pelagic-trip-tickets.php

Abbotts Lagoon, No. 10, Birding in Marin Series
Location: Pt Reyes National Seashore
Trip Leader(s): Jim White and Bob Battagin
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Saturday, October 21, 2017
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 3:30 PM
Description: This month Jim and Bob will explore Abbotts Lagoon in the Point Reyes National Seashore. Plan to meet by 8:30 AM in the parking lot on Pierce Point Road. Fall migration south along the Pacific coast brings many birds to this place: ducks and geese, shorebirds, raptors, even sparrows and pipits. Tufted Duck, Greater White-fronted Goose, Baird's Sandpiper, Ferruginous Hawk, Clay-colored Sparrow, and American Pipit are a few of the birds that we may find. We will get a look at this migration and many of the birds that stay for the winter. This should be an excellent field trip and will be good exercise. Directions: Allowing about an hour and a half travel time from San Rafael, follow Sir Francis Drake Blvd (SFDB) to Olema. From Olema continue north on Hwy 1, take the second left turn on SFDB, continue through Inverness, turn right (north) onto Pierce Point Road and keep driving until you come to the Abbotts Lagoon parking lot on the left where our group will gather.

Shollenberger Park
Location: Petaluma, CA
Trip Leader(s): Peter Colasanti
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Saturday, October 14, 2017
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 1:00 PM
Description: With over 230 species recorded, Shollenberger Park is one of the major birding hotspots in the North Bay. "It's like Las Gallinas without the sewage," says our leader, Peter. Thanks to last winter's ample rainfall there's still water in the central pond, a typical high tide roost for shorebirds with 18 species having been seen in Octobers past. Expect early waterfowl and maybe some late vagrants. If time and interest permits, we may extend to Ellis Creek. Directions: Going north on Hwy 101 from Marin, take the second Petaluma exit, which is Route 116 (Lakeville Hwy). Go east about one mile to South McDowell Blvd (4th traffic light) and turn right. Take the third right on Cader Lane and park in the lot at the end.

Bodega Bay
Location: Bodega Bay, CA
Trip Leader(s): Lisa Hug
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Saturday, October 07, 2017
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 3:30 PM
Description: Join us at Bodega Bay during the fall migration when just about anything can happen. We'll meet at the Rail Ponds at 8:30 AM. We will make some stops for shorebirds and then move on to Owl Canyon, Sonoma County's premier vagrant trap, and then on to a sea watch at Bodega Head. From the Head we'll return clockwise around Bodega Harbor with likely stops at Campbell Cove, Owl Canyon again, Porto Bodega and winding up at Doran Park (entrance fee) where we sometimes find Snowy Plovers. DIRECTIONS: We will meet at the parking lot at Port o' Bodega. From Petaluma, Take the Petaluma-Valley Ford Road to Highway 1. From Highway 1 going north, go through the town of Bodega Bay. At the north end of town, turn left onto Eastshore Rd. Drive down to the bottom of the hill. At the bottom of the hill, there will be a stop sign. Go straight ahead at the stop sign. Eventually, you will arrive at a very large gravel parking lot. This is the meeting spot. There may be a seven dollar entrance fee, if we decide to go into Doran Beach County Park on the south end of Bodega Bay.

The Ponds at Las Gallinas
Location: San Rafael, CA
Trip Leader(s): Bob Chilvers, Rich Cimino, & Janet Bodle
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Thursday, October 05, 2017
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: Beginning birders are especially welcome on the first Thursday of each month for a leisurely walk around the Las Gallinas ponds. Bob Chilvers, Rich Cimino, and Janet Bodle will lead this month's group as we search for waterfowl, waders, songbirds, raptors, and shorebirds. With fall migration underway, we are likely to spot new arrivals and maybe even a rare, unexpected migrant. We welcome bird enthusiasts of all levels. We all help each other to find and identify the birds, so come assist in our search. We have been informed by the manager at the Las Gallinas Valley Sanitary District that construction work in the parking area will begin sometime this fall, perhaps necessitating a change in the meeting place and route for our monthly walks beginning in November. Check the MAS website and our November newsletter for the latest on this scheduled work. Directions: From Hwy 101, exit at Smith Ranch Rd. Drive east on Smith Ranch Rd. toward McInnis Park. Turn left immediately after crossing the railroad tracks and drive about .5 mile through the LGVSD gates and into the parking lot at the end of the road. Meet the group by the bridge just past the parking lot. There is an outhouse in the parking area for public use or you can use the bathrooms at nearby McInnis Park.

Outer Point Vagrants
Location: Point Reyes National Seashore
Trip Leader(s): Peter Colasanti
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Friday, September 29, 2017
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Description: We will meet Peter at White House Pool and bird the area as the group gathers. Our plan for the day will depend on what birds have been seen in the area. Point Reyes has proven to be one of the greatest migrant traps on our continent with more than half of all North American birds (at least 490 species) seen there. So come help us find something rare and unexpected! This time of year, as Rich Stallcup said, "The Outer Point never gets old. It's never the same. For some of us a year made up of 12 Septembers would be nice." Directions: From Hwy 101 in Larkspur, take the Sir Francis Drake exit 20.4 miles to Olema. Turn right onto Hwy 1 and go 2 miles. Before the green bridge, turn left (continuing on Sir Francis Drake Blvd.) and drive 0.7 mile. Look for the White House Pool sign and parking lot on the right.

Farallon Islands Boat Trip
Location: From Clipper Yacht Harbor, Sausalito, Calif
Trip Leader(s): David Wimpfheimer
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Sunday, September 24, 2017
Start Time: 7:30 AM
End Time: 4:00 PM
Description: Join us for our annual day of seabird and marine mammal watching as we head out to the Farallon Islands and offshore waters. This trip will be led by Naturalist David Wimpfheimer aboard Jim Robertson's power catamaran Outer Limits. On past trips we have sighted more than fourteen pelagic bird species, including albatrosses, shearwaters and auklets, as well as many sea lions, porpoises, dolphins and whales. We will get an up close look at the islands and learn about their interesting natural and human history. This is a trip that both experienced and first-time birders and nature lovers will enjoy. This trip is open to Marin Audubon members only. (If you are not a member yet, please sign up on our Membership page.) The cost will be $120 per person with online registration available at www.marinaudubon.org. Include the name, email address and contact phone number of each participant. There is always a chance the trip may need to be rescheduled at the last minute due to sea conditions, so we need to be able to reach participants. We will send an email to participants a few days before the trip. Please sign up early, as we will limit the number of participants. Be prepared for any kind of weather with layered clothing. A rain jacket and pants are essential no matter what the weather on shore. Take seasick medication if needed. If you get seasick easily, this is not the trip for you. We will be on the boat all day. Bring lunch, snacks, water and plenty of sunscreen. Directions: Take Hwy. 101 to the Marin City/Sausalito exit, head south on Bridgeway, take a left on Harbor Drive and proceed to the parking area at the end. We will meet on the south side of the parking lot to check in before boarding.
Link: http://marinaudubon.org/events-farallones-boat-trip-tickets.php

Vaux's Swifts at McNear Brick and Block
Location: San Rafael, CA
Trip Leader(s): Rusty Scalf
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Start Time: 6:30 PM
End Time: 7:45 PM
Description: Join us at sunset for the opportunity to witness the Vaux's Swifts during their fall migration through Marin, which occurs in September and October. Dan McNear of McNear Brick & Block has kindly allowed access for our group to this remarkable site where decommissioned smoke stacks provide an important communal roosting place for the swifts. Watching thousands of swifts as they descend into the stacks just before nightfall is truly a remarkable sight. At the peak of migration, as many as 29,000 swifts have been counted in one evening! Sunset on the evening of our visit will be at 7:10 PM, so plan on arriving early to be ready. Bring scopes, binoculars, and, if desired, folding chairs for your seating comfort. It can be chilly at dusk. Please stay with our group and do not enter any of the private areas on the property. Directions: From Hwy 101 take the Central San Rafael exit. Head east on Point San Pedro Road for about 3 miles. The brickyard will be on the right. The address is 1 McNear Brickyard Road. Turn in at the brickyard entrance and park as directed.

Drakes Beach and the Fish Docks No. 9, Birding in Marin Series
Location: Point Reyes National Seashore
Trip Leader(s): Jim White and Bob Battagin
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Saturday, September 16, 2017
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 2:30 PM
Description: September is the most surprising month of birding here as many juvenile birds make their first migration south and west without the aid of Google. Some western migrants such as Nashville, Hermit, and Black-throated Gray Warblers may be in the Point Reyes tree islands, and we sometimes see more unusual Eastern species. Drakes Bay also begins to harbor wintering species like Red-necked Grebes, Marbled Murrelets, and Loons. We will picnic early and then head over to the Fish Docks and/or the Point Reyes Light House. Directions: Meet at the Drakes Beach Parking Lot near the monument. Follow Sir Francis Drake Blvd. through Inverness out to Point Reyes National Seashore. Keep going until you get to the Drakes Beach Road where you'll bear left. Expect about a 35-minute drive from Point Reyes Station to Drakes Beach.

Piper Park
Location: Larkspur
Trip Leader(s): Rich Cimino & Janet Bodle
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Tuesday, September 12, 2017
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 11:30 AM
Description: This morning trip to Piper Park provides an opportunity for local birding during the final days of fall migration. Located in Larkspur on Doherty Drive behind the Larkspur Police Station, Piper Park has a paved trail, making for an easy walk. We'll bird a mix of pine, oaks and ornamental trees, a wet meadow (sports field), and the Corte Madera tidal marsh. Expect Western Bluebird, finches, maybe Townsend Warbler, a mix of wading birds, and possibly Ridgway's Rail. Directions: From the north, take Hwy 101 and exit at Lucky Dr. Turn left from Fifer Ave. to Lucky Dr. and then turn right at the school onto Doherty Drive. Coming from the south, you can exit on Tamalpais Dr., turn right onto Magnolia Ave for one mile, turn right onto Doherty Drive, and look for the park on your left. We will meet on the green area next to the electric car charging stations on the left as you enter the Piper Park parking area.

Rodeo Lagoon
Location: Marin Headlands
Trip Leader(s): William Legge and David Wiechers
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Saturday, September 09, 2017
Start Time: 7:00 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: Join William and David for a morning of birding at Rodeo Lagoon. This is their "patch" and we are likely to see over 60 species. With large numbers of birds moving through the area this time of year, it's sure to be interesting with unusual sightings a definite possibility. For example, a Black Skimmer was spotted fishing on the lagoon in August. Our group will be targeting Parasitic Jaeger, migrating shorebirds, warblers, and other passerines. We will begin the morning with a Sea Watch at 7 AM. Those arriving later may join us at 8 AM for a circuit of the lagoon. Directions: Head south on Hwy 101 and take the last Sausalito exit just before the Golden Gate Bridge. At the exit stop sign, turn right and go under the freeway, then follow the road down to the left. Within 300 feet turn left at the sign to the Marin Headlands (This is the only available left turn before you begin the descent into Sausalito). You should see the tunnel with the five-minute light. Proceed through the tunnel on Bunker Road to the Rodeo Lagoon Parking Lot at the end and meet by the bridge over the channel to the beach.

The Ponds at the Las Gallinas Valley Sanitary District (LGVSD)
Location: San Rafael, CA
Trip Leader(s): Jim White
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Thursday, September 07, 2017
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: In September we resume our regularly scheduled walks on the first Thursday of the month at Las Gallinas. We especially welcome beginning birders on this leisurely walk around the ponds. Jim White will lead this month's group as we search for waterfowl, waders, songbirds, raptors, and shorebirds. Recent sightings here have included the uncommon-in-Marin Least Bittern, Virginia Rail, Sora, American White Pelican, and Osprey. With fall migration underway, we are likely to spot some interesting species, so come assist us in our search. We welcome bird enthusiasts of all levels. We all help each other to find and identify the birds, and there are usually several experienced birders to assist. You don't even have to arrive on time because we spend the first 30-60 minutes studying the birds around the first pond, and the group is easy to find. Directions: From Hwy 101, exit at Smith Ranch Rd. Drive east on Smith Ranch Rd. toward McInnis Park. Turn left immediately after crossing the railroad tracks and drive about .5 mile through the LGVSD gates and into the parking lot at the end of the road. Meet the group by the bridge just past the parking lot. There is an outhouse in the parking area for public use or you can use the bathrooms at nearby McInnis Park.

Reclamation Road/ Port Sonoma
Location: Sonoma County
Trip Leader(s): Lisa Hug
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Tuesday, September 05, 2017
Start Time: 11:30 AM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Description: Join us to celebrate World Shorebirds Day, albeit one day early, as we explore the restored tidal marsh and nearby Port Sonoma area on San Pablo Bay. We will meet our leader, Lisa Hug, at the Reclamation Road Parking Lot and shuttle a few cars to the Port Sonoma area. Returning to Reclamation Road, we will then hike approximately one mile back to Port Sonoma as the tide rises and the shorebirds arrive. At Port Sonoma we will check the high tide roosts with hopes for a Ridgway's Rail and take a lunch break. Directions: Exit Highway 101 onto Highway 37, east toward Vallejo. The first stoplight you encounter is at Lakeville Highway. Take a right here onto Reclamation Road. Parking area is on the left about 1/4 mile down the road. Driving time from San Rafael is approximately 25 minutes.

Limantour Beach and Estero, No. 8, Birding in Marin Series
Location: Pt Reyes National Seashore
Trip Leader(s): Jim White and Bob Battagin
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Saturday, August 19, 2017
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Description: August will find Jim and Bob exploring Limantour Beach and Estero. We will meet at the Limantour parking lot in the Point Reyes National Seashore where there are restrooms and ample parking. We intend to hike up the beach until we find Snowy Plovers, Brant and the declining White-winged Scoters. We will walk back on the Estero side expecting to see more shorebirds and ducks. After lunch (bring your own) we intend to walk a ways up the Sky Trail to look for fir forest birds. Directions: Take Sir Francis Drake to Bear Valley Road south of Inverness Park, then take Limantour Road southwest to its end at the parking lot about 7 miles.

Abbotts Lagoon
Location: Pt Reyes National Seashore
Trip Leader(s): Rusty Scalf
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Sunday, July 30, 2017
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: Those of you following recent reports on North Bay Birds will have noticed the return of migrant shorebirds to our area. Rusty Scalf will lead this trip to Abbotts Lagoon in search of recent returnees, perhaps a Baird's Sandpiper! Join us and tell your birding friends about this trip since it was not included in our last newsletter. Dress in layers, bring hat, sunscreen, lunch, and water. Bathrooms are available at the Abbotts Lagoon parking lot. Directions: From San Anselmo, take Sir Francis Drake Blvd (SFDB) to Olema. From Olema continue north on Hwy 1 (SFDB), take the second left turn (SFDB west), continue through Inverness, turn right (north) onto Pierce Point Road and keep driving until you come to the Abbotts Lagoon parking lot on the left (west) where our group will gather.

Big Rock & Las Gallinas , No. 7, Birding in Marin Series
Location: San Rafael, CA
Trip Leader(s): Jim White and Bob Battagin
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Saturday, July 15, 2017
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Description: Trails at Big Rock, while rather steep, allow us to view some of the expansive grasslands and forested ravines in Marin. Some of the grassland nesting birds we will be looking for include Lazuli Buntings, Lark Sparrows, Western Meadowlarks, Grasshopper Sparrows, Horned Larks, and Ash-throated Flycatchers. We will also have a vast amount of sky visible so that swallows, swifts, and raptors may appear with a chance for a Golden Eagle. Plus we will be looking for the rare, brilliantly hued Indigo Bunting, if the colorful male returns again to this area to attempt nesting. At midday we expect to drive Lucas Valley Road to Las Gallinas where we will be looking for American and Least Bitterns, Green Heron, Common Gallinule, and Great-tailed Grackle. Directions: From Highway 101 in San Rafael, exit on Lucas Valley Road and go west approximately 5.5 miles (look for the big rock). We will be walking approximately 3 miles. Since this area can get quite hot in the summer, be sure to wear a hat and use sunscreen as well as carry plenty of water.

Five Brooks and Bear Valley, No. 6, Birding in Marin Series
Location: Pt Reyes National Seashore
Trip Leader(s): Jim White & Bob Battagin
Host: Jane
Start Date: Saturday, June 17, 2017
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Description: Join Jim and Bob on this trip as part of their yearly series of Marin walks. We will meet at Five Brooks to walk the trail. We have a chance of finding Wood Ducks and other pond-nesting birds at the retired logging pond. We will also look for birds in the Douglas fir forest. We will then travel to Bear Valley where there is a fine place to picnic under an Acorn Woodpecker granary. Walks on the Earthquake Trail and to the Miwok village Kule Loklo will add to our knowledge of nesting birds. Directions: From Hwy 101 take Sir Francis Drake Blvd toward Point Reyes for about 20 miles. At Olema turn left onto Hwy 1 and drive about 3.5 miles to the signed entrance to Five Brooks on the right side of the road. We will meet at the Five Brooks parking area, which is 0.25 miles west of Hwy 1.

Birding on Alcatraz
Location: Alcatraz Island
Trip Leader(s): Waterbirds Docent Karen Vandergrift
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Start Time: 8:45 AM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Description: It's the best-kept birding secret in the Bay Area: Alcatraz is one of the most important waterbird nesting sites in northern California, with nine species breeding on the island -- only not pelicans. So where, really, does the name "Alcatraz" come from? (Hint; It's not what you've been told.) And what is the "Alcatraz penguin?" On this trip, Alcatraz Waterbirds Docent and certified California Naturalist Karen Vandergrift will take a fun and informative look before and beyond the prison culture to focus on the natural history of the island and the variety of birds and their life histories. We'll see the birds up close on their nests, parents feeding chicks, territorial displays, and discuss the general ecology of the region's waterbird populations. This is an excellent opportunity for photographers with many birds only a few feet away. And we'll have access to parts of the Alcatraz gardens not generally open to the public. This will be an easy, slow-paced excursion. Dress in layers and comfortable walking shoes (pavement is often uneven). Bring binoculars and water; snacks are allowed only on the Dock area of the island. The trip will be limited to 25 participants with a discounted cost of $25.25 per person for the round-trip boat ride.
Link: http://marinaudubon.org/events-alcatraz-birding-tickets.php

Muddy Hollow Trail
Location: Pt Reyes National Seashore
Trip Leader(s): Bob Atwood and Susan Kelly
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Sunday, June 11, 2017
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Description: Join Bob and Susan on this easy trail as we watch and listen for a variety of birds in Point Reyes. Our trek will start in open coastal scrub habitat with views of Drakes Estero and then transition into riparian woodland. This is a particularly good area for raptors, Wilson's Warblers, and all three of our local Picoides woodpeckers; Hairy, Downy, and Nuttall's. We will watch for large Dusky-footed Woodrat lodges beneath alders and willows and hope for Virginia Rails in the marsh area. We will meet at 8:30 AM in the big parking lot at Limantour Beach where bathrooms are available. We will bird 1.8 miles along the trail and then return along the same route. Be prepared for variable weather and bring a lunch and water. Directions: From Point Reyes Station, go south on Hwy 1 and after crossing a steel bridge just south of town, head west on Sir Francis Drake Blvd. In about a mile turn left onto Bear Valley Road. After approximately a half-mile, turn right onto Limantour Road. Follow this road all the way out to the Limantour Beach Parking Lot at the end of the road.

iNaturalist Workshop
Location: Richardson Bay Audubon Center, Tiburon, CA
Trip Leader(s): Todd Plummer
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Saturday, June 10, 2017
Start Time: 10:00 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: Ever wish there were an app like eBird for all the other living things in the world? There is! You are invited to a two-hour workshop from 10 AM to noon on June 10 at the Richardson Bay Audubon Center to learn about iNaturalist - a species identification system and tool to record when and where you observe organisms (birds, plants, fish, anything!). You can use it to record your own observations, get help with identifications, collaborate with others for a common purpose, or access the observational data collected by other users. Naturalist Todd Plummer (username: WildMarin) will lead the workshop. He has been using and teaching workshops on iNaturalist since 2013 – and he says it has changed his life. By using iNaturalist as Todd has, you may find yourself paying more attention to biodiversity all around you while contributing to a global, open-source database of species distributions – valuable information for conservationists and researchers around the world. Read more at the link below. This workshop is limited to the first 20 people to sign up. Contact Jane Medley at janermedley@gmail.com to register. Please include your name and phone number. Be sure to create your own iNaturalist account at www.inaturalist.org, and download the app on your mobile device (if you wish to use it) before arriving for the workshop so we can get right into the fun stuff. The fee for this workshop will be $5 for Marin Audubon members and $10 for non-members, payable at the door. If you are not already a MAS member, we invite you to join at this event. We will meet in the Audubon Center classroom where Marin Audubon monthly Speaker Series programs are held.
Link: http://https://www.inaturalist.org

Thursday Morning Bird Songs
Location: Big Rock Trailhead to Loma Alta Trail
Trip Leader(s): Lisa Hug and Susan Kelly
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Thursday, May 18, 2017
Start Time: 7:30 AM
End Time: [not specified]
Description: For a description of this trip, see the write up on this page for Thursday Morning Bird Songs at Five Brooks scheduled for May 11, 2017. This outing is also limited to 15 participants. To sign up, email Jane Medley at janermedley@gmail.com. Please include the trip name and your phone number. Participants will be contacted prior to the trip to confirm registration. A wait list will be created if registration exceeds available spaces. Directions: From Highway 101 in San Rafael, take the exit for Lucas Valley Road west approximately 5.5 miles (look for the big rock). The trailhead is on the south side of Lucas Valley Road.

Tennessee Valley/Bay Model Art Exhibit
Location: Marin Headlands and Sausalito
Trip Leader(s): Jim White and Rita Sklar
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Tuesday, May 16, 2017
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: Discover spring birds in the Tennessee Valley on this two-hour walk with Jim White. Help us look for breeding resident birds and possible migrants passing through the area as we walk through both riparian and chaparral habitats. A variety of passerines and raptors are possible. At approximately 10:30 AM we'll head to the Bay Model in Sausalito where we'll meet with artist Rita Sklar and view her watermedia paintings featured as part of the current "Vanishing Species exhibit. Rita's work highlights the vanishing birds and other wildlife of the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. Her paintings depict the variation in shapes, colors, and patterns that birds present and are a reminder that like the proverbial canaries in the coal mine, the decline of wildlife is a wake-up call to take better care of our planet. Bring water, snacks, and binoculars. Restrooms are available. Directions: From Hwy 101, take the Stinson Beach exit. Turn left on Shoreline Highway in 0.1 miles. Turn left on Tennessee Valley Rd. in 0.3 miles. Take a slight right turn onto Tennessee Valley Road. We will meet at the parking lot at the end of the road for the hike. Picnic tables are available at the Bay Model for those who might like to picnic after our tour of Rita's exhibit.

No. 5, Birding in Marin Series
Location: Muir Woods, Redwood Creek and Muir Beach
Trip Leader(s): Jim White and Bob Battagin
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Saturday, May 13, 2017
Start Time: 8:00 AM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Description: Celebrate Global Big Day with Jim White and Bob Battagin as we visit Muir Woods, Redwood Creek, and Muir Beach at the height of breeding season in Marin. Starting the morning in Muir Woods, we will bird along Redwood Creek and hear the beautiful songs of Swainson's Thrushes, Black-headed Grosbeaks and Pacific Wrens, along with Warbling Vireos, Wilson's and Orange-crowned (perhaps MacGillivray's) Warblers. We will then check out the restored riparian area at Muir Beach and picnic there. Scanning the ocean we usually find Pigeon Guillemots, Common Murres, Pelagic and Brandt's Cormorants, grebes, loons and Black Oystercatchers. We plan to walk three miles. Bring bins, scopes, lunch, dress in layers and carpool if possible. Directions: Meet in the lower parking lot (sign says "Additional Parking") at Muir Woods. We are meeting one half hour earlier than usual so that we can all find places to park. From Highway 101 take the Mill Valley/Highway 1/Stinson Beach Exit. Follow the signs to Highway 1 and then to Muir Woods. The address is 1 Muir Woods Road, Mill Valley.

Thursday Morning Bird Songs, Part 1
Location: Five Brooks, Pt Reyes National Seashore
Trip Leader(s): Lisa Hug and Susan Kelly
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Thursday, May 11, 2017
Start Time: 7:30 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: Spring is the best time of year to hear and learn bird songs. Males are full of hormones and bursting with song. Many neo-tropical migrants are returning and vying for mates and territories. It is a very exciting time of year. This walk will require participants to stay quiet to enable us to listen to the myriad of bird sounds. Bring comfortable walking shoes, layered clothing, water, binoculars, field guides and snacks. This trip is limited to 15 participants. To sign up, email Jane Medley at janermedley@gmail.com. Please include the trip name and your phone number. Participants will be contacted prior to the trip to confirm registration. A wait list will be created if registration exceeds available space. Directions: From Fairfax, take Sir Francis Drake Blvd approximately 15 miles. Turn left on Highway 1. Turn right at Five Brooks in 3.5 miles. We will meet at the Five Brooks parking area.

Miwok Meadows
Location: China Camp State Park
Trip Leader(s): Matt Perry and Susan Kelly
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 11:30 AM
Description: Miwok Meadows, on the east side of China Camp State Park, is somewhat off the beaten path and under-birded, but it is one of Matt Perry's favorite regular birding spots. Consisting of a relatively short, easily hiked loop, it offers a range of habitats, including the bay, marsh, oak savannah, and denser woods. Frequent highlights include Osprey, many woodpeckers, turkeys, many swallow and swift species, and usual woodland birds. Less common finds include Pileated Woodpecker, and Blue-gray Gnatcatcher. Rarer birds, but not unheard of, include both Ridgway's Rail and Black Rail. In spring the trail should be filled with lovely birdsong and bustling activity -- and great views of yet another beautiful Marin landscape. Following our walk at Miwok Meadows, we will cross the street and hike the bay and marsh loop around Turtle Back Hill (.75 miles easy) with Susan Kelly. We'll watch for wildlife along this trail, which juts out into the salt marsh habitat along San Pablo Bay. This trail meets criteria for wheelchair access under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Directions: Take the Hwy 101 Exit onto North San Pedro Road. Follow North San Pedro Road approximately 2 miles to the Back Ranch Meadows Campground. There are two possible places to pay entrance fees depending on whether you want to park near the start or the end of our trip. If you wish to park near the starting location, turn right at the entrance to the Back Ranch Meadows Campground. Just past the campground kiosk, an Electronic Pay Station is located from which you can purchase a Parking and Trail Pass for $5 per vehicle, which includes trail access for all people in the vehicle. This pay station can accept credit cards or exact change. Continue 1.1 mile up the road to meet our group. If you wish to park near the ending location of our trip, continue on San Pedro Road approximately .5 mile past the campground and park adjacent to the roadside near Turtle Back Hill. On the right side of the road adjacent to the trailhead, there is a self-pay kiosk where you may purchase a Trail Only Pass for $3 per person. Exact change is needed at this "iron ranger" pay station. Walk approximately .2 miles to our meeting place at the Miwok Meadows Day-Use Area.

Pine Flat Road
Location: Sonoma County
Trip Leader(s): Lisa Hug
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Friday, May 05, 2017
Start Time: 8:15 AM
End Time: 3:00 AM
Description: Pine Flat Road is located northeast of Healdsburg and has long been a local birding mecca. This road winds through open oak woodlands, gray pine forest, grasslands, and beautiful chaparral. It reaches an altitude of 2,279 feet. Bird specialties include Mountain Quail, Bell's Sparrow, California Thrasher, and Purple Martin. There are also possibilities of seeing Lazuli Buntings, Rufous-crowned Sparrows, Western Tanagers and many more spring specialties. You may also want to bring some wildflower books. Bring plenty of water, lunch, snacks, binoculars and a field guide or app. No restrooms available. However, the Jimtown Store is available at the end of the day. Heavy rain cancels. Directions: Take Hwy 101 north past Healdsburg to the Lytton Springs Rd. Exit toward Alexander Valley. Turn right on Healdsburg Ave. for about 0.7 miles. Turn left on Alexander Valley Rd. for 3.8 miles to Pine Flat Road. Alexander Valley Road is Highway 128 at this point. Not far past the Jimtown Store, Highway 128 makes a right angle turn to the south. Go straight ahead at this sharp curve to cross over to Pine Flat Road, which continues east. Be very careful at this intersection. We will meet on the corner of Pine Flat Road and Red Winery Road at the bottom of the hill at 8:15 to arrange carpools to the Mayacamas. Allow at least 1½ hours from central Marin.

Little Carson Falls
Location: Mount Tamalpais
Trip Leader(s): Todd Plummer
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Friday, April 21, 2017
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 2:00 PM
Description: Join guide Todd Plummer for a day of birding and botanizing around Carson Ridge and Falls. We will meet at the Azalea Hill parking lot on Bolinas-Fairfax Road, then hike along Carson Ridge on the Pine Mountain Road and make our way down to Little Carson Falls. The serpentine landscape and dwarf forests provide great views into chaparral and Douglas fir canyons. Birding along the green-tinted soil, we will look for Lazuli Bunting, Thick-billed Fox Sparrow, California Thrasher, Rufous-crowned Sparrow, and Bald Eagle from Kent Lake. The flower bloom can be spectacular with rarities the norm. We will descend several hundred feet into Carson Canyon to cool our faces in the mists of Little Carson Falls, home of the rare Foothill Yellow-legged Frog. Bring a lunch, water, and sunscreen. Heavy rain cancels. Directions: In Fairfax, go along Bolinas Road going west and drive 2.5 miles. Continue along Bolinas-Fairfax Road and drive 1.3 miles to reach a parking lot for Azalea Hill on the left. SPECIAL NOTE: THE BOLINAS-FAIRFAX ROAD IS CLOSED BETWEEN AZALEA HILL AND HIGHWAY ONE. YOU MUST APPROACH AZALEA HILL FROM THE FAIRFAX SIDE.

Lower Mines Road and Del Valle Reservoir
Location: Alameda County
Trip Leader(s): Rich Cimino & Janet Bodle
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Start Time: 7:30 AM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Description: This field trip is timed to maximize our opportunities to see returning migrants such as Lawrence's Goldfinch, Western Kingbird, Phainopepla, plus Yellow-billed Magpie. We will bird along Lower Mines Road in the morning, then go to Del Valle Reservoir ($6 parking/entrance fee) for lunch and additional birding. Mines Road is a narrow road with limited places for parking, so we will limit our group size to 12 participants and carpool. Be prepared to ride with others or be a driver. Birders with a van will be appreciated, and riders should consider fuel cost sharing. For further information about this trip or to sign up, contact Rich or Janet at yellowbilledtours@gmail.com. Please provide your name and phone number. After signing up, details will be shared about where to meet. Heavy rain cancels. Bring lunch, drinks, scopes, and a smile!

Mount Burdell, No. 4 Birding in Marin Series
Location: Novato
Trip Leader(s): Jim White and Bob Battagin
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Saturday, April 15, 2017
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Description: Join Jim and Bob for a field trip to the gentle slopes of Mr. Burdell where we’ll listen to and observe the impressive variety of songbirds that make this area their springtime home. Species we might see include Lark Sparrow, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Bullock's Oriole, Lazuli Bunting, and Grasshopper Sparrow, among many other possibilities. This will be a moderate hike with many opportunities to look at birds and spring wildflowers. Wear comfortable walking shoes and layered clothing. Bring water and snacks. We will meet at the end of San Andreas Drive in Novato. Heavy rain cancels. Directions: Take Hwy 101 to Novato. Take the San Marin Drive/Atherton Avenue exit. At the end of the exit ramp, turn west on San Marin Drive. Go approximately 2 miles and turn right on San Andreas Drive. Drive nearly to the end of the road and park on the street. No restrooms available.
Link: http://cheepthrillscbc.blogspot.com

Petaluma River Boat Trip - THIS TRIP IS FULL
Location: Boat leaves and returns to Petaluma Turning Basin
Trip Leader(s): Peter Colasanti
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Thursday, April 13, 2017
Start Time: 8:15 AM
End Time: 1:30 PM
Description: PETALUMA RIVER BOAT TRIP – MARIN AUDUBON MEMBERS ONLY All available spaces on this boat trip quickly filled. Those confirmed on this trip will receive directions to the Turning Basin and other instructions the week before the trip. If you wish to be included on the wait list for this outing, contact Jane Medley at janermedley@gmail.com. Be sure to include the name, email address, and phone number for each possible passenger. For a complete description of this trip, consult the March RAIL, available at marinaudubon.org.

Abbotts Lagoon
Location: Point Reyes National Seashore
Trip Leader(s): Carolyn and John Longstreth
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Monday, April 10, 2017
Start Time: 9:30 AM
End Time: 2:00 PM
Description: Abbotts Lagoon is well known as a birding hotspot due to the variety of habitats including coastal scrub, freshwater ponds and wetlands, brackish lagoon, dunes, sandy shoreline, and open ocean. We can expect to see waterfowl, herons, raptors, wintering shorebirds, loons, grebes and possibly a few early migrating landbirds. With luck, we might find Virginia Rail or Sora on the upper pond, river otters on the lower lagoon or alcids beyond the surf. If the adjacent farm field is freshly plowed, there could be some interesting species there as well. We'll walk the 1.5 easy miles to the lower lagoon and another 0.3 mile to the ocean beach. John, who ran an Audubon Center in Connecticut, has been the compiler of the Point Reyes Christmas Bird Count for the last eight years and is a skilled nature photographer. Carolyn helped organize the Point Reyes Birding & Nature Festival and created two CDs on local birdsong. Carolyn will also tell us about the plants of the area. Dress in layers, bring hat, sunscreen, lunch and water. Bathrooms are available at the Abbotts Lagoon parking lot. Heavy rain cancels. Directions: From San Anselmo, take Sir Francis Drake Blvd (SFDB) to Olema. From Olema continue north on Hwy 1 (SFDB), take the second left turn (SFDB west), continue through Inverness, turn right (north) onto Pierce Point Road and keep driving until you come to the Abbotts Lagoon parking lot on the left (west) where our group will gather.

Hall Ranch to Horseshoe Bay
Location: Point Reyes National Seashore
Trip Leader(s): Kerry Wilcox
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Sunday, April 02, 2017
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Description: Join Kerry as we hike his Christmas Bird Count territory in our quest for birds, mammals, and some vigorous exercise. We will be hiking approximately four miles on relatively rough trails with a total elevation gain of some 500 ft, so come prepared with comfortable hiking shoes, layered clothing, and plenty to eat and drink. We'll start our hike at the Hall Ranch (Barn Owl, Say's Phoebe, and American Kestrel possible), walk towards Horseshoe Bay (Blue-gray Gnatcatcher and Burrowing Owl possible), bird at Horseshoe Bay and Beach (Surf Scoter, Brant, various grebes and loons all likely), and hike up towards Drake’s Estero Overlook (varied shorebirds, cormorants, ducks, gulls, and American White Pelican probable). As you can surmise, our hike through these rich coastal habitats is likely to be pretty amazing! Directions: We will meet near the monument at the Drake's Beach parking area at 9:00 AM, then carpool up the hill to our starting point. Follow Sir Francis Drake Blvd through Inverness out to Point Reyes National Seashore. Keep going until you get to the Drakes Beach Road where you’ll bear left. Expect about a 35 minute drive from Point Reyes Station to Drakes Beach. Heavy rain cancels (hope that doesn't happen again).

Tolay Lake Regional Park
Location: Petaluma, CA
Trip Leader(s): Peter Colasanti
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Saturday, March 25, 2017
Start Time: 8:45 AM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Description: This 1,700 acre park, located between the Petaluma River and Sonoma Valley, includes pristine farm and grasslands, ridges, a seasonal freshwater lake that has water this year, ponds, wetlands, and many other natural resources. This area is not open to the general public without permits, but we will be allowed access with our guide, Peter Colasanti. We will meet at 8:45 AM at the gate at the top of Cannon Lane, which is off Lakeville Highway just south of and across from Papa's Taverna (restaurant now closed). WE WILL DEPART FROM THE GATE PROMPTLY AT 9 AM. Peter's permit requires that our group enter and leave the park together, and anyone arriving late will not be allowed to enter. There is a $7.00/day vehicle use fee at the Park. We will hike several miles to check all the available habitats at the park: grassland, oak woodland, riparian corridors, ponds, ridgelines, and ranch buildings. For those who wish to continue birding after lunch, we can visit the Ellis Creek ponds a few miles north at the south edge of Petaluma. Wear sturdy hiking shoes and be prepared to hike for several miles. Bring water, lunch, sunscreen, hat and dress in layers. Heavy rain cancels.

Jean and John Starkweather Shoreline Park
Location: San Rafael, CA
Trip Leader(s): Rich Cimino and Janet Bodle
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 11:30 AM
Description: Join guides Rich Cimino and Janet Bodle for an easy bird walk during a high tide. We will bird the shoreline of San Pablo Bay for diving ducks, grebes, peeps, gulls, and terns. We will also look for the Puget Sound variety of White-crowned Sparrow. Bring your scope, water, and snacks. Restrooms are available at the bird walk halfway mark (Target Store). Meet in the parking lot for the Jean and John Starkweather Shoreline trailhead. Heavy rain will cancel. Directions: From the north, take Highway 101 to the Bellam Blvd exit. Turn left on Bellum then right on East Francisco Blvd, which parallels I-580. Head east (toward the Richmond/San Rafael Bridge for about 1.5 miles. You will see a Bay Cafe sign at the Bay Park Center. Turn left on Pelican Way then right to the trailhead parking area. From the south you can take the exit to the San Rafael Bridge getting off at the last Marin exit, the San Quentin exit. For GPS, use the Bay Cafe address, 2165 Francisco Blvd, San Rafael.

Birding in Marin No 3 Mount Tamalpais and Corte Madera Marsh
Location: Mill Valley and Corte Madera
Trip Leader(s): Jim White and Bob Battagin
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Saturday, March 18, 2017
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Description: We will meet at 8:30 AM at the Bootjack Campground parking area where there is a $8 parking fee for private vehicles, $7 for seniors. Restrooms are available here. We will also be using the fee lot at Pantoll, and, yes, one fee will cover both locations. Heavy rain cancels. Mount Tamalpais is a good area for seeing Pileated Woodpecker. We are hoping to find Red Crossbills (we did last year), Red-breasted Nuthatches, and a couple of early spring migrants like Western Tanager, Cassin's Vireo, and Black-throated Gray or Hermit Warbler. We will picnic on the mountain then visit the lowland marshes in Corte Madera during the afternoon with possible sightings of Blue-winged Teal, Ridgway's Rails, and the rare Nelson's Sparrow recently seen there by many birders. Directions: Bootjack is on Panoramic Highway in Mt. Tamalpais State Park, 0.3 miles east of Pantoll or about 5 miles southeast of Stinson Beach. From Highway 101 take Highway 1 toward Stinson Beach and Muir Woods. Turn right on Panoramic Highway. Parking for Bootjack is about 5 miles on the right.
Link: http:// http://marinaudubon.org/events-sacramento-delta-boat-trip-tickets.php

Hall Ranch to Horseshoe Bay TRIP CANCELLED
Location: Pt Reyes National Seashore
Trip Leader(s): Kerry Wilcox
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Sunday, March 05, 2017
Start Time: 9:30 AM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Description: THIS TRIP IS CANCELLED FOR RAIN. Join Kerry as we hike his Christmas Bird Count territory in our quest for birds, mammals, and some vigorous exercise. We will be hiking approximately four miles on relatively rough trails with a total elevation gain of some 500 ft, so come prepared with comfortable hiking shoes, layered clothing, and plenty to eat and drink. We'lll start our hike at the Hall Ranch (Barn Owl, Say's Phoebe, and American Kestrel possible), walk towards Horseshoe Bay (Blue-gray Gnatcatcher and Burrowing Owl possible), bird at Horseshoe Bay and Beach (Surf Scoter, Brant, various grebes and loons all likely), and hike up towards Drake;s Estero Overlook (varied shorebirds, cormorants, ducks, gulls, and American White Pelican probable). As you can surmise, our hike through these rich coastal habitats is likely to be pretty amazing! Directions: We will meet near the monument at the Drake's Beach parking area at 9:30 AM, then carpool up the hill to our starting point. Follow Sir Francis Drake Blvd through Inverness out to Point Reyes National Seashore. Keep going until you get to the Drakes Beach Road where you'll bear left. Expect about a 35 miinute drive from Point Reyes Station to Drakes Beach. Heavy rain cancels.

Tomales Bay Trail / Giacomini Wetlands
Location: Pt Reyes Station, CA
Trip Leader(s): David Sexton and Bob Atwood
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Saturday, March 04, 2017
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: We will follow the Tomales Bay Trail from the grasslands along CA Highway 1 to bluffs overlooking the Giacomini Wetlands and Tomales Bay. Along the way are multiple habitats including creekside willows, stock ponds with freshwater wetlands, coastal oaks/mixed forest, grasslands, and tidal wetlands. These varied habitats provide the opportunity for our group to see a wide variety of birds, especially sparrows, raptors, shorebirds, and duck species. Also, plan on a visit to the Giacomini Wetlands view sites at Point Reyes Station. Heavy rain cancels. Directions: From Point Reyes Station travel 1-1/2 miles north on Highway 1 to the trailhead parking lot on the left. No restrooms at this site. Public restrooms at Point Reyes Station at Mesa Road and Toby Street.

Skaggs Island and Hudeman Slough
Location: Sonoma County
Trip Leader(s): Murray Berner
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Saturday, February 25, 2017
Start Time: 8:45 AM
End Time: [not specified]
Description: Murray Berner led trips for Napa-Solano Audubon for many years and authored the Solano Co. Breeding Bird Atlas. Murray knows the marshes well and has access to Skaggs Island, closed to the general public. The Island, a former naval facility, is now part of San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge, an addition of more than 3000 acres. February is peak season for raptors, including Golden Eagle, Rough-legged Hawk, Prairie Falcon, and Burrowing Owl, plus dozens of kites and harriers. Black Rail is resident and at times vocal. Songbirds flock in the former residential area, harassed by Merlin and Accipiters. Allen's Hummingbird will be displaying among the eucalyptus. We will meet at the south entrance to Skaggs Island off of Hwy 37 and travel by car across the island, stopping to bird along the way. Some birders may wish to leave when we reach the island's north gate. Interested birders may continue with the group to Hudeman Slough where we will bird on foot. Dress in layers and sturdy shoes and bring lunch and water. Field trip ends mid-afternoon. Heavy rain cancels. DIRECTIONS: Take Hwy 101 north to Hwy 37E. At the intersection with SR 121 (Sonoma Raceway), continue straight on Hwy 37 for 3.8 miles and turn left at Skaggs Island Road. No restrooms available.

Heron's Head Park
Location: San Francisco
Trip Leader(s): Karen Vandergrift
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Thursday, February 23, 2017
Start Time: 9:30 AM
End Time: 12:30 PM
Description: One of only a few wetlands on the city of San Francisco's shoreline, Heron's Head Park is a hidden gem: a 22-acre open space and thriving wildlife habitat that attracts more than 150 bird species every year. Born in the 1970's when the Port of SF began filling this location to construct what was to be the Pier 98 shipping terminal, the project was never realized. Over years of settlement and exposure to the tides, a salt marsh emerged, attracting shorebirds, waterfowl, and aquatic wildlife to this unique location. This will be an interpretive walk about the wildlife and ecology of San Francisco Bay and we will travel on flat ground. We expect a large variety of waterfowl, shorebirds, and maybe a rarity or two. Beginning birders are welcome! Bring binoculars, sunscreen, a hat, and water . . . and a spotting scope if you have one. Heavy rain cancels. DIRECTIONS: Meet at the parking lot on the corner of Jennings Street and Cargo Way, just across the street from Bay Natives Nursery. For GPS, use 10 Cargo Way, San Francisco, CA 94124, the address for Bay Natives Nursery.

Nicasio Reservoir
Location: Nicasio, No. 2, Birding in Marin
Trip Leader(s): Jim White & Bob Battagin
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Saturday, February 18, 2017
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: [not specified]
Description: We will meet at the backstop to the baseball field in the small West Marin hamlet of Nicasio. The riparian, open field, and wooded habitats there are good for a nice variety of sparrows, gleaners, and woodpeckers. Next, we will head over to nearby Nicasio Reservoir and make several stops along the shoreline. Many waterbird species hang out there while raptors grace the sky, and who knows what will be flitting around in the willows and shrubs that line the shore? In the afternoon we are likely to explore along the northern shoreline of Tomales Bay. Heavy rain cancels. DIRECTIONS: From Highway 101 take the Lucas Valley Road exit. Turn left on Lucas Valley Road and continue approximately 10.3 miles. Keep right on Nicasio Valley Road for 0.5 miles to the town of Nicasio. The baseball field is in the center of town. For GPS, use 1 Old Rancheria Road, Nicasio, the address for the Rancho Nicasio Restaurant. Field trip ends mid-afternoon.

Stafford Lake
Location: Novato
Trip Leader(s): Bob Atwood
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Saturday, February 11, 2017
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: Located west of Novato, Stafford Lake is a beautiful but less-birded area that is productive for waterfowl and raptors. Last year a male Tufted Duck was on the lake. On the most recent Christmas Bird Count our group saw a Bald Eagle and a Peregrine Falcon. Stafford Lake has had approximately 172 species of birds spotted at it through the years. The county park has facilities and plenty of parking. The mostly level terrain and water views make for pleasant birding as we walk around a portion of the lake and the surrounding area. Heavy rain cancels. DIRECTIONS: From Highway 101 in Novato, take the exit for San Marin Drive west 2.9 miles. Turn right onto Novato Blvd. and follow for 2.6 miles. The park is on the left. Turn left after the gatehouse and travel to the parking lot. There is a five dollar entrance fee per vehicle.

Sacramento Delta Boat Trip
Location: Boat leaves from and returns to the Antioch Marina
Trip Leader(s): David Wimpfheimer
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Sunday, February 05, 2017
Start Time: 8:15 AM
End Time: 4:30 PM
Description: All available spaces on this boat trip were filled by mid afternoon on the first day of registration! Those confirmed on the trip will receive directions to the Antioch Marina and other instructions the week before the trip. If you wish to be included on the wait list for this outing, contact Jane Medley at janermedley@gmail.com. Be sure to include the name, email address, and phone number for each possible passenger. For a complete description of this trip, consult our December Rail, available at on the home page of this website.
Document/Field Trip Report: FTR Sacto Delta, Feb. 5, 2017.pdf

World Wetlands Day at Bahia - a Special Collaborative Field Trip by MAS and Marin County Parks
Location: Novato
Trip Leader(s): Jude Stalker and Shannon Burke
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Saturday, February 04, 2017
Start Time: 10:00 AM
End Time: 2:00 PM
Description: Come celebrate World Wetlands Day at Bahia! This 200-acre parcel, now part of the Rush Creek Preserve, was acquired through a major fundraising effort spearheaded by Marin Audubon Society and then donated to Marin County Parks. Our day will start with a walk through the oak-studded upland habitat where we will discuss this unique forest and why its preservation was so fortunate. Then we will take a tour of the adjoining Marin Audubon wetland restoration site with Wetland Ecologist Jude Stalker from Marin Audubon, who will explain how the restoration efforts here have been improving the marsh and vital habitat for the plants and animals that depend on it. Heavy rain cancels. DIRECTIONS: From Highway 101 in North Novato, take the Atherton Avenue exit east about 0.9 miles, then turn left onto Bugeia Lane, which becomes Bahia Drive. Follow it to the end where there is street parking. No restrooms available here.
Document/Field Trip Report: FTR Feb 4, 2017.pdf

"The Ponds" at the Las Gallinas Valley Sanitary District (LGVSD)
Location: San Rafael
Trip Leader(s): Rich Cimino and Janet Bodle
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Thursday, February 02, 2017
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: Beginning birders are especially welcome on the first Thursday of each month for a leisurely walk around the Las Gallinas ponds. The area includes two treated wastewater storage ponds, a freshwater pond with islands for nesting habitat, and several miles of flat levee trails. It attracts thousands of birds, including waterfowl such as ducks, geese; waders such as herons and egrets; songbirds; as well as various raptors. Our January field trip at this location tallied 76 species including the resident, but not always seen American Bittern. Each month seems to yield an interesting, and often unexpected, species, so come, assist us in our search. We welcome bird enthusiasts of all levels. We all help each other to find and identify the birds, and there are usually several experienced birders to assist. You do not even have to arrive on time because we spend the first 30-60 minutes studying the birds around the first pond and the group is easy to find. Heavy rain cancels. DIRECTIONS: From Hwy 101, exit at Smith Ranch Rd. Drive east on Smith Ranch Road toward McInnis Park. Turn left immediately after crossing the railroad tracks and drive about .5 mile through the LGVSD gates and into the parking lot at the end of the road. Meet the group by the bridge just past the parking lot. There is an outhouse in the parking area for public use or you can use the bathrooms at nearby McInnis Park.

eBird Workshop
Location: Richardson Bay Audubon Center and Sanctuary, Tiburon, CA
Trip Leader(s): Dan Singer
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Saturday, January 28, 2017
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: This workshop will introduce you to eBird and offer hands-on instruction for entering data, guidance on best practices, and suggestions on how to make use of eBird data to enhance your own birding. The class will include a bird walk for collecting and entering data, both in the field and in the classroom. Much of the class will be devoted to a question and answer period where your questions and concerns can be addressed. BE SURE TO BRING YOUR LAPTOP AND/OR HANDHELD DEVICE. Our instructor will be Dan Singer, an avid eBird user and an eBird reviewer of checklists and records for San Francisco, Marin, and Sonoma Counties. Class size is limited to 15 people with advance registration required. Contact Jane Medley at janermedley@gmail.com to register. Please include your name and phone number. The fee for this workshop will be $5 for Marin Audubon members and $10 for non-members, payable at the door. If you are not already a MAS member, we invite you to join at this event. We will meet in the Audubon Center classroom where Marin Audubon monthly Speaker Series programs are held.Beverages and healthy snacks will be served to enhance your brain power as we learn new things! Directions: The Richardson Bay Audubon Center is at 376 Greenwood Beach Road. Take the Tiburon Blvd. exit from Highway 101 and drive about 0.8 mile to Greenwood Cove Road. Turn right at the traffic light toward the Audubon Center, which is about 0.5 mile farther.

Cypress Grove Research Center
Location: Tamales Bay
Trip Leader(s): John Kelly
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Start Time: 9:30 AM
End Time: 2:00 PM
Description: John Kelly, the Director of Conservation Science for Audubon Canyon Ranch, will lead our trip to see winter waterbirds and shorebirds on Tomales Bay. This excursion will feature a visit to the Cypress Grove Research Center of Audubon Canyon Ranch, with field observations and discussions about the identification, conservation, and ecology of Tomales Bay birds. We will view waterbirds and shorebirds along the east shore of the bay, then carpool to ACR's remote Tom's Point Preserve at the northern end of the bay where we will end our day. Directions: The Cypress Grove Research Center is on State Highway 1, about one half mile north of the town of Marshall. (Marshall is 9 miles north of Point Reyes Station or 7 miles south of Tomales.) The entry gate is on the bay side of the road and marked with the address 20545. Look for a small sign with ACR's green and white egret logo mounted on the gate pole. Enter the gate, continue in on the entry road and take the left hand fork to the parking area. Walk down the trail at the northwest corner of the parking area to the main buildings in the lawn area. The main office is in Cabin #2. Heavy rain cancels.

Bolinas Lagoon, No 1, Birding in Marin Series
Location: Bolinas, CA
Trip Leader(s): Jim White and Bob Battagin
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Saturday, January 21, 2017
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Description: Join us as we begin our fourth season of Birding in Marin with Jim and Bob. Last year for the first time, our group reached Jim's initial goal of spotting 200 bird species during the year! Now we invite you to help us break this 200 "ceiling" by participating in our 2017 trips to twelve of Marin's most productive birding hot spots. Bolinas Lagoon, one of Marin's Important Bird Areas (IBA), is home to many resident bird species and also serves as a wintering ground for thousands of migratory waterfowl and shorebirds. We will scan the lagoon from our meeting area and from two or three other pullouts along our route. Then we will drive 3 miles to the Duxbury Reef overlook to see what is happening on and over the ocean. The Bolinas Mesa oxidation ponds often provide another good place to look for birds. We will then take a lunch break in downtown Bolinas. After lunch with the lower tide we will look for shorebirds near the Pine Gulch Creek delta. Directions: Meet at 8:30 AM on Highway 1 at the Stinson/Bolinas Primary School, which is 1.5 miles north of the central Stinson Beach stop sign. Heavy rain cancels.
Document/Field Trip Report: FTR Bolinas Lagoon in January.pdf

Richardson Bay and Audubon Center
Location: Tiburon, A
Trip Leader(s): Bob Hinz
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Thursday, January 19, 2017
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: We will start with a walk through the Richardson Bay Audubon Center property to the "back beach" where with scopes we can see the eastern shores of the islands as well as the bay. Then it's off to the cove at the end of the bay where we may get close looks at a number of shorebird and waterbird species. Finally, we will walk along the path to Harbor Cove Way for a closer look at Pickleweed Island. Directions: The Richardson Bay Audubon Center is at 376 Greenwood Beach Road. Take the Tiburon Blvd. exit from Highway 101 and drive about 0.8 mile to Greenwood Cove Road. Turn right at the traffic light toward the Audubon Center, which is about 0.5 mile farther.

Birding the Northwest Passage
Location: Tomales, Lawson's Landing, and Chileno Valley
Trip Leader(s): David Wimpfheimer
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Friday, January 13, 2017
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 3:30 PM
Description: This field trip is a repeat of last year's popular exploration of the less familiar habitats in Marin near the town of Tomales. We will meet at the Tomales Bakery, and our itinerary for the day will depend on where the birds are. Our first destination will be Lawson's Landing, a private resort near the mouth of Tomales Bay. Loons, grebes (including Red-necked Grebe), ducks, and Brant can be quite numerous here. Shorebirds are diverse here as well. After birding the coast, the rest of the day may be spent covering the open grasslands, wetlands, and forests of this part of Marin. Raptor sightings may include Ferruginous Hawk, Golden Eagle, and Merlin, and, if we are lucky, we may spot the now uncommon-in-Marin Loggerhead Shrike. Meet at the Tomales Bakery at 9:00 AM. Plan on arriving early to sample the delicious pastries. If the bakery is closed, the deli nearby has a nice variety of food and beverages. Check your map for your best route to Tomales. You can head west from Highway 101 at Old Redwood Highway in Petaluma or from Novato at San Marin Drive. The address of the bakery is 27000 Highway 1, Tomales. Allow about an hour from Marin. Light rain will not cancel this trip, but a heavy storm will.

The Ponds at the Las Gallinas Valley Sanitary District (LGVSD)
Location: San Rafael, CA
Trip Leader(s): Susan Kelly and David Sexton
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Thursday, January 05, 2017
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: The Las Gallinas ponds are the birding community's nickname for the treatment ponds and surrounding agricultural fields and tidal marsh at LGVSD's Wastewater Treatment Reclamation Project. The area includes two treated wastewater storage ponds, a freshwater pond with islands for nesting habitat, and several miles of flat levee trails. It attracts thousands of birds, including waterfowl such as ducks, geese; waders such as herons and egrets; songbirds; as well as varied raptors. Our December field trip at this location tallied 53 species including Cackling Goose, Virginia Rail (heard only), the previously spotted Palm Warbler, and 9 duck species including 4 Ring-necked Ducks. Each month seems to yield an interesting, and often unexpected, species. We welcome bird enthusiasts of all levels. Especially good for beginners, this casual walk on two miles of flat trails is fun and informative. We all help each other to find and identify the birds, and there are usually several experienced birders to assist. You don't even have to arrive on time because we spend the first 30-60 minutes studying the birds around the first pond and the group is easy to find. Heavy rain cancels. What to bring: Plenty of water and snacks. Binoculars and your bird guide: if you have them. Field Checklist: If you'd like a copy of the eBird checklist for Las Gallinas, email Susan at quailfriend@yahoo.org. Directions: From Hwy 101, exit at Smith Ranch Rd. Drive east on Smith Ranch Road toward McInnis Park. Turn left immediately after crossing the railroad tracks and drive about .5 mile through the LGVSD gates and into the parking lot at the end of the road. Meet the group by the bridge just past the parking lot. There is an outhouse in the parking area for public use or you can use the bathrooms at nearby McInnis Park.

Pt Reyes Christmas Bird Count
Location: Pt Reyes, CA
Start Date: Saturday, December 17, 2016
Start Time: 7:00 AM
End Time: [not specified]
Description: Visit the Pt Reyes CBC page for more information.
Link: http://tgaman.wixsite.com/prcbc

Cheap Thrills, Northern Marin Christmas Bird Count
Location: Northern Marin
Start Date: Thursday, December 15, 2016
Start Time: 7:00 AM
End Time: [not specified]
Description: Visit our CBC page, or the web page for Cheap Thrills for more information.
Link: http://cheepthrillscbc.blogspot.com

Old San Joaquin River, Mountain House Slough, and Clifton Court Forebaty
Location: San Joaquin, Contra Costa, & Alameda Counties
Trip Leader(s): Rich Cimino and Ohlone Audubon Society
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Saturday, December 10, 2016
Start Time: 8:00 PM
End Time: 1:00 PM
Description: THIS TRIP HAS BEEN CANCELLED, due to high probability of rain. Rich invites us to explore the ponds, river, channels, bay, grassland, and agricultural fields in THREE counties, all in ONE day! Pick up ducks, grebes, swans, shorebirds, raptors, and passerines for your county lists. Meet at 8:00 AM at the Shell service station on Mountain House Parkway at Schulte Road in Tracy. We'll finish up after lunch at 1:00 PM. All are welcome. Contact Rich at yellowbilledtours@gmail.com with questions. WHAT TO BRING: Scopes, lunch, drinks, and a smile! DIRECTIONS: The Shell station is about 30 minutes east of Castro Valley. Take Hwy 580 East, and at the 205 split, stay on Hwy 580 South toward Los Angeles. Shortly after that, take Exit 67, Mountain House Parkway/Patterson Pass Road. Turn left at the end of the ramp to go back over the freeway on Mountain House Parkway to Schulte Road. The Shell station (Subway, snacks, restrooms) will be on your left ahead.

Ellis Creek Water Recycling Facility and Shollenberger Park
Location: Petaluma, CA
Trip Leader(s): Gene Hunn
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Wednesday, December 07, 2016
Start Time: 8:00 AM
End Time: 1:00 PM
Description: We will start with a close look at the Ellis Creek "Polishing Ponds" (that are "relatively clean but I wouldn't go for a swim in them"), then check the adjacent fields, the riparian corridor along Ellis Creek, and the tide flats towards the Petaluma River. Next we hike over to the Shollenberger dike. The entire area is excellent for wintering waterfowl (possible Blue-winged Teal), rails (four species possible), waders, shorebirds, and sparrows. Expect to hike maybe two or three level miles. DIRECTIONS: Going north on Hwy 101 from Marin, take the second Petaluma exit, which is Route 116 (Lakeville Highway). Go east about one mile to South McDowell Blvd. (4th traffic light) and turn right. At the curve turn right on Cypress and drive straight to the east end. Meet in the parking lot. Bring a lunch. Heavy rains cancels.

No. 12, Birding in Marin Series
Location: Bahia, Rush Creek, and Rowland Avenue Wetlands
Trip Leader(s): Jim White & Bob Battagin
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Saturday, December 03, 2016
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Description: (Note: This is the first Saturday in December, not the third. Date changed because of Christmas Bird Counts.) Please meet at the foot (east end) of Bugeia Lane (Bahia Drive) in Novato where Marin Audubon has completed a large restoration project. Shorebirds, ducks, herons, swallows, and rails will be reaping the benefits here for years to come. After viewing the birds and the restoration area, we intend to walk the trail along the edge of the mixed oak woodland. Next we plan to drive around to the end of Topaz Street to view the Horseshoe Pond where some diving ducks, including a few Barrow's Goldeneyes, like to winter. During the day we will practice some bird counting to help prepare for the upcoming Christmas Bird Count season. After lunch we will take a look at two nearby areas: Rush Creek and the Rowland Avenue wetlands. DIRECTIONS: From Hwy 101 in North Novato, take the Atherton Avenue exit east about 2 miles, then turn left onto Bugeia Lane, which turns into Bahia Drive. Follow it to the end where there is some street parking. No restrooms available here.

The Ponds at the Las Gallinas Valley Sanitary District
Location: San Rafael, CA
Trip Leader(s): Susan Kelly, Bob Battagin, and friends
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Thursday, December 01, 2016
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: The Las Gallinas ponds are the birding community's nickname for the treatment ponds and surrounding agricultural fields and tidal marsh at LGVSD's Wastewater Treatment Reclamation Project. The area includes two treated wastewater storage ponds, a freshwater pond with islands for nesting habitat, and several miles of flat levee trails. It attracts thousands of birds, including waterfowl such as ducks, geese; waders such as herons and egrets; songbirds such as blackbirds, wrens, sparrows, and finches; hawks such as Northern Harriers, White-tailed Kites, and Red-tailed Hawks; and falcons such as Kestrel, Merlin, and Peregrine Falcon. The Audubon Society has cataloged over 200 species of birds within the area and eBird currently lists over 237. Let's see how many we can find! We welcome bird enthusiasts of all levels. Especially good for beginners, this casual walk on two miles of flat trails is fun and informative. We all help each other to find and identify the birds, and there are usually several experienced birders to assist. You don't even have to arrive on time because we spend the first 30-60 minutes studying the birds around the first pond and the group is easy to find. LGVSD provides these trails for public access and as part of the 500-mile San Francisco Bay Trail (see baytrail.org). What to bring: Plenty of water and snacks; Binoculars and your bird guide, if you have them. If you’d like a copy of the eBird checklist for Las Gallinas, email Susan at quailfriend@yahoo.org. Directions: From Hwy. 101 exit at Smith Ranch Rd. and drive east on Smith Ranch Rd., toward McInnis Park. Turn left immediately after crossing the railroad tracks and drive about .5 mile through the LGVSD gates and into the parking lot at the end of the road. Meet the group by the bridge just past the parking lot. There is an outhouse in the parking area for public use or you can use the bathrooms at nearby McInnis Park.

Christmas Bird Count Practice
Location: Las Gallinas Storage Ponds, San Rafael, CA
Trip Leader(s): Susan Kelly
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Sunday, November 27, 2016
Start Time: 1:00 PM
End Time: 4:00 PM
Description: If you are participating in a Christmas Bird Count, thinking about participating, or just wondering what this is all about, join Susan Kelly for a hands-on training session. Susan is the organizer and compiler of the Cheep Thrills Christmas Bird Count in Northern Marin. We will meet at Las Gallinas at the picnic tables by Pond 1. We'll spend about 30 minutes talking about the process. The talk will cover: 1) how we divide the count circle into areas and cover each area with a team of 2 to 12, each with an experienced leader; 2) how we record all birds seen and/or heard on the field form (One person in each group is responsible for this and also must keep track of time spent birding while walking, driving around, riding a bike, or any other method they use.); and 3) how to estimate the number of birds in large flocks such as robins, blackbirds, crows, geese, and ducks. We will then walk around the pond and count the birds, recording them on the Cheep Thrills field form (Each person will receive a copy.) If we have time, we may go into an area with trees and try counting the small birds there. Please bring binoculars, water, snacks, and a pen or pencil to record the birds you count. DIRECTIONS: From Hwy 101, take the Smith Ranch Road exit east toward McInnis Park. Turn left immediately after crossing the railroad tracks and continue about 0.5 mile to the Las Gallinas Ponds parking lot at the end of the road.

Corte Madera Marsh
Location: Corte Madera, CA
Trip Leader(s): Roger Harris and Meryl Sundove
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Sunday, November 20, 2016
Start Time: 1:00 PM
End Time: 3:30 PM
Description: Major concentrations of shorebirds and ducks visit this marsh and the associated mudflats on their annual migrations up and down the Pacific Flyway. Many will be settling in for a winter at the marsh. Join our leaders Roger and Meryl, who have lived by this marsh for over 30 years. Marin Audubon owns three properties in this marsh complex, the recently acquired 5.2-acre Corte Madera Ecological Reserve, the 31-acre Triangle Marsh, and a one-acre parcel at the end of Channel Drive where we will be meeting. We will walk along San Clemente Creek as we watch waves of sandpipers and other waterbirds fly from the bay mudflats to the high tide refuge of the marsh. Then after the tide has risen further, we will walk to a tidal channel and perhaps see the endangered Ridgway's Rail, which is common in this marsh. Any number of raptors and ducks can be expected. In addition to hearing about the remarkable history of this wetland and observing the behavior of wildlife, we will also address coastal ecology. Total distance walked on level but potentially muddy levees will be about a mile. Heavy rain cancels. Bring binoculars and, if you have one, a spotting scope. There are no restroom facilities in the marsh and even tall bushes are at a premium. DIRECTIONS: From Hwy 101, take Exit 449A at Tamalpais Drive in Corte Madera; go east 0.2 mile toward the bay; turn right at the Home Consignment Store and go 0.4 mile on San Clemente Drive; make the first left onto Harbor Drive for 0.2 mile; turn right onto Yolo Street for 400 feet. Then turn left onto Channel Drive. We will meet where the road dead ends at the marsh.

Las Gallinas Storage Ponds and Hamilton Wetlands, No 11 Birding in Marin Series
Location: Las Gallinas Storage Ponds, San Rafael, CA
Trip Leader(s): Jim White and Bob Battagin
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Saturday, November 19, 2016
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Description: The Las Gallinas ponds are a great place for good views of many kinds of ducks and raptors. This is an easy 1.5-mile walk where many other species may be seen, including Ridgway's Rails and Soras. After a lunch break we will go to the Hamilton Wetlands in Novato. This extensive wetland was recently reconnected with the Bay after two decades of planning and work. The wetlands were diked off at the turn of the 19th century, cutting off an important area for thousands of migrating waterfowl along the Pacific Flyway. The birds are now returning in big numbers. We will see the waterfowl, shorebirds, raptors, and other species that are now making these new wetlands their home. DIRECTIONS: We will meet at Las Gallinas. From Hwy 101, take the Smith Ranch Road exit east toward McInnis Park. Turn left immediately after crossing the railroad tracks and continue about 0.5 mile to the Las Gallinas Ponds parking lot at the end of the road.

Laguna de Santa Rosa
Location: Sonoma County
Trip Leader(s): Lisa Hug
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Sunday, November 13, 2016
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: We will join Lisa for a leisurely 2 miile loop walk starting at the Laguna de Santa Rosa Trailhead Parking Lot. The trail is fairly flat and goes through open meadow, abuts a riparian forest along the Laguna channel and around a lovely pond. We may see White-tailed Kites, Red-shouldered Hawks, Lincoln’s Sparrows, Western Bluebirds, Pied-billed Grebes and any number of surprises. Bring binoculars, water, snacks, and layered clothing. There is a restroom available. The walk should last about three and a half hours. We may explore a few other areas afterwards for people who want to continue birding. DIRECTIONS: From Marin, take US-101 North. Take Exit 488B to merge onto CA-12 toward Sebastopol. The Laguna de Santa Rosa Trailhead is on Highway 12, about 1 mile east of Sebastopol. It is between Llano Road and Morris Street on the north side of the road.

Children's Trip to Las Gallinas Storage Ponds: Golden Gate Audubon
Location: Las Gallinas Storage Ponds, San Rafael, CA
Trip Leader(s): Eugenia Caldwell and Pauline Grant
Host: Eugenia Caldwell and Pauline Grant, ec94131@gmail.com (Eugenia) or 415-990-1291 (Pauline)
Start Date: Saturday, November 12, 2016
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 11:00 AM
Description: THIS FIELD TRIP IS DESIGNED FOR CHILDREN AGES 8 AND UP, CHILDREN WITH EITHER NO EXPERIENCE BIRDING OR LIMITED EXPERIENCE BIRDING. The focus of this outing will be wintering ducks and geese - birds that sit still longer than tree birds!! Some typical species for these ponds: Ruddy Duck, Common Merganser, American Wigeon, Bufflehead, Canvasback, Gadwall, Green-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Scaup. We will begin with a quick explanation of how to use binoculars (a few loaner pairs will be available during the field trip) and some basic information on how to identify birds. RSVP required. Maximum 15 participants. An adult must accompany children under 12. Dress in layers, bring binoculars if you have them, sunscreen, water, sturdy shoes, and a hat, and be prepared for rain showers. Heavy rain will cancel the trip. Directions: from Highway 101 take the Smith Ranch Road exit, then go east on Smith Ranch toward the McInnis Park entrance. Turn left immediately after crossing the railroad tracks, staying on Smith Ranch, and go about .5 miles to the end of the road, at the Las Gallinas Ponds parking lot. Meet the group by the short concrete bridge that connects to the first pond. The bridge is right next to the parking lot closest to the ponds. Rest room facilities only at the parking area at the entrance to the golf course (not near the storage ponds). Map:  https://goo.gl/maps/9a4oXrRKapM2

Left of the Fault - Point Reyes Big Day Blast
Location: Pt Reyes National Seashore
Trip Leader(s): Keith Hansen
Host: Rich Cimino, yellowbilledtours@gmail.com, (925) 353-0266
Start Date: Tuesday, November 01, 2016
Start Time: 7:30 AM
End Time: 5:00 PM
Description: Join renowned bird artist Keith Hansen for a full, fine-feathered day of fall birding at Point Reyes. Sometimes thought of as "too late" for fall migrants, November is often an under-appreciated time for finding rare birds. We will attempt to see at least 100 species "west of the San Andreas Fault!" We will meet in Point Reyes Station and carpool to the Outer Point hitting as many of the migrant traps as is possible. Time permitting we'll increase the list by hitting the Teal Ponds, Heart's Desire Beach, and maybe Bear Valley and Five Brooks. This is an all day trip that is not for the faint of heart or those just looking for a leisurely bird walk. Bring a lunch and plenty of liquids. Be dressed for good, to less than good weather. Feel free to bring a scope. Only a big storm will cause us to cancel. There is no charge for this trip but signup is required as the number of participants is limited to 15. Contact Rich Cimino between 9 AM on Monday, October 10, and 5 PM on Friday, October 26, if you wish to sign up. Rich can be reached at yellowbilledtours@gmail.com or (925) 353-0266. Trip slots will be filled by Rich AFTER 5 PM on October 26, and participants will be contacted by him. Any vacant slots after that will be allotted on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Document/Field Trip Report: FTR Left of the Fault 11.1.2016.pages

Redwood Creek
Location: Muir Woods National Monument
Trip Leader(s): Jim White and Bob Battagin
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Saturday, October 22, 2016
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: Help celebrate International Migratory Bird Day at Muir Woods National Monument by joining long-time Muir Beach resident Jim White on a bird walk along the Redwood Creek riparian corridor. We will gather in front of the Muir Woods Visitor Center and take a leisurely 1 - 1/2 mile walk along the Redwood Creek Trail. We will be looking for resident birds such as the Pileated Woodpecker and migratory birds such as the Western Tanager. Free shuttle buses running between Muir Beach and Muir Woods this date can transport trip participants back to the Muir Woods Parking Lot.

Nicasio Reservoir
Location: Nicasio, CA
Trip Leader(s): Bob Battagin & Adam Donkin
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Thursday, October 20, 2016
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: In recent years the September through October shorebird/raptor migration window at Nicasio Reservoir has yielded 15 raptor species and 20 shorebird species, many of which we hope to observe on this field trip. We will meet at the backstop to the baseball field in Nicasio. We will start with a meander around the very small but birdy town of Nicasio, then head over to nearby Nicasio Reservoir to look for resident and migrant waterbirds and raptors. Directions: The baseball field is in the center of Nicasio on Nicasio Valley Road. Nicasio can be reached by taking the Lucas Valley Road exit from Hwy 101 to the end and then taking a right on Nicasio Valley Road. Those coming from the south can take Nicasio Valley Road through Fairfax and San Geronimo. For GPS, the address of the Rancho Nicasio Rastaurant across from the ball field is 1 Old Rancheria Road, Nicasio.

Middle Harbor Shoreline Park - Port of Oakland
Location: Oakland, CA
Trip Leader(s): Rusty Scalf
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Monday, October 17, 2016
Start Time: 10:00 AM
End Time: 2:00 PM
Description: Join Rusty in this unique setting for a truly urban birding experience! This birding hotspot right in the midst of the Port of Oakland is a great place to study shorebirds in good light with the Bay Bridge and San Francisco skyline in the background. Waterbirds present may include diving ducks, grebes, and terns. We will be walking on level, paved paths with some travel on sandy areas. Bring a snack and water as we shall be there during lunch. Restrooms are available in the parking area. If you arrive late due to traffic, you should be able to easily find us birding along the shoreline. Directions: Middle Harbor Shoreline Park is located at the end of 7th Street. For navigation technology or Google Maps, use 2777 Middle Harbor Road, Oakland, CA 94607. This address is important as there is a second entrance half a mile away, which can be confusing.

Coast Trail & Fire Lane Trail
Location: Pt Reyes National Seashore
Trip Leader(s): Todd Plummer
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Tuesday, October 11, 2016
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 12:30 PM
Description: Join Todd for a looped birding hike along the Coast Trail and Fire Lane Trail in Point Reyes National Seashore. The hike covers about 5 miles up and over a scrub-covered hill through Douglas fir and Bishop pine stands, along a canyon edge and statuesque rock formations to the shore, then back along the riparian corridor of the flat Coast Trail. Signs of jackrabbits, foxes, and bobcats abound. We might see migrant warblers and raptors, grebes, scoters, loons and other seabirds, and sandpipers below the mile-long bluff hike. We may encounter a variety of sparrows and wrens, possibly owls and marsh birds. You may even catch a glimpse of a garter snake near the upland spring. Todd will focus on bird vocalizations to aid in IDs and will definitely be checking out flowers and butterflies along the way. We will take our time, including a break for snacks. Directions: Take Limantour Road from Bear Valley Road and follow signs to the Clem Miller Environmental Education Center. We will depart by foot at 8:30 AM from the parking lot near the Environmental Ed Center (marked as the Laguna Trailhead on the national seashore map). We will return to our cars around 12:30 PM.

Abbots Lagoon, No. 10, Birding in Marin Series
Location: Pt Reyes National Seashore
Trip Leader(s): Jim White and Bob Battagin
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Saturday, October 08, 2016
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Description: Please join Jim and Bob exploring Abbotts Lagoon in the Point Reyes National Seashore. Plan to meet by 8:30 AM in the parking lot on Pierce Point Road. Fall migration south along the Pacific coast brings many birds to this place: ducks and geese, shorebirds, raptors, even sparrows and pipits. Tufted Duck, Greater White-fronted Goose, Baird's Sandpiper, Ferruginous Hawk, Clay-colored Sparrow, and American Pipit are a few of the birds that we may find. We will get a look at this migration and many of the birds that stay for the winter. This should be an excellent field trip and will be good exercise. Directions: Allowing about an hour and a half travel time from San Rafael, follow Sir Francis Drake Blvd (SFDB) to Olema. If traveling from Stinson Beach, go north on Hwy 1 to Olema. From Olema continue north on Hwy 1, take the second left turn on SFDB, continue through Inverness, turn right (north) onto Pierce Point Road and keep driving until you come to the Abbotts Lagoon parking lot on the left (west) where our group will gather.

Farallon Islands Boat Trip
Location: Boat Departs from Clipper Yacht Harbor, Sausalito
Trip Leader(s): David Wimpfheimer
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Sunday, October 02, 2016
Start Time: 7:30 AM
End Time: 4:00 PM
Description: This trip is full. The following information is for participants: Be prepared for any kind of weather with layered clothing. A rain jacket and pants are essential no matter what the weather on shore. Take seasick medication if needed. If you get seasick easily, this is not the trip for you. We will be on the boat all day. Bring lunch, snacks, water and plenty of sunscreen. Directions: Take Hwy 101 to the Marin City/Sausalito exit, head south on Bridgeway, take a left on Harbor Drive and go into the parking area at the end. There will be a $2 fee for parking. We will meet on the south side of the parking lot to check in before boarding. Be there at 7:30.
Document/Field Trip Report: FTR Farallons Oct 2.2016 .pdf

Rodeo Lagoon
Location: Marin Headlands
Trip Leader(s): William Legge and David Wiechers
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Saturday, September 24, 2016
Start Time: 8:00 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: Join William and David for a morning of birding at Rodeo Lagoon. This is their "patch" and we are likely to see over 60 species. With large numbers of birds moving through the area this time of year, it's sure to be interesting with unusual sightings a definite possibility. We will be targeting Parastic Jaeger, migrating shorebirds, warblers, and other passerines. We will begin the morning with a Sea Watch at 8 AM. Those arriving late may join us at 9 AM for a circuit of the Lagoon. Directions: Five-Minute Tunnel: Head south on Hwy 101 and take the last Sausalito exit just before the Golden Gate Bridge. At the exit stop sign, turn right and go under the freeway, then follow the road down to the left. Within 300 feet you see a left turn signposted to the Marin Headlands (this is the only available left turn before you begin the descent into Sausalito). You should see a tunnel with a five-minute light. Proceed through the tunnel on Bunker Road to the Rodeo Lagoon Parking Lot at the end and meet by the bridge over the channel to the beach.

Outer Point Vagrants (West Marin)
Location: West Marin
Trip Leader(s): Peter Colasanti
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Thursday, September 22, 2016
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Description: We will meet Peter at White House Pool and bird the area as the group gathers. Our itinerary for the day will depend on what has been happening in the area. This time of year, as Rich Stallcup said, "The O.P. never gets old. It's never the same. For some of us, a year made up of 12 Septembers would be nice." Directions: From Hwy 101 in Larkspur, take the Sir Francis Drake exit 20.4 miles to Olema. Turn right onto Hwy 1 and go 2 miles. Before the green bridge, turn left (continuing on Sir Francis Drake Blvd) and drive 0.7 mile. Look for the White House Pool sign and parking lot on the right.

Vaux's Swifts at McNear Brick & Block
Location: San Rafael, CA
Trip Leader(s): Bob Hinz and Jane Medley
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Monday, September 19, 2016
Start Time: 6:30 PM
End Time: 7:45 PM
Description: Join us at sunset for the opportunity to witness the Vaux's Swifts during their fall migration through Marin, which occurs in September and October. Dan McNear of McNear Brick & Block has kindly allowed access for our group to this remarkable site where smoke stacks no longer in use provide an important communal roosting spot for the swifts. We will have the opportunity to watch thousands of swifts as they descend into the stacks just before nightfall. At the peak of migration last year, over 29,000 swifts were counted in one evening! Sunset on the evening of our visit will be at 7:11 PM, so plan on arriving early to be ready. Bring scopes, binoculars, and, if desired, folding chairs for your seating comfort. It can be chilly at dusk. Please stay with our group and do not enter any of the private areas on this property. Directions: From Hwy 101 take the Central San Rafael exit. Head east on Point San Pedro Road for about 3 miles. The brickyard will be on the right. The address is 1 McNear Brickyard Road. Turn in at the brickyard entrance and park by the side of the road.

Birding in Marin No 9 - Drakes Beach and the Fish Docks
Location: Pt Reyes National Seashore
Trip Leader(s): Jim White and Bob Battagin
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Saturday, September 17, 2016
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Description: September is the most surprising month of birding here as many juvenile birds make their first migration south and west without the aid of Google. Some western migrants such as Nashville, Hermit and Black-throated Gray Warblers may be in the Point Reyes tree islands and we sometimes see more unusual Eastern species. Drakes Bay also begins to harbor wintering species like Red-necked Grebes, Marbled Murrelets and Loons. We will picnic early and then head over to the Fish Docks and/or the Point Reyes Light House. Directions: Meet at the Drakes Beach parking lot near the monument. Take Sir Francis Drake west to Highway 1 in Olema, then take Highway 1 north and turn left onto Sir Francis Drake Boulevard (just after the Marin Sun Farms shop and just before you get to Point Reyes Station). Alternately, take Novato Boulevard or Lucas Valley Road and Nicasio Valley Road west to Point Reyes-Petaluma Road and follow it to Highway 1. Turn left on Highway 1 and head through downtown Point Reyes Station, then turn right after the bridge onto Sir Francis Drake Boulevard. Follow Sir Francis Drake Boulevard through Inverness out to Point Reyes National Seashore. Keep going until you get to the Drakes Beach Road where you'll bear left. Expect about a 35-minute drive from Point Reyes Station to Drakes Beach.

Hamilton Wetlands
Location: Novato, CA
Trip Leader(s): David Sexton and Bill Jones
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Tuesday, September 13, 2016
Start Time: 8:00 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: In our continuing salute to World Shorebirds this month, Hamilton Wetlands Volunteers, David and Bill, will lead a trip to view the Hamilton Wetlands and celebrate the return of shorebirds to this former flight line and landing strip. The trip will start with a stop at the nursery where Nursery and Restoration Manager, Christina McWhorter, will give a brief update on the restoration and replanting progress. The outing will then cover both the east side and the southwest sides of the wetlands as we search for early returning shorebirds and ducks. We hope to see Sandpipers, Plovers, Yellowlegs, Willets, Long-billed Curlews, and Marbled Godwits. We may be fortunate enough to see some of the first Phalaropes, American Wigeons, Pintails, Ruddy Ducks, and Northern Shovelers of the fall migration as well as Avocets, Black-necked Stilts, Herons, Grebes, Gulls and Terns. Directions: The outing will start at the Novato Skate Park at 1200 Hamilton Parkway. Take Exit 459 from Highway 101 toward Ignacio Blvd, Bel Marin Keys Blvd. Turn right on Nave Drive, then left onto North Hamilton Pkwy. The skate park is on the left. We will carpool from there. We will finish at the south end of the wetlands at noon with parking at the pool and ball fields on Hanger Avenue.

Bodega Bay
Location: Bodega Bay, CA
Trip Leader(s): Lisa Hug
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Tuesday, September 06, 2016
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 3:30 PM
Description: Celebrate World Shorebirds Day at Bodega Bay during the fall migration when just about anything can happen. We'll meet at the Rail Ponds at 8:30 AM. We will make some stops for shorebirds and then move on to Owl Canyon, Sonoma County's premier vagrant trap, and then on to a sea watch at Bodega Head. From the Head we'll return clockwise around Bodega Harbor with likely stops at Campbell Cove, Owl Canyon again, Porto Bodega and winding up at Doran Park (entrance fee) where we sometimes find Snowy Plovers. Directions to the Rail Ponds: Drive north on Hwy 1 through Bodega Bay approximately .5 miles past Diekman's Store and go left on Eastshore Road, right at the bottom of the hill on Bayflat Road. Drive to the harbor shore where you’ll find the horse trailer parking lot (Rail Ponds) on the right, just shy of the northern most part of the harbor. If this is confusing—the GPS address is 1600 Bayflat Road. You can also Google "Rail Ponds Bodega Bay" to see photo maps.

Las Gallinas Storage Ponds
Location: San Rafael, CA
Trip Leader(s): Susan Kelly and Jim White
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Thursday, September 01, 2016
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: Susan has graciously agreed to lead our Thursday walks again this year, continuing a tradition started years ago by Bruce Bajema. Each month she will be accompanied by a different local, knowledgeable birder who will help guide the large group that usually shows up for this popular monthly walk. This month's co-leader will be Jim White. Birders of all levels are welcome. Each month the avian cast of characters will change, and we'll try to keep track of newly arriving species. Recently observed species include Peregrine Falcon, White Pelican (30 of them!), Ring-billed Gull, and Caspian Tern. Try to bring a pair of binoculars, as well as some water. We'lll be walking about 2 miles on the levees surrounding the ponds. Directions: From Highway 101 take the Smith Ranch Road exit, then go east on Smith Ranch toward the McInnis Park entrance. Turn left immediately after the railroad tracks, staying on Smith Ranch and go about .5 mi to the end of the road, at the Las Gallinas Ponds parking lot. Meet the group by the bridge just past the parking lot. Rest room facilities only at the parking area.

No 8, Birding in Marin Series Limantour Beach and Estero
Location: Pt Reyes National Seashore
Trip Leader(s): Jim White and Bob Battagin
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Saturday, August 20, 2016
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Description: August will find Jim and Bob exploring Limantour Beach and Estero. We will meet at the Limantour parking lot in the Point Reyes National Seashore where there are restrooms and ample parking. We intend to hike up the beach until we find Snowy Plovers, Brant and the declining White-winged Scoters. We will walk back on the Estero side expecting to see more shorebirds and ducks. After lunch (bring your own) we intend to walk a ways up the Sky Trail to look for fir forest birds. Directions: Take Sir Francis Drake to Bear Valley Road south of Inverness Park, then take Limantour Road South/West to its end at the parking lot, about 7 miles.

No. 7 Birding in Marin Series - Big Rock Trailhead
Location: Lucas Valley, San Rafael, CA
Trip Leader(s): Jim White and Bob Battagin
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Saturday, July 16, 2016
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Description: Trails at Big Rock, while rather steep, allow us to view some of the expansive grasslands and forested ravines in Marin. Some of the grassland nesting birds we will be looking for include Lazuli Buntings, Lark Sparrows, Western Meadowlarks, Grasshopper Sparrows, Horned Larks, and Ash-throated Flycatchers. We will also have a vast amount of sky visible so that swallows, swifts, and raptors may appear with a chance for a Golden Eagle. Plus we will be looking for the rare, brilliantly hued Indigo Bunting, which has attempted to nest here for the past two years! Directions: From Highway 101 in San Rafael, exit on Lucas Valley Road and go west approximately 5.5 miles (look for the big rock). We will be walking approximately 3 miles. Since this area can get quite hot in the summer, be sure to wear a hat and use sunscreen as well as carry plenty of water.

History and Birding on Alcatraz
Location: Alcatraz Island
Trip Leader(s): With Ranger John Cantwell and Karen Vandergrift
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Tuesday, June 21, 2016
Start Time: 8:45 AM
End Time: 2:00 PM
Description: Boat Leaves at 8:45 AM. Trip Ends in the Early PM. This special trip to Alcatraz is designed for people who are interested in both the human and natural history of the island and varies from our usual trips focusing more exclusively on birds. THIS TRIP IS FULL. Contact Jane Medley at janermedley@gmail.com for wait list information.
Link: http://marinaudubon.org/events-alcatraz-history-birding.php

No. 6 Birding in Marin Series Five Brooks and Bear Valley
Location: Pt Reyes National Seashore
Trip Leader(s): Jim Whitened Bob Battagin
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Saturday, June 18, 2016
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Description: Join Jim and Bob on this trip as part of their year-long series of Marin walks. We will meet at Five Brooks to walk the trail. We have a chance of finding Wood Ducks and other pond-nesting birds at the retired logging pond. We will also look for birds in the Douglas Fir forest. We will then travel to Bear Valley where there is a fine place to picnic under an Acorn Woodpecker granary. Walks on the Earthquake Trail and to the Miwok village Kule Loklo will add to our knowledge of nesting birds.mDirections: From Hwy 101 take Sir Francis Drake Blvd for about 20 miles. Turn left onto Hwy 1 and drive about 3.5 miles to the signed entrance to Five Brooks on the right side of the road. We will meet at the Five Brooks parking area, which is 0.25 west of Hwy 1. If traveling from the south on Highway 1, Five Brooks will be approximately 5 miles north of Stinson Beach.

Muddy Hollow Trail - Point Reyes
Location: Pt Reyes National Seashore
Trip Leader(s): Todd Plummer
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Monday, June 06, 2016
Start Time: 8:00 AM
End Time: 12:30 PM
Description: Join Todd on this easy trail as we watch and listen for a variety of birds in the coastal riparian forest. This is a particularly good area for Great-horned Owls, Wilson's Warblers, and all three of our local Picoides woodpeckers: Hairy, Downy, and Nuttall's. We will watch for large Dusky-footed Woodrat lodges beneath alders and willows and hope for Virginia Rails in the marsh area. We will meet at 8 AM in the big lot at the Bear Valley Visitor Center where bathrooms are available and we can arrange carpools. We will then carpool to the Muddy Hollow Trailhead. We will bird along the 1.8 mile trail and return along the same route. Be prepared for variable weather and bring a lunch and water. Directions: From Point Reyes Station, go south on Hwy 1 about 2.5 miles. Look for a brown "Point Reyes National Seashore" sign just beyond the Olema RV Resort & Campground. If you get to a flashing red light, you've gone 100 yards too far. Turn right onto Bear Valley Road and head west about one-half mile. Look for a big red barn on the left and a sign for "Visitor Center" on the right. Meet at the big parking lot at the Bear Valley Visitor Center.

Fort Mason and Crissy Field
Location: San Francisco, CA
Trip Leader(s): David Assmann
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Tuesday, May 31, 2016
Start Time: 8:00 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: Bird two of San Francisco's hot spots, Fort Mason and Crissy Field, with David. Fort Mason has a variety of habitats in a very compact area at the northeast corner of San Francisco and has an ebird list of 97 species for May. We'lll look for late migrants, including flycatchers and warblers, and scan Aquatic Park for water birds. We'll also look for nesting birds such as Downy Woodpeckers, Hooded Orioles, and Pygmy Nuthatches. Then we'll travel to Crissy Field, our second hotspot on the northern shore of San Francisco, where we'll look for loons, terns, ducks, and shorebirds. Directions: Enter Fort Mason at Bay and Franklin (It's at the very end of Franklin Street). There should be ample free parking Make sure you do not park in reserved spots. We will meet at the gate on the east side of the Community Garden at 8 AM.

Birding for Beginners
Location: Olompali State Park, Novato, CA
Trip Leader(s): Rich Cimino and Janet Bodle
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Sunday, May 29, 2016
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 11:30 AM
Description: Are you curious about our local birds and want to learn more about them but need some guidance to deepen your appreciation? This second in a series of field trips for beginners will help you become more confident and skilled in bird identification with the use of binoculars, scopes, and field guides. Participants will learn how to identify local resident birds of Eastern Marin County with this trip focusing on species found in the Oak Woodland/Oak Savannah habitats at Olompali. Resident species as well as recently arrived spring migrants will be busy singing and nesting, so there should be a variety of birds to hear and see. Directions: Take Highway 101 to the Atherton Avenue/San Marin Drive Exit in Novato. Head West, crossing over Highway 101, then turn north onto Redwood Boulevard to the park entrance on the west side of the highway. We will meet in the large parking lot. There is an $8 registration fee paid through self-registration. There is a portable toilet in the parking lot.

Hamilton Wetlands for Young Birders
Location: Novato, CA
Trip Leader(s): Mark Forney
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Saturday, May 28, 2016
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 10:00 AM
Description: Do you know a child who might enjoy learning about birds and the natural world in the company of other children? Help Marin Audubon build a young generation of bird lovers and nature stewards by sharing the joys of birding with a young person (15 and under invited). Parents, grandparents, and friends are invited to accompany the special children in their lives for a morning of bird watching with Mark. We hope for this field trip to become an important monthly offering and request your help in recruiting participants and getting this program established. Bring binoculars if you have them. Directions: We will meet at South Hamilton Park playground at Hamilton Field. From the south on Highway 101 take the Nave Drive/Hamilton exit, and from the north use the Ignacio Blvd. exit. Follow Main Gate Road, go right on South Palm, then turn right on Hangar Avenue. The South Hamilton Park parking lot is at the intersection of Hangar Avenue and Maybeck Street. From the parking lot, walk along Hangar Avenue south to its end, and you will see the playground ahead on the right.

No. 5, Birding in Marin Series
Location: Muir Woods, Redwood Creek and Muir Beach
Trip Leader(s): Jim White and Bob Battagin
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Saturday, May 21, 2016
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Description: May is the height of the breeding season in Marin. Join Jim and Bob as we visit Muir Woods, Redwood Creek and Muir Beach. We will start the morning in Muir Woods where we will bird along Redwood Creek and hear the beautiful songs of Swainson's Thrushes, Black-headed Grosbeaks and Pacific Wrens, along with Warbling Vireos, Wilson's and Orange-crowned (perhaps MacGillivray's) Warblers. We may or may not go into the Park but bring your Senior Pass if you have one. Entrance fee is $10 per Adult. We will then check out the restored riparian area at Muir Beach and picnic there. Scanning the ocean we usually find Pigeon Guillemots, Common Murres, Pelagic and Brandt’s Cormorants, grebes, loons and Black Oystercatchers. We plan to walk several miles. Bring bins, scopes, lunch, dress in layers and carpool if possible. Directions: Meet in the lower parking lot (sign says "Additional Parking") at Muir Woods. From Highway 101 take the Mill Valley/Highway 1 Stinson Beach Exit. Follow the signs to Highway 1 and then to Muir Woods. The address is 1 Muir Woods Road, Mill Valley.

Thursday Morning Bird Songs
Location: Big Rock Trailhead to Loma Alta Trail
Trip Leader(s): Lisa Hug and Susan Kelly
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Thursday, May 12, 2016
Start Time: 7:30 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: Spring is the best time of year to hear and learn bird songs. Males are full of hormones and bursting with song. Many neo-tropical migrants are returning and vying for mates and territories. It is a very exciting time of year. This walk will require participants to stay quiet to enable us to listen to the myriad of bird sounds. Bring comfortable walking shoes, layered clothing, water, binoculars, field guides and snacks. This trip is limited to 15 participants. To sign up, email Jane Medley at janermedley@gmail.com. Please include your phone number. Participants will be contacted prior to the trip to confirm registration. A wait list will be created if registration exceeds available spaces. Directions: From Highway 101 in San Rafael, take the exit for Lucas Valley Road west approximately 5.5 miles (look for the big rock). The trailhead is on the north side of Lucas Valley Road.

Las Gallinas Storage Ponds
Location: San Rafael, CA
Trip Leader(s): Susan Kelly, Len Blumin and friends
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Thursday, May 05, 2016
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: Join Susan and Len for a walk around the Las Gallinas Storage Ponds. Birders of all levels are welcome. Spring is a busy time at the ponds with opportunities to view a variety of nesting birds including Marsh Wrens, Common Gallinules, several colorful duck species, as well as the non-native Mute Swans, which successfully fledged 9 cygnets in 2015. Dress for all weather and bring water. We'll ve walking about 2 miles on the flat levees that surround the ponds. Heavy rain cancels.Directions: From Highway 101 take the Smith Ranch Road exit, then go east on Smith Ranch toward the McInnis Park entrance. Turn left immediately after crossing the railroad tracks, staying on Smith Ranch and go about .5 miles to the end of the road at the Las Gallinas parking lot. Meet the group by the bridge just past the parking lot. Late arrivals should easily be able to find the group. There are restroom facilities only at the parking area.

Hamilton Wetlands for Young Birders
Location: Hamilton Field, Novato, CA
Trip Leader(s): Mark Forney
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514 or Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Saturday, April 30, 2016
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 10:00 PM
Description: Join Mark at Hamilton Wetlands Restoration Project in Novato for a morning of bird watching geared towards children younger than 16 accompanied by a parent or grandparent. Hamilton Wetlands itself is young, tidal function having only been returned to the site in April 2014. The ongoing vegetation restoration and the connection to San Pablo Bay have begun to create a great place to see a diversity of shorebirds, waterfowl, and upland birds; over 160 species of birds have been observed at the site in the past couple of years. There is a wide, level, gravel, walking trail that follows the west edge of the Wetlands. The trail allows for easy and sometimes quite close observation of birds. The walk will focus on general attentiveness to the surrounding bird life, as well as development of observational skills, and identification of birds, depending upon the interest level of the attendee. Bring binoculars if you have them. Directions: We will meet at South Hamilton Park playground at Hamilton Field in Novato. From the south on Highway 101 take the Nave Drive/Hamilton exit, and from the north use the Ignacio Blvd exit. The South Hamilton Park parking lot is at the intersection of Hangar Avenue and Maybeck Street, Novato. From the parking lot, walk along Hangar Avenue south to its end, and you will see the playground ahead on the right.

Birding for Beginners
Location: Niven Park, Greenbrae, CA
Trip Leader(s): Rich Cimino and Janet Bodle
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514 or Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Sunday, April 24, 2016
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 11:30 AM
Description: Are you curious about our local birds but don’t know quite where or how to start learning about them? This first in a series of field trips for beginning birders will introduce you to the use of binoculars, scopes, and field guides. Participants will learn how to identify local resident birds of Eastern Marin County. We will be able to view and discuss local water birds and songbirds while walking in a leisurely manner for approximately one half mile along the bike path. The Corte Madera Marsh area is Rich and Janet's home territory where they bird regularly. Come with your questions for them and enjoy the company of other novice birders. Directions: To Niven Park from the north, take Highway 101 and exit on Sir Francis Drake Blvd going west toward San Anselmo. From the south, take Highway 101 and exit toward San Anselmo on Sir Francis Drake Blvd. Turn left on Barry, then left again on Drakes Landing Road. Park just past Jason's Restaurant.

No. 12, Birding in Marin Series
Location: Mount Burdell, Novato, CA
Trip Leader(s): Jim White and Bob Battagin
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514 or Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Saturday, April 16, 2016
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Description: Join Jim and Bob for a field trip to the gentle slopes of Mt. Burdell where we'll listen to and observe the impressive variety of songbirds that make this area their springtime home. Species we might see include Lark Sparrow, Ash-thhroated Flycatcher, Bullock's Oriole and Grasshopper Sparrow, among many other possibilities. This should be a fairly easy walk, with some uphill. Bring comfortable walking shoes, layered clothing, water and snacks. We will meet at the end of San Andres Drive in Novato. Directions: Take 101 to Novato. Take the San Marin Drive/Atherton Avenue exit. At the end of the exit ramp, turn left (west) on San Marin Drive. Go roughly 2 miles down the road and turn right on San Andres Drive. Drive to nearly the end of the road and park on the street. (No restrooms available - check in Novato.)
Document/Field Trip Report: FTR Mt. Burdella.pdf

Thursday Morning Bird Songs
Location: Five Brooks, Pt Reyes National Seashore
Trip Leader(s): Lisa Hug and Susan Kelly
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Thursday, April 14, 2016
Start Time: 7:30 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: Spring is the best time of year to hear and learn bird songs. Males are full of hormones and bursting with song. Many neo-tropical migrants are returning and vying for mates and territories. It is a very exciting time of year. This walk will require participants to stay quiet to enable us to listen to the myriad of bird sounds. Bring comfortable walking shoes, layered clothing, water, binoculars, field guides and snacks. This trip is limited to 15 participants. To sign up, email Jane Medley at janermedley@gmail.com. Please include your phone number. Participants will be contacted prior to the trip to confirm registration. A wait list will be created if registration exceeds available spaces. Directions: Meet at the Five Brooks parking area, which is 0.25 mile west of Highway 1, 5 miles north of Stinson, or 4 miles south of Olema. From Highway 101 take Sir Francis Drake for about 20 miles. Turn left onto Highway 1 and drive about 3 miles to the signed entrance on the right side of the road.
Document/Field Trip Report: FTR Thurs Morning Bird Songs 4.14.16.pdf

Pinnacles National Park
Location: San Benito and Monterey Counties
Trip Leader(s): Rusty Scalf
Host: Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Saturday, April 09, 2016
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Description: We will begin our day of birding with Rusty at the Pinnacles Visitor Center (East Side of the Park) with an hour of birding in the Chaparral, Riparian and Gray Pine Woodland habitats. The group will then travel to Bear Gulch (possibly by NPS shuttle) where we will hike 1.7 miles one way up the Condor Gulch Trail to the observation area for condor watching and lunch. We cannot guarantee a condor sighting, but the likelihood of seeing one is good, possibly with the assistance of a condor tracker present in the observation area. We will be hiking through distinctive geological terrain formed by rhyolite volcanism. Geologists as well as birders are invited to join us to help interpret this unique park feature. You must be in good hiking shape to participate in this trip. The Condor Gulch Trail is quite steep and involves an elevation gain of approximately 1,100 feet. We will hike approximately 4-5 miles total during the day. EACH PERSON IN THE GROUP MUST CARRY PLENTY OF WATER. Also, bring sunscreen, a hat, a lunch, and dress in layers. Driving time to the Pinnacles from Marin is approximately 2-1/2 to 3 hours. Highway 25 South from Hollister is recommended. Go through the town of Hollister and continue about 30 miles to Highway 146. Turn right on Highway 146. Turn left into the Pinnacles Campground to check in at the Pinnacles Visitor Center where we will meet. The park entrance fee is $15. Some people may wish to stay overnight in Gilroy or Hollister the night before. Contact Jane Medley at (559)760-1551 or janermedley@gmail.com for further information.
Document/Field Trip Report: FTR Pinnacles 4.9.16a.pages

Las Gallinas Storage Ponds
Location: San Rafael, CA
Trip Leader(s): Susan Kelly, Len Blumin and friends
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514 or Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Thursday, April 07, 2016
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: Birders of all levels are welcome on this first Thursday walk. Each month the avian cast of characters will change, and we'lll try to keep track of newly arriving species. This is great way to start learning the raptors, waterfowl, and other bird families, as well as getting tips on optics, birding books, and birding etiquette. Try to bring a pair of binoculars, as well as some water. We’ll be walking about 2 miles on the levees that surround the ponds. Directions: From Highway 101 take the Smith Ranch Road exit, then east on Smith Ranch toward the McInnis Park entrance. Turn left immediately after crossing the railroad tracks, staying on Smith Ranch and go about .5 mi to the end of the road, at the Las Gallinas Ponds parking lot. Meet the group by the bridge just past the parking lot. Rest room facilities only at the parking area.

Hamilton Wetlands for Young Birders
Location: Hamilton Field, Novato, CA
Trip Leader(s): Mark Forney
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514 or Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Saturday, March 26, 2016
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 10:00 AM
Description: Join Mark at the Hamilton Wetlands Restoration Project in Novato for a morning of birdwatching geared towards children younger than 16 accompanied by a parent or grandparent. Hamilton Wetlands itself is young; tidal function was returned to the site only in April 2014. The ongoing restoration has created a great place to see a diversity of shorebirds, waterfowl, and upland birds; over 160 species of birds have already been observed. There is a wide, level, gravel walking trail that follows the west edge of the wetlands. The trail allows for easy and sometimes quite close observation of birds. The walk will focus on general attentiveness to the surrounding bird life, as well as development of observational skills and identification of birds. Bring binoculars if you have them. DIRECTIONS: We will meet at South Hamilton Park playground at Hamilton Field in Novato. From the south on Hwy 101 take the Nave Drive/ Hamilton exit, and from the north use the Ignacio Blvd exit. The South Hamilton Park parking lot is at the intersection of Hangar Avenue and Maybeck Street. From the parking lot, walk along Hangar Avenue south to its end, and you will see the playground ahead on the right.

Jean & John Starkweather Shoreline Park
Location: San Rafael, CA
Trip Leader(s): Rich Cimino
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514 or Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Sunday, March 20, 2016
Start Time: 12:30 PM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Description: Join guide Rich Cimino for an easy bird walk during a low tide. We will bird the shoreline of San Pablo Bay for diving ducks, grebes, peeps and gulls. We will also look for the Puget Sound variety of White-crowned Sparrow. Meet in the parking lot for the Jean and John Starkweather Shoreline Park trailhead. Heavy rain will cancel. DIRECTIONS: Take Hwy 101 to the Bellam Blvd exit. Proceed to Francisco Blvd, which is the access road next to I-580. Head east (toward the Richmond/San Rafael Bridge) for about 1-1/5 miles. You will see a Bay Cafe sign at the Bay Park Center. Turn left and continue straight to the trailhead parking area. For GPS, use the Bay Cafe address, 2165 Francisco Blvd, San Rafael.

Mt. Tam, No 11, Birding in Marin Series
Location: Mount Tamalpais
Trip Leader(s): Jim White and Bob Battagin
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514 or Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Saturday, March 19, 2016
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Description: We will meet at 8:30 at the Bootjack parking and picnic area (Fee $7). Restrooms are available here. We want to help support our state parks. We encourage carpooling. See the directions for suggestions on where to meet to carpool. We will be using three fee lots: Bootjack, Pantoll, and the Summit. Yes, one fee will cover all three. Mount Tamalpais is a good area to see a Pileated Woodpecker. We are hoping to find Red Crossbills and a couple of early spring migrants like Western Tanager, Cassin's Vireo, and Black-throated Gray or Hermit Warbler. We will take a 1.5 mile, slightly strenuous hike from Rock Springs toward Barth's Retreat to see if Marin's Townsend's Solitaire is still here. We will then take the easy walk around the Mt Tam summit for the superb view of Marin County. Directions: Bootjack is on Panoramic Hwy in Mt Tamalpais State Park, 0.3 miles east of Pantoll or about 5 miles southeast of Stinson Beach. From the 101 Hwy on the bay side take the Route 1 exit through Tam Junction. In 3.3 miles take the Y right onto Panoramic Hwy. Parking for Bootjack is about 5 miles on the right. The Manzanita commuter parking lot would be a good carpool place at 8AM or the lot at the Mountain Home Inn is 15 minutes away.
Document/Field Trip Report: FTR Mt Tam Red Crossbills .pdf

Richardson Bay Audubon Center
Location: Richardson Bay Audubon Center and Sanctuary, Tiburon, CA
Trip Leader(s): Bob Hinz
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514 or Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Tuesday, March 15, 2016
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: The big rafts of birds attracted by spawning herring will be gone but most of the winter's ducks, gulls and grebes will still be represented, and they may be in their more distinctive breeding plumage. The shorebird species of winter will still be present and might be joined by migrants. We will start with a walk through the Richardson Bay Audubon Center property to the "back beach" where with scopes we can see the eastern shores of the islands as well as the bay. Then it's off to the cove at the end of the bay where we may get close looks at a number of shorebird and waterbird species. Finally, we will walk along the path to Harbor Cove Way for a closer look at Pickleweed Island. Directions: The Richardson Bay Audubon Center is at 376 Greenwood Beach Road. Take the Tiburon Blvd. exit from Hwy 101 and drive about 0.8 mile to Greenwood Cove Road. Turn right at the traffic light toward the Audubon Center which is about 0.5 mile farther.

Capay Valley
Location: Yolo County
Trip Leader(s): Tim Fitzer
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514 or Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Saturday, March 12, 2016
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 3:30 PM
Description: THIS TRIP IS CANCELLED -- FOR RAIN. Terry Colborn, our leader on this annual trip for nearly 20 years, will be in New Jersey celebrating his mom's 90th birthday - his good friend, Tim Fitzer, will lead the trip in his absence. Tim will be assisted by Ann Burris, who lived in Capay Valley for several years. Join Tim and Ann for a delightful day birding Yolo County's scenic Capay Valley. The almond orchards should be at peak bloom, a precursor to the valley's upcoming spring season! Birding locations will include historic Capay Cemetery, Cache Creek County Park and several popular birding locations in tranquil Capay Valley. We'll seek out Yellow-billed Magpie, Lewis's Woodpecker, Red-breasted Sapsucker, Phainopepla, Western Bluebird as well as any lingering winter birds. We also hope to see a few raptors and perhaps early spring arrivals such as Cliff, Barn, Rough-winged and Violet-green Swallow, and with luck, perhaps a warbler species or two. Past trips have produced Golden and Bald Eagle, Western Kingbird, Prairie Falcon and Lawrence's Goldfinch, but every year is unique. We also expect to see some early spring wildflowers, as well as blooming Redbud, that very conspicuous flowering shrub along the roadside. Meet Tim and Ann at Community Park in Esparto at 8:30am. Participants will be encouraged to form carpools from there. Bring lunch/snacks, liquids and sunscreen; dress in layers and wear sturdy footwear, as we will do a little walking on flat roads. Heavy rain cancels. For more information contact Tim Fitzer at 916.870.5207 Directions to Esparto: From Marin County, take Hwy 37 east to Vallejo; go east on I-80; just past the Nut Tree Center in Vacaville take I-505 north for about 20 miles to the Route 16 exit; turn left (west). Esparto is located about 4 miles west on Route 16 - the park is in the center of town. Driving time is about 1 1/2 hrs. but allow a little extra time, as there may be early morning fog.

Tolay Lake Regional Park,
Location: Today Lake
Trip Leader(s): Peter Colasanti
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514 or Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Tuesday, March 08, 2016
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Description: This 1700 acre park, located between the Petaluma River and Sonoma Valley, includes pristine farm and grasslands, ridges, a seasonal freshwater lake that has water this year, ponds, wetlands, and many other natural resources. This area is open to the permit holders only on weekends, so we'll have the place to ourselves. Peter Colasanti will be our guide. We will meet at the gate at the top of Cannon Lane, which is off Lakeville Highway just south of and across from Lakeville/Gilardi's/Papa's Taverna. There is a $7.00 a day vehicle use fee at the Park, so carpool if you can. We will hike several miles to check all the available habitats at the park: grassland, oak woodland, riparian corridors, ponds, ridge lines, and ranch buildings. For those who wish to continue birding after lunch, we can visit the Ellis Creek ponds a few miles north at the south edge of Petaluma. Wear sturdy hiking shoes and be prepared to hike for several miles. Bring water, lunch, sunscreen, hat and dress in layers. DIRECTIONS: The address of Papa's Taverna is 5688 Lakeville Hwy, Petaluma. From Marin take Hwy 101 north to CA-37 E toward Napa/Vallejo. Continue about 6 miles on Hwy 37 and take a left onto Lakeville Hwy. Take a right on Cannon Lane as Gilardi's comes into view on the left.

No.11, Birding in Marin Series - Nicasio Reservoir
Location: Nicasio, CA
Trip Leader(s): Jim White and Bob Battagin
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514 or Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Saturday, February 20, 2016
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Description: We will meet at the backstop to the baseball field in the small West Marin hamlet of Nicasio. There, riparian, open field, and wooded habitats are good for a nice variety of sparrows, gleaners, and woodpeckers. Then we'll head over to nearby Nicasio Reservoir and make several stops along the shoreline. Many water bird species hang out there, while raptors grace the sky and who knows what will be flitting around in the willows and shrubs that line the shore. Directions: The baseball field is in the center of Nicasio on Nicasio Valley Road. Nicasio can be reached by taking Lucas Valley Road off of Hwy 101 to the end and then taking a right on Nicasio Valley Road. Those coming from the south can take Nicasio Valley Road through Fairfax and San Geronimo. For GPS, the address of the Ranch Nicasio Restaurant across from the ball field is 1 Old Rancheria Rd, Nicasio.

Sears Point Ranch on San Pablo Bay
Location: Reclamation Road, Sonoma County
Trip Leader(s): Julian Meisler
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514 or Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Tuesday, February 16, 2016
Start Time: 9:30 AM
End Time: 1:00 PM
Description: Julian Meisler, the Bayland Program Manager for Sonoma Land Trust, will lead our trip to see the recently restored 1,000-acre tidal wetland at Sears Point. This excursion will highlight the latest design in tidal marsh restoration and provide wonderful opportunities for waterfowl and shorebird viewing. Directions from Marin: (Drive time from San Rafael approx. 25 minutes). Exit U.S. 101 onto Highway 37, east toward Vallejo. The first stop light you encounter is at Lakeville Highway. Take a right here onto Reclamation Road. Parking area is on the left about ¼ mile down the road.

Skaggs Island and Hudeman Slough Sonoma County
Location: Sonoma County
Trip Leader(s): Murray Berner
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514 or Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Saturday, February 13, 2016
Start Time: 8:45 AM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Description: Murray Berner has led trips for Napa-Solano Audubon for many years and is the author of the recently published Solano Co. Breeding Bird Atlas. Murray knows the marshes well and has access to Skaggs Island, which is closed to the general public. Skaggs Island, a former naval facility, was transferred to the San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge, adding more than 3,000 acres to the refuge. February is peak season for raptors, with lots of kites, harriers and red-tails; and always a few falcons, large and small. Short-eared Owl and Burrowing Owl are winter residents. We will meet at the entrance to Skaggs Island off of Hwy 37 and travel by car across the island, stopping to bird along the way. We will then move on to Hudeman Slough in Carneros where we will bird on foot, a 1.5 mile walk to overlook flooded lowlands, grassland and interesting holding ponds. Expect Ferruginous Hawk, Loggerhead Shrike and large flocks of waterfowl. Dress in layers and sturdy shoes and bring lunch and water. Heavy rain cancels. Directions: Take Hwy 101 north to Hwy 37E. At the intersection with SR 121 (Sonoma Raceway), continue straight on Hwy 37 for 3.8 miles and turn left at Skaggs Island Road. Hudeman Slough is located at 25696 Ramal Road. No restrooms available at either site.

Sacramento Delta Boat Trip
Location: Antioch, CA
Trip Leader(s): David Wimpfheimer
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514 or Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Sunday, February 07, 2016
Start Time: 8:15 AM
End Time: 4:30 PM
Description: This trip is full. Dolphin Charters has another trip scheduled for February 12 so contact them at 415-454-3191.

Birding the Northwest Passage
Location: Tomales, Lawson's Landing, and Chileno Valley
Trip Leader(s): David Wimpfheimer
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514 or Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Tuesday, January 26, 2016
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 3:30 PM
Description: This field trip will focus on some of the less familiar habitats in Marin near the town of Tomales. We will meet at the Tomales Bakery and our itinerary for the day will depend on where the birds are. Our first destination will be Lawson's Landing, a private resort near the mouth of Tomales Bay. Loons, grebes, ducks and Brant can be quite numerous here. Shorebirds are diverse here as well. After birding the coast, the rest of the day may be spent covering the open grasslands, wetlands and forests of this part of Marin. Chileno Valley can have Ferruginous and Rough-legged Hawks, among the more common raptors. Directions: Meet at the Tomales Bakery. At 9:00. Plan on arriving earlier to sample the delicious pastries. If the bakery is closed, the deli nearby has a nice variety of food and beverages. Check your map for your best route to Tomales. You can head west from Hwy 101 at Old Redwood Hwy in Petaluma or in Novato at San Marin Drive. The address of the bakery is 27000 Hwy 1, Tomales. Allow about an hour from Marin. Light rain will not cancel this trip, but a heavy storm will.

Cypress Grove and Tom's Point on Tomales Bay
Location: Cypress Grove Research Center
Trip Leader(s): John Kelly
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514 or Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Thursday, January 21, 2016
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 2:00 PM
Description: John Kelly, the Director of Conservation Science for Audubon Canyon Ranch, will lead our trip to see winter waterbirds and shorebirds on Tomales Bay. This excursion will highlight a visit to the Cypress Grove Research Center of Audubon Canyon Ranch, with field observations and discussions about the identification, conservation, and ecology of Tomales Bay birds. We also will learn about the history of the lovely house and grounds now used by the research staff. We will view waterbirds and shorebirds along the east shore of the bay, then carpool to ACR's remote Toms Point preserve at the northern end of the bay where we will end our day. DIRECTIONS: The Cypress Grove Research Center is on State Highway One, about one-half mile north of the town of Marshall. (Marshall is 9 miles north of Point Reyes Station, or 7 miles south of Tomales.) The entry gate is on the bay side of the road and marked with the address 20545. Look for a small sign wiith ACR's green and white egret logo mounted on the gate pole. Enter the gate, continue in on the entry road and take the left-hand fork to the parking area. Walk down the trail at the northwest corner of the parking area to the main buildings in the lawn area. The main office is in Cabin #2.

Bolinas Lagoon, No. 9, Birding in Marin Series
Location: Bolinas, CA
Trip Leader(s): Jim White and Bob Battagin
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514 or Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Saturday, January 16, 2016
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Description: Bolinas Lagoon is an important bird area (IBA) since over 10,000 ducks and shorebirds winter there. We will look on and over the lagoon from the meeting area and from two or three other pull/puts along the lagoon. Then we will drive 3 miles to the Duxbury reef overlook to see what is happening on and over the ocean. The Bolinas mesa oxidation ponds are another good place for a bird walk. We will then have a lunch break in downtown Bolinas. After lunch with the lower tide we will look for shorebirds near the Pine Gulch Creek delta. Directions; Please meet at 8:30 on Highway 1 at the Stinson/Bolinas primary school, which is 1.5 miles north of the central Stinson Beach stop sign.

Piper Park, Larkspur
Location: Larkspur, California
Trip Leader(s): Rich Cimino
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514 or Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Sunday, December 13, 2015
Start Time: 1:00 PM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Description: Join us for a bird walk in Piper Park, located in Larkspur on Doherty Rd. behind the Larkspur Police Station. This is an easy walk on a paved trail. We'll bird a mix of pine, oaks and ornamental trees, the sports field and the Corte Madera tidal marsh. The trip is in the afternoon to take advantage of the tides. Directions: From the north, take Hwy 101 and exit at Lucky Dr. which takes you on to Doherty. Coming from the south you can exit on Tamalpais Dr. which turns into Magnolia Ave., turn right on to Doherty Ave and look for the park on your left. We will meet on the green area next to the electrical car charging stations on left as you enter the Piper Park parking area.

No. 8, Birding in Marin Series
Location: Bahia, Rush Creek and Rowland Ave. wetlands, Novato
Trip Leader(s): im White and Bob Battagin
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514 or Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Saturday, December 05, 2015
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Description: Note: this is the 1st Saturday in December, not the 3rd. (The date has been changed because of Christmas Bird Counts) Please meet at the foot (east end) of Bugeia Lane (Bahia Drive) in Novato where Marin Audubon is continuing a large restoration project. Shore birds, ducks, herons, swallows, and rails will be reaping the benefits here for years to come. After viewing the birds and the restoration area we intend to walk the trail along the edge of the mixed oak woodland. Next we plan to drive around to the end of Topaz Street to view the Horseshoe pond where some diving ducks, including a few Barrow’s Goldeneyes, like to winter. During the day we will practice some bird counting to help prepare for the upcoming Christmas Bird Count season. After lunch we will take a look at two nearby areas -- Rush Creek and the Rowland Ave wetlands. Directions:  From Hwy 101 in north Novato take the Atherton Avenue exit east about 2 miles, then turn left onto Bugeia Lane, which turns into Bahia Drive, and follow it to the end where there is some street parking. No restrooms available here.

Christmas Bird Count Practice
Location: Las Gallinas Storage Ponds and Hamilton Wetlands No. 7, Birding in Marin Series
Trip Leader(s): Susan Kelly
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514 or Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Sunday, November 29, 2015
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: If you are participating in a Christmas Bird Count, thinking about participating, or just wondering what this is all about, join Susan Kelly for a hands-on training session. Susan is the organizer and compiler of the Cheep Thrills Bird Count in northern Marin. We will meet at Las Gallinas at the picnic tables by pond 1. We'll spend about 30 minutes talking about the process The talk will cover 1) how we divide the count circle into areas and cover each area with a team of 2 to 12, each with an experienced leader; 2) how we record all birds seen and/or heard on the field form (one person in each group is responsible for this and also must keep track of time spent birding while walking, driving around, riding a bike, or any other method they use); and  3) how to estimate large flocks such as robins, blackbirds, crows, geese, and ducks.  We will then walk around the pond and count the birds, recording them on the Cheep Thrills field form (each person will receive a copy). If we have time, we may go up into the trees and try counting the small birds. Please bring binoculars, water, snacks, and a pen or pencil to record the birds you count. Directions: From Highway 101 take the Smith Ranch Road exit, then east on Smith Ranch toward the McInnis Park entrance. Turn left immediately after crossing the railroad tracks, staying on Smith Ranch and go about .5 mi to the end of the road, at the Las Gallinas Ponds parking lot.

No. 7, Birding in Marin Series
Location: Las Gallinas Storage Ponds and Hamilton Wetlands No. 7, Birding in Marin Series
Trip Leader(s): im White and Bob Battagin
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514 or Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Saturday, November 21, 2015
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Description: The Las Gallinas ponds are a great place for good views of many kinds of ducks and raptors. This is an easy 1.5 mile walk where many other species may be seen, including Clapper rails and Soras. After a lunch break we will go to the Hamilton Wetlands in Novato. This square mile wetland was reconnected with the Bay two years ago after two decades of planning and work. The wetlands were diked off at the turn of the 19th century, cutting off an important area for thousands of migrating waterfowl along the Pacific Flyway. The birds are returning. We will see the waterfowl, shorebirds, raptors and other species that are now making these new wetlands their home. Directions; We will meet at Las Gallinas.  From Hwy 101 in north San Rafael take the Smith Ranch Rd exit east about 1/2 mile. Turn left after crossing the RR tracks to park at the Las Gallinas Ponds parking lot.
Document/Field Trip Report: FTR 11.21.15 Las Gallinas.pdf

Abbott's Lagoon
Location: Point Reyes National Seashore
Trip Leader(s): Carolyn and John Longstreth
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514 or Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Sunday, November 15, 2015
Start Time: 9:30 AM
End Time: 2:00 PM
Description: Abbott's Lagoon is well-known as a birding hotspot due to the variety of habitats, including coastal scrub, freshwater ponds and wetlands, brackish lagoon, dunes, sandy shoreline and open ocean. We can expect to see waterfowl, herons, raptors, wintering shorebirds, loons, grebes and possibly a few late migrating landbirds. With luck, we might find Virginia Rail, Sora or American bittern on the upper pond, river otters on the lower lagoon or alcids beyond the surf. If the adjacent farm-field is freshly plowed, there could be some interesting species there as well. We'lll walk the 1.5 easy miles to the lower lagoon and another 0.3 mile to the ocean beach. John and Carolyn have been birding for over 30 years. John, who ran an Audubon Center in Connecticut, is the co-compiler of the Point Reyes Christmas Bird Count and a skilled nature photographer. Carolyn helped organize the Point Reyes Birding & Nature Festival and created two CDs on local birdsong. Carolyn also will tell us about the plants of the area. Dress in layers; bring hat, sunscreen, lunch and water. Bathrooms are available at the Abbotts Lagoon parking lot.  Directions: Allowing about an hour and a half travel time, from San Rafael follow Sir Francis Drake Blvd (SFDB) to Olema. From Stinson Beach go north on Hwy 1 to Olema. From Olema continue north on Hwy 1 (SFDB), take the second left turn (SFDB west), continue through Inverness, turn right (north) onto Pierce Point Road and keep driving until you come to the Abbotts Lagoon parking lot on the left (west) where our group will gather.

LEFT of the FAULT - Point Reyes BIG DAY BLAST
Location: Point Reyes Station, CA
Trip Leader(s): Keith Hansen
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514 or Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Tuesday, November 03, 2015
Start Time: 7:30 AM
End Time: 4:30 PM
Description: Join renowned bird artist Keith Hansen for a full, fine-feathered day of fall birding at Point Reyes. Sometimes thought of as "too late" for fall migrants, November is often an underappreciated time for finding rare birds. We will attempt to see at least 100 species "West of the San Andreas Fault"! We will meet at the Bovine Bakery on A Street in the town of Point Reyes Station at 7:30 AM, where folks can get coffee and a pastry and find rest rooms. From there, we'lll carpool out to the outer point hitting as many of the migrant traps as is possible. Time permitting we’ll increase the list by hitting the Teal Ponds, Heart's Desire Beach, and maybe Bear Valley and Five Brooks. This is an all-day trip that is not for the faint of heart or those just looking for a leisurely bird walk. Bring a lunch and plenty of liquids. Be dressed for good, to less than good weather. Feel free to bring a scope. Only a big storm will cause us to cancel. There is no charge for this trip but sign-up is required, as the number of participants is limited. Contact Rich Cimino from 9 AM Monday, October 12 up to 5PM on Friday October 16 if you wish to sign up. Email Rich at yellowbilledtours@gmail.com, or call him at 925-353-0266. After 5 PM October 16 the trip slots will be filled and the participants notified. Any vacant slots after that will be allotted on a first come, first served basis.

No. 7, Birding in Marin Series
Location: Marin Headlands
Trip Leader(s): Jim White and Bob Battagin
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514 or Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Saturday, October 17, 2015
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Description: Join Jim and Bob for the sixth trip in their year long series to visit the seasonal Marin birding hotspots. Please meet at the pedestrian bridge to Cronkite Beach over the ocean side neck of Rodeo Lagoon. There are restrooms nearby and ample parking. We are going to search the shores and waters of the lagoon, scan the ocean, and look in the trees around the old military buildings. We expect to see some ducks, shorebirds and gulls and some migrating passerines.  Then we intend to drive (please carpool) to the Point Bonita area to look for rocky shore birds before driving up to Hawk Hill for lunch and raptor viewing. Experts on the hill will help us spot and identify passing raptors, like Sharp-shinned, Broad-winged and perhaps a Merlin.  Directions: From Hwy 101 just west of the Golden Gate Bridge take the Sausalito exit about a 1/4 mile, then left on Bunker Road through the one-way tunnel road to the end at Cronkite Beach.

Ellis Creek Wetlands Walk
Location: Petaluma, CA
Trip Leader(s): Peter Colasanti
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514 or Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Sunday, October 11, 2015
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 1:00 PM
Description: The Ellis Creek Water Recycling Facility (ECWRF) came on line a few years ago and now much of the area is a wildlife sanctuary accessible via a 3 mile trail system. Good birding/nature viewing places are around the polishing ponds/wetlands, seasonal wetlands, in the trees lining the edges of the property, and along the tidal marsh trail to the river. Bird sightings could include Blue-winged Teal, Great-tailed Grackle, White Pelican, moorhens, rails and good shorebirds like dowitchers. The walk may be extended over to Shollenberger Park. Directions: Going north on Hwy 101 from Marin, take the second Petaluma exit which is Rte 116 (Lakeville Hwy). Go east about one mile to South McDowell Blvd (4th traffic light) and turn right. At the curve turn right on Cypress and drive straight to east end. Meet in the parking lot just past the gate.

Farallon Islands Boat Trip
Location: Depart from Clipper Yacht Harbor, Sausalito
Trip Leader(s): David Wimpfheimer
Host: vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514 or Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Sunday, October 04, 2015
Start Time: 7:30 AM
End Time: 4:00 PM
Description: Join us for our annual day of seabird and marine mammal watching as we head to the Farallon Islands and offshore waters. The outing will be led by naturalist David Wimpfheimer aboard Jim Robertson's power catamaran Outer Limits. On past trips we have sighted more than fourteen pelagic bird species, including albatrosses, shearwaters and auklets, as well as many sea lions, porpoises, dolphins and whales. We will get an up-close look at the islands and learn about their interesting natural and human history. This is a trip that both experienced and first-tiime birders and nature lovers will enjoy. The cost will be $120 per person. This year you can REGISTER ON-LINE AT THE LINK BELOW. Online registration is preferred, but to register by mail, send a check to Marin Audubon at Box 599, Mill Valley, CA, 94942. Include the name, e-mail address and contact phone number of each participant. There is always a chance the trip may need to be rescheduled at the last minute due to sea conditions, so we need to be able to reach participants. We will send an e-mail to participants a few days before the trip. Write “Farallons” on the envelope and check. Please sign up early, as we will limit the number of participants. Be prepared for any kind of weather with layered clothing. A rain jacket and pants are essential no matter what the weather on shore. Take seasick medication if needed. If you get seasick easily, this is not the trip for you. We will be on the boat all day. Bring lunch, snacks, water and plenty of sunscreen DIRECTIONS: Take Hwy. 101 to the Marin City/Sausalito exit, head south on Bridgeway, take a left on Harbor Drive and go into the parking area at the end. We will meet on the south side of the parking lot to check in before boarding.
Link: http://marinaudubon.org/events-farallones-boat-trip-tickets.php

Niven Park
Location: Corte Madera Creek
Trip Leader(s): Rich Cimino and Janet Bodle
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514 or Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Saturday, October 03, 2015
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: Join Rich and Janet for a walk along Corte Madera Creek. Rich has been birding in California for over 40 years and leads tours throughout the west and Alaska. Rich and Janet live on Corte Madera Creek and bird the area daily. The trip is planned to take advantage of the tides in the creek and we will look for ducks, waders, peeps, sparrows and fall visitors. Directions: We will meet at 300 Drakes Landing Rd. in Greenbrae. From Hwy 101 take Sir Francis Drake Blvd. going west and take the first left onto Barry Way (just before the Bon Air Shopping Center). Then go left again onto Drakes Landing Rd. From the parking lot walk under the arch of the 300 building onto the deck by the water. We will walk west from here.

Rodeo Lagoon
Location: Marin Headlands
Trip Leader(s): William Legge and David Wiechers
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514 or Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Saturday, September 26, 2015
Start Time: 8:00 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: Join William and David for a morning of birding at Rodeo Lagoon. This is their "patch" and we should see over 60 species, targeting Parasitic Jaeger and migrating shore birds, warblers and other passerines. We will begin the morning with a Sea Watch at 8 AM, followed by a circuit of the Lagoon beginning about 8:45 AM. Directions: Five Minute Tunnel: Head south on Hwy 101 and take the last Sausalito exit just before the Golden Gate Bridge. At the exit stop sign, turn right and go under the freeway, then follow the road down to the left. Within 300 feet you see a left turn signposted to the Marin Headlands (this is the only available left turn before you begin the descent into Sausalito). You should see a tunnel with a five-minute light. Proceed through the tunnel onto Bunker Road. Follow Bunker Road to the parking lot at the end and meet by the bridge over the channel to the beach. If the tunnel is closed, use Conzelman Road. Take the last Sausalito exit off Hwy 101. At the exit stop sign, turn left and then immediately right onto Conzelman Road (up the hill). Continue winding up and around the Marin Headlands, passing a number of historic military batteries along the way. After one mile you will come to a traffic roundabout where you will take the first turn-off to the right. This is McCullough Road, which you will take down the hill to Bunker Road. Turn left onto Bunker Road and proceed for about 2.5 miles taking various forks to the right. You will see Rodeo Lagoon on your left. Follow road to parking lot at end and meet by the bridge over the channel to the beach.

Vaux's Swifts at McNear Brick and Block
Location: San Rafael, CA
Trip Leader(s): Bob Hinz
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514 or Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Start Time: 6:30 PM
End Time: 7:30 PM
Description: Join leader Bob Hinz at McNear Brick and Block for a brief talk and to witness the remarkable Vaux's Swift migration that passes through Marin in September and October. Smoke stacks no longer in use at the brickyard provide an important communal roosting spot for the Vaux's Swifts during their seasonal migrations. We will have the opportunity to watch thousands of swifts as they descend into the stacks just before nightfall. At the peak of last year's migration, 20,000 swifts were counted in one evening! Raptors too are attracted to the large flocks of birds. Sunset on the evening of our visit will be about 7PM so we will meet at 6:30 to be ready. Bring scopes, binoculars, and, if desired, folding chairs for your seating comfort. It can be chilly at dusk. Birding experts seeking greater understanding and appreciation of this phenomenon have been counting and monitoring the movement of these swifts since 2010. Citizen scientists are helping with this fascinating project. Ask Bob for details about this opportunity. UPDATE on 9/21: Our field trip to view the Vaux's Swifts at McNears remains scheduled for September 23 at 6:30 pm. However, we want to let people know it appears that the peak of this year's migration occurred approximately two weeks earlier than it has in the past. Highest numbers were seen on September 11-13 with up to 30,00 swifts counted one evening. The count for September 18, was 15,000-16,000 with the majority of the swifts entering the stacks between 7:04 pm and 7:37 pm.Thanks to the management of McNear Block and Brick, the brickyard entry will remain open on the evening of our field trip. Convenient parking for many vehicles will be available inside the brickyard compound gate.Please respect the privacy of the family living at the brickyard and do not go past the 5 mph speed limit sign. Be sure to remember that we are guests on the propertyDirections: From Hwy 101 take the Central San Rafael exit. Head east on Point San Pedro Road for about 3 miles. The brickyard will be on the right. The address is 1 McNear Brickyard Rd. Park along the road to the brickyard and enter through the gate.

No. 5, Birding in Marin Series
Location: Drakes Beach and the Fish Docks
Trip Leader(s): Jim White and Bob Battagin
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514 or Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Saturday, September 19, 2015
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Description: September is the most surprising month of birding here as many juvenile birds make their first migration south and west without the aid of Google. Some western migrants such as Nashville, Hermit and Black-throated Gray Warblers may be in the Point Reyes tree islands and we sometimes see more unusual Eastern species. Drakes Bay also begins to harbor wintering species like Red-necked Grebes, Marbled Murrelets and Loons. We will picnic early and then head over to the Fish Docks and/or the Point Reyes Light House. Directions: Meet at the Drakes Beach parking lot near the monument. Take Sir Francis Drake west to Highway 1 in Olema, then take Highway 1 north and turn left onto Sir Francis Drake Boulevard (just after the Marin Sun Farms shop and just before you get to Point Reyes Station). Alternately, take Novato Boulevard or Lucas Valley Road and Nicasio Valley Road west to Point Reyes-Petaluma Road and follow it to Highway 1. Turn left on Highway 1 and head through downtown Point Reyes Station, then turn right after the bridge onto Sir Francis Drake Boulevard. Follow Sir Francis Drake Boulevard through Inverness out to Point Reyes National Seashore. Keep going until you get to the Drakes Beach Road where you'll bear left. Expect about a 35-minute drive from Point Reyes Station to Drakes Beach.
Document/Field Trip Report: FTR Drakes BeachFish Docks .pdf

Bodega Bay
Location: Bodega Bay
Trip Leader(s): Lisa Hug
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514 or Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Saturday, September 12, 2015
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 3:30 PM
Description: Spend a day at Bodega Bay during the fall migration when just about anything can happen. We'll meet at the Rail Ponds at 8:30 AM. We will make some stops for shorebirds and then move on to Owl Canyon, Sonoma County's premier vagrant trap, and then onto a sea watch at Bodega Head. From the Head we'll return clockwise around Bodega Harbor with likely stops at Campbell Cove, Owl Canyon again, Porto Bodega and winding up at Doran Park (entrance fee) where we sometimes find Snowy Plovers. Directions to the Rail Ponds - Take 101 North, exiting on East Washington, the third Petaluma Exit. East Washington becomes Bodega Avenue, follow it through Two Rock, and Valley Ford to Bodega Bay. Drive through town past Diekman's and the Boat House and take the left on Eastshore Road, right at the bottom of the hill on Bayflat Road. Drive to the harbor shore where you'll find the horse trailer (Rail Ponds) parking lot on the right, just shy of the northern most part of the harbor. There should be some horse trailers there by then to let you know you are the right place. If this is confusing, the GPS address is 1600 Bayflat Rd. You also can Google Rail Ponds Bodega Bay to see photo maps.

Las Gallinas Storage Ponds
Location: San Rafael, CA
Trip Leader(s): Susan Kelly and friends
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514 or Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Thursday, September 03, 2015
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: Susan has graciously agreed to lead our Thursday walks again this year, continuing a tradition started years ago by Bruce Bajema. Len Blumin will join us on the September walk. Birders of all levels are welcome. Each month the avian cast of characters will change, and we'll try to keep track of newly arriving species. This is great way to start learning the raptors, waterfowl, and other bird families, as well as getting tips on optics, birding books, and birding etiquette. Try to bring a pair of binoculars, as well as some water. We'll be walking about 2 miles on the levees that surround the ponds. Directions: From Highway 101 take the Smith Ranch Road exit, then east on Smith Ranch toward the McInnis Park entrance. Turn left immediately after crossing the railroad tracks, staying on Smith Ranch and go about .5 mi to the end of the road, at the Las Gallinas Ponds parking lot. Meet the group by the bridge just past the parking lot. Rest room facilities only at the parking area.

No. 4, Birding in Marin Series
Location: Abbotts Lagoon, Pt Reyes National Seashore
Trip Leader(s): Jim White and Bob Battagin
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514 or Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Saturday, August 15, 2015
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Description: August will find Jim and Bob exploring Abbotts Lagoon. Arctic nesting shorebirds begin arriving here in late July, the adults having left the juveniles to find their own way south. We will search the shores of the outer lagoon and scope the ocean for shearwaters and such. We may be a bit early for juvenile Baird's or Pectoral Sandpipers but a Semipalmated Sandpiper likely lurks with the Western and Least Sandpipers and something may surprise us. Directions: Allowing about an hour and a half travel time from San Rafael, follow Sir Francis Drake Blvd (SFDB) to Olema. From Stinson Beach go north on Hwy 1 to Olema. From Olema continue north on Hwy 1 (SFDB), take the second left turn (SFDB west), continue through Inverness, turn right (north) onto Pierce Point Road and keep driving until you come to the Abbott's Lagoon parking lot on the left (west) where our group will gather.

No. 3, Birding in Marin Series
Location: Carson Ridge/Pine Mountain, Cascade Dam/Kent Lake
Trip Leader(s): Jim White and Bob Battagin
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514 or Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Saturday, July 18, 2015
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Description: Join Jim and Bob on the July walk to explore the watershed north of Mt. Tam. The walk will begin at the Carson Ridge trailhead on the Fairfax-Bolinas Road. We will hike up to Pine Mt. and back (3 mi). We may then drive to nearby Bon Tempe Lake or Cascade Dam on Alpine Lake for an additional walk. Bring plenty of water, hat and sunscreen as the Carson Ridge hike can be warm in summer. Directions: Take Hwy 101 to San Rafael, and take Central San Rafael exit. Head west on 4th street to proceed to San Anselmo and then turn right on Sir Francis Drake to Fairfax. Turn left on Pacheco Rd. Take an immediate right on Broadway, then first left on Bolinas Rd. Drive 3.8 miles on Bolinas Rd to the top of the ridge, passing the golf course half way. On the right side is the gated Pine Mountain Rd.; there is a large parking area on the left side of the road.

No. 2 Birding in Marin Series
Location: Five Brooks and Bear Valley, Pt Reyes National Seashore
Trip Leader(s): Jim White and Bob Battagin
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514 or Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Saturday, June 20, 2015
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Description: Join Jim and Bob on this trip as part of their year-long series of Marin walks. We will meet at Five Brooks to walk the trail. We have a chance of finding Wood Ducks and other pond-nesting birds at the retired logging pond. We will also look for birds in the Douglas Fir forest. We will then travel to Bear Valley where there is a fine place to picnic under an Acorn Woodpecker granary. Walks on the earthquake trail and to the Miwok village Kule Loku will add to our knowledge of nesting birds. Directions; Meet at the Five Brooks parking area which is 1/4 mi west of Highway 1, 5 miles N of Stinson or 4 mi S of Olema. From US 101 take Sir Francis Drake for about 20 miles. Turn left onto CA 1 and drive about 3 miles to the signed entrance on the right side of the road.

Muddy Hollow Trail - Point Reyes
Location: Pt Reyes National Seashore
Trip Leader(s): Dan Singer
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514 or Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Saturday, June 13, 2015
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 2:00 PM
Description: Join Dan for a walk in West Marin. We will meet in the big lot at the Bear Valley Visitors Center where bathrooms are available and we can arrange carpools. We will then carpool to the Muddy Hollow trailhead. We will bird along the 1.8 mile trail and return back along the same route. Be prepared for any kind of weather and bring lunch and water. Directions to Bear Valley Visitor Center: From Point Reyes Station, continue south on Hwy 1 about 2.5 miles. Look for a brown "Point Reyes National Seashore" sign just beyond the Olema RV Resort & Campground. If you get to a flashing red light, you’ve gone 100 yards too far. Turn right onto Bear Valley Road and head west about ½ mile. Look for a big red barn on the left and a sign for "Visitor Center" on the right. Meet at the Bear Valley Visitor Center.

Outer Point Vagrants (West Marin)
Location: Pt Reyes National Seashore
Trip Leader(s): Peter Colasanti
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514 or Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Saturday, June 06, 2015
Start Time: 7:30 AM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Description: We will meet at Whitehouse Pool and bird the area as the group gathers. The first two weeks of June is coastal vagrant season. Peter promises to bring along somebody with great ears who can recognize displaced chip notes. Our itinerary for the day will depend on what has been happening in the area. Directions: From Hwy 101 in Larkspur, take the Sir Francis Drake exit 20.4 miles to Olema. Turn right onto Hwy 1 and go 2 miles. Before the green bridge, turn left (continuing on Sir Francis Drake Blvd) and follow 0.7 mile. Look for the White House Pool sign on the right.

The Heron and Egret Rookery of Santa Rosa
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Trip Leader(s): Emiko Condeso
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Tuesday, May 19, 2015
Start Time: 10:30 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: Join us for a visit to an unexpected heron and egret nesting site in Santa Rosa, known locally as the Ninth Street Rookery. We will observe the nesting behavior of Great, Snowy, and Cattle Egrets and Black-crowned Night Heron. Over 300 nests have been active in previous years. Our guide will be Emiko Condeso, an ecologist with Audubon Canyon Ranch who has studied the rookery. Audubon Canyon Ranch and the San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory monitor this rookery and others in the San Francisco Bay Area with the assistance of many volunteers. We will learn about volunteer opportunities with the project. Directions: Take Hwy 101 N to the Stony Point Road exit in Santa Rosa. Head west on Hwy 12 and then bear right on Stony Point to West 9th St. Continue to Simpson St on the right, where Emiko suggests we park. The rookery is in the median strip on West Ninth. The address is 950 West Ninth St. Be careful of traffic. Colin Talcroft recommends the excellent Vietnamese noodles at Pho Vietnam at 711 Stony Point Rd. if participants would like to convene for lunch.

No. 1, Birding in Marin Series
Location: Muir Woods, Redwood Creek and Muir Beach
Trip Leader(s): Jim White and Bob Battagin
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514 or Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Saturday, May 16, 2015
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Description: May is the height of the breeding season in Marin. Join Jim and Bob as we visit Muir Woods, Redwood Creek and Muir Beach. We will start the morning in Muir Woods where we will bird along Redwood Creek and hear the beautiful songs of Swainson's Thrush, Black-headed Grosbeaks and Pacific Wrens, along with Warbling Vireos, Wilson's and Orange-crowned (perhaps MacGillivray's) Warblers. We may or may not go into the Park but bring your Golden Age Pass if you have one. Entrance fee is $7. We will then check out the restored riparian area at Muir Beach and picnic there. Scanning the ocean we usually find Pigeon Guillemots, Common Murres, Pelagic and Brandt's Cormorants, grebes, loons and Oystercatchers. We plan to walk several miles. Bring bins, scopes, lunch, dress in layers and carpool if possible. Directions: Meet in the lower parking lot (sign says Additional Parking) at Muir Woods. From Hwy 101 take the Mill Valley/Highway 1/Stinson Beach Exit. Follow the signs to Highway 1. Follow the signs to Muir Woods. The address is 1 Muir Woods Road, Mill Valley.

San Francisco Birding Hotspots
Location: San Francisco, CA
Trip Leader(s): Alan Hopkins
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Tuesday, May 12, 2015
Start Time: 8:00 AM
End Time: 2:00 PM
Description: Join us to explore some birding hot spots in eastern Golden Gate Park with Alan as our guide. We will meet in front of the San Francisco Botanical Gardens (but not bird there) at 8 when the parking is easier and the birding is best. We will start the day by looking for the Rustic Bunting if it is still around. We will then concentrate on some of eastern Golden Gate Park's other great birding spots. Our approximately 3 mile walk will include Stow Lake and Strawberry Hill, the De Laveaga/AIDS Dell, and the Fuchsia Gardens. There are plenty of options for lunch in the neighborhood after the trip. Directions: Meet in front of the Main Gate of the San Francisco Botanical Gardens located at 9th Ave and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, just inside the park. The address is 800 Lincoln Way. Look up the directions or use your GPS - there is no left turn onto Lincoln from 19th and no left turn from Lincoln into the Park.

Las Gallinas Storage Ponds
Location: San Rafael, CA
Trip Leader(s): Susan Kelly, Len Blumin and friends
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Thursday, May 07, 2015
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: On the first Thursday of each month we meet for a birding walk around the Las Gallinas Storage Ponds just north of McInnis Park. Susan and Len are our gracious hosts. Birders of all levels are welcome. Each month the avian cast of characters will change, and we'll try to keep track of newly arriving species. Hawks are frequent and we see the graceful Northern Harrier on virtually every trip. This is great way to start learning the raptors, waterfowl, and other bird families, as well as getting tips on optics, birding books, and birding etiquette. Try to bring a pair of binoculars, as well as some water. We'll be walking about 2 miles on the flat levees that surround the ponds. Directions: From Highway 101 take the Smith Ranch Road exit, then east on Smith Ranch toward the McInnis Park entrance. Turn left immediately after crossing the railroad tracks, staying on Smith Ranch and go about .5 mi to the end of the road, at the Las Gallinas Ponds parking lot. Meet the group by the bridge just past the parking lot. Rest room facilities only at the parking area.

Big Rock/Loma Alta
Location: Lucas Valley, San Rafael, CA
Trip Leader(s): Dave Herrema and friends
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514i
Start Date: Tuesday, May 05, 2015
Start Time: 8:00 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: The north slope of Loma Alta above Lucas Valley Road is high and dry, with great vistas. This is not the place for a lot of species, but we should see some birds you may have not seen before, such as Grasshopper, Rufus-crowned and Lark Sparrows; Horned Larks; and Lazuli Buntings. Western Meadowlarks should provide the melody and Western Bluebirds are plentiful. This is also a great place for raptors. All are welcome to join us for a leisurely walk of about two miles roundtrip on a wide, graded road. Some of this is uphill. We will start early in the cool of the day but please bring a hat and plenty of water. Directions: Take Hwy 101 to Smith Ranch/Lucas Valley Rd exit, head west on Lucas Valley Road. Big Rock Trailhead is about 5 miles west of Hwy 101 on Lucas Valley Road. The trailhead is on top of the rise and a large solitary rock, "Big Rock" is on the right. Park on the south side of the road (turn back by making a safe turn on a driveway a bit further along on the right). Trail heads south from the starting point.

Audubon Canyon Ranch's Modini Mayacamas Preserves
Location: Pine Flat Rd, Healdsburg
Trip Leader(s): Rich Cimino and David Self
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514i
Start Date: Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 2:30 PM
Description: Audubon Canyon Ranch recently began managing this beautiful 3,300 acre preserve in the wilds of northern Sonoma County. The property features diverse habitats in a rugged landscape, including oak woodlands, pine forests, grasslands, natural springs and streams and serpentine outcrops. Rich Cimino will be our guide to the birds and David Self, the Resource Ecologist for the Preserve and a botanist, will be with us to talk about the landscape, wildflowers and fascinating natural and human history of this property There are no bathrooms or facilities on the Preserve but stop at the charming Jimtown Store on Hwy 128 just before you turn onto Pine Flat Road for a great breakfast or coffee and use the restroom there. Carpooling: Send me an email -vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com - with the subject line Mayacamas. Include your name, phone number, town you live in, and whether you can drive or need a ride. I will email you the list and you can arrange your own carpools. Directions: Take 101 North past Healdsburg to the Lytton Springs Rd exit toward Alexander Valley Road. Take Alexander Valley Rd (Hwy 128) to Pine Flat Road. Continue on Pine Flat Road for about 4.5 miles. . Pine Flat Rd. is paved but narrow in places. We will meet at the Ferguson Spring pullout. The GPS address is 8000 Pine Flat Road. Allow at least 1.5 hours from central Marin.

Jean and John Starkweather Shoreline Park
Location: San Rafael, CA
Trip Leader(s): Rich Cimino
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Sunday, April 19, 2015
Start Time: 12:30 PM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Description: Join guide Rich Cimino for an easy bird walk during a low tide. We will bird the shoreline of San Pablo Bay for diving ducks, grebes, peeps and gulls. We will also look for the Puget Sound variety of White-Crowned Sparrow. Bring your scope, water, snacks. We won't break for lunch, but there are restaurants nearby for lunch after our walk. Restrooms are available at the bird walk half way mark (Target Store). Meet in the parking lot for the Jean and John Starkweather Shoreline Park trailhead. Light rain will not stop the walk; a heavy rain will cancel. Take Hwy 101 to the Bellam Blvd exit. Proceed to Francisco Blvd, which is the access road next to I-580. Head east (toward the Richmond/San Rafael Bridge) for about 1.5 miles. You will see a Bay Cafe sign at the Bay Park Center. Turn left and continue straight to the trailhead parking area. For GPS, use the Bay Cafe address, 2165 Francisco Blvd., San Rafael.

Mines Road and Del Puerto Canyon
Location: Livermore, CA
Trip Leader(s): Terry Colborn
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Saturday, April 18, 2015
Start Time: 7:30 AM
End Time: 4:30 PM
Description: THIS TRIP IS FULL. Long recognized as one of the premier springtime birding areas in the Bay Area to observe an array of resident species and Neotropical migrants, the combination of Mines Road and Del Puerto Canyon provides easy access to a number of unique habitats, including oak woodland, grasslands and chaparral. The bird list is quite impressive for this popular destination, and includes Costa's Hummingbird, Lewis's Woodpecker, Western Wood-Pewee, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Western Kingbird, Yellow-billed Magpie, Rock Wren, Canyon Wren; Nashville, Orange-crowned, Hermit, Yellow and MacGillivray's warblers; Rufous-crowned Sparrow, Black-headed Grosbeak, Bullock's Oriole, Western Tanager, Wood Duck and Lawrence's Goldfinch, just to name a few. The elusive Greater Roadrunner is reported annually. We'll also visit Del Valle Regional Park (fee) and Frank Raines Park. This all-day trek will start In Livermore on Saturday morning. There are a number of hotels in Livermore for those wishing to spend Friday night and thus eliminate the early Saturday morning departure from home. This is a very popular springtime trip and often fills up very quickly. Sign-ups are required, and are on a first-come, first-served basis. Carpooling is a must as there is very limited space for vehicles to park on Mines Road. To sign-up and receive further details, contact Terry Colborn at: tlcbirding@gmail.com, 530-312-9947; www.TLCBirding.com

Birding Marin No. 12: Olompali State Park
Location: Novato, CA
Trip Leader(s): Jim White and Bob Battagin
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Saturday, April 11, 2015
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Description: The oak savannah on the north/east slopes of Mount Burdell will be alive with singing, nesting and migrating birds. We will focus on songs to locate and identify birds. We have a reasonably good chance to find the 8-10 birds needed to reach our goal of 200 species on this 12 month Birding Marin series with April's returning woodland species. Thanks to all of you who have joined us on some of these birding walks, helping to make them enjoyable and interesting. Thanks especially to Bob Battigan, Jane Medley, Dave MacKenzie and Vicky Van Meter for all of their help. Directions: Take Hwy 101 to the Atherton Avenue/San Marin Drive exit in Novato. Head west, crossing over Hwy 101, then turn north onto Redwood Boulevard to the park entrance on the west side of the highway. Note this is a new entrance. You can no longer enter the park directly from Hwy 101. We will meet in the large parking lot. There is an $8 entrance fee, paid through self-registration. There is a portable toilet in the parking lot. Note this is the 2nd Saturday in May, not the 3rd.

No.11, Birding in Marin Series - Nicasio Reservoir
Location: Nicasio, CA
Trip Leader(s): Jim White and Bob Battagin
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Saturday, March 21, 2015
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Description: We will meet at the backstop to the baseball field in the small West Marin hamlet of Nicasio. There, riparian, open field, and wooded habitats are good for a nice variety of sparrows, gleaners, and woodpeckers. Then we'll head over to nearby Nicasio Reservoir and make several stops along the shoreline. Many water bird species hang out there, while raptors grace the sky and who knows what will be flitting around in the willows and shrubs that line the shore. Directions: The baseball field is in the center of Nicasio on Nicasio Valley Road. Nicasio can be reached by taking Lucas Valley Road off of Hwy 101 to the end and then taking a right on Nicasio Valley Road. Those coming from the south can take Nicasio Valley Road through Fairfax and San Geronimo. For GPS, the address of the Ranch Nicasio Restaurant across from the ball field is 1 Old Rancheria Rd, Nicasio.

Tolay Lake Regional Park,
Location: Petaluma, CA
Trip Leader(s): Gene Hunn
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Saturday, March 14, 2015
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Description: This 1700 acre park, located between the Petaluma River and Sonoma Valley, includes pristine farm and grasslands, ridges, a seasonal freshwater lake that has water this year, ponds, wetlands, and many other natural resources. This area is not open to the general public without permits, but Gene Hunn will be our guide. We will meet at 8.30 at the boat launch parking lot next to Papa's Taverna (restaurant now closed) on Lakeville Hwy and then carpool up Cannon Drive to the Tolay Lake Regional Park. There is a $7.00/day vehicle use fee at the Park. We will hike several miles to check all the available habitats at the park: grassland, oak woodland, riparian corridors, ponds, ridge lines, and ranch buildings. For those who wish to continue birding after lunch, we can visit the Ellis Creek ponds a few miles north at the south edge of Petaluma. Wear sturdy hiking shoes and be prepared to hike for several miles. Bring water, lunch, sunscreen, hat and dress in layers. DIRECTIONS: The address of Papa's Taverna is 5688 Lakeville Hwy, Petaluma. From Marin take Hwy 101 north to CA-37 E toward Napa/Vallejo. Continue about 6 miles on Hwy 37 to Lakeville Hwy. Take a left on Lakeville and continue for another 6 miles. The entrance to the boat ramp will be on your left, the first drive just south of the Papa's entrance.

Capay Valley
Location: Yolo County
Trip Leader(s): Terry Colborn
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Saturday, March 07, 2015
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 3:30 PM
Description: Join Terry Colborn for a delightful day in Yolo County's picturesque Capay Valley. The almond orchards should be in bloom, signaling the coming of spring in the valley. Our stops will include historic Capay Cemetery, Cache Creek and several of Terry's favorite birding spots in idyllic Capay Valley. We'll look for Yellow-billed Magpie, Lewis's Woodpecker, Red-breasted Sapsucker, Phainopepla, Western Bluebird as well as any lingering winter residents. We also hope to see some raptors and early spring arrivals such as Cliff, Barn, Rough-winged and Violet-green Swallow, and perhaps a warbler species or two. Past trips have produced Golden and Bald Eagle, Western Kingbird, Prairie Falcon and Lawrence's Goldfinch. We also expect to see some early spring wildflowers as well as Redbud, that very conspicuous flowering shrub along the roadside. Terry will meet everyone at the Community Park in Esparto at 8:30AM. Participants will be encouraged to form carpools from there. Directions to Esparto: From Marin County, take Hwy 37 east to Vallejo; go east on I-80; just past the Nut Tree Center in Vacaville, take I-505 north for about 20 miles to the Route 16 exit; turn left (west). Esparto is located about 4 miles west on Route 16 - the park is in the center of town. Driving time is about 1.5 hrs. but allow a little extra time, as there may be early morning fog. Bring lunch/snacks, liquids; dress in layers and wear sturdy footwear, as we will do a little walking on flat roads. Heavy rain cancels. For more information contact Terry at: 530-312-9947; www.TLCBirding.com
Document/Field Trip Report: FTR Capay Valley March 7, 2015.pdf

Thursday Morning Walk at Las Gallinas Storage Ponds
Location: San Rafael, CA
Trip Leader(s): Susan Kelly, Len Blumin and friends
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Thursday, March 05, 2015
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: On the first Thursday of each month we meet for a birding walk around the Las Gallinas Storage Ponds just north of McInnis Park, continuing a tradition started years ago by Bruce Bajema. Birders of all levels are welcome. Each month the avian cast of characters will change, and we try to keep track of newly arriving species. Early spring is a busy time at the ponds and provides an opportunity to study ducks and geese. Hawks are frequent and we see the graceful Northern Harrier on virtually every trip. This is great way to start learning the raptors, waterfowl, and other bird families, as well as getting tips on optics, birding books, and birding etiquette. Try to bring a pair of binoculars, as well as some water. We'll be walking about 2 miles on the levees that surround the ponds. Directions: From Highway 101 take the Smith Ranch Road exit, then east on Smith Ranch toward the McInnis Park entrance. Turn left immediately after crossing the railroad tracks, staying on Smith Ranch and go about .5 mi to the end of the road, at the Las Gallinas Ponds parking lot. Meet the group by the bridge just past the parking lot. Rest room facilities only at the parking area.

Sacramento Delta Boat Trip
Location: Boat leaves and returns to the Antioch Marina
Trip Leader(s): David Wimpfheimer
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Sunday, February 22, 2015
End Date: Wednesday, December 31, 1969
Start Time: 8:15 AM
End Time: 5:00 PM
Description: This trip has been rescheduled for Feb 22. Contact Vicky Van Meter for wait list information. Join us aboard Dolphin Charters' Delphinus for a wonderful day of exploring the richness of the California Delta with naturalist David Wimpfheimer as our guide. Ronn Patterson, a Bay Area historian and naturalist, is captain of the Delphinus and owner of Dolphin Charters. The boat is very comfortable and the outer decks provide views over the levees of the amazing array of birds found in the Delta during the winter. This rich area hosts a wide variety of raptors including uncommon species such as Swainson's Hawk, Peregrine Falcon and Great Horned Owl. Large numbers of shorebirds, Sandhill Crane, Tundra Swan, Snow, Canada and White-fronted Geese, ducks, as well as gulls, terns, bitterns and passerines make the cruise a highlight for birders. Uncommon mammals such as beaver, river otter, coyote and mink often add interest to the cruise. We also will learn about the history, ecology and politics of the levees and the Delta as we travel through its meandering channels. The trip is limited to 25 participants and the cost is $105. As of Jan 13 the trip is full. Contact Vicky Van Meter for wait list information. Those confirmed on the trip will receive directions to the Antioch Marina and other instructions the week before the trip.

Las Gallinas Storage Ponds and the Marin Civic Center No 10, Birding Marin Series
Location: San Rafael, CA
Trip Leader(s): Jim White and Bob Battagin
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Saturday, February 21, 2015
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Description: The Las Gallinas ponds are a great place for good views of many kinds of ducks and raptors. This is an easy 1.5 mile walk where many other species may be seen including Clapper rails and Soras. After a lunch break we will go to the Marin Civic Center where we can study the many gulls that gather to discuss politics. Directions: From Hwy 101 in north San Rafael take the Smith Ranch Rd exit east about 1/2 mile. Turn left after crossing the RR tracks to park at the end.

Hamilton Field Restored Wetlands Tour
Location: Novato, CA
Trip Leader(s): David Sexton and Dave Herrema
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Thursday, February 19, 2015
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: Last April the final levee was breached at the Hamilton Wetlands, once again connecting about a square mile of wetlands to the bay after two decades of planning and work. The wetlands were diked off at the turn of the 19th century, cutting off an important area for thousands of migrating waterfowl along the Pacific Flyway. The birds are returning. David and Dave are part of the citizen scientist team monitoring the birds. We will see the waterfowl, shorebirds, raptors and other species that are now making these new wetlands their home. Christina McWhorter, nursery manager and native plant specialist, will give us a tour of the native plant nursery to learn about the new vegetation that will be part of the various zones in the wetlands. Directions: We will meet at the Skate Park parking lot at Hamilton. The address is 1200 N. Hamilton Parkway, located one block from Nave Drive. Nave Drive runs parallel to Hwy 101 on the east side. From the south on Hwy 101 take the Nave Drive, Hamilton exit and from the north use the Ignacio Blvd exit.

Thursday Morning Walk at Las Gallinas Storage Ponds
Location: San Rafael, CA
Trip Leader(s): Susan Kelly, Len Blumin and friends
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Thursday, February 05, 2015
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: Join Susan and Len for a walk around the Las Gallinas Storage Ponds. Birders of all levels are welcome. Winter is a busy time at the ponds and provides an opportunity to study ducks and geese. Hawks are frequent and we see the graceful Northern Harrier on virtually every trip. Dress for all weather and bring water. We'll be walking about 2 miles on the levees that surround the ponds. HEAVY RAIN CANCELS. Directions: From Highway 101 take the Smith Ranch Road exit, then east on Smith Ranch toward the McInnis Park entrance. Turn left immediately after crossing the railroad tracks, staying on Smith Ranch and go about .5 mi to the end of the road, at the Las Gallinas Ponds parking lot. Meet the group by the bridge just past the parking lot. Late arrivals should easily be able to find the group. Rest room facilities only at the parking area.

Skaggs Island and Huicha Creek Wildlife Area
Location: Hwy 37, Sonoma County
Trip Leader(s): Daniel Edelstein
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Friday, January 30, 2015
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: Daniel is a Consulting Biologist, teaching ornithologist at Merritt College, and long-time bird tour leader (www.warblerwatch.com). Join Daniel as we visit Skaggs Island along Highway 37 in southeastern Sonoma County. Here, the vast wetlands and open area often attract uncommon visiting, non-breeding season raptors such as Rough-legged Hawk, Ferruginous Hawk, and Merlin, along with sightings of White-tailed Kite and other raptors. In addition we will see diverse shorebirds, waders, and ducks — with many visiting us only for our "winter" pleasure. Afterward, if we have time, we'll carpool to the Huicha Creek Wildlife Area (HCWA), immediately north of Scaggs Island. We will meet on Skaggs Island Road off Highway 37 where we can safely park away from traffic for a walk before carpooling to HCWA. The road to Skaggs Island is closed but we can walk the short distance to the bridge where we have a panoramic view of the marsh. Bring lunch, water and be prepared for any kind of weather. Heavy rain cancels. Directions: Take Hwy 101 north to Hwy 37. At the 121 turnoff (Sears Point), continue straight on Hwy 37 for about 4 miles to Skaggs Island Road. We will meet about 200 feet from Hwy 37 on Skaggs Island Road.

Birding the Northwest Passage
Location: Tomales, Lawson's Landing, and Chileno Valley
Trip Leader(s): David Wimpfheimer
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514 or Jane Medley, janermedley@gmail.com, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Monday, January 26, 2015
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 3:30 PM
Description: This field trip will focus on some of the less familiar habitats in Marin near the town of Tomales. We will meet at the Tomales Bakery and our itinerary for the day will depend on where the birds are. Our first destination will be Lawsonn'd Landing, a private resort near the mouth of Tomales Bay. Loons, grebes, ducks and Brant can be quite numerous here. Shorebirds are diverse here as well. After birding the coast, the rest of the day may be spent covering the open grasslands, wetlands and forests of this part of Marin. Chileno Valley can have Ferruginous and Rough-legged Hawks, among the more common raptors. Directions: Meet at the Tomales Bakery. At 9:00. Plan on arriving earlier to sample the delicious pastries. If the bakery is closed, the deli nearby has a nice variety of food and beverages. Check your map for your best route to Tomales. You can head west from Hwy 101 at Old Redwood Hwy in Petaluma or in Novato at San Marin Drive. The address of the bakery is 27000 Hwy 1, Tomales. Allow about an hour from Marin. Light rain will not cancel this trip, but a heavy storm will.

Herring Run Flash Mob - To Be Announced
Location: San Francisco Bay
Trip Leader(s): To Be Announced
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Friday, January 23, 2015
Start Time: [not specified]
End Time: [not specified]
Description: We never know if or when the Pacific Herring run will happen but it is always an exciting event for birds and birders. Sometime in the winter the herring enter the Bay where they hold for several weeks in deep channels until ready to spawn in the shallow water. The huge number of fish and eggs draws thousands of gulls and waterfowl for a feeding frenzy that lasts only a few days. Follow the link below to sign up for our Herring Run Flash Mob list. When the run starts we will notify everyone as to the time and place we will meet.
Link: http://marinaudubon.org/herring-run-mc-signup-form.php

Cosumnes River Preserve and Sunset Crane "Fly-In"
Location: Cosumnes River Preserve
Trip Leader(s): Terry Colborn
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Saturday, January 17, 2015
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 6:00 PM
Description: The Cosumnes River Preserve, managed by The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is one of the last remnants of a once vast riparian habitat in the Sacramento Valley. This is the only river from the Sierra flowing into the Delta that isn't dammed. Situated on the eastern edge of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, this 1,500 acre preserve of mixed oak woodlands, grasslands and wetlands hosts a nice array of wintering passerines and waterfowl, including numerous species of ducks, geese and Tundra Swan. The surrounding wetlands and flooded fields provide excellent refuge for many waterfowl, waders and Sandhill Cranes. The lush oak woodlands can often yield a number of passerines and wintering raptors. Past visits have even afforded views of river otters, an uncommon resident. We will walk about a mile on a flat trail, have lunch on the deck at the Visitor's Center and then enjoy watching the winter waterfowl in the nearby impoundments. Late afternoon we'll head to Staten Island, a renowned area that is an evening roost to hundreds of Sandhill Cranes. The sight and sound of hundreds of Sandhill Cranes coming to roost at sunset is a sight to behold. Directions: We will meet at 8:30AM at Cosumnes River Preserve Visitor's Center lower parking lot. From Marin Co: Take Why 101 to Hwy 37 east to I-80 east; at Fairfield/Suisun City turn onto Hwy 12 (southeast) and continue to Hwy I-5, near Lodi. Go north on Hwy I-5 approximately 13 miles to the Twin Cities Road exit. Travel 1 mile east; turn right (south) on Franklin Blvd and drive 1.7 miles to the Cosumnes River Preserve Visitor's Center on your left. Travel time from Marin County is approximately 2 hrs. Bring binoculars and scope, lunch/snacks and liquids; wear comfortable footgear and dress in layers. Heavy rain cancels. For more information contact Terry at 916-705-8991; www.TLCBirding.com

Bolinas Lagoon
Location: Bolinas, CA
Trip Leader(s): Jim White and Bob Battagin
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Saturday, January 17, 2015
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Description: Bolinas Lagoon is an important bird area (IBA) since over 10,000 ducks and shorebirds winter there. We will look on and over the lagoon from the meeting area and from two or three other pull/puts along the lagoon. Then we will drive 3 miles to the Duxbury reef overlook to see what is happening on and over the ocean. The Bolinas mesa oxidation ponds are another good place for a bird walk. We will then have a lunch break in downtown Bolinas. After lunch with the lower tide we will look for shorebirds near the Pine Gulch Creek delta. Directions; Please meet at 8:30 on Highway 1 at the Stinson/Bolinas primary school, which is 1.5 miles north of the central Stinson Beach stop sign.

San Quentin Point and the San Francisco Bay Trail
Location: San Quentin
Trip Leader(s): Rich Cimino
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Saturday, January 10, 2015
Start Time: 8:45 AM
End Time: 12:30 PM
Description: Join guide Rich Cimino for an easy bird walk during a low tide. We will bird the shoreline of San Pablo Bay for diving ducks, grebes, peeps and gulls. We will also look for the Puget Sound variety of White-Crowned Sparrow. Bring your scope, water, snacks and a smile! We won't break for lunch, but there are restaurants nearby for lunch after our walk. Restrooms are available at the bird walk half way mark (Target Store). Meet in the parking lot for the Jean and John Starkweather Shoreline Park trailhead. Light rain will not stop the walk; a heavy rain will cancel. Take Hwy 101 to the Bellam Blvd exit. Proceed to Francisco Blvd, which is the access road next to I-580. Head east (toward the Richmond/San Rafael Bridge) for about 1.5 miles. You will see a Bay Cafe sign at the Bay Park Center. Turn left and continue straight to the trailhead parking area. For GPS, use the Bay Cafe address, 2165 Francisco Blvd., San Rafael.

Las Gallinas Storage Ponds
Location: San Rafael, CA
Trip Leader(s): Susan Kelly, Len Blumin and friends
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Thursday, January 01, 2015
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: Join Susan and Len for a New Year's Day walk around the Las Gallinas Storage Ponds. Birders of all levels are welcome. Winter is a busy time at the ponds and provides an opportunity to study ducks and geese. Hawks are frequent and we see the graceful Northern Harrier on virtually every trip. Dress for all weather and bring water. We'll be walking about 2 miles on the levees that surround the ponds. Heavy rain cancels. Directions: From Highway 101 take the Smith Ranch Road exit, then east on Smith Ranch toward the McInnis Park entrance. Turn left immediately after crossing the railroad tracks, staying on Smith Ranch and go about .5 mi to the end of the road, at the Las Gallinas Ponds parking lot. Meet the group by the bridge just past the parking lot. Late arrivals should easily be able to find the group. Rest room facilities only at the parking area.

Sacramento National Wildlife Refuges Behind the Scenes Tour
Location: Willows, CA
Trip Leader(s): Dan Frisk
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Friday, December 12, 2014
Start Time: 10:00 AM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Description: Join us as we take a behind the scenes tour of the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex. Dan Frisk, the manager of the Sacramento Refuge, will be our guide. Breeding conditions in central Canada and the Dakotas were sensational this spring and record numbers of waterfowl are arriving at the refuges. Dan will explain how federal and state refuge managers are collaborating with conservation groups and rice farmers to provide waterfowl and shorebird habitat in the midst of drought. We will meet in the Refuge Visitors Center at 10 in the morning and tour the refuge in the afternoon. Dress in layers, bring lunch, snacks and water. Directions: Allow about two hours travel time from Marin. Take Hwy 101 north to Hwy 37 E to I-80 north. Take 505 north to I-5. Once you are on I-5, continue 41 miles north to the Road 68 exit. Take a right onto Road 68. Go north on Hwy 99W (which parallels I-5 at this point) for 1.7 miles. Turn right into the Refuge and follow the signs to the parking area. The address is 757 County Road 99W, Willows, CA. There is a $6 entrance fee. Bring your National Parks Senior Pass if you have one. We will meet at the Visitors Center where there are bathrooms.

Cypress Grove and Tom's Point on Tomales Bay
Location: Cypress Grove Research Center
Trip Leader(s): John Kelly
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Start Time: 9:30 AM
End Time: 2:00 PM
Description: John Kelly, the Director of Conservation Science for Audubon Canyon Ranch, will lead our trip to see winter waterbirds and shorebirds on Tomales Bay. This excursion will highlight a visit to the Cypress Grove Research Center of Audubon Canyon Ranch, with field observations and discussions about the identification, conservation, and ecology of Tomales Bay birds. We also will learn about the history of the lovely house and grounds now used by the research staff. We will view waterbirds and shorebirds along the east shore of the bay, then carpool to ACR's remote Toms Point preserve at the northern end of the bay where we will end our day. DIRECTIONS: The Cypress Grove Research Center is on State Highway One, about .5 mile north of the town of Marshall. (Marshall is 9 miles north of Point Reyes Station, or 7 miles south of Tomales.) The entry gate is on the bay side of the road and marked with the address 20545. Look for a small sign with the ACR green and white egret logo mounted on the gate pole. Enter the gate, continue in on the entry road and take the left hand fork to the parking area. Walk down the trail at the northwest corner of the parking area to the main buildings in the lawn area. The main office is in Cabin #2.
Document/Field Trip Report: FTR Cpress Grove 12.10.2014.pdf

Birding in Marin No 8: Bahia, Rush Creek and Rowland Avenue Wetlands
Location: Novato,CA
Trip Leader(s): Jim White and Bob Battagin
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Saturday, December 06, 2014
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 5:00 PM
Description: Note: this is the 1st Saturday in December, not the 3rd because of Christmas Bird Counts) Please meet at the foot (east end) of Bugeia Lane (Bahia Drive) in Novato where Marin Audubon is continuing a large restoration project. Shorebirds, ducks, herons, swallows and rails will be reaping the benefits here for years to come. After viewing the birds and the restoration area we intend to walk the trail along the edge of the mixed oak woodland. Next we plan to drive around to the end of Topaz Drive to view the Horseshoe Pond where some diving ducks, including a few Barrow's Goldeneyes, like to winter. During the day we will practice some bird counting to help prepare for the upcoming Christmas Bird Count season. After lunch we will take a look at two nearby areas-Rush Creek and the Rowland Ave wetlands. DIRECTIONS: From Hwy 101 in north Novato take the Atherton Avenue exit east about 2 miles, then turn left onto Bugeia Lane, which becomes Bahia Drive, and follow it to the end where there is some street parking. No restrooms available here.

Corte Madera Ecological Reserve and MAS
Location: Corte Madera Ecological Reserve
Trip Leader(s): Roger Harris and Meryl Sundove
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Sunday, November 23, 2014
Start Time: 2:00 PM
End Time: 5:00 PM
Description: Join Roger, Meryl, and myriads of wintering shorebirds and waterfowl. Here we will see salt marsh that has never been diked and supports three endangered species: Ridgeway's (a.k.a. Clapper) Rail, Black Rail, and Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse. Next door is marsh that the Marin Audubon Society restored and - the focus of this visit - the (currently upland) 5.2-acre parcel to be acquired and restored. A level, but perhaps muddy, 3/4-mile walk on levees will take us to the Corte Madera Shorebird Marsh and then the open San Francisco Bay. Environmental educator Meryl and certified wildlife biologist Roger have lived nearly 30 years near this marsh, and Roger is the lead author of its management plan. Bring binoculars and, if you have one, a spotting scope to share. Rain cancels. DIRECTIONS: From I-101 in Larkspur, take the Lucky Drive Exit 450A east, pass the Cost Plus Shopping Center, and turn right on Industrial Way, which dead ends less than 1000 feet at the dirt California Fish and Wildlife Department parking lot, where we will meet.

Abbot's Lagoon with Carolyn and John Longstreth
Location: Pt Reyes National Seashore
Trip Leader(s): Carolyn and John Longstreth
Host: vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Saturday, November 22, 2014
Start Time: 9:30 AM
End Time: 2:00 PM
Description: Abbott's Lagoon is well-known as a birding hotspot due to the variety of habitats, including coastal scrub, freshwater ponds and wetlands, brackish lagoon, dunes, sandy shoreline and open ocean. We can expect to see waterfowl, herons, raptors, wintering shorebirds, loons, grebes and possibly a few late migrating landbirds. With luck, we might find Virginia Rail, Sora or American bittern on the upper pond, river otters on the lower lagoon or alcids beyond the surf. If the adjacent farm-field is freshly plowed, there could be some interesting species there as well. We will walk the 1.5 easy miles to the lower lagoon and another 0.3 mile to the ocean beach. John and Carolyn have been birding for over 30 years. John, who ran an Audubon Center in Connecticut, is the co-compiler of the Point Reyes Christmas Bird Count and a skilled nature photographer. Carolyn helped organize the Point Reyes Birding & Nature Festival and created two CDs on local birdsong. Carolyn also will tell us about the plants of the area. Dress in layers; bring hat, sunscreen, lunch and water. Bathrooms are available at the Abbott's Lagoon parking lot. Directions: Allowing about an hour and a half travel time, from San Rafael follow Sir Francis Drake Blvd (SFDB) to Olema. From Stinson Beach go north on Hwy 1 to Olema. From Olema continue north on Hwy 1 (SFDB), take the second left turn (SFDB west), continue through Inverness, turn right (north) onto Pierce Point Road and keep driving until you come to the Abbott's Lagoon parking lot on the left (west) where our group will gather.

LEFT of the FAULT - Point Reyes BIG DAY BLAST
Location: Pt Reyes Station
Trip Leader(s): Keith Hansen
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Monday, November 17, 2014
Start Time: 7:30 AM
End Time: 5:00 PM
Description: Join renowned bird artist Keith Hansen for a full, fine-feathered day of late fall birding at Point Reyes. Sometimes thought of as "too late" for fall migrants, November is often an underappreciated time for finding rare birds. We will attempt to see at least 100 species "West of the San Andreas Fault!" We will meet at the Bovine Bakery on A Street in the town of Point Reyes Station at 7:30 AM, where folks can get coffee and a pastry and find rest rooms. From there, we'll carpool out to the outer point hitting as many of the migrant traps as is possible. Time permitting we'll increase the list by hitting the Teal Ponds, Heart's Desire Beach, and maybe Bear Valley and Five Brooks. This is an all-day trip that is not for the faint of heart or those just looking for a leisurely bird walk. Bring a lunch and plenty of liquids. Be dressed for good, to less than good weather. Feel free to bring a scope. Only a big storm will cause us to cancel. Sign-up is required, as the number of participants is limited. Contact Len Blumin from 9 AM November 1st up to 5PM on Friday November 7th if you wish to sign up. Email Len at LBlumin@aol.com, or call 415-388-4990. After 5 PM November 7th the trip slots will be filled and the participants notified. Any vacant slots after that will be allotted on a first come, first served basis.

Birding in Marin Series No 7 - Limantour Beach and Estero
Location: Pt Reyes National Seashore
Trip Leader(s): Jim White and Bob Battagin
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Saturday, November 15, 2014
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Description: Join us for the 7th trip in Jim and Bob's year-long series. We will meet at the Limantour parking lot in the Point Reyes National Seashore where there are restrooms and ample parking. We intend to hike up the beach until we find Snowy Plovers, Brandt and the declining White-winged Scoters. We will walk back on the Estero side expecting to see more shorebirds and ducks. After lunch (bring your own) we intend to walk a ways up the Sky Trail to look for fir forest birds. Directions: Take Sir Frances Drake to Bear Valley Road south of Inverness Park, then take Limantour Road South/West to its end at the parking lot, about 8 miles.

Las Gallinas Storage Ponds
Location: San Rafael, CA
Trip Leader(s): Susan Kelly, Len Blumin and friends
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Thursday, November 06, 2014
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: Birders of all levels are welcome on this first Thursday walk. Each month the avian cast of characters will change, and we'll try to keep track of newly arriving species. This is great way to start learning the raptors, waterfowl, and other bird families, as well as getting tips on optics, birding books, and birding etiquette. Try to bring a pair of binoculars, as well as some water. We'll be walking about 2 miles on the levees that surround the ponds. Directions: From Highway 101 take the Smith Ranch Road exit, then east on Smith Ranch toward the McInnis Park entrance. Turn left immediately after crossing the railroad tracks, staying on Smith Ranch and go about .5 mi to the end of the road, at the Las Gallinas Ponds parking lot. Meet the group by the bridge just past the parking lot. Rest room facilities only at the parking area.

Fall Vagrants at Bodega Bay
Location: Bodega Bay
Trip Leader(s): Peter Colasanti
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 3:30 PM
Description: Spend a day at Bodega Bay in prime vagrant season when just about anything can happen. We'll meet at the Rail Ponds at 9 AM; from there we'll make some stops for shorebirds before the tide gets too low. By then there should be good activity at Owl Canyon, Sonoma County's premier vagrant trap, where we'll stop en route to seawatch at Bodega Head before the wind awakens and with the sun at our backs. From the Head we'll return clockwise around Bodega Harbor with likely stops at Campbell Cove, Owl Canyon again, Porto Bodega and finally at Doran Park where there's always an entrance fee and sometimes Snowy Plovers. Directions: Take 101 North and exit on East Washington, the third Petaluma exit. East Washington becomes Bodega Avenue; follow it through Two Rock and Valley Ford to Bodega Bay. Drive through town past Diekman's and the Boat House. Take the left on Eastshore Road, turn right at the bottom of the hill on Bayflat Road and drive to the harbor shore where you'll find the horse trailer (Rail Ponds) parking lot on the right, just shy of the northern-most part of the harbor. There should be some horse trailers there by 9:00 AM to let you know you are in the right place. If this is confusing, the GPS address is 1600 Bayflat Road or you can Google "Rail Ponds Bodega Bay" to see photo maps.

Birding in Marin Series, No 6
Location: Marin Headlands Visitor Center, GGNRA
Trip Leader(s): Jim White and Bob Battagin
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Saturday, October 18, 2014
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Description: Join Jim and Bob the the sixth trip in their year-long series to visit the seasonal Marin birding hotspots. Please meet at the pedestrian bridge to Cronkite Beach over the ocean-side neck of Rodeo Lagoon. There are restrooms nearby and ample parking. We are going to search the shores and waters of the lagoon, scan the ocean, and look in the trees around the old military buildings. We expect to see some ducks, shorebirds and gulls and some migrating passerines. Then we intend to drive (please carpool) to the Point Bonita area to look for rocky shore birds before driving up to Hawk Hill for lunch and raptor viewing. Experts on the hill will help us spot and identify passing raptors, like Sharp-shinned and Broad-winged Hawks and perhaps a Merlin. Directions: From Hwy 101 just west of the Golden Gate Bridge take the Sausalito exit about 1/4 mile, then left on Bunker Road through the one-way tunnel road to the end of Cronkite Beach.

Monterey Bay Pelagic Birding Weekend
Location: Monterey Bay
Trip Leader(s): Terry Colborn
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Saturday, October 11, 2014
End Date: Sunday, October 12, 2014
Start Time: [not specified]
End Time: [not specified]
Description: Terry Colborn is leading a weekend birding trip to the Monterey Bay area, October 11-12, 2014, for Marin and Yolo Audubon Societies. This two-day trip to the beautiful Monterey Peninsula will feature a pelagic trip on Saturday with Monterey Seabirding (www.montereyseabirding.com) and land birding on Sunday. Monterey Seabirding uses a local skipper with over 30 years experience. Leaders and spotters include Roger Wolfe, Dan Singer, Blake Matheson and Todd Easterla. All four are seasoned, life-long birders and have exceptional knowledge of the status and distribution of California birds. This two-day trip is planned to coincide with fall seabird migration. Over the years, the Monterey Bay/Elk Horn Slough areas have produced some excellent vagrants and a nice array fall of migrants. Possible areas to be visited on Sunday include, Salinas River State WMA, Moss Landing, Moonglow Dairy and Elkhorn Slough. Specific locations will be determined prior to the weekend, and will be based upon up-to-date information on any rare bird sightings, weather conditions, tides, etc. There will also be an optional group dinner on Saturday night. This very popular weekend pelagic trip is limited to a maximum of 25 participants. The cost is only $110 per person, still a bargain compared to other local pelagic tour operator's fees. Sign-ups will be taken on a first come, first served basis. Make your checks payable to Terry Colborn and mail to: 1714 Magnolia Place, Davis, CA 95618. Include each participant's full name, address, a cell phone number and email. Your payment in full is your reservation. Your space will be confirmed upon receipt of your check. In the event the boat trip is cancelled by Monterey Seabirding, due to weather conditions, etc., participants will receive a full refund. If a participant cancels out, a full refund is provided only if someone is able to fill your spot, otherwise no refund is available. Meeting details and accommodations information will be sent to all participants well in advance of the trip. For questions, contact Terry at TLCBirding@gmail.com, or by phone: 530.312.9947.
Document/Field Trip Report: FTR Monterey 10.11.2014.pdf

Las Gallinas Storage Ponds Thursday Morning Walk
Location: Las Gallinas Storage Ponds San Rafael
Trip Leader(s): Susan Kelly, Len Blumin and friends
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Thursday, October 02, 2014
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: Birders of all levels are welcome on this first Thursday walk. Each month the avian cast of characters will change, and we will try to keep track of newly arriving species. This is great way to start learning the raptors, waterfowl, and other bird families, as well as getting tips on optics, birding books, and birding etiquette. Try to bring a pair of binoculars, as well as some water. We'll be walking about 2 miles on the levees that surround the ponds. Directions: From Highway 101 take the Smith Ranch Road exit, then east on Smith Ranch toward the McInnis Park entrance. Turn left immediately after crossing the railroad tracks, staying on Smith Ranch and go about .5 mi to the end of the road, at the Las Gallinas Ponds parking lot. Meet the group by the bridge just past the parking lot. Rest room facilities only at the parking area.

Farallon Islands Boat Trip
Location: Depart from Clipper Yacht Harbor, Sausalito
Trip Leader(s): David Wimpfheimer
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Sunday, September 21, 2014
Start Time: 7:30 AM
End Time: 4:00 PM
Description: Check with Vicky Van Meter at Vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com or 415-299-2514 to see if space is still available. An email with trip details will be sent to those who have signed up prior to the trip. Join us on our annual day of seabird and marine mammal watching as we head out to the Farallon Islands and offshore waters. The outing will be led by naturalist David Wimpfheimer aboard Jim Robertson's power catamaran Outer Limits. On past trips we have sighted more than fourteen pelagic bird species, including albatross, shearwaters and auklets, as well as many sea lions, porpoises, dolphins and whales. We will get an up close look at the islands and learn about their interesting natural and human history. This is a trip that both experienced and first-time birders and nature lovers will enjoy. The cost will be $110 per person. (No children under 12.)
Document/Field Trip Report: FTR Farallons 9.21.2014.pdf

Drakes Beach and the Fish Docks
Location: Pt Reyes National Seashore
Trip Leader(s): Jim White and Bob Battagin
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Saturday, September 20, 2014
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Description: September is the most surprising month of birding here as many juvenile birds make their first migration south and west without the aid of Google. Some western migrants such as Nashville, Hermit and Black-throated Gray Warblers may be in the Point Reyes tree islands and we sometimes see more unusual Eastern species. Drakes Bay also begins to harbor wintering species like Red-necked Grebes, Marbled Murrelets and Loons. We will picnic early and then head over to the Fish Docks and/or the Point Reyes Light House. Directions: Meet at the Drakes Beach parking lot near the monument. Take Sir Francis Drake west to Highway 1 in Olema, then take Highway 1 north and turn left onto Sir Francis Drake Boulevard (just after the Marin Sun Farms shop and just before you get to Point Reyes Station). Alternately, take Novato Boulevard or Lucas Valley Road and Nicasio Valley Road west to Point Reyes Petaluma Road and follow it to Highway 1. Turn left on Highway 1 and head through downtown Point Reyes Station, then turn right after the bridge onto Sir Francis Drake Boulevard. Follow Sir Francis Drake Boulevard through Inverness out to Point Reyes National Seashore. Keep going until you get to the Drakes Beach Road where you'll bear left. Expect about a 35-minute drive from Point Reyes Station to Drakes Beach.

Corte Madera Creek
Location: Greenbrae, CA
Trip Leader(s): Rich Cimino and Janet Bodle
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Saturday, September 13, 2014
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: Join Rich and Janet for a walk along Corte Madera Creek. Rich has been birding in California for over 40 years and leads tours throughout the west and Alaska. Rich and Janet live on Corte Madera Creek and bird the area daily. The trip is planned to take advantage of the tides in the creek and we will look for ducks, waders, peeps, sparrows and fall visitors. Directions: We will meet at 300 Drakes Landing Rd. in Greenbrae. From Hwy 101 take Sir Francis Drake Blvd. going west and take the first left onto Barry Way (just before the Bon Air Shopping Center). Then go left again onto Drakes Landing Rd. From the parking lot walk under the arch of the 300 building onto the deck by the water. We will walk west from here.

Las Gallinas Storage Ponds Thursday Morning Walk
Location: San Rafael, CA
Trip Leader(s): Susan Kelly, Len Blumin and friends
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Thursday, September 04, 2014
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: Susan and Len have graciously agreed to lead our Thursday walks again this year, continuing a tradition started years ago by Bruce Bajema. Birders of all levels are welcome. Each month the avian cast of characters will change, and we'll try to keep track of newly arriving species. This is great way to start learning the raptors, waterfowl, and other bird families, as well as getting tips on optics, birding books, and birding etiquette. Try to bring a pair of binoculars, as well as some water. We'll be walking about 2 miles on the levees that surround the ponds. Directions: From Highway 101 take the Smith Ranch Road exit, then east on Smith Ranch toward the McInnis Park entrance. Turn left immediately after crossing the railroad tracks, staying on Smith Ranch and go about .5 mi to the end of the road, at the Las Gallinas Ponds parking lot. Meet the group by the bridge just past the parking lot. Rest room facilities only at the parking area.

Abbotts Lagoon
Location: Pt Reyes National Seashore
Trip Leader(s): Jim White and Bob Battagin
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Saturday, August 16, 2014
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 2:00 PM
Description: August will find Jim and Bob exploring Abbotts Lagoon. Arctic nesting shorebirds begin arriving here in late July, the adults having left the juveniles to find their own way south. We will search the shores of the outer lagoon and scope the ocean for shearwaters and such. We may be a bit early for juvenile Baird's or Pectoral Sandpipers but a Semipalmated Sandpiper likely lurks with the Western and Least Sandpipers and something may surprise us. Directions: Allowing about an hour and a half travel time from San Rafael follow Sir Francis Drake Blvd (SFDB) to Olema. From Stinson Beach go north on Hwy 1 to Olema. From Olema continue north on Hwy 1 (SFDB), take the second left turn (SFDB west), continue through Inverness, turn right (north) onto Pierce Point Road and keep driving until you come to the Abbott’s Lagoon parking lot on the left (west) where our group will gather.

Carson Ridge, Pine Mountain, Cascade Dam & Kent Lake
Location: Fairfax, CA
Trip Leader(s): Jim White and Bob Battagin
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Saturday, July 19, 2014
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Description: Join Jim and Bob on the July walk to explore the watershed north of Mt. Tam. The walk will begin at the Carson Ridge trailhead on the Fairfax-Bolinas Road. We will hike up to Pine Mt. and back (3 mi). We may then drive to nearby Bon Tempe Lake or Cascade Dam on Alpine Lake for an additional walk. Bring plenty of water, hat and sunscreen as the Carson Ridge hike can be warm in summer. Directions: Take Hwy #101 to San Rafael, and take Central San Rafael exit. Head west on 4th street to proceed to San Anselmo and then turn right on Sir Francis Drake to Fairfax. Turn left on Pacheco Rd. Take an immediate right on Broadway, then first left on Bolinas Rd. Drive 3.8 miles on Bolinas Rd to the top of the ridge, passing the golf course half way. On the right side is the gated Pine Mountain Rd.; there is a large parking area on the left side of the road.
Document/Field Trip Report: FTR Carson Ridge,Pine Mt 7.19.2014.pdf

Five Brooks and Bear Valley
Location: Pt Reyes National Seashore
Trip Leader(s): Jim White and Bob Battagin
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Saturday, June 21, 2014
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: [not specified]
Description: Join Jim and Bob on this trip as part of their year-long series of Marin walks. We will meet at Five Brooks to walk the trail. We have a chance of finding Wood Ducks and other pond-nesting birds at the retired logging pond. We will also look for birds in the Douglas Fir forest. We will then travel to Bear Valley where there is a fine place to picnic under an Acorn Wood Pecker granary. Walks on the earthquake trail and to the Miwok village Kule Loku will add to our knowledge of nesting birds. Directions; Meet at the Five Brooks parking area which is 1/4 mi west of Highway 1, 5 miles N of Stinson or 4 mi S of Olema. From US 101 take Sir Francis Drake for about 20 miles. Turn left onto CA 1 and drive about 3 miles to the signed entrance on the right side of the road.

Big Rock and Loma Alta
Location: Lucas Valley
Trip Leader(s): Dan Singer
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Thursday, June 12, 2014
Start Time: 8:00 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: Dan Singer serves on the Board of Directors of the Western Field Ornithologists, is Vice-Chair of the California Bird Records Committee, and is an eBird editor and reviewer for California. The north slope of Loma Alta above Lucas Valley Road is high and dry, with great vistas. This is not the place for a lot of species, but we should see some birds you may have not seen before, such as Grasshopper, Rufus-crowned and Lark Sparrows; Horned Larks; and Lazuli Buntings. Western Meadowlarks should provide the melody. This is also a great place for raptors. All are welcome to join us for a leisurely walk of about two miles roundtrip on a wide, graded road. Some of this is uphill. We will start early in the cool of the day but please bring plenty of water. Directions: Take Hwy 101 to Smith Ranch/Lucas Valley Rd exit, head west on Lucas Valley Road. Big Rock Trailhead is about 5 miles west of Hwy 101 on Lucas Valley Road. The trailhead is on top of the rise and a large solitary rock, "Big Rock" is on the right. Park on the south side of the road (turn back by making a safe turn on a driveway a bit further along on the right). Trail heads south from the starting point.
Document/Field Trip Report: FTR 6.12.2014 Loma Alta.pdf

New Trip Series
Location: Birding Hotspots of Marin County
Trip Leader(s): Jim White and Bob Battagin
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Saturday, May 24, 2014
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: [not specified]
Description: Jim White and Bob Battagin have graciously offered to lead a trip for Marin Audubon on the third Saturday of every month for 12 months. We are pleased to add these trips to our schedule. Each trip will take us to a seasonal birding hotspot and those who attend all of the trips are likely to see as many as 250 or more species of birds. The birds seen on each of the monthly trips will be tallied and participants will be provided with a list of all species seen during the year. For those of you who do not know these excellent birders, Bob has birded West Marin and the San Francisco Bay Area for 17 years. He has led field trips for several Bay Area Audubon Societies and has contributed monthly birding articles to the Plumas Audubon Society's newsletter for the past 13 years. Jim has retired from rocket engineering, teaching and general contracting and has been an avid birder for many years. Jim says he was tutored and inspired by the late great Rich Stallcup and the birds. See the full schedule for more information.
Document/Field Trip Report: Jim White and Bob Battagin Trip Schedule.pdf

First of the New Trip Series - Muir Woods
Location: Muir Woods, Redwood Creek and Muir Woods
Trip Leader(s): Jim White and Bob Battagin
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Saturday, May 24, 2014
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Description: May is the height of the breeding season in Marin. Join Jim and Bob as we visit Muir Woods, Redwood Creek and Muir Beach. We will start the morning in Muir Woods where we will bird along Redwood Creek and hear the beautiful songs of Swainson's Thrush, Black-headed Grosbeaks and Pacific Wrens, along with Warbling Vireos, Wilson's and Orange-crowned (perhaps MacGillivray's) Warblers. We may or may not go into the Park but bring your Golden Age Pass if you have one. Entrance fee is $7. We will then check out the restored riparian area at Muir Beach and picnic there. Scanning the ocean we usually find Pigeon Guillemots, Common Murres, Pelagic and Brandt's Cormorants, grebes, loons and Oystercatchers. We plan to walk several miles. Bring bins, scopes, lunch, dress in layers and carpool if possible. Directions: Meet in the lower parking lot (sign says Additional Parking) at Muir Woods. From Hwy 101 take the Mill Valley/Highway 1/Stinson Beach Exit. Follow the signs to Highway 1. Follow the signs to Muir Woods. The address is 1 Muir Woods Road, Mill Valley.
Document/Field Trip Report: FTR 5.24.2014 Muir Woods.pdf

Golden Gate Park
Location: San Francisco, CA
Trip Leader(s): Allan Ridley and Helen McKenna Ridley
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Saturday, May 17, 2014
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: Join us as we explore the Chain of Lakes area at the western end of Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. The Chain of Lakes is named for three small ponds; North Lake, Middle Lake, and South Lake, and in spring will be a great place to look for birds. Our guides will be Allan Ridley and Helen McKenna Ridley, who lead the first Sunday bird walks at the San Francisco Botanical Garden for Golden Gate Audubon. Allan taught biology and ornithology at the Urban School for many years and was the Chair of the Education Committee of the Golden Gate Audubon. Helen is a long time docent and trustee at the San Francisco Botanical Garden and a former biology teacher and high school principal. Allan and Helen have also led international birding and natural history trips. We will meet at Middle Lake, where there is parking, and bird the area for about two hours. For those that wish to continue on our own, we will caravan to the Land's End Visitors Center above Sutro Baths where we can bird the restored habitats and also visit Sutro Heights Park. Bring water, snacks, sunscreen and dress in layers. Directions from Marin: Hwy 101 S, cross Golden Gate Bridge, exit on 19th Ave, continue south on Park Presidio, right on Fulton. After about 1 mile, left on 36th, slight right onto John F Kennedy Dr, then left onto Chain of Lakes Dr. E. Middle Lake will be on the left. Parking is limited so carpooling is suggested.
Document/Field Trip Report: FTR 5.16.2014 Golden Gate Park.pdf

Mount Burdell
Location: Novato, CA
Trip Leader(s): Lisa Hug
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Sunday, May 04, 2014
Start Time: 8:00 AM
End Time: 11:00 AM
Description: Lisa is a well-known Bay Area naturalist and biologist and teaches birding classes at College of Marin and the Petaluma Adult School. Join Lisa for a field trip to the gentle slopes of Mt. Burdell where we'll listen to and observe the impressive variety of nesting songbirds that make this area their summertime home. Species we might see include Lark Sparrow, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Bullock's Oriole and Grasshopper Sparrow, among many other possibilities. This should be a fairly easy walk, with some uphill. Bring comfortable walking shoes, layered clothing, water and snacks. We will meet at the end of San Andres Drive in Novato. Directions: Take 101 to Novato. Take the San Marin Drive/Atherton Avenue exit. At the end of the exit ramp, turn left (west) on San Marin Drive. Go roughly 2 miles down the road and turn right on San Andres Drive. Drive to nearly the end of the road and park on the street. (No restrooms available, check in Novato).
Document/Field Trip Report: FTR May 4, 2014 Burdell.pdf

Mines Road and Del Puerto Canyon
Location: Livermore
Trip Leader(s): Terry Colborn
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Saturday, April 19, 2014
Start Time: 7:00 AM
End Time: 4:30 PM
Description: This year Terry will lead a one-day Mines Road trip. Long recognized as one of the premier springtime birding areas in the Bay Area to observe an array of resident species and Neotropical migrants, the combination of Mines Road and Del Puerto Canyon provides easy access to a number of unique habitats, including oak woodland, grasslands and chaparral. The bird list is quite impressive for this popular destination, and includes Costa's Hummingbird, Lewis's Woodpecker, Western Wood-Pewee, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Western Kingbird, Yellow-billed Magpie, Rock Wren, Canyon Wren; Nashville, Orange-crowned, Hermit, Yellow and MacGillivray's warblers; Rufous-crowned Sparrow, Black-headed Grosbeak, Bullock's Oriole, Western Tanager, Wood Duck and Lawrence's Goldfinch, just to name a few. The elusive Greater Roadrunner is reported annually. We'll also visit Del Valle Regional Park (fee) and Frank Raines Park. This all-day trek will start In Livermore on Saturday morning. There are a number of hotels in Livermore for those wishing to spend Friday night and thus eliminate the early Saturday morning departure from home. This is a very popular springtime trip and often fills up very quickly. Sign-ups are required, and are on a first-come, first-served basis. Carpooling is a must as there is very limited space for vehicles to park on Mines Road. To sign-up and receive further details, contact Terry Colborn at: tlcbirding@gmail.com, 530-312-9947; www.TLCBirding.com

Bouverie Preserve
Location: Glen Ellen, Sonoma County
Trip Leader(s): Hugh Helm
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Saturday, April 12, 2014
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 1:00 PM
Description: Audubon Canyon Ranch's Bouverie Preserve (http://egret.org/preserves_bouverie) is near Glen Ellen in Sonoma County's Valley of the Moon. The property was formerly the home of David Bouverie, an interesting figure, and MFK Fisher lived in a house on the property for 20 years before her death. The 535-acre preserve includes diverse ecosystems of oak woodland, mixed evergreen forest, riparian woodland and chaparral. One hundred thirty species of birds and 350 species of flowering plants have been recorded, as well as bobcat, gray fox, coyote and mountain lion. Hugh Helm, a Bouverie docent and steward, will be our guide. Hugh, a retired attorney, is also a land monitor with the Sonoma Land Trust and on the board of the Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation. If you would like to attend, please email Rona Weintraub at roweintraub@earthlink.net by Monday, April 7th. The Preserve needs a headcount to arrange for docents. Bring lunch, water, hat and sunscreen, and comfortable walking shoes. Directions: From Marin, take Hwy 101N to CA-37 toward Napa/Vallejo. Bear left at the Sears Point Raceway onto CA-121N/Arnold Drive. Stay on Arnold Drive for about 12 miles. Turn right onto Agua Caliente Rd and then left onto CA-12/Sonoma Hwy. The Bouverie Preserve will be on your right. The address is 13935 Sonoma Hwy, Glen Ellen. Please plan to be at the Preserve by 8:30 as the gate will be closed shortly thereafter. If you can’t get in, call Hugh at 707-481-6613 or Rona at 415-328-3138.
Document/Field Trip Report: FTR Ap 12,2014 Bouverie.pdf

Thursday Morning Walk at Las Gallinas Storage Ponds
Location: Las Gallinas Storage Ponds San Rafael
Trip Leader(s): Susan Kelly, Len Blumin and friends
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Thursday, April 03, 2014
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: On the first Thursday of each month we meet for a birding walk around the Las Gallinas Storage Ponds just north of McInnis Park, continuing a tradition started years ago by Bruce Bajema. Birders of all levels are welcome. Each month the avian cast of characters will change, and we'll try to keep track of newly arriving species. Early spring is a busy time at the ponds and provides an opportunity to study ducks and geese. Hawks are frequent and we see the graceful Northern Harrier on virtually every trip. This is great way to start learning the raptors, waterfowl, and other bird families, as well as getting tips on optics, birding books, and birding etiquette. Try to bring a pair of binoculars, as well as some water. We'll be walking about 2 miles on the levees that surround the ponds. Directions: From Highway 101 take the Smith Ranch Road exit, then east on Smith Ranch toward the McInnis Park entrance. Turn left immediately after crossing the railroad tracks, staying on Smith Ranch and go about .5 mi to the end of the road, at the Las Gallinas Ponds parking lot. Meet the group by the bridge just past the parking lot. The walk starts at 9:00 but late arrivals should easily be able to find the group. Rest room facilities only at the parking area.

Tolay Lake Regional Park, Petaluma
Location: Petaluma
Trip Leader(s): Gene Hunn
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Saturday, March 08, 2014
End Date: Sunday, March 09, 2014
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: [not specified]
Description: This 1700 acre park, located between the Petaluma River and Sonoma Valley, includes pristine farm and grasslands, ridges, a seasonal freshwater lake, ponds, wetlands, and many other natural resources. This area is not open to the general public without permits, but Gene Hunn will be our guide. Gene led this trip for us last June and we look forward to visiting the area again, hopefully with some water. Gene is now the Field Trip Chair for the Redwood Region Ornithological Society. Gene says he started birding in earnest at PRBO in 1967 and fell in with the "young turks" of that era, including Rich Stallcup and others, while a grad student in anthropology at UC Berkeley. Gene then helped energize Washington State birding after joining the anthropology faculty at the University of Washington. He served as president of the Seattle Audubon Society and the Washington Ornithological Society, served on the Washington Bird Records Committee, served as regional editor for the Pacific Northwest Region for American Birds, and wrote Birding in Seattle and King County (first edition 1982; revised edition 2012). We will meet at 8.30 at the boat launch parking lot next to Papa's Taverna (restaurant now closed) on Lakeville Hwy and then carpool up to Cannon Drive to the Tolay Lake Regional Park. There is a $7.00/day vehicle use fee at the Park. We will hike several miles to check all the available habitats at the park: grassland, oak woodland, riparian corridors, ponds, ridge lines, and ranch buildings. At this season we hope to see Barn and Great Horned Owls, resident raptors including Golden Eagle, Anna's and Allen's Hummingbirds, woodpeckers, flycatchers, Loggerhead Shrikes, maybe Horned Larks, wrens, Lark and perhaps Rufous-crowned and Grasshopper Sparrows, and Lazuli Buntings. For those who wish to continue birding after lunch, we can visit the Ellis Creek ponds a few miles north at the south edge of Petaluma. Wear sturdy hiking shoes and be prepared to hike for several miles. Bring water, lunch, sunscreen, hat and dress in layers. Directions: The address of Papa's Taverna is 5688 Lakeville Hwy, Petaluma. From Marin take Hwy 101 north to CA-37 E toward Napa/Vallejo. Continue about 6 miles on Hwy 37 to Lakeville Hwy. Take a left on Lakeville and continue for another 6 miles. The entrance to the boat ramp will be on your left, the first drive just south of the Papa's entrance.
Document/Field Trip Report: FTR Tolay Lake2 3-8-2014.pdf

Capay Valley
Location: Yolo County, CA
Trip Leader(s): Terry Colborn
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Saturday, March 01, 2014
End Date: Sunday, March 02, 2014
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 3:30 PM
Description: Join Terry Colborn for a delightful day in Yolo County's picturesque Capay Valley. The almond orchards should be in bloom, signaling the coming of spring in the valley. Our stops will include historic Capay Cemetery, Cache Creek and several favorite birding spots in idyllic Capay Valley. We'll look for Yellow-billed Magpie, Lewis's Woodpecker, Red-breasted Sapsucker, Phainopepla, Western Bluebird as well as any lingering winter residents. We also hope to see some raptors and early spring arrivals such as Cliff, Barn, Rough-winged and Violet-green Swallow, and perhaps a warbler species or two. Past trips have produced Golden and Bald Eagle, Western Kingbird, Prairie Falcon and Lawrence's Goldfinch. We also expect to see some early spring wildflowers as well as Redbud, that very conspicuous flowering shrub along the roadside. Terry will meet everyone at Community Park in Esparto at 8:30AM. Participants will be encouraged to form carpools from there. Directions to Esparto: From Marin County, take Hwy 37 east to Vallejo; go east on I-80; just past the Nut Tree Center in Vacaville, take I-505 north for about 20 miles to the Route 16 exit; turn left (west). Esparto is located about 4 miles west on Route 16 - the park is in the center of town. Driving time is about 1.5 hrs. but allow a little extra time, as there may be early morning fog. Bring lunch/snacks, liquids; dress in layers and wear sturdy footwear, as we will do a little walking on flat roads. For more information contact Terry at: 530-312-9947; www.TLCBirding.com. The Capay Valley field trip is on as planned. Forecast is for possible showers in the AM and then clearing. Bring rain gear and dress in layers.

Hamilton Field Wetlands Restoration Project
Location: Novato, CA
Trip Leader(s): Eric Jolliffe
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Saturday, February 22, 2014
End Date: Monday, February 24, 2014
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: Eric Jolliffe, Biologist for the Army Corps of Engineers, will lead us on a backstage tour of one of the largest wetlands restoration projects in the country. Eric will provide background on the restoration project and conservation issues. The plan is to breach the last of the dikes by early February, so late February should be a great time to see the wetland in its final configuration. We will see the waterfowl, shorebirds, raptors and other species that are now making these new wetlands their home. Last year we enjoyed watching several Burrowing Owls. We will learn about the new vegetation that will be part of the various zones in the wetlands and visit the nursery where native plants are being grown. Bring your binoculars, scopes and cameras. Directions: We will meet at the Skate Park parking lot at Hamilton. The address is 1200 N. Hamilton Parkway, located one block from Nave Drive. Nave Drive runs parallel to Hwy 101 on the east side. From the south on Hwy 101 take the Nave Drive/Hamilton exit and from the north use the Ignacio Blvd exit.

Delta Boat Trip
Location: Sacramento Delta
Trip Leader(s): David Wimpfheimer
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Saturday, February 15, 2014
Start Time: 8:15 AM
End Time: 4:30 PM
Description: This trip is now full. Join us aboard Dolphin Charters' Delphinus for a wonderful day of exploring the richness of the California Delta with naturalist David Wimpfheimer as our guide. Ronn Patterson, a Bay Area historian and naturalist, is captain of the Delphinus and owner of Dolphin Charters. The boat is very comfortable and the outer decks provide views over the levees of the amazing array of birds found in the Delta during the winter. This rich area hosts a wide variety of raptors including uncommon species such as Swainson's Hawk, Peregrine Falcon and Great Horned Owl. Large numbers of shorebirds, Sandhill Crane, Tundra Swan, Snow, Canada and White-fronted Geese, ducks, as well as gulls, terns, bitterns and passerines make the cruise a highlight for birders. Uncommon mammals such as beaver, river otter, coyote and mink often add interest to the cruise. We also will learn about the history, ecology and politics of the levees and the Delta as we travel through its meandering channels. The trip is limited to 25 participants and the cost is $95. Deadline for reserving space and making payment is February 1, 2014. To register, please send a check for $95 per person to Marin Audubon at Box 599, Mill Valley, CA, 94942. Please write Delta Trip on the envelope and check. Please include the name, email address and phone number of each participant. Those confirmed on the trip will receive directions to the Antioch Marina and other instructions.

Birding at Bahia
Location: Bahia Wetlands, Novato, CA
Trip Leader(s): Lowell Sykes
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Saturday, February 08, 2014
Start Time: 8:45 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: As part of the Flyway Festival, MAS boardmember and habitat restoration specialist Lowell Sykes will lead a hike in a are blue oak woodlands bordering salt marsh habitat. Shallow, newly restored fresh water ponds & tidal marshes provide excellent habitat for diverse assemblage of birds. Expect to see migratory shorebirds, waterfowl, diving birds and raptors, as well as land birds on the adjacent oak woodlands and grasslands. All levels welcome. Directions: From Hwy 101 in Novato, take Atherton Ave exit, go east, and turn left onto Bugeia Drive, which becomes Bahia Drive. Park at the end of Bahia Drive. From Hwy 37, take Atherton Ave. exit, travel north on Atherton Avenue & follow directions above. For information, call 415-388-2821. Heavy rain cancels.

Thursday Morning Walk Las Gallinas Storage Ponds
Location: Las Gallinas Storage Ponds San Rafael
Trip Leader(s): Susan Kelly, Len Blumin and friends
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Thursday, February 06, 2014
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: On the first Thursday of each month we meet for a birding walk around the Las Gallinas Storage Ponds just north of McInnis Park, continuing a tradition started year ago by Bruce Bajema. Birders of all levels are welcome. Each month the avian cast of characters will change, and we'll try to keep track of newly arriving species. Winter is a busy time at the ponds and provides an opportunity to study ducks and geese. Hawks are frequent and we see the graceful Northern Harrier on virtually every trip. This is great way to start learning the raptors, waterfowl, and other bird families, as well as getting tips on optics, birding books, and birding etiquette. Try to bring a pair of binoculars, as well as some water. We'll be walking about 2 miles on the levees that surround the ponds. Directions: From Highway 101 take the Smith Ranch Road exit, then east on Smith Ranch toward the McInnis Park entrance. Turn left immediately after crossing the railroad tracks, staying on Smith Ranch and go about .5 mi to the end of the road, at the Las Gallinas Ponds parking lot. Meet the group by the bridge just past the parking lot. The walk starts at 9:00 but late arrivals should easily be able to find the group. Rest room facilities only at the parking area.

Muddy Hollow and Limantour Beach
Location: Pt Reyes National Seashore
Trip Leader(s): Jules Evens
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Saturday, January 25, 2014
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 2:00 PM
Description: Join Jules for a walk in West Marin. We will meet in the big lot at the Bear Valley Visitors Center where bathrooms are available and we can arrange carpools. We will then carpool to the Muddy Hollow trailhead. We will bird along the 1.8 mile trail, arriving at the dunes of Limantour Beach where we will bird the shoreline and the outer beach. It will be a rather low tide that day and time, which may require some walking out the spit to get closer to shorebirds. We will return back along the trail. If the weather looks too blustery we may pick an alternative destination such as Five Brooks or Giacomini Wetlands, but our meeting place will be the same. Be prepared for any kind of weather and bring lunch and water. Directions to Bear Valley Visitor Center: From Point Reyes Station, continue south on Hwy 1 about 2.5 miles. Look for a brown "Point Reyes National Seashore" sign just beyond the Olema RV Resort & Campground. If you get to a flashing red light, you've gone 100 yards too far. Turn right onto Bear Valley Road and head west about .5 mile. Look for a big red barn on the left and a sign for "Visitor Center" on the right. Meet at the Bear Valley Visitor Center.
Document/Field Trip Report: FTR Jan 25, 2014 Limantour.pdf

Cosumnes River Preserve & Sunset Crane
Location: Sacramento Valley
Trip Leader(s): Terry Colborn
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Saturday, January 18, 2014
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 6:00 PM
Description: The Cosumnes River Preserve, managed by The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is one of the last remnants of a once vast riparian habitat in the Sacramento Valley. This is the only river from the Sierra flowing into the Delta that isn't dammed. Situated on the eastern edge of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, this 1,500 acre preserve of mixed oak woodlands, grasslands and wetlands hosts a nice array of wintering passerines and waterfowl, including numerous species of ducks, geese and Tundra Swan. The surrounding wetlands and flooded fields provide excellent refuge for many waterfowl, waders and Sandhill Cranes. The lush oak woodlands can often yield a number of passerines and wintering raptors. Past visits have even afforded views of river otters, an uncommon resident. We will walk about a mile on a flat trail, have lunch on the deck at the Visitor's Center and then enjoy watching the winter waterfowl in the nearby impoundments. Late afternoon we will head to Staten Island, a renowned area that is an evening roost to hundreds of Sandhill Cranes. The sight and sound of hundreds of Sandhill Cranes coming to roost at sunset is a sight to behold. Directions: We will meet at 8:30AM at Cosumnes River Preserve Visitor Center lower parking lot. From Marin Co: Take Hwy 101 to Hwy 37 east to I-80 east; at Fairfield/Suisun City turn onto Hwy 12 (southeast) and continue to Hwy I-5, near Lodi. Go north on Hwy I-5 approximately 13 miles to the Twin Cities Road exit. Travel 1 mile east; turn right (south) on Franklin Blvd and drive 1.7 miles to the Cosumnes River Preserve Visitor Center on your left. Travel time from Marin County is approximately 2 hrs. Bring binoculars and scope, lunch/snacks and liquids; wear comfortable footgear and dress in layers. Heavy rain cancels. For more information contact Terry at 916-705-8991; www.TLCBirding.com

Las Gallinas Storage Ponds Thursday Morning Walk
Location: San Rafael, CA
Trip Leader(s): Susan Kelley, Len Blumin and Friends
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Thursday, January 02, 2014
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: On the first Thursday of each month we meet for a birding walk around the Las Gallinas Storage Ponds just north of McInnis Park, continuing a tradition started years ago by Bruce Bajema. Birders of all levels are welcome. Each month the avian cast of characters will change, and we'll try to keep track of newly arriving species. Winter is a busy time at the ponds and provides an opportunity to study ducks and geese. Hawks are frequent and we see the graceful Northern Harrier on virtually every trip. This is great way to start learning the raptors, waterfowl, and other bird families, as well as getting tips on optics, birding books, and birding etiquette. Try to bring a pair of binoculars, as well as some water. We will be walking about 2 miles on the levees that surround the ponds. Directions: From Highway 101 take the Smith Ranch Road exit, then east on Smith Ranch toward the McInnis Park entrance. Turn left immediately after crossing the railroad tracks, staying on Smith Ranch and go about .5 mi to the end of the road, at the Las Gallinas Ponds parking lot. Meet the group by the bridge just past the parking lot. The walk starts at 9:00 but late arrivals should easily be able to find the group. Rest room facilities only at the parking area.

Cypress Grove and Tom's Point on Tomales Bay
Location: Cypress Grove Research Center
Trip Leader(s): John Kelly
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Start Time: 9:30 AM
End Time: 2:00 PM
Description: John Kelly, the Director of Conservation Science for Audubon Canyon Ranch, will lead our trip to see winter waterbirds and shorebirds on Tomales Bay. This excursion will highlight a visit to the Cypress Grove Research Center of Audubon Canyon Ranch, with field observations and discussions about the identification, conservation, and ecology of Tomales Bay birds. We will view waterbirds and shorebirds along the east shore of the bay, then carpool to ACR's remote Toms Point preserve at the northern end of the bay where we will end our day. DIRECTIONS: The Cypress Grove Research Center is on State Highway One, about .5 mile north of the town of Marshall. (Marshall is 9 miles north of Point Reyes Station, or 7 miles south of Tomales.) The entry gate is on the bay side of the road and marked with the address 20545. Look for a small sign with ACR's green and white egret logo mounted on the gate pole. Enter the gate, continue in on the entry road and take the left-hand fork to the parking area. Walk down the trail at the northwest corner of the parking area to the main buildings in the lawn area. The main office is in Cabin #2.
Document/Field Trip Report: FTR Cypress Point12.11.13.pdf

Skaggs Island and Huichica Creek Wildlife Area
Location: Hwy 37, Sonoma County
Trip Leader(s): Daniel Edelstein
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Saturday, December 07, 2013
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 1:00 PM
Description: Daniel is a Consulting Biologist, teaching ornithologist at Merritt College, and long-time bird tour leader (www.warblerwatch.com). Join Daniel as we visit Skaggs Island along Highway 37 in southeastern Sonoma County. Here, the vast wetlands and open area often attract uncommon visiting, non-breeding season raptors such as Rough-legged Hawk, Ferruginous Hawk, and Merlin, along with sightings of White-taiiled Kite and other raptors. In addition we will see diverse shorebirds, waders, and ducks -- with many visiting us only for our "winter" pleasure. Afterward, we will carpool to the Huichica Creek Wildlife Area (HCWA), immediately north of Skaggs Island. We will meet on Skaggs Island Road off of Highway 37 where we can safely park away from traffic before carpooling to HCWA. Bring lunch, water and be prepared for any kind of weather. Heavy rain cancels. Directions: Take Hwy 101 north to Hwy 37. At the 121 turnoff (Sears Point), continue straight on Hwy 37 for about 4 miles to Skaggs Island Road. We will meet about 200 feet from Hwy 37 on Skaggs Island Road.

Thursday Morning Walk Las Gallinas Storage Ponds
Location: San Rafael, CA
Trip Leader(s): Susan Kelly, Len Blumin and friends
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Thursday, December 05, 2013
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: On the first Thursday of each month we meet for a birding walk around the Las Gallinas Storage Ponds just north of McInnis Park, continuing a tradition started year ago by Bruce Bajema. Birders of all levels are welcome. Each month the avian cast of characters will change, and we will try to keep track of newly arriving species. The ponds provide an opportunity to study ducks and geese. Hawks are frequent and we see the graceful Northern Harrier on virtually every trip. This is great way to start learning the raptors, waterfowl, and other bird families, as well as getting tips on optics, birding books, and birding etiquette. Try to bring a pair of binoculars, as well as some water. We will walk about 2 miles on the levees that surround the ponds. Directions: From Highway 101 take the Smith Ranch Road exit, then east on Smith Ranch toward the McInnis Park entrance. Turn left immediately after crossing the railroad tracks, staying on Smith Ranch and go about .5 mi to the end of the road, at the Las Gallinas Ponds parking lot. Meet the group by the bridge just past the parking lot. The walk starts at 9:00 but late arrivals should easily be able to find the group. Rest room facilities only at the parking area.

Abbott's Lagoon
Location: Pt Reyes National Seashore
Trip Leader(s): Carolyn and John Longstreth
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Sunday, November 10, 2013
Start Time: 9:30 AM
End Time: 2:00 PM
Description: Abbott's Lagoon is well known as a birding hotspot due to its variety of habitats, including coastal scrub, freshwater ponds and wetlands, brackish lagoon, dunes, sandy shoreline and open ocean. We can expect to see waterfowl, herons, raptors, wintering shorebirds, loons, grebes and possibly a few late migrating landbirds. With luck, we might find Virginia Rail, Sora or American bittern on the upper pond, river otters on the lower lagoon or alcids beyond the surf. If the adjacent farm field is freshly plowed, there could be some interesting species there as well. We will walk the 1.5 easy miles to the lower lagoon and another 0.3 mile to the ocean beach. John and Carolyn have been birding for over 30 years. John, who ran an Audubon Center in Connecticut, is the co-compiler of the Point Reyes Christmas Bird Count and a skilled nature photographer. Carolyn has helped organize the Point Reyes Birding & Nature Festival for the past 4 years and created two CD's on local birdsong. Dress in layers; bring hat, sunscreen, lunch and water. Bathrooms are available at the Abbott's Lagoon parking lot. Directions: Allowing about an hour and a half travel time, from San Rafael, follow Sir Francis Drake Blvd (SFDB) to Olema. From Stinson Beach go north on Hwy 1 to Olema. From Olema continue north on Hwy 1 (SFDB), take the second left turn (SFDB west), continue through Inverness, turn right (north) onto Pierce Point Road and keep driving until you come to the Abbott's Lagoon parking lot on the left (west) where our group will gather.
Document/Field Trip Report: FTR Abbot's Lagoon Nov 10, 2013.docx

Las Gallinas Storage Ponds Thursday Morning Walk
Location: San Rafael, CA
Trip Leader(s): Susan Kelly, Len Blumin and friends
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Thursday, November 07, 2013
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: On the first Thursday of each month we meet for a birding walk around the Las Gallinas Storage Ponds just north of McInnis Park, continuing a tradition started year ago by Bruce Bajema. Birders of all levels are welcome. Each month the avian cast of characters will change, and we'll try to keep track of newly arriving species. Fall is a busy time at the ponds and provides an opportunity to study ducks and geese. Hawks are frequent and we see the graceful Northern Harrier on virtually every trip. This is great way to start learning the raptors, waterfowl, and other bird families, as well as getting tips on optics, birding books, and birding etiquette. Try to bring a pair of binoculars, as well as some water. We'll be walking about 2 miles on the levees that surround the ponds. Directions: From Highway 101 take the Smith Ranch Road exit, then east on Smith Ranch toward the McInnis Park entrance. Turn left immediately after crossing the railroad tracks, staying on Smith Ranch and go about .5 mi to the end of the road, at the Las Gallinas Ponds parking lot. Meet the group by the bridge just past the parking lot. The walk starts at 9:00 but late arrivals should easily be able to find the group. Rest room facilities only at the parking area.

LEFT of the FAULT - Point Reyes BIG PACIFIC PLATE DAY
Location: Point Reyes Station, CA
Trip Leader(s): Keith Hansen
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Saturday, November 02, 2013
Start Time: 7:30 AM
End Time: 4:30 PM
Description: Join Keith Hansen for a full, fine-feathered day of late fall birding at Point Reyes. Sometimes thought of as "too late" for fall migrants, November is often an underappreciated time for finding rare birds. We will attempt to see at least 100 species "West of the San Andreas Fault!" We will meet at the Bovine Bakery on A Street in the town of Point Reyes Station at 7:30 AM, where folks can get coffee and a pastry and find rest rooms. From there, we'll carpool out to the outer point hitting as many of the migrant traps as is possible. Time permitting we will increase the list by hitting the Teal Ponds, Heart's Desire Beach, and maybe Bear Valley and Five Brooks. This is an all-day trip that is not for the faint of heart or those just looking for a leisurely bird walk. Bring a lunch and plenty of liquids. Be dressed for good, to less than good weather. Feel free to bring a scope. Only a big storm will cause us to cancel. Sign-up is required, as the number of participants is limited. Contact Len Blumin from noon to 6 PM on October 9th if you wish to sign up: Email LBlumin@aol.com, (or call 415-388-4990). At 6 PM that day participants will be chosen randomly if the trip is oversubscribed. Any vacant slots after that will be allotted in the order that requests are received. THIS TRIP IS FULL. Email Len Blumin for waitlisting.
Document/Field Trip Report: FTR Pt Reyes Big Day 11.2.2013.pdf

Bird Walk in Marta's Marsh
Location: Corte Madera, CA
Trip Leader(s): Meryl Sundove and Roger Harris
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Sunday, October 20, 2013
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: Join Meryl Sundove and Roger Harris on a bird walk in Marta's Marsh in Corte Madera. This field trip often affords a look at and a listen to the namesake of the Marin Audubon Society's newsletter, the endangered California Clapper Rail. Meryl and Roger have been studying the marsh for over twenty five years. Walking the levee around the marsh makes it possible to get good looks at a variety of shore and water birds. This walk is timed with the incoming tide that pushes feeding shorebirds off exposed Bay mudflats into mudflats in the marsh for closer views. Marta's Marsh is a great place to learn about marsh processes, watch shorebird behavior, and practice identifying the birds. Beginners welcome! Depending on the weather the levee can be damp so wear appropriate shoes, bring layers of clothes, and, of course, a bird book and binoculars (scope if you have one.) There are no bathroom facilities at the marsh. Steady rain cancels. Directions to Marta's Marsh: From Highway 101 take the Corte Madera Paradise exit. Come east toward the Bay and then curve right coming past the Highway Patrol office. At the second stop light, turn left on Harbor Drive, then right on Yolo, and left on Channel, a dead end road. Park at the end of Channel.
Document/Field Trip Report: FTR Marta Marsh 10.20.2013.pdf

Nicasio Reservoir
Location: Nicasio
Trip Leader(s): Bob Battagin and Adam Donkin
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Thursday, October 10, 2013
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: We will meet at the backstop to the baseball field in Nicasio. We start with a meander around the very small but birdy town of Nicasio, then head over to nearby Nicasio Reservoir to look for resident and migrant waterbirds and raptors. In the last three years the September through October shorebird/raptor migration window at Nicasio Reservoir has yielded 15 raptor species and 20 shorebird species. Directions: The baseball field is in the center of Nicasio on Nicasio Valley Road. Nicasio can be reached by taking Lucas Valley Road off of Hwy 101 to the end and then taking a right on Nicasio Valley Road. Those coming from the south can take Nicasio Valley Road through Fairfax and San Geronimo. For GPS, the address of the Ranch Nicasio Restaurant across from the ball field is 1 Old Rancheria Rd, Nicasio.
Document/Field Trip Report: FTR Nicasio Reservoir 10.10.2013.pdf

Farallon Islands Boat Trip
Location: Depart from Clipper Yacht Harbor, Sausalito
Trip Leader(s): David Wimpfheimer
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Sunday, October 06, 2013
Start Time: 7:30 AM
End Time: 4:00 PM
Description: THIS TRIP IS FULL. The outing will be led by naturalist David Wimpfheimer aboard Jim Robertson's power catamaran Outer Limits. This is the same boat we chartered last year and it proved very stable and comfortable. On past trips we have sighted more than fourteen pelagic bird species, including albatross, shearwaters and auklets, as well as many sea lions, porpoises, dolphins and whales. We will get an up close look at the islands and learn about their interesting natural and human history. This is a trip that both experienced and first-time birders and nature lovers will enjoy. The cost will be $110 per person. To register, please send a check to Marin Audubon at Box 599, Mill Valley, CA, 94942. Write Farallons on the envelope and check. Include the name, email address and contact phone number of each participant. There is always a chance the trip may need to be rescheduled at the last minute due to sea conditions, so we need to be able to reach participants. We will send an email to participants a few days before the trip. Please sign up early, as we will limit the number of participants to make for a comfortable trip. Be prepared for any kind of weather with layered clothing. A rain jacket and pants are essential no matter what the weather on shore. Take seasick medication if needed. Bring lunch, snacks, water and plenty of sunscreen. Directions: Take Hwy. 101 to the Marin City/Sausalito exit, head south on Bridgeway, take a left on Harbor Drive and proceed to the parking area at the end. We will meet on the south side of the parking lot to check in before boarding.
Document/Field Trip Report: FTR Farallones 10.6.2013.pdf

Las Gallinas Storage Ponds Thursday Morning Walk
Location: San Rafael, CA
Trip Leader(s): Susan Kelly, Len Blumin and friends
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Thursday, October 03, 2013
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: On the first Thursday of each month we meet for a birding walk around the Las Gallinas Storage Ponds just north of McInnis Park, continuing a tradition started year ago by Bruce Bajema. Birders of all levels are welcome. Each month the avian cast of characters will change, and we'll try to keep track of newly arriving species. Fall is a busy time at the ponds and provides an opportunity to study ducks and geese. Hawks are frequent and we see the graceful Northern Harrier on virtually every trip. This is great way to start learning the raptors, waterfowl, and other bird families, as well as getting tips on optics, birding books, and birding etiquette. Try to bring a pair of binoculars, as well as some water. We will be walking about 2 miles on the levees that surround the ponds. Directions: From Highway 101 take the Smith Ranch Road exit, then east on Smith Ranch toward the McInnis Park entrance. Turn left immediately after crossing the railroad tracks, staying on Smith Ranch and go about .5 mi to the end of the road, at the Las Gallinas Ponds parking lot. Meet the group by the bridge just past the parking lot. The walk starts at 9:00 but late arrivals should easily be able to find the group. Rest room facilities only at the parking area.
Document/Field Trip Report: FTR Las Gallinas 10.3.2013.pdf

Fall Vagrants at Bodega Bay
Location: Bodega Bay
Trip Leader(s): Peter Colasanti
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Saturday, September 28, 2013
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 3:30 PM
Description: Spend a day at Bodega Bay in prime vagrant season when just about anything can happen. We will meet at the Rail Ponds at 9:00 AM, from there make some stops for shorebirds before the tide gets too low. By then there should be good activity at Owl Canyon, Sonoma County's premier vagrant trap, where we will stop en route to a seawatch at Bodega Head before the wind awakens and with the sun at our backs. From the Head we will return clockwise around Bodega Harbor with likely stops at Campbell Cove, Owl Canyon again, Porto Bodega and winding up at Doran Park where there is always an entrance fee and sometimes Snowy Plovers. Directions to the Rail Ponds - Take 101 North, exiting on East Washington, the third Petaluma exit. East Washington becomes Bodega Avenue, follow it through Two Rock, and Valley Ford to Bodega Bay. Drive through town past Diekman's and the Boat House and take the left on Eastshore Road, right at the bottom of the hill on Bayflat Road and drive to the harbor shore where you will find the horse trailer (Rail Ponds) parking lot on the right, just shy of the northern most part of the harbor. There should be some horse trailers there by then to let you know you are the right place. If this is confusing, the GPS address is 1600 Bayflat Rd. You also can Google "Rail Ponds Bodega Bay" to see photo maps.
Document/Field Trip Report: FTR Bodega Bay 9.28.2013.pdf

Monterey Bay Pelagic Birding Weekend
Location: Monterey Bay
Trip Leader(s): Terry Colborn
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Saturday, September 14, 2013
End Date: Sunday, September 15, 2013
Start Time: [not specified]
End Time: [not specified]
Description: This trip is full. Contact Terry for wait list information. Terry Colborn is leading a weekend birding trip to the Monterey Bay area, September 14-15, 2013, for Marin and Mt. Diablo Audubon Societies. This annual two day trip to the beautiful Monterey Peninsula will feature a pelagic trip on Saturday with Monterey Seabirding (www.montereyseabirding.com) and land birding on Sunday. Monterey Seabirding uses a local skipper with over 30 years of experience. Leaders and spotters include Roger Wolfe, Dan Singer, Blake Matheson and Todd Easterla. All four are seasoned, life-long birders and have exceptional knowledge of the status and distribution of California birds. This two-day trip is planned to coincide with the start of fall seabird migration. Over the years, the Monterey Bay, Elk Horn Slough area has produced some excellent vagrants and a nice array fall of migrants. Possible areas to be visited on Sunday include Point Pinos, Salinas River State WMA, Moss Landing, Moonglow Dairy and Elkhorn Slough. Specific locations will be determined prior to the weekend, and will be based upon current information on any rare bird sightings, weather conditions, tides, etc. This very popular weekend pelagic trip is limited to a maximum of 25 participants. The cost is $95.00 per person. (Note: we are holding the price to last year's rate.) Sign-ups will be taken on a first-come, first served basis. Make your check payable to Terry Colborn and mail to: 1714 Magnolia Place, Davis, CA 95618. Include each participant's full name, address, cell phone number and email. Your payment in full is your reservation. Your space will be confirmed upon receipt of your check. In the event the boat trip is cancelled by Monterey Seabirding, due to weather conditions, etc., participants will receive a full refund. Meeting details and accommodations information will be sent to all participants well in advance of the trip. For questions, contact Terry at TLCBirding@gmail.com, or by phone: cell: 530.312.9947.
Link: http://www.montereyseabirds.com

Las Gallinas Storage Ponds Thursday Morning Walk
Location: Las Gallinas Storage Ponds San Rafael
Trip Leader(s): Susan Kelly, Len Blumin and friends
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Thursday, September 05, 2013
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: On the first Thursday of each month we meet for a birding walk around the Las Gallinas Storage Ponds just north of McInnis Park, continuing a tradition started years ago by Bruce Bajema. Birders of all levels are welcome. Each month the avian cast of characters will change, and we'll try to keep track of newly arriving species. Fall is a busy time at the ponds and provides an opportunity to study ducks and geese. Hawks are frequent and we see the graceful Northern Harrier on virtually every trip. This is great way to start learning the raptors, waterfowl, and other bird families, as well as getting tips on optics, birding books, and birding etiquette. Try to bring a pair of binoculars, as well as some water. We'll be walking about 2 miles on the levees that surround the ponds. Directions: From Highway 101 take the Smith Ranch Road exit, then east on Smith Ranch toward the McInnis Park entrance. Turn left immediately after crossing the railroad tracks, staying on Smith Ranch and go about .5 mi to the end of the road, at the Las Gallinas Ponds parking lot. Meet the group by the bridge just past the parking lot. The walk starts at 9:00 but late arrivals should easily be able to find the group. Rest room facilities only at the parking area.
Document/Field Trip Report: FTR Las Gallinas 9.5.2013.pdf

Tolay Lake Regional Park
Location: Sonoma County
Trip Leader(s): Gene Hunn
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Saturday, June 22, 2013
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: [not specified]
Description: This 1700 acre park, located between the Petaluma River and Sonoma Valley, includes pristine farm and grasslands, ridges, a seasonal freshwater lake, ponds, wetlands, and many other natural resources. This area is not open to the general public without permits but Gene Hunn will be our guide. Those of you who follow North Bay Birds will know Gene as someone who is always out and about birding. Gene says he started birding in earnest at PRBO in 1967 and fell in with the "young turks" of that era, including Rich Stallcup and others, while a grad student in anthropology at UC Berkeley. Gene then helped energize Washington State birding after joining the anthropology faculty at the University of Washington. He served as president of the Seattle Audubon Society and the Washington Ornithological Society, served on the Washington Bird Records Committee, served as regional editor for the Pacific Northwest Region for American Birds, wrote Birding in Seattle and King County (first edition 1982; revised edition 2012). We will meet at 8.30 at the boat launch parking lot next to Papa's Taverna (restaurant currently closed) on Lakeville Hwy and then carpool up to Cannon Drive to the Tolay Lake Regional Park. There is a $7.00/day vehicle use fee at the Park. We will hike several miles to check all the available habitats at the park: grassland, oak woodland, riparian corridors, ponds, ridge lines, and ranch buildings. At this season we hope to see Barn and Great Horned Owls, resident raptors including Golden Eagle, Anna's and Allen's Hummingbirds, woodpeckers, flycatchers, Loggerhead Shrikes, maybe Horned Larks, wrens, Lark and perhaps Rufous-crowned and Grasshopper Sparrows, and Lazuli Buntings. For those who wish to continue birding after lunch, we can visit the Ellis Creek ponds a few miles north at the south edge of Petaluma. Wear sturdy hiking shoes and be prepared to hike for several miles. Bring water, lunch, sunscreen, hat and dress in layers. Directions: The address of Papa's Taverna is 5688 Lakeville Hwy, Petaluma. From Marin take Hwy 101 north to CA-37 E toward Napa/Vallejo. Continue about 6 miles on Hwy 37 to Lakeville Hwy. Take a left on Lakeville and continue for another 6 miles. The entrance to the boat ramp will be on your left, the first drive just south of the Papa's entrance.

Marin Headlands
Location: Marin Headlands Visitor Center, GGNRA
Trip Leader(s): Dan Singer
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Thursday, June 06, 2013
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 1:00 PM
Description: Dan Singer is a well-known ornithologist who serves on the Board of Directors of the Western Field Ornithologists, is Vice-Chair of the California Bird Records Committee, and is an eBird editor and reviewer for California. He has been birding since he was nine. We will meet Dan at the Marin Headlands Visitor Center where there is parking and bathrooms. We will then carpool to some of Dan’s favorite birding spots in the Headlands, including several of the historic Batteries and tree groves. We will study the local breeding species as well as hunt for late spring migrants. With some luck perhaps we\'ll even find a vagrant. Bring water, lunch, hat and sunscreen. Dress in layers as the weather can be unpredictable. Directions: From the North Bay – Follow 101 south through the Waldo tunnel. Take the last Sausalito exit just before the Golden Gate Bridge. Turn right at the end of the exit ramp. Pass under 101, at the stop sign go straight onto Alexander Avenue. Turn left on Bunker Road, a brown sign saying Marin Headlands Visitor Center marks the intersection. Go through the one-way tunnel and drive about 2 miles. Turn left onto Field Road. The visitor center will be on the right side of the road. The address is Fort Barry, Bldg 948, Sausalito.

Big Rock and Loma Alta
Location: Lucas Valley
Trip Leader(s): Len Blumin
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Saturday, May 18, 2013
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 1:00 PM
Description: The north slope of Loma Alta above Lucas Valley Road is high and dry, with great vistas. This is not the place for a lot of species, but we should see some birds you may have not seen before, such as Grasshopper, Rufus-crowned and Lark Sparrows, Horned Larks, and Lazuli Buntings. Western Meadowlarks should provide the melody. This is also a great place for raptors. All are welcome to join us for a leisurely walk of about a mile on a wide, graded road. Some of this is uphill. Please bring plenty of water. Directions: Take Hwy 101 to Smith Ranch/Lucas Valley Rd exit, head west on Lucas Valley Road. Big Rock Trailhead is about 5 miles west of Hwy 101 on Lucas Valley Road. The trailhead is on top of the rise and a large solitary rock, Big Rock, is on the right. Park on the south side of the road (turn back by making a safe turn on a driveway a bit further along on the right). Trail heads south from the starting point.

Olompali State Park Family Walk
Location: Olompali State Park, Novato, CA
Trip Leader(s): Wendy Dreskin
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Sunday, May 05, 2013
Start Time: 10:00 AM
End Time: 12:30 PM
Description: Families and beginning birders are welcome to join Wendy Dreskin as we explore the lovely Olompali State Park in Novato, stopping to look at the plants, birds and other wildlife in meadow and woodland habitats. Wendy has taught nature education for children for many years and has led the popular adult ed class Meandering in Marin through College of Marin since 1998. Wendy runs the Junior Bird Watcher program and created the Junior Botanist program that reaches over 300 children in the county each year. She was honored with the Terwilliger Environmental Award for her work inspiring both children and adults. We will meet in the parking area of Olompali. Bring a hat, sunscreen, water, lunch and wear good walking shoes. Directions: The park is located three miles north of Novato on U.S. 101. The entrance is accessible only to southbound traffic from Highway 101. Northbound vehicles should continue north past Olompali to Landfill Road and cross the freeway and take the southbound on-ramp in order to travel south and enter the park.
Document/Field Trip Report: FTR Olompali 5.5.2013.pdf

Last Thursday Morning Walk of the Season
Location: Las Gallinas Storage Ponds
Trip Leader(s): Len Blumin and Friends
Host: Vicky Van Meter, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Wednesday, May 01, 2013
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: Beginner birders are especially welcome on the first Thursday of each month for a leisurely walk around the Las Gallinas Storage Ponds at McInnis Park. There is always something interesting to see and over 100 species have been reported over the course of a year. Spring is a busy time at the ponds and provides an opportunity to study ducks and geese. Hawks are frequent and we see the graceful Northern Harrier on virtually every trip. This is great way to start learning the raptors, waterfowl, and other groups, as well as getting tips on optics, birding books, and birding etiquette. Note: The May walk at the Storage Ponds will be the last for the season. Directions: From Highway 101 take the Smith Ranch Road exit; go east toward the McInnis Park entrance. Turn left immediately after crossing the railroad tracks and go the end of the road to the Las Gallinas Storage Ponds parking lot. Meet the group by the bridge just past the parking lot. The walk starts at 9:00 but late arrivals should easily be able to find the group.

Mines Road and Del Puerto Canyon - Trip Canceled
Location: Livermore, California
Trip Leader(s): Terry Colborn
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Saturday, April 20, 2013
End Date: Sunday, April 21, 2013
Start Time: 7:30 AM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Description: Unfortunately, this trip is cancelled. For further details, contact Terry Colborn at: www.TLCBirding.com or call him at: 916.705.8991.

Ragle Ranch Regional Park, Sebastopol
Location: Sebastopol, CA
Trip Leader(s): Scott Carey
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Sunday, April 07, 2013
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: Scott Carey has birded and herped in Marin and Sonoma Counties for over 30 years. Scott lives in Sebastopol and knows the Ragle Park area well. This 157 acre park features oak and riparian woodlands, grasslands, meadows and 2 miles of easy trails. Part of the trail follows Atascadero Creek. The riparian area is a migratory corridor for spring migrants, as well as lingering wintering species. Expected birds for this time of year include: Band-tailed Pigeon, Cedar Waxwing, Violet-green, Tree and Barn Swallow, Warbling Vireo, Wilson's Orange-crowned and Yellow-rumped Warbler, Pacific-slope Flycatcher and Bullock's Oriole. Resident birds include Berwick's Wren, Western Bluebird, Common Bushtit, Acorn Woodpecker, Nuttall's Woodpecker, Wild Turkey and many others. We should hear a good variety of songs and a chance to watch nesting behavior if we are lucky. Dress in layers, bring lunch and boots as the park trails can be muddy after rains. Directions: Take Hwy 101 north to Exit 481B at Rohnert Park/Sebastopol. Turn left onto 116 for about 8 miles, then left onto Bodega Ave and then right on Ragle Rd. The address is 500 Ragle Road. Meet in the parking area near the dog park. There is limited free parking just across from the entrance to the park, but it may be used by others by 9. The parking fee in the park is $6.
Document/Field Trip Report: FTRF Ragle Ranch April 7, 2013.pdf

Thursday Morning Walk
Location: Las Gallinas Storage Ponds
Trip Leader(s): Len Blumin and Friends
Host: Vicky Van Meter, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Thursday, April 04, 2013
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: Beginner birders are especially welcome on the first Thursday of each month for a leisurely walk around the Las Gallinas Storage Ponds at McInnis Park. There is always something interesting to see and over 100 species have been reported over the course of a year. Fall is a busy time at the ponds and provides an opportunity to study ducks and geese. Hawks are frequent and we see the graceful Northern Harrier on virtually every trip. This is great way to start learning the raptors, waterfowl, and other groups, as well as getting tips on optics, birding books, and birding etiquette. Directions: From Highway 101 take the Smith Ranch Road exit; go east toward the McInnis Park entrance. Turn left immediately after crossing the railroad tracks and go the end of the road to the Las Gallinas Storage Ponds parking lot. Meet the group by the bridge just past the parking lot. The walk starts at 9:00 but late arrivals should easily be able to find the group.

Woodpecker Trail, West Marin
Location: Bear Valley Visitor Center, Pt Reyes National Seashore
Trip Leader(s): Rich Cimino
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Thursday, March 21, 2013
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: We will join Rich Cimino at the Bear Valley Visitor Center in West Marin. Rich has been birding in California for over 40 years and leads tours throughout the west and Alaska. He is also the conservation leader for the Ohlone Audubon Society and participates in many local biological and land planning projects. We will bird Woodpecker Trail. This 0.7 mile trail explores the beautiful local forest and meadow ecosystems of Bear Valley. The dirt path climbs gently into a small stand of fir and tanoak, across an open field, then into the deeper forest. As it enters the mixed evergreen forest dominated by Douglas-fir, but shared with old bays and tanoaks, the trail parallels Sky Creek, a narrow and deeply incised arroyo. Dress in layers, bring a lunch and, of course, your binoculars. Rain cancels. Directions: From Point Reyes Station, continue south on Hwy 1 about 2.5 miles. Look for a brown, Point Reyes National Seashore sign just beyond the Olema RV Resort & Campground. If you get to a flashing red light, you've gone 100 yards too far. Turn right onto Bear Valley Road and head west about one half mile. Look for a big red barn on the left and a sign for the Visitor Center on the right. Meet at the Bear Valley Visitor Center.

Capay Valley Birding
Location: Capay Valley
Trip Leader(s): Terry Colborn
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Saturday, March 02, 2013
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Description: Join Terry Colborn for a delightful day in picturesque Capay Valley. The almond orchards should be at peak bloom, signaling the coming spring season. Our stops will include historic Capay Cemetery, Cache Creek and several favorite birding spots in idyllic Capay Valley. We'll look for Yellow-billed Magpie, Lewis's Woodpecker, Red-breasted Sapsucker, Phainopepla, Western Bluebird as well as any wintering and resident raptors. We also hope to see some early spring arrivals such as Barn, Rough-winged and Violet-green Swallow, and perhaps a warbler species or two. Past trips have produced Golden and Bald Eagle, Western Kingbird and Prairie Falcon. We also expect to see some early spring wildflowers along with Redbud, that very conspicuous flowering shrub along the roadside. Terry will meet everyone at Community Park in Esparto at 8:30am. Participants who wish to may want carpool from there. Directions to Esparto: From Marin County, take Hwy 37 east to Vallejo then go east on I-80; just past the Nut Tree Center take I-505. Travel I-505 north for about 20 miles to the Route 16 exit and turn left (west). Esparto is located about 4 miles west on Route 16 - the park is in the center of town. Driving time is about 1.5 hrs but allow a little extra time, as there may be early morning fog. Bring lunch, liquids and dress in layers and wear sturdy footwear, as we will do a little walking on flat roads. Heavy rain cancels. For more information contact Terry at: 916.705.8991or at www.TLCBirding.com .
Document/Field Trip Report: FTR Capay 3.2.2012.pdf

Bahia Blue Oak Forrest and Wetland Restoration Walk
Location: Bahia Wetlands, Novato, CA
Trip Leader(s): David Herlocker and Lowell Sykes
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Start Time: 9:30 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: Join us for a walk through the beautiful blue oak woodlands of Bahia and then tour the Marin Audubon wetlands restoration project. This unique woodland and the associated diked baylands and salt marshes were saved from development by a coalition of environmental and civic groups, spearheaded by Marin Audubon. In January 2003, MAS closed on the purchase of 632 acres of land adjacent to the existing Bahia residential development. The upland area, consisting of 208 acres of oak woodland, was deeded to the Marin County Open Space District (now Marin County Parks) and 361.7 acres of diked baylands were deeded to the Department of Fish and Game (now Department of Fish and Wildlife). In 2009, MAS completed construction of a project that restored the Fish and Game property and MAS property to tidal and seasonal wetlands. Levees around the former diked baylands have now been breached and filled areas have been re-contoured to maximize the area subject to tidal action. Public access to the lagoon and to certain trails has been provided. MAS retained 62 acres, which includes 1.9 acres at the end of Bahia Drive and about 60 acres around the enclosed lagoon owned by the Bahia Homeowners Association. David Herlocker, the Interpretive Naturalist for Marin County Parks, will guide us through the woodlands and explain its interesting biology and history. We will see both woodland and marsh birds and some of the early wildflowers should be in bloom. After our woodland walk, we will meet Lowell Sykes, MAS Vice President, for more birding and a tour of restoration work in the lagoons, marshes and uplands owned by Marin Audubon. Directions: Take either Hwy 101 north or Hwy 37 east to Atherton Ave in Novato. From 101 take a right (east) on Atherton. Proceed on Atherton about 1 mile and take a left onto Bugeia Lane. From Hwy 37, take the Atherton exit and go left under the highway. Proceed about 2.3 miles on Atherton and take a right on Bugeia. Go straight on Bugeia over the hill toward the marshes (Bugeia becomes Bahia Drive at some point) to the end and park in the cul-de-sac.
Document/Field Trip Report: FTR Bahia 2.20.2013.pdf

Delta Boat Trip
Location: Sacramento Delta
Trip Leader(s): David Wimpfheimer
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Sunday, February 03, 2013
Start Time: 8:15 AM
End Time: 4:30 PM
Description: Join us aboard Dolphin Charters' Delphinus for a wonderful day of exploring the richness of the California Delta with naturalist David Wimpfheimer as our guide. Ronn Patterson, a Bay Area historian and naturalist, is captain of the Delphinus and owner of Dolphin Charters. The boat is very comfortable and the outer decks provide views over the levees of the amazing array of birds found in the Delta during the winter. This rich area hosts a wide variety of raptors including uncommon species such as Swainson's Hawk, Peregrine Falcon and Great Horned Owl. Large numbers of shorebirds, Sandhill Crane, Tundra Swan, Snow, Canada and White-fronted Geese, ducks, as well as gulls, terns, bitterns and passerines make the cruise a highlight for birders. Uncommon mammals such as beaver, river otter, coyote and mink often add interest to the cruise. We also will learn about the history, ecology and politics of the levees and the Delta as we travel through its meandering channels. The trip is limited to 25 participants and the cost is $95. Deadline for reserving space and making payment is January 20, 2012. To register, please send a check for $95 per person to Marin Audubon at Box 599, Mill Valley, CA, 94942. Please write Delta Trip on the envelope and check. Please include the name, email address and phone number of each participant. Those confirmed on the trip will receive directions to the Antioch Marina and other instructions.

Cosumnes River Preserve
Location: Cosumnes River Wildlife Preserve, Galt, CA
Trip Leader(s): Terry Colborn
Host: Vicky Van Meter, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Saturday, January 19, 2013
Start Time: 8:45 AM
End Time: 6:00 PM
Description: The Cosumnes River Preserve, managed by The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is one of the last remnants of a once vast riparian habitat in the Sacramento Valley. This is the only river from the Sierra flowing into the Delta that isn't dammed. Situated on the eastern edge of Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, this 1,500 acre preserve of mixed oak woodlands, grasslands and wetlands hosts a nice array of wintering passerines and waterfowl, including numerous species of ducks, geese and Tundra Swan. The surrounding wetlands and flooded fields provide excellent refuge for many waterfowl, waders, and Sandhill Cranes. The lush oak woodlands can often yield a number of passerines and wintering raptors. Past visits have even afforded rare views of river otters. After a morning walk of about one mile on a flat trail, we'll eat lunch on the deck at the Visitor's Center. Afterwards we'll spend some time scoping the nearby impoundments that host a significant number of waterfowl. We'll also look for shorebirds, waterfowl and the resident Peregrine Falcon. Late afternoon we'll head to Staten Island Road, a renowned area that is an evening roost to Sandhill Cranes, sometimes reaching over one-thousand birds! They feed in the nearby recently harvested rice and cornfields, and "fly-in" to roost in the wetlands by late afternoon, early evening. The area often has a nice variety of ducks and shorebirds and may even hold a surprise or two. The sight and sound of hundreds of Sandhill Cranes coming to roost at sunset is a sight to behold. Meet Terry at 8:45am at Cosumnes River Preserve Visitor Center lower parking lot. From Marin Co: Take Hwy 101, in Novato, take Hwy 37 east to I-80 east; at Fairfied/Suisun City turn onto Hwy 12 (southeast) and continue to Hwy I-5, near Lodi. Go north on Hwy I-5 approximately 13 miles to the Twin Cities Road exit. Travel 1 mile east; turn right (south) on Franklin Blvd and drive 1.7 miles to the Cosumnes Preserve Visitor Center on your left. Travel time from Marin County is approximately 2 hrs. Bring binoculars and scope, lunch, snacks and liquids; wear comfortable footgear and dress in layers. Heavy rain cancels. For more information contact Terry at 916-705-8991, or at: www.TLCBirding.com .

Bodega Bay
Location: Bodega Bay
Trip Leader(s): David Wimpfheimer
Host: Vicky Van Meter, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Monday, January 14, 2013
Start Time: 9:30 AM
End Time: 4:00 PM
Description: We meet at 9:30 am at the Tides Restaurant in Bodega Bay. This can be a good vantage point to look over the bay for varied ducks, loons and grebes. Numerous brant are never far away and their nasal music is a reminder of wild coastal haunts. From here we will caravan to Bodega Head, a famous vantage point to scan for seabirds. We may see fulmar, kittiwake, murres, guillemots or other alcids, or Gray Whales or just a lot of wind and salt air, but it's always a dramatic site. The rocks here are typically good for Surfbird, Black Oystercatcher and other rocky shorebirds. At high tide we look over the shorebird roost on the bay for godwits, willets and other birds, perhaps finding a knot. There are many sites to bird here that will give us an excellent variety of waterfowl, raptors, shore and land birds. Time permitting we'll include a stop at the mouth of Salmon Creek or the town of Bodega. Significant rain or winds about 25 knots will cancel, as Bodega Bay gets nasty during a storm. Directions to the Tides Restaurant: Look at Google maps or a plain old paper one, as there are several options; Here is one: 101 North to East Washington exit in Petaluma. Left (west) on East Washington. This turns into Bodega Ave. At Tomales Road, bear to the right on Valley Ford Road this will connect up to Highway One. Continue on Highway One to the town of Bodega Bay. The Tides Restaurant is on the left at the only real stop sign in the middle of the commercial area.
Document/Field Trip Report: FTR Bodega 1.14.2013.pdf

Grey Lodge and Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge
Location: Sacramento Valley
Trip Leader(s): Bruce Deuel
Host: Vicky Van Meter, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Saturday, January 05, 2013
End Date: Sunday, January 06, 2013
Start Time: 10:30 AM
End Time: [not specified]
Description: The Gray Lodge trip planned for December 1st and 2nd was rained out so we have rescheduled for the first weekend in January. This will be Bruce's 40th year leading this trip for Marin Audubon so this will be a special occasion! We'll spend most of Saturday at Gray Lodge Wildlife. About half a million birds use this area in winter and favorable breeding years can bring more. We will walk a 2-mile loop observing birds until lunch, then hike out to the viewing platform to look for additional species. Time permitting we will take a drive around part of the Sutter Buttes and then return for the evening fly-out. Saturday night we will have an optional group dinner at Luceddies (www.luceddies.com) in historic downtown Oroville. Sunday we will take an early morning walk along the Feather River in Oroville, where there will be a completely new cast of birds. From there we will caravan over to the Sacramento Wildlife Refuge, arriving around noon for lunch near the visitor center. After a brief tour, we will drive around the ponds and fields that usually have new species missed elsewhere.
Document/Field Trip Report: FTR Grey Lodge 1.5.2013.pdf

Hamilton Field Wetlands Restoration Project
Location: Novato, CA
Trip Leader(s): Eric Jolliffe
Host: Vicky Van Meter, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Saturday, December 08, 2012
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: We will start our morning with a short presentation by Barbara Salzman, President of MAS, about the impact of the 78 acre sports complex proposed for construction at Hamilton. This is an important conservation issue for Marin. Eric Jolliffe, Biologist for the Army Corps of Engineers, will lead us on a tour of one of the largest wetlands restoration projects in the country. Eric will provide background on the wetlands restoration project and conservation issues. December will be a great time to see the waterfowl, shorebirds, raptors and other species that are now making these new wetlands their home. We will learn about the new vegetation that will be part of the various zones in the wetlands and visit the nursery where native plants are being grown. Bring your binoculars, scopes and cameras! Directions: We will meet at the Skate Park parking lot at Hamilton. The address is 1200 N. Hamilton Parkway, located one block from Nave Drive. Nave Drive runs parallel to Hwy 101 on the east side. From the south on Hwy 101 take the Nave Drive/Hamilton exit and from the north use the Ignacio Blvd exit.

Delta Boat Trip
Location: Sacramento Delta
Trip Leader(s): David Wimpfheimer
Host: Vicky Van Meter, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Monday, December 03, 2012
Start Time: [not specified]
End Time: [not specified]
Description: Save the date, more info soon.

Abbot's Lagoon with Carolyn and John Longstreth
Location: Pt Reyes National Seashore
Trip Leader(s): Carolyn and John Longstreth
Host: Vicky Van Meter, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Sunday, November 11, 2012
Start Time: 9:30 AM
End Time: 2:00 PM
Description: Abbott's Lagoon is well-known as a birding hotspot due to its variety of habitats, including coastal scrub, freshwater ponds and wetlands, brackish lagoon, dunes, sandy shoreline and open ocean. We can expect to see waterfowl, herons, raptors, wintering shorebirds, loons, grebes and possibly a few late migrating landbirds. With luck, we might find Virginia Rail, Sora or American bittern on the upper pond, river otters on the lower lagoon or alcids beyond the surf. If the adjacent farm-field is freshly plowed, there could be some interesting species there as well. We'll walk the 1.5 easy miles to the lower lagoon and another 0.3 mile to the ocean beach. John and Carolyn have been birding for over 30 years. John, who ran an Audubon Center in Connecticut, is the co-compiler of the Point Reyes Christmas Bird Count and a skilled nature photographer. Carolyn has helped organize the Point Reyes Birding & Nature Festival for the past 3 years and created two CD's on local birdsong. Directions: Allowing about an hour and a half travel time, from San Rafael follow Sir Francis Drake Blvd (SFDB) to Olema. From Stinson Beach go north on Hwy 1 to Olema. From Olema continue north on Hwy 1 (SFDB), take the second left turn (SFDB west), continue through Inverness, turn right (north) onto Pierce Point Road and keep driving until you come to the Abbott's Lagoon parking lot on the left (west) where our group will gather.
Document/Field Trip Report: FTR Abbots Lagoon11.11.12.pdf

Cypress Grove/Tom's Point on Tomales Bay
Location: Cypress Grove Research Center
Host: Vicky Van Meter, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Wednesday, November 07, 2012
Start Time: 9:30 AM
End Time: 2:00 PM
Description: John Kelly, the Director of Conservation Science for Audubon Canyon Ranch will lead our trip to see fall waterbirds and shorebirds on Tomales Bay. This excursion will highlight a visit to the Cypress Grove Research Center of Audubon Canyon Ranch, with field observations and discussions about the identification, conservation, and ecology of Tomales Bay birds. We will view waterbirds and shorebirds along the east shore of the bay, then carpool to ACR's remote Toms Point preserve at the northern end of the bay where we will end our day. DIRECTIONS: The Cypress Grove Research Center is on State Highway One, about .5 mile north of the town of Marshall. (Marshall is 9 miles north of Point Reyes Station, or 7 miles south of Tomales.) The entry gate is on the bay side of the road and marked with the address 20545. Look for a small sign with ACR's green and white egret logo mounted on the gate pole. Enter the gate, continue along the entry road and take the left-hand fork to the parking area. Walk down the trail at the northwest corner of the parking area to the main buildings in the lawn area. The main office is in Cabin #2.

Left of the FAULT - Pt Reyes Big Day BLAST
Location: Pt Reyes National Seashore
Host: Vicky Van Meter, 415-299-2514, RSVP with Len Blumin
Start Date: Saturday, November 03, 2012
Start Time: 7:30 AM
End Time: 5:00 PM
Description: This trip is full. Contact Len Blumin for wait list information. Join Keith Hansen for a full, fine-feathered day of late fall birding at Point Reyes. Sometimes thought of as "too late" for fall migrants, November is often an underappreciated time for finding rare birds. We will attempt to see at least 100 species "West of the San Andreas Fault." We will meet at 7:30 AM. The day will be quick paced as we attempt to cover as many areas and habitat types as time allows. All levels of experience are welcome as long as you know it's a day where we will be on the go, Go, GO! Sign up is required and the number of participants will be limited. Please contact Len Blumin at lblumin@aol.com if you wish to participate. Bring a lunch and plenty of liquids. Be dressed for good, to less than good weather. Feel free to bring a scope.
Document/Field Trip Report: FTR 11.3.2012.pdf

Las Gallinas with Barbara Salzman, Len Blumin & Friends
Location: Las Gallinas Storage Ponds
Trip Leader(s): Barbara Salzman, Len Blumin & Friends
Host: Vicky Van Meter, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Saturday, October 27, 2012
Start Time: 9:30 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: Join us for a short half-day walk along Las Gallinas Creek in San Rafael. Barbara Salzman, President of Marin Audubon, will tell us about the conservation issues surrounding the proposed sports complex in this important saltmarsh and the endangered Clapper Rails that live there. We will then walk out along the trail, finding whatever is around. There is good viewing of the wetland at the end of the golf course, and the trail gives good views of the creek, where hopefully we'll see some ducks. Hooded Mergansers are sometimes in the creek. High tide is around noon, so it is possible we may see Clapper Rail. Directions: From Highway 101 take the Smith Ranch Road exit; go east toward the McInnis Park entrance. Enter McInnis Park Golf complex and continue straight on "Main Drive" into the large parking lot for the golf complex. We will meet at the trailhead leading out along the creek.
Document/Field Trip Report: FTR 10.27.2012.pdf

Bird Walk in Marta's Marsh with Meryl Sundove & Roger Harris
Location: Corte Madera Ecological Reserve
Trip Leader(s): Meryl Sundove & Roger Harris
Host: Vicky Van Meter, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Sunday, October 21, 2012
Start Time: 12:00 PM
End Time: 2:00 PM
Description: This field trip often affords a look at and a listen to the namesake of the Marin Audubon Society's newsletter, the endangered California Clapper Rail. Meryl and Roger have been studying the marsh for over twenty-fives years. Walking the levee around the marsh makes it possible to get good looks at a variety of shore and water birds. This walk is timed with the incoming tide that pushes feeding shorebirds off exposed Bay mudflats into mudflats in the marsh for closer views. Marta's Marsh is a great place to learn about marsh processes, watch shorebird behavior, and practice identifying the birds. Beginners welcome! We will have several leaders so the group can split up if need be for better views. Depending on the weather the levee can be damp so wear appropriate shoes, bring layers of clothes, and, of course, a bird book and binoculars (scope if you have one.) There are no bathroom facilities at the marsh. Steady rain cancels. Directions to Marta's Marsh From Highway 101 take the Corte Madera Paradise exit. Come east toward the Bay and then curve right coming past the Highway Patrol office. At the second stop light, turn left on Harbor Drive, then right on Yolo, and left on Channel, a dead end road. Park at the end of Channel.
Document/Field Trip Report: FTR 10.21.2012.pdf

Monterey Bay Pelagic Birding Weekend
Location: Monterey, CA
Trip Leader(s): Terry Colborn
Host: Terry Colborn, (916) 705-8991
Start Date: Saturday, October 06, 2012
End Date: Sunday, October 07, 2012
Start Time: 8:00 AM
End Time: [not specified]
Description: This trip is full. The weekend will feature a pelagic trip on Saturday with Monterey Seabirding (www.montereyseabirding.com), and land birding on Sunday. Monterey Seabirding uses a local skipper with over 30 years experience. Leaders include Roger Wolfe, Dan Singer and Todd Easterla - all are seasoned, life-long birders and have exceptional knowledge of the status and distribution of California birds. Past trips have produced all three jaegers; Elegant and Common Tern; four species of shearwaters; Cassin's and Rhinoceros Auklet and Black-footed Albatross. We often see dolphins and porpoises, as well as a whale or two! This two-day trip is planned to coincide with the peak of fall migration. Over the years, the Monterey Bay peninsula area has produced some excellent vagrants and a nice array of fall migrants. Possible areas to be visited on Sunday include Pt. Pinos, Carmel River State Beach, Salinas River State WMA, Moss Landing, Moonglow Dairy and Elkhorn Slough. Specific locations will be determined prior to the weekend, and will be based upon up-to-date information on any rare bird sightings, weather conditions, tides, etc. The charter is a smaller boat, giving everyone ample room to view wildlife. The pelagic trip is limited to a maximum of 25 participants. The cost is only $95.00 per person. There will be an optional group dinner on Saturday evening. Sign-ups will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis beginning March 1, 2012. This trip will fill up very quickly. Make your check payable to Terry Colborn and mail to: 1714 Magnolia Place, Davis, CA 95618. Include each participant's full name, address, cell phone number and email. Your payment in full is your reservation. Your space will be confirmed upon receipt of your check. In the event the boat trip is cancelled by Monterey Seabirding, due to weather conditions, etc., participants will receive a full refund. Meeting details and accommodations information will be sent to all participants well in advance of the weekend. For questions, contact Terry at tlcgdc@aol.com, or by phone: 916.705.8991.

Raptors of Patterson Pass
Location: Eastern Alameda County
Trip Leader(s): Rich Cimino
Host: Vicky Van Meter, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Thursday, September 20, 2012
Start Time: 10:00 AM
End Time: 2:30 PM
Description: Rich Cimino has been birding in California for 44 years and leads tours throughout the west and Alaska. He is also the conservation leader for the Ohlone Audubon Society and participates in many local biological and land planning projects. Rich is the compiler for the Eastern Alameda Christmas bird count and volunteers with the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory. Rich will lead us on a day of mixing Swainson's Hawk habitat conservation with raptor watching at the site of Alameda County's proposed 2200-acre solar power development on Mountain House Rd. Join us to learn about the impacts this development will have on Swainson's Hawks and other raptors. We will then raptor watch along Mountain House Rd. to Patterson Pass Rd. returning to the parking lot. We will conclude with an optional dinner at the Sweet Tomatoes Restaurant in Pleasanton. We meet in Livermore in the Union gas station parking lot. Directions: From Marin, take the Richmond/San Rafael bridge and continue on Hwy 580 east (toward Livermore) to Greenville Rd. Exit on to Southfront Rd. Turn left on to Southfront Rd. (east) drive past two motels then turn left into the "Union" parking lot. In case you miss the left turn, the parking lot is on the northwest corner of Greenville Rd. and Southfront Rd. Carpooling is required as parking along this route is very limited. Call Vicky Van Meter's cell phone 415-299-2514 if you get lost.

Ellis Creek Wetlands Walk, Petaluma
Location: Ellis Creek Water Recycling Facility
Trip Leader(s): Peter Colasanti
Host: Vicky Van Meter, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Sunday, September 09, 2012
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 1:00 PM
Description: The new Ellis Creek Water Recycling Facility (ECWRF) came on line a few years ago and now much of the area is a wildlife sanctuary accessible via a 3-mile trail system. Good birding/nature viewing places are around the polishing ponds/wetlands, seasonal wetlands, in the trees lining the edges of the property, and along the tidal marsh trail to the river. Bird sightings could include Blue-winged Teal, Great-tailed Grackle, White Pelican, moorhens, rails and good shorebirds like dowitchers. Also, the trip is well timed to hit a late wave of neotropical migrants if we're lucky. The walk may be extended over to Shollenberger Park. Directions: Going north on Hwy 101 from Marin, take the second Petaluma exit which is Rte 116 (Lakeville Hwy). Go east about one mile to South McDowell Blvd (4th traffic light) and turn right. At the curve turn right on Cypress and drive straight to east end. Meet in the parking lot just past the gate.

Farallon Islands Boat Trip
Location: Clipper Yacht Harbor, Sausalito, CA
Trip Leader(s): David Wimpfheimer
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Sunday, September 02, 2012
Start Time: 7:30 AM
End Time: 4:00 PM
Description: THIS TRIP IS NOW FULL. Join us for our fifth annual day of seabird and marine mammal watching as we head out to the Farallon Islands and offshore waters. The outing will be led by naturalist David Wimpfheimer aboard Jim Robertson's power catamaran Outer Limits. On past trips more than fourteen pelagic bird species, including albatross, shearwaters and auklets have been sighted, as well as many sea lions, porpoises, dolphins and whales. We will get an up close look at the islands and learn about their interesting natural and human history. This is a trip that both experienced and first-time birders and nature lovers will enjoy. The cost will be $110 per person. To register, please send a check to Marin Audubon at Box 599, Mill Valley, CA, 94942. Include the name, e-mail address and contact phone number of each participant. There is always a chance the trip may need to be rescheduled at the last minute due to sea conditions, so we need to be able to reach participants. We will send an e-mail to participants a few days before the trip. Write "Farallons" on the envelope and check. Please sign up early, as we will limit the number of participants to make for a comfortable trip. Be prepared for any kind of weather with layered clothing. Rain jacket and pants are essential no matter what the weather on shore. Take seasick medication if needed. Bring lunch, snacks, water and plenty of sunscreen. DIRECTIONS: Take Hwy. 101 to the Marin City/Sausalito exit, head south on Bridgeway, take a left on Harbor Drive and proceed to the parking area at the end. We will meet on the south side of the parking lot to check in before boarding.

Breeding Birds of Point Reyes
Location: Bear Valley Visitor Center, Pt Reyes National Seashore
Trip Leader(s): David Wimpfheimer
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 4:00 PM
Description: Join us as we enjoy a day of birding to focus on the breeding birds of forest, wetlands, coastal scrub and ocean habitats. Weather conditions and recent sightings will determine the exact sites we visit. Vocalizations of breeding warblers, woodpeckers, flycatchers, thrushes and other species will also be covered. Directions to Bear Valley Visitor Center: From Point Reyes Station, continue south on Hwy 1 about 2.5 miles. Look for a brown "Point Reyes National Seashore" sign just beyond the Olema RV Resort & Campground. If you get to a flashing red light, you've gone 100 yards too far. Turn right onto Bear Valley Road and head west about .5 mile. Look for a big red barn on the left and a sign for Visitor Center on the right. Meet at the bathrooms at the far end of the parking lot opposite the Bear Valley Visitor Center.
Document/Field Trip Report: FTR Breeding Birds Pt Reyes June 2012.pdf

Alcatraz
Location: Alcatraz Island, San Francisco
Trip Leader(s): Led by Alcatraz docents
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Start Time: 10:00 AM
End Time: [not specified]
Description: Join us for a tour of the birds of Alcatraz. In early summer "The Rock" is an important breeding area for Western Gull, Cormorants, Black-crowned Night Heron, Snowy Egret and other species. We will leave on the 10AM boat from Pier 33 in San Francisco and be met by the island docents for a 1-2 hour tour to see the birds and learn about the interesting history and issues of the area. After the tour, participants can stay to tour the rest of the island and return on any boat they wish. Cost is $20 per person. The trip will be limited to 25. The Alcatraz paths and steps are steep and uneven in places. Please send a check with the name, email address, and contact phone number of each participant to Marin Audubon, Box 599, Mill Valley, CA, 94942-0599. Please write Alcatraz on the envelope and check. Additional information will be sent before the trip.
Document/Field Trip Report: FTR Alcatraz June 2012.pdf

Big Rock - Loma Alta
Location: Big Rock/Loma Alta Open Space
Trip Leader(s): Dave Herrema, Susan Kelly and Len Blumin
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Sunday, May 27, 2012
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 1:00 PM
Description: The north slope of Loma Alta above Lucas Valley Road is high and dry, with great vistas. This is not the place for a lot of species, but we should see some birds you may have not seen before, such as Grasshopper, Rufus-crowned and Lark Sparrows; Horned Larks; and Lazuli Buntings. Western Meadowlarks should provide the melody. This is also a great place for raptors. All are welcome to join us for a leisurely walk of about a mile on a wide, graded road. Some of this is uphill. Please bring plenty of water. Directions: Big Rock Trailhead is about 5 miles west of Hwy 101 on Lucas Valley Road. Parking is limited at the trailhead so we will meet for carpooling at the Park and Ride at the Smith Ranch Road/ Lucas Valley exit at 8:30 AM. The Park and Ride is just east of Hwy 101 on Smith Ranch Road.
Document/Field Trip Report: FTR Big Rock May 2012.pdf

Deer Island
Location: Novato, CA
Trip Leader(s): David Herlocker
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Thursday, May 17, 2012
Start Time: 8:00 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: Deer Island is no longer a true island, but it is almost surrounded by seasonal wetlands. The insects and rodents that thrive here support an incredible diversity of breeding birds, from raptors to swifts. We will take a leisurely stroll up to and along the ridge, where aerial feeders swoop close overhead and the abundant mature trees are filled with cavity nests. After that we will descend to a level trail that provides views of marsh and pond habitats on one side and intermittent forest edge habitat over the other shoulder. A two mile walk. Meet at the Deer Island Trailhead in Novato. Directions: From Hwy 101, take the Atherton Ave/San Marin Dr exit east on Atherton Ave, turn right at Olive Ave, and turn left at Deer Island Lane (305 Deer Island Lane).

Mines Road/Del Puerto Canyon
Location: Mines Road/Del Puerto Canyon
Trip Leader(s): Terry Colborn
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Saturday, April 21, 2012
End Date: Sunday, April 22, 2012
Start Time: 7:30 AM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Description: Long recognized as one of the premier birding areas in the Bay Area to observe an array of resident species and Neotropical migrants, the combination of Mines Road and Del Puerto Canyon provides easy access to a number of different habitats. The bird list is quite impressive for this popular destination, and ranges from Costa's Hummingbird to the elusive Greater Roadrunner. We'll also visit Del Valle Regional Park (fee) and Frank Raines Park. This weekend trek will start in Livermore on Saturday at 7:30 AM and will conclude Sunday at 3:00 PM. Overnight hotel accommodations will be in Patterson, off I-5, affording us an opportunity for an early Sunday start. There will be an optional group dinner on Saturday night. This very popular weekend trip often fills quickly. Sign-ups are required, and re on a first come, first served basis. Carpooling is a must as there is limited space to park on Mines Road. To sign up and receive further details, contact Terry: www.tlcbirding.com or (916) 705-8991.

Spring Birds & Their Songs 2012
Location: Richardson Bay Audubon Center and TBA
Trip Leader(s): Meryl Sundove and Roger Harris
Host: Meryl Sundove, msundove@comcast.net, 415-927-4115
Start Date: Thursday, April 19, 2012
End Date: Saturday, May 05, 2012
Start Time: 7:00 PM
End Time: 5:00 PM
Description: Join the Spring Birds and their Songs class and tune into the varied chorus of birds nesting in the Bay Area. Once you clue into bird songs, the enjoyment of spring will be forever heightened. Sign up early as this class fills quickly. for beginning and intermediate bird watchers who want to use calls and songs to help find and identify birds. Class consists of a Thursday evening presentation, April 19, with slides and bird songs from 7-9 pm and two early morning field trips, Saturday, April 21 and a dawn chorus on Saturday, May 5. Fee: $65 non-Audubon members/$60 Audubon members. To register, print the form below and send with your check.
Document/Field Trip Report: Songclass2012.pdf

Silently Seeking Songbirds: Practicing the Art of Listening
Location: Mt Burdell, Novato
Trip Leader(s): Susan Kelly and Marian Porter
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Tuesday, April 03, 2012
Start Time: 7:30 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: Join Susan Kelly and Marian Porter on Mt. Burdell to listen to spring bird songs. Serious birders know that silence is essential to locating and observing spring songbirds. This trip, limited to the first 15 who sign up, will take us up the gentle slopes of Mt. Burdell where we'll listen to and observe the impressive variety of nesting songbirds that make this area their summertime home. Birds we hope to find include Bullock's Oriole, Black-headed Grosbeak, Western Kingbird and Lark Sparrow. We'll visit with each other at the beginning of the trip, but otherwise we'll practice silence to better find and appreciate the birds we're seeing and hearing. Marian is a professional biologist from Vancouver, Canada. She has worked on bird surveys for the Canadian government and waterfowl surveys for Ducks Unlimited. Marian was an area leader for our Southern Marin CBC last year and for many years was an area leader for CBCs in the Vancouver area. Susan has been birding for several years and is the co-compiler for Marin Audubon's two Christmas Bird Counts. Bring comfortable walking shoes, layered clothing, water and snacks. To sign up and to receive directions, please contact Susan Kelly at S.Kelly@sbcglobal.net.

Hudeman Slough
Location: Hudeman Slough, Sonoma
Trip Leader(s): Murray Berner
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Saturday, March 17, 2012
Start Time: 8:00 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: Murray Berner will be our guide at Hudeman Slough in southeastern Sonoma Co. Murray leads a weekly field trip for Napa-Solano Audubon and is the primary author of the Napa Breeding Bird Atlas. His current primary interest is songbird migration. Hudeman Slough is a unit of the Sonoma Wetland Enhancement Project. The flooded freshwater lowlands attract waterfowl and shorebirds. Eurasian Wigeon is here most winters and a Ruff was present in December 2011. With sufficient rain, several thousand ducks are present. By mid-morning, raptors are aloft, including Ferruginous Hawk, Golden Eagle and various falcons. Harriers and kites will be courting. Songbirds include those typical of North Bay tidal marsh plus Loggerhead Shrike and lots of wintering sparrows. River otter is common. A 2.5 mile levee loop trail provides access. Be at the parking lot at 8:00 AM. Directions: Hudeman Slough access is off Ramal Rd between Skaggs Island Rd and Hwy 12. To get to Ramal Road from Marin, take 101 North to 37 East (toward Vallejo), then at the big Infineon Raceway sign, take a left onto 121 N/Carneros Highway. Follow 121 for about 8 or 9 miles. You will pass the Fremont Diner on your left and then Ramal Road will be on your immediate right. Continue on Ramal Road for about 2 miles. The gravel parking area is adjacent to a large open hay barn on the south side of the road. There are no bathroom facilities at Hudeman. Allow about 30-40 minutes from north Marin. http://www.sonomahikingtrails.com/parks/hudeman-slough-wetlands/

Del Valle Regional Park
Location: Livermore
Trip Leader(s): Rich Cimino
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 2:00 PM
Description: Join Rich Cimino to explore Del Valle Park in the East Bay, 10 miles south of Livermore. Rich has been birding this area for 35 years and is active in many environmental groups, particularly in the East Bay. Rich is an enthusiastic teacher and leads birding trips throughout the West through Yellow Billed Tours. This will be a walking birding trip on mostly flat surfaces. We will bird several habitats, including lake, shoreline, cattail swamp and oak woodlands. Yellow-billed Magpie frequent this area. Bring lunch, fluids, scopes, and layered clothing. Rain cancels trip. Directions: Del Valle Regional Park is located on Del Valle Road off Mines Road south of Livermore ($6.00 per vehicle parking fee). Exit I-580 eastbound or westbound in Livermore at North Livermore Avenue. Head south and proceed through town (North Livermore Avenue will become South Livermore Avenue in town). About 1.5 miles outside town, turn right at Mines Road, go about 3.5 miles and continue straight on Del Valle Road (Mines Road turns left). The park entrance is about four miles ahead. We will meet in the Eagle View Group Camp parking area just beyond the entry kiosk. To find us in case of late arrival, call Rich on his cell at 925-353-0266. WWW.EBPARKS.ORG/PARKS/DELVALLE

Thursday Morning Walk
Location: Las Gallinas Storage Ponds
Trip Leader(s): Susan Kelly and friends
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Thursday, March 01, 2012
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: Beginner birders are especially welcome on the first Thursday of each month for a leisurely walk around the Las Gallinas Storage Ponds at McInnis Park. There is always something interesting to see and over 100 species have been reported over the course of a year. Late winter is a busy time at the ponds and provides an opportunity to study ducks and geese. Hawks are frequent and we see the graceful Northern Harrier on virtually every trip. This is great way to start learning the raptors, waterfowl, and other groups, as well as getting tips on optics, birding books, and birding etiquette. Directions: From Highway 101 take the Smith Ranch Road exit; go east toward the McInnis Park entrance. Turn left immediately after crossing the railroad tracks and go the end of the road to the Las Gallinas Storage Ponds parking lot. Meet the group by the bridge just past the parking lot. The walk starts at 8:30 but late arrivals should easily be able to find the group.

Capay Valley Birding
Location: Capay Valley
Trip Leader(s): Terry Colborn
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Saturday, February 18, 2012
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: [not specified]
Description: Join Terry Colborn for a delightful day in picturesque Capay Valley. As the harbinger of the coming spring season, the almond orchards should be at peak bloom. Our stops will include historic Capay Cemetery, Cache Creek and several favorite birding spots in idyllic Capay Valley. We'll look for Yellow-billed Magpie, Lewis' Woodpecker, Red-breasted Sapsucker, Phainopepla, Western Bluebirds and resident raptors, as well as any lingering wintering raptors. We also hope to see some early spring arrivals such as Barn and Violet-green Swallows, Lawrence's Goldfinch, and perhaps a warbler species or two. Past trips have produced Golden and Bald Eagles, Western Kingbird and Prairie Falcon. We should also see some early spring wildflowers along with Redbud, that very conspicuous flowering shrub along the roadside. Terry will meet everyone at Community Park in Esparto at 8:30am. Participants who wish to may want carpool from there. Directions to Esparto: From Marin County, take Hwy 37 east to Vallejo then go east on I-80; just past the new Nut Tree Center take I-505. Travel I-505 north for about 20 miles to the Route 16 exit and turn left (west). Esparto is located about 4 miles west on Route 16 - the park is in the center of town. Driving time is about 1 1/2 hrs but allow a little extra time, as there may be early morning fog. Bring lunch, liquids and dress in layers and wear sturdy footwear, as we will do a little walking. Heavy rain cancels. For more information contact Terry at: (916) 705-8991 or www.tlcbirding.com .
Document/Field Trip Report:
FTR Capay Valley Feb 18, 2012.pdf

Sacramento Delta Boat Trip
Location: Antioch Marina and California Delta
Trip Leader(s): David Wimpfheimer
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Sunday, February 05, 2012
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 4:30 PM
Description: Join us (on Superbowl Sunday) aboard Dolphin Charters' Delphinus for a wonderful day of exploring the richness of the California Delta with naturalist David Wimpfheimer as our guide. Ronn Patterson, a Bay Area historian and naturalist, is captain of the Delphinus and owner of Dolphin Charters. The boat is very comfortable and the outer decks provide views over the levees of the amazing array of birds found in the Delta during the winter. This rich area hosts a wide variety of raptors including uncommon species such as Swainson's Hawk, Peregrine Falcon and Great Horned Owl. Large numbers of shorebirds, Sandhill Crane, Tundra Swan, Snow, Canada and White-fronted Geese, ducks, as well as gulls, terns, bitterns and passerines make the cruise a highlight for birders. We also will learn about the history, ecology and politics of the levees and the Delta as we travel through its meandering channels. The trip is limited to 25 participants and the cost is $95. This trip is full. Please contact Vicky Van Meter if you wish to be on the wait list.
Document/Field Trip Report: FTR Delta, Feb 5, 2012.pdf

Thursday Morning Walk at Las Gallinas
Location: Las Gallinas Storage Ponds
Trip Leader(s): Susan Kelly and Friends
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Thursday, February 02, 2012
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: Beginner birders are especially welcome on the first Thursday of each month for a leisurely walk around the Las Gallinas Storage Ponds at McInnis Park. There is always something interesting to see and over 100 species have been reported over the course of a year. Winter is a busy time at the ponds and provides an opportunity to study ducks and geese. Hawks are frequent and we see the graceful Northern Harrier on virtually every trip. This is great way to start learning the raptors, waterfowl, and other groups, as well as getting tips on optics, birding books, and birding etiquette. Directions: From Highway 101 take the Smith Ranch Road exit; go east toward the McInnis Park entrance. Turn left immediately after crossing the railroad tracks and go the end of the road to the Las Gallinas Storage Ponds parking lot. Meet the group by the bridge just past the parking lot. The walk starts at 8:30 but late arrivals should easily be able to find the group.

Introduction to the Birds of Las Gallinas
Location: Las Gallinas Storage Ponds
Trip Leader(s): Len Blumin
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Saturday, January 28, 2012
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: We'll take a leisurely walk around the ponds at Las Gallinas (1-2 miles), viewing and talking about the birds that come to our area for their winter holiday. Highlights there include a great variety of ducks and geese, along with various Herons and Egrets, Grebes, Shorebirds, and members of the Hawk family. Beginners and families are welcome. What to bring: Binoculars if you have them, and even a scope. We will have spotting scopes to share the views and field guides. Dress in layers, bring water and sunscreen. Heavy rain cancels. Directions: We will meet at the parking lot of the Las Gallinas Water Treatment Ponds at 9 am. From 101, take the Lucas Valley/Smith Ranch Road exit and drive East on Smith Ranch Road, turn left immediately after crossing the railroad tracks (just before McInnis Golf) and continue to parking area at the end.
Document/Field Trip Report: FTR Las Gallinas 1.28.12.pdf

Cosumnes River Preserve & Sunset Crane
Location: Cosumnes River Preserve
Trip Leader(s): Terry Colborn
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Saturday, January 21, 2012
Start Time: 8:45 AM
End Time: 6:00 PM
Description: The Cosumnes River Preserve, managed by The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is one of the last remnants of a once vast riparian habitat in the Sacramento Valley. This is the only river from the Sierra flowing into the Delta that isn't dammed. Situated on the eastern edge of Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, this 1,500 acre preserve of mixed oak woodlands, grasslands and wetlands hosts a nice array of wintering passerines and waterfowl, including numerous species of ducks, geese and Tundra Swan. The surrounding wetlands and flooded fields provide excellent refuge for many waterfowl, waders, and Sandhill Cranes. The lush oak woodlands can often yield a number of passerines and wintering raptors. Past visits have even afforded rare views of river otters. After a morning walk of about one mile on a flat trail, we'll eat lunch on the deck at the Visitor's Center. Afterwards we'll spend some time scoping the nearby impoundments that host a significant number of waterfowl. We'll also look for shorebirds, waterfowl and the resident Peregrine Falcon. Late afternoon we'll head to Staten Island Road, a renowned area that is an evening roost to Sandhill Cranes, sometimes reaching over one-thousand birds. They feed in the nearby recently harvested rice and cornfields, and "fly-in" to roost in the wetlands by late afternoon, early evening. The area often has a nice variety of ducks and shorebirds and may even hold a surprise or two. The sight and sound of hundreds of Sandhill Cranes coming to roost at sunset is a sight to behold. Meet Terry at 8:45am at Cosumnes River Preserve Visitor's Center lower parking lot. From Marin Co: Take Hwy 101, in Novato, take Hwy 37 east to I-80 east; at Fairfield/Suisun City turn onto Hwy 12 (southeast) and continue to Hwy I-5, near Lodi. Go north on Hwy I-5 approximately 13 miles to the Twin Cities Road exit. Travel 1 mile east; turn right (south) on Franklin Blvd and drive 1.7 miles to the Cosumnes Preserve Visitor's Center on your left. Travel time from Marin County is approximately 2 hrs. Bring binoculars and scope, lunch, snacks and liquids; wear comfortable footgear and dress in layers. Heavy rain cancels. For more information contact Terry at 916-705-8991, or www.tlcbirding.com

Bolinas Lagoon and Pine Gulch
Location: Bolinas
Trip Leader(s): Bob Battagin
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Saturday, January 14, 2012
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: If you like ducks (or want to learn more about them) and the possibility of finding a rare one, this is the outing for you. We will spend much of the morning birding Bolinas Lagoon with its many dabbling and diving ducks, herons, egrets, cormorants, shorebirds, and a near always present Belted Kingfisher. Time permitting, we'll park next to Warren Weber's Star Route Farm "pumpkin patch" and look for snipe and other goodies. Then a short walk will take us to the mouth of Pine Gulch Creek where the interface of fresh and salt waters draws in all sorts of birdlife. Birders of all levels welcome. Rain cancels. Directions: Meet at the large pullout opposite the Stinson Beach Elementary School on Highway One, about 1/2 mile north of the town of Stinson Beach.
Document/Field Trip Report: FTR Bolinas Lagoon 1.14.pdf

West Coast Water Birds
Location: Stinson Beach & Bolinas Lagoon
Trip Leader(s): Jim White
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Saturday, December 10, 2011
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: Let's do ducks! There are around 20 species of ducks in this area of West Marin, Let's try to find them, and identify both male and females. We will begin in Stinson Beach Park about 50 yards south of the restrooms on the high beach near the parking lot (directions below). We'll check the ocean and the sky at the beach before doing an auto tour of Bolinas Lagoon, where pullouts have good views but rather limited parking (so please carpool). We'll end with a sometimes soggy 1 mile walk on the Pine Gulch Creek trails (Marin Open Space, Bob Stewart Trail). Besides the ducks we'll look for other birds, including the many loons, grebes and shorebirds that winter here, and hopefully some raptors along the way. Directions: Take Highway 1 to Stinson Beach and turn into the parking lot about 100 yards north of the town center 4-way stop sign. There is ample parking here, but please carpool from here for the morning's trip, as parking is rather limited along Route 1 around the lagoon. Dress for cool breezy foggy weather, but hope for a calm sunny day in a beautiful area. Binoculars and scopes are helpful.
Document/Field Trip Report: FTR Water Birds 12.10.11.pdf

Grey Lodge and Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge
Location: Central Valley Wildlife Refuges
Trip Leader(s): Bruce Deuel
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Saturday, December 03, 2011
End Date: Sunday, December 04, 2011
Start Time: 10:30 AM
End Time: [not specified]
Description: Join us for a winter weekend at the refuges. We will spend most of Saturday at Gray Lodge Wildlife Area, managed by the California Department of Fish and Game. Normally about half a million birds use this area in winter and favorable breeding years can bring more. We will walk a 2 mile loop observing birds until lunch, then hike out to the viewing platform to look for additional species. Time permitting we will take a drive around part of the Sutter Buttes and then return for the evening fly-out. Ducks and Snow Geese abound, and perhaps Sandhill Cranes will arrive in the late afternoon. At dusk great clouds of birds leave the ponds to go to the rice fields to feed. Then motel, dinner and get ready for an early morning walk on Sunday along the Feather River in Oroville, where there will be a completely new cast of birds. From there we will caravan over to the Sacramento Wildlife Refuge arriving around noon for lunch near the visitor center. After a brief tour, we will drive around the ponds and fields that usually have new species missed elsewhere. Both refuges charge entry fees, and please be prepared for a bit of cold or rain. Meet at 10:30 AM Saturday at the large parking lot just beyond the small museum, well within Gray Lodge. From Marin to Gray Lodge, take I-80 to Davis, Hwy 113 north to Hwy 99 near Tudor, north to the town of Live Oak, west on Pennington Road to the Gray Lodge entrance. Allow 3.5 hours. Note: Most people stay in Oroville Saturday night for an early start on Sunday for birding by the Feather River. A forecast of heavy rain will cancel. Please let us know if you plan to attend by contacting Vicky Van Meter at Vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com or 415-299-2514 (email preferred). If you want to carpool, indicate if driver or rider and where you live. We will try to link you up with participants in your area to make your own arrangements. Motels: OROVILLE, Villa Court Inn, 530/533-3930 (discount to MAS participants); Best Value Inn: 530/533-7070; Comfort Inn: 530/533-9673; Motel 6: 530/532-9400; GRIDLEY, Gridley Inn: 530/846-4520
Document/Field Trip Report: FTR Gray Lodge 12.3.2011.pdf

Thursday Morning Walk with Susan Kelly & Friends
Location: Las Gallinas Storage Ponds
Trip Leader(s): Susan Kelly
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Thursday, December 01, 2011
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: Beginner birders are especially welcome on the first Thursday of each month for a leisurely walk around the Las Gallinas Storage Ponds at McInnis Park. There is always something interesting to see and over 100 species have been reported over the course of a year. Hawks are frequent and we see the graceful Northern Harrier on virtually every trip. This is great way to start learning the raptors, waterfowl, and other groups, as well as getting tips on optics, birding books, and birding etiquette. Directions: From Highway 101 take the Smith Ranch Road exit; go east toward the McInnis Park entrance. Turn left immediately after crossing the railroad tracks and go the end of the road to the Las Gallinas Storage Ponds parking lot. Meet the group by the bridge just past the parking lot. The walk starts at 8:30 but late arrivals should easily be able to find the group.

Family Walk with Mark Forney
Location: Las Gallinas Storage Ponds
Trip Leader(s): Mark Forney
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Saturday, November 26, 2011
Start Time: 10:00 AM
End Time: 11:00 AM
Description: Join Mark and his family on Thanksgiving weekend for a bird walk at the Las Gallinas Storage Ponds. The path at the Ponds is flat, gravel-covered, and wide - no bushwhacking involved - and we'll go as far or near as the group desires. The trip is open to absolutely anyone who has the slightest interest in birds and children are welcome; no experience necessary. Mark will provide an introduction to the birds of Marin and we will look for different sizes, colors, shapes, behaviors and perhaps listen for sounds. Extra binoculars and field guides will be available if you don't have any. Directions: From Highway 101 North, take the Smith Ranch Road exit, go east to the McInnis Park entrance, turn left immediately after crossing the railroad tracks and go to the end of the road to the Las Gallinas Storage Ponds parking lot. Meet the group by the bridge just past the parking lot. The walk starts at 10AM but late arrivals should be able to easily find the group.
Document/Field Trip Report: FTR Mark Forney Family.pdf

Abbott's Lagoon
Location: Pt Reyes National Seashore
Trip Leader(s): John and Carolyn Longstreth
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Sunday, November 13, 2011
Start Time: 9:30 AM
End Time: 2:00 PM
Description: Join John and Carolyn for a walk at Abbott's Lagoon. John and Carolyn have been birding for over 30 years. John, who ran an Audubon Center in Connecticut, is the co-complier of the Point Reyes Christmas Bird Count and a skilled nature photographer. Carolyn helps organize the Point Reyes Birding & Nature Festival and created the CD, Birding by Ear at Point Reyes. Abbott's Lagoon has a variety of habitats, including coastal scrub, freshwater ponds and wetlands, brackish lagoon, dunes, sandy shoreline and open ocean. We can expect to see waterfowl, herons, raptors, wintering shorebirds, loons, grebes and possibly a few late migrating landbirds. With luck, we might find Virginia Rail or Sora on the upper pond. If time allows, we will look for wintering snowy plovers on the newly-restored dunes and see how the revegetation is coming along. We'll walk the 1.5 easy miles to the lower lagoon and another 0.3 mile to the ocean beach. Directions: Allowing about an hour and a half travel time, from San Rafael follow Sir Francis Drake Blvd (SFDB) to Olema. From Stinson Beach go north on Hwy 1 to Olema. From Olema continue north on Hwy 1 (SFDB), take the second left turn (SFDB west), continue through Inverness, turn right (north) onto Pierce Point Road and keep driving until you come to the Abbott's Lagoon parking lot on the left (west) where our group will gather.
Document/Field Trip Report: FTR Abbotts Lagoon 11.pdf

Las Gallinas Storage Ponds Thursday Morning Walk
Location: Las Gallinas Storage Ponds
Trip Leader(s): Susan Kelly and friends
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Thursday, November 03, 2011
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: Beginner birders are especially welcome on the first Thursday of each month for a leisurely walk around the Las Gallinas Storage Ponds at McInnis Park. There is always something interesting to see and over 100 species have been reported over the course of a year. Hawks are frequent and we see the graceful Northern Harrier on virtually every trip. This is great way to start learning the raptors, waterfowl, and other groups, as well as getting tips on optics, birding books, and birding etiquette. Directions: From Highway 101 take the Smith Ranch Road exit; go east toward the McInnis Park entrance. Turn left immediately after crossing the railroad tracks and go the end of the road to the Las Gallinas Storage Ponds parking lot. Meet the group by the bridge just past the parking lot. The walk starts at 8:30 but late arrivals should easily be able to find the group. From Highway 101 North, take the Smith Ranch Road exit, go east to the McInnis Park entrance, turn left immediately after crossing the railroad tracks and go to the end of the road to the Las Gallinas Storage Ponds parking lot. Meet the group by the bridge just past the parking lot. The walk starts at 8:30 but late arrivals should be able to easily find the group.

Bird Walk in Marta's Marsh
Location: Corte Madera
Trip Leader(s): Meryl Sundove and Roger Harris
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Saturday, October 15, 2011
Start Time: 10:00 AM
End Time: 12:30 PM
Description: Join Meryl and Roger on a bird walk in Marta's Marsh in Corte Madera. This field trip often affords a look at and a listen to the namesake of the Marin Audubon Society's newsletter, the endangered California Clapper Rail. Meryl and Roger have been studying the marsh for over twenty-fives years. Walking the levee around the marsh makes it possible to get good looks at a variety of shore and water birds. This walk is timed with the incoming tide that pushes feeding shorebirds off exposed Bay mudflats into mudflats in the marsh for closer views. Marta's Marsh is a great place to learn about marsh processes, watch shorebird behavior, and practice identifying the birds. Beginners welcome! Depending on the weather the levee can be damp so wear appropriate shoes, bring layers of clothes, and, of course, a bird book and binoculars (scope if you have one.) There are no bathroom facilities at the marsh. Steady rain cancels. Directions to Marta's Marsh From Highway 101 take the Corte Madera Paradise exit. Come east toward the Bay and then curve right coming past the Highway Patrol office. At the second stop light, turn left on Harbor Drive, then right on Yolo, and left on Channel, a dead end road. Park at the end of Channel.
Document/Field Trip Report: FTR Marta Marsh Oct 15.pdf

Ellis Creek Wetlands Walk
Location: Petaluma
Trip Leader(s): Peter Colasanti
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Sunday, October 09, 2011
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 1:00 PM
Description: The new Ellis Creek Water Recycling Facility (ECWRF) came on line a few years ago and now much of the area is a wildlife sanctuary accessible via a 3 mile trail system. Good birding and nature-viewing places are around the polishing ponds wetlands, seasonal wetlands (winter to spring), in the trees lining the edges of the property, and along the tidal marsh trail to the river (Sept. 1 to Jan. 14). Bird sightings could include Blue-winged Teal, Great-tailed Grackle, White Pelican, moorhens, rails and good shorebirds like dowitchers. Also, the trip is well timed to hit a late wave of neotropical migrants if we're lucky. The walk may be extended over to Shollenberger Park. Directions: Going north on Hwy 101 from Marin, take the second Petaluma exit, Rte 116 (Lakeville Hwy). Go east about one mile to South McDowell Blvd (4th traffic light) and turn right. At the curve turn right on Cypress and drive straight to east end. Meet in the parking lot just past the gate.
Document/Field Trip Report: FTR Ellis Cr Oct 9-2011.pdf

Thursday Morning Walk with Susan Kelly & Friends
Location: Las Gallinas Storage Ponds
Trip Leader(s): Susan Kelly
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Thursday, October 06, 2011
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: Beginner birders are especially welcome on the first Thursday of each month for a leisurely walk around the Las Gallinas Storage Ponds at McInnis Park. There is always something interesting to see and over 100 species have been reported over the course of a year. Hawks are frequent and we see the graceful Northern Harrier on virtually every trip. This is great way to start learning the raptors, waterfowl, and other groups, as well as getting tips on optics, birding books, and birding etiquette. Directions: From Highway 101 take the Smith Ranch Road exit; go east toward the McInnis Park entrance. Turn left immediately after crossing the railroad tracks and go the end of the road to the Las Gallinas Storage Ponds parking lot. Meet the group by the bridge just past the parking lot. The walk starts at 8:30 but late arrivals should easily be able to find the group.

Classroom and Field Raptor Identification Workshop
Location: Fort Cronkhite and Hawk Hill (Marin Headlands)
Trip Leader(s): Allen Fish, Director, Golden Gate Raptor Observatory
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Saturday, October 01, 2011
End Date: Sunday, October 02, 2011
Start Time: 8:00 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: The Golden Gate Raptor Observatory (GGRO) is dedicated to studying migrating birds of prey along the Pacific Coast. Over 250 volunteers and interns count, band and conduct radiotelemetry studies from mid-August through early December. Hawk Hill, in the Marin Headlands, is the best place to observe the fall migration. Allen Fish, the Director of GGRO, is a leading raptor biologist and a dynamic teacher. Allen has graciously agreed to present a condensed one-day classroom and field workshop on raptor identification for Marin Audubon. We will meet at 8AM at Bldg 1050 at Ft. Cronkhite for a 90-minute classroom Powerpoint presentation on identifying California raptors. At about 10AM we will drive up to Hawk Hill for a two-hour field class, with the option of staying up all day. Bring layered clothing for heat or cold. Bring lunch, snacks, water, hat, binoculars, and field guide. If raining or fogging we will still meet. Directions to Bldg 1050 Ft Cronkhite. Drive into the Marin Headlands via Alexander Avenue and the five-minute tunnel on Bunker Road. As you drive alongside Rodeo Lagoon, watch for the only building with a wooden porch just across from the foot bridge to Rodeo Beach. This is Building 1050. Park alongside the road. Because of limited classroom space, this workshop will be limited to 30 participants. Please send an email to Vicky Van Meter at Vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com or phone 415-299-2514 (email preferred) to reserve a space.
Document/Field Trip Report: FTR Hawk Hill Oct 1,2011.pdf

Point Reyes Big Day
Location: Point Reyes
Trip Leader(s): Keith Hansen
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Start Time: 7:30 AM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Description: Keith Hansen, well-known wildlife artist, naturalist and enthusiastic and knowledgeable birder, will lead us on a Point Reyes Big Day. We will meet at 7:30 AM at the Bovine Bakery in Point Reyes Station. This is located on the "Main Drag," (Hwy.1) across from the Palace Market. Folks can Coffee down, Sugar Up and hit the rest room there before we make our way to the OUTER POINT. Weather permitting, we will most likely drive, (car-pool, if possible) to the Light House. After that, it will likely be a quick stop at Road Forks Pool and then the Fish Docks, looking high and low for winged treasures. Next it is off to Nunez Ranch, then Mendoza Ranch and Jr. Mendoza. We will then blast to Spaletta Slop Ponds and then to Drakes Beach for a well-deserved lunch. Bring a lunch and lots of water. For those that want to keep going, we may stop at Abandon Ranch and/or The RCA Station. The day can go as long as anyone wants, but for those that need a specific time to end, let's say 3ish. Keith is aiming for 100 SPECIES and is looking forward to seeing you ALL there!
Document/Field Trip Report: FTR Sept 28, 2011 Pt Reyes Big Day.pdf

Farallone Islands Boat Trip
Location: Depart from Clipper Yacht Harbor, Sausalito
Trip Leader(s): David Wimpfheimer
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Sunday, September 11, 2011
Start Time: 7:30 AM
End Time: 4:00 PM
Description: This trip is now full, however wait list spots may become available. Email Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com to get on the list. Participants should be at the boat dock at 7:30 AM. There is always a chance the trip may need to be rescheduled at the last minute due to sea conditions, so we will attempt to reach participants if there is a change. Be prepared for any kind of weather with layered clothing. Rain jacket and pants are essential no matter what the weather on shore. Take seasick medication if needed. Bring lunch, snacks, water and plenty of sunscreen. Directions: Take Hwy. 101 to the Marin City/Sausalito exit, head south on Bridgeway, take a left on Harbor Drive and proceed to the parking area at the end. We will meet on the south side of the parking lot to check in before boarding. Contact Vicky Van Meter at Vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com or call 415-299-2514 for questions.

Yuba Pass & Sierra Valley Weekend
Location: Yuba Pass Campground
Trip Leader(s): Phil & Pat Gordon
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Saturday, June 18, 2011
End Date: Sunday, June 19, 2011
Start Time: 7:30 AM
End Time: [not specified]
Description: We will begin our bird explorations at the almost 7,000 ft elevation of the Sierra. We will meet at 7:30 AM at the yuba Pass Sno-Park Parking Lot (also the entrance to the yuba Pass Campground) along Hwy 49. There may still be snow on the ground this year, so dress accordingly. If lucky, we'll see species rarely found at lower elevations including Williamson's Sapsucker, Black-backed Woodpecker, Calliope Hummingbird and Mountain Chickadee. The leaders may include a visit to S.F. State Field Station, Bassett's Store (hummingbird feeders), Gold Lakes Road with Sand Pond Marsh boardwalk, and points between. The caravan route back to camping/lodging will be at the leaders' discretion. On Sunday, June 19, we will meet at 6:30 AM at the same yuba Pass Sno-Park Parking Lot. From here we will travel to the graveled Mountain Quail Road. There we will enter the Great Basin Sage and Jeffrey Pine mix where our quarry becomes the Common Nighthawk, Gray Flycatcher, Black-billed Magpie, and Spotted and Green-tailed Towhees. We plan to lunch in the Loyalton Area to search the old forest burn area for nesting Lewis's Woodpecker and Mountain Bluebird. The trip will end early enough to allow either exploration of other nearby areas or an early return home. Lodging can be secured in Portola (Sleepy Pines - 530/832- 4291), Blairsden (River Pines - 530/836-2552) and in Sierra City (e.g., Herrington's Sierra Pines Lodge - www.herringtonssierrapines.com, 800/682-9848). Also, new owners will continue providing lodging at Bassett's Station, Hwy. 49 X Gold Lake Rd. (530/862- 1297, www.bassetts-station.com). Campgrounds are available at Yuba Pass, along Hwy. 49 to the West, at Plumas-Eureka State Park, and along Hwy. 89 between Truckee and Sierraville. Driving time from the Bay Area to Yuba Pass is just under 5 hours. Access is both by Hwy. 80 and Hwy. 70 (up to one hour longer).
Document/Field Trip Report:
FTR- June 18, 2011-Yuba Pass.pdf

Thursday Morning Walk With Len Blumin
Location: Las Gallinas Storage Ponds
Trip Leader(s): Len Blumin
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Thursday, June 02, 2011
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: All are welcome to join Len Blumin on the first Thursday of each month for a walk around the Las Gallinas Storage Ponds at McInnis Park. There is always something interesting to see and this walk is great for all levels of birders. Hawks are frequent and we see the graceful Northern Harrier on virtually every trip. Over 100 bird species have been reported as likely to be seen over the course of a year. From Highway 101 North, take the Smith Ranch Road exit, go east to the McInnis Park entrance, turn left immediately after crossing the railroad tracks and go to the end of the road to the Las Gallinas Storage Ponds parking lot. Meet the group by the bridge just past the parking lot. The walk starts at 8:30 but late arrivals should be able to easily find the group.

Breeding Birds of Pt Reyes
Location: Bear Valley Visitor Center, Pt Reyes National Seashore
Trip Leader(s): David Wimpfheimer
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Wednesday, June 01, 2011
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 4:00 PM
Description: Join us as we enjoy a day of birding to focus on the breeding birds of forest, wetlands, coastal scrub and ocean habitats. Weather conditions and recent sightings will determine the exact sites we visit. Vocalizations of breeding warblers, woodpeckers, flycatchers, thrushes and other species will also be covered. Directions: From Point Reyes Station, continue south on Hwy 1 about 2.5 miles. Look for a brown, "Point Reyes National Seashore" sign just beyond the Olema RV Resort & Campground. If you get to a flashing red light, you have gone 100 yards too far. Turn right onto Bear Valley Road and head west about 1/2 mile. Look for a big red barn on the left and a sign for the Visitor Center on the right. Meet at the bathrooms at the far end of the parking lot opposite the Bear Valley Visitor Center.
Document/Field Trip Report: FTR Breeding Birds 6,1,2011.pdf

Big Rock/ Loma Alta
Location: Big Rock Ridge, Loma Alta Open Space
Trip Leader(s): Dave Herrema
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Thursday, May 26, 2011
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 1:00 PM
Description: The north slope of Loma Alta above Lucas Valley Road is high and dry, with great vistas. This is not the place for a lot of species, but we should see some birds you may have not seen before, such as Grasshopper, Rufus-crowned and Lark Sparrows; Horned Larks; and Lazuli Buntings. Western Meadowlarks should provide the melody. This is also a great place for raptors. All are welcome to join us for a leisurely walk of about a mile on a wide, graded road. Some of this is uphill. Please bring plenty of water. Directions: Big Rock Trailhead is about 5 miles west of Hwy 101 on Lucas Valley Road. Parking is limited at the trailhead so we will meet for carpooling at the Park and Ride at the Smith Ranch Road/ Lucas Valley exit at 8:30 AM. The Park and Ride is just east of Hwy 101 on Smith Ranch Road.
Document/Field Trip Report: FTR - Loma Alta May 26, 2011.pdf

Mount Burdell
Location: Mount Burdell
Trip Leader(s): Lisa Hug
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Saturday, May 14, 2011
Start Time: 8:00 AM
End Time: 11:00 AM
Description: Join Lisa Hug for a field trip to Mt. Burdell. Species we might see include Lark Sparrow, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Bullock's Oriole and Grasshopper Sparrow amongst many other possibilities. This should be a fairly easy walk, with some uphill. Bring comfortable walking shoes, layered clothing, water and snacks. (Trip may end a little later than 11:00 am.) We will meet at the end of San Andres Drive in Novato. Directions:Take 101 to Novato. Take the San Marin Drive/Atherton Avenue exit. At the end of the exit ramp turn left (west) on San Marin Drive. Go roughly 2 miles down the road and turn right on San Andres Drive. Drive to nearly the end of the road and park on the street. (No restrooms available - check in Novato).
Document/Field Trip Report: FTR Mt Burdell 5-14-2011.pdf

Putah Creek Canyon
Location: Putah Creek Canyon
Trip Leader(s): Rich Stallcup
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Thursday, April 21, 2011
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Description: Rich Stallcup will lead us on a field trip to Putah Creek Canyon, located about an hour northeast of Marin near Winters. This riparian corridor supports good bird diversity, including woodpeckers and migrants. We will meet at 9:00 AM in the large turnout at the top of Montecillo Dam along Route 128. Please carpool from home if possible, as large parking lots are few. Bring lunch, we will picnic at tables along the "river" and head for home about 2:30 or so. It is usually windy and cold at the meeting spot.
Document/Field Trip Report:
FTR Puta Cr Ap 21 2011c.pdf

Mines Road / Del Puerto Canyon
Location: Mines Road/Del Puerto Canyon
Trip Leader(s): Terry Colborn
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Saturday, April 16, 2011
End Date: Sunday, April 17, 2011
Start Time: 7:30 AM
End Time: [not specified]
Description: Long recognized as one of the premier birding areas in the Bay Area to observe an array of resident species and neo-tropical migrants, the combination of Mines Road and Del Puerto Canyon provides easy access to a number of different habitats. The bird list is quite impressive for this popular destination and includes Costa's Hummingbird, Lewis' Woodpecker, Western Wood-Pewee, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Western Kingbird, Yellow-billed Magpie, Rock and Canyon wrens, Nashville, Orange-crowned, Hermit, Yellow and MacGillivray's warblers, Rufous-crowned Sparrow, Black-headed Grosbeak, Bullock's Oriole, Wood Duck and Lawrence's Goldfinch, just to name a few. The elusive Greater Roadrunner is reported annually. We'll also visit Del Valle Regional Park (fee) and Frank Raines Park. This weekend trek will start In Livermore on Saturday morning at 7:30am, and will conclude on Sunday afternoon at 3:30pm. Overnight hotel accommodations will be in Patterson, off of I-5, affording us an opportunity for an optional evening "owl prowl" after dinner, as well as giving us a chance for an early Sunday morning start. This is a very popular trip and often fills up early. Sign-ups are required, and are on a first-come, first-served basis. Carpooling is a must as there is very limited space for vehicles to park on Mines Road. To sign-up and receive further details, contact Terry Colborn at: www.tlcbirding.com or call him at: 916.705.8991.
Document/Field Trip Report:
FTR Mines Rd Ap 16 2011c.pdf

Birding at Bodega Bay - TRIP CANCELED
Location: Bodega Bay
Trip Leader(s): Len Blumin
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Sunday, March 20, 2011
End Date: Monday, March 21, 2011
Start Time: [not specified]
End Time: [not specified]
Description: The Bodega Bay trip with Len Blumin scheduled for Sunday is cancelled because of storms and road closures. We will reschedule the trip for another time.

Humboldt County Weekend and Aleutian Goose Fly-off
Location: Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary
Trip Leader(s): Ken Burton
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Saturday, March 05, 2011
End Date: Sunday, March 06, 2011
Start Time: 8:00 AM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Description: Former MAS board member and outstanding ornithologist and guide, Ken Burton, will lead us on a two-day exploration of his current stomping grounds. The itinerary will be loose and flexible. We'll spend time looking for species that don't occur in our area (such as Black-capped Chickadee and Gray Jay) and any vagrants that may be around. We'll also visit some of Humboldt's awesome general birding sites such as the Arcata Marsh and Humboldt Bay NWR. Participants wanting to drive up on Friday can meet Ken at 8:00 a.m. Saturday at the south end of South I Street in Arcata. We'll be back there at noon for lunch and high-tide birding and to meet anyone traveling on Saturday. Pack a picnic lunch at least for Saturday. Sunday morning we'll witness the Aleutian Goose fly-off at the Refuge and bird that area until early afternoon. Because this is a new trip, we do not have lodging recommendations, but there are dozens of B&Bs, hotels and motels to choose from in the Eureka and Arcata area. Call Ken at 707-825-1124 or Vicky Van Meter at 415-299-2514 (vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com) for more information. Please write to Ken at shrikethree@gmail.com if you will be attending and tell him whether you are arriving Friday or Saturday. Directions to South I Street in Arcata: Take 101 North to Arcata. Exit at Samoa Blvd (Exit 713), then left at South I Street. The road ends at the Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary. Allow six hours travel time from Marin.
Document/Field Trip Report: Humboldt 5-6 March 2011 FTR.pdf

Morning Walk at Las Gallinas Storage Ponds
Location: Las Gallinas Storage Ponds
Trip Leader(s): Len Blumin
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Thursday, March 03, 2011
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: All are welcome to join Len Blumin on the first Thursday of each month for a walk around the Las Gallinas Storage Ponds at McInnis Park. There is always something interesting to see and this walk is great for all levels of birders. March is a great time for waterfowl and a dozen or more species can be expected. Hawks are frequent and we see the graceful Northern Harrier on virtually every trip. Over 100 bird species have been reported as likely to be seen over the course of a year. Directions: From Highway 101 North, take the Smith Ranch Road exit, go east to the McInnis Park entrance, turn left immediately after crossing the railroad tracks and go to the end of the road to the Las Gallinas Storage Ponds parking lot. Meet the group by the bridge just past the parking lot. The walk starts at 8:30 but late arrivals should be able to easily find the group.

Capay Valley Birding
Location: Capay Valley
Trip Leader(s): Terry Colborn
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Saturday, February 19, 2011
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Description: Join Terry Colborn for a delightful day in picturesque Capay Valley. The almond orchards should be at peak bloom as the valley's harbinger of the coming spring season. Our stops will include historic Capay Cemetery, Cache Creek and several favorite birding spots in idyllic Capay Valley. We'll look for Yellow-billed Magpie, Lewis' Woodpecker, Red-breasted Sapsucker, Phainopepla, Western Bluebirds and resident raptors, as well as any lingering wintering raptors. We also hope to see some early spring arrivals such as Barn and Violet-green Swallows, Lawrence's Goldfinch, and warbler species. Past trips have produced Golden and Bald Eagles, Western Kingbird and Prairie Falcon. We should also see some early spring wildflowers along with Redbud, that very conspicuous flowering shrub along the roadside. Terry will meet participants at Community Park in Esparto at 8:30AM. Participants who wish to can also carpool from there. Directions to Esparto: take Hwy 37 east to Vallejo then go east on I-80; just past the new Nut Tree Center take I-505. Travel I-505 north for about 20 miles to the Route 16 exit and turn left (west). Esparto is located about 4 miles west on Route 16 - the park is in the center of town. Driving time is about 1 1/2 hrs but allow a little extra time, as there may be early morning fog. Bring lunch, liquids and dress in layers and wear sturdy footwear, as we will do a little walking. Heavy rain cancels. For more information contact Terry, 916.705.8991 or www.tlcbirding.com.
Document/Field Trip Report: FTR Capay V.pdf

Raptors, Rails and Waterfowl
Location: Central Valley, Yolo Basin Wildlife Area
Trip Leader(s): Terry Colborn
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Saturday, February 05, 2011
Start Time: 8:00 AM
End Time: [not specified]
Description: The open agricultural lands of the Central Valley provide great foraging habitat for scores of wintering raptors, while the wetlands of the Yolo Basin Wildlife Area are the winter home to thousands of waterfowl including ducks, geese, swans and many shorebirds, as well as both Sora and Virginia Rail. This all-day field trip will visit several local wintering habitats in search of Ferruginous and Rough-legged Hawks; Merlin; Prairie Falcon; Burrowing, Barn and Great-horned Owls; as well as the elusive Mountain Plover. We also expect to see a representative sampling of the waterfowl and a variety of shorebirds at the Davis Wetlands. Directions: Participants meet the leader at 8:00AM in Dixon in the southwest corner of the Wal-Mart parking lot located on East Dorset Drive at the Hwy 113 exit off I-80. Bring a lunch and liquids; dress in layers. Heavy rain cancels. Leader: Terry Colborn. 916.705.8991 www.tlcbirding.com
Document/Field Trip Report: FTR YoloBasin.pdf

Cosumnes River Preserve & Sunset Crane "Fly-In"
Location: Sacramento Valley
Trip Leader(s): Terry Colborn
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Saturday, January 22, 2011
Start Time: 8:45 AM
End Time: 6:00 PM
Description: The Cosumnes River Preserve, managed by The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is one of the last remnants of a once vast riparian habitat in the Sacramento Valley. This is the only river from the Sierra flowing into the Delta that isn't dammed. Situated on the eastern edge of Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, this 1,500 acre preserve of mixed oak woodlands, grasslands and wetlands hosts an array of wintering passerines and waterfowl, including numerous species of ducks, geese and Tundra Swan. The surrounding wetlands and flooded fields provide excellent refuge for many waders, as well as Sandhill Cranes. The lush oak woodlands can often yield a number of passerines and wintering raptors. Past visits have even afforded rare views of river otters. After a morning walk of about one mile on a flat trail, we'll eat lunch on the deck at the Visitor's Center. Afterwards we'll spend some time scoping the impoundments opposite the Visitor's Center that host a significant number of waterfowl. We'll also scope out several large winter ponds checking for shorebirds, waterfowl and the resident Peregrine Falcon. We'll then head to Staten Island Road, a renowned area that is the winter home to thousands of Sandhill Cranes. The birds feed in the nearby recently harvested rice and cornfields, and move to roost in the wetlands by late afternoon, early evening. The area often has a nice variety of ducks and shorebirds, and may even hold a surprise or two. The sight and sound of hundreds of Sandhill Cranes coming in to roost at sunset is a sight to behold. Directions: Meet Terry Colborn at 8:45AM at Cosumnes River Preserve Visitor's Center parking lot. Take Hwy 101 north, then Hwy 37 east to I-80 east; at Fairfield/Suisun City turn onto Hwy 12 (southeast) and continue to Hwy I-5, near Lodi. Go north on Hwy I-5 approximately 13 miles to the Twin Cities Road exit. Travel 1 mile east, turn right (south) on Franklin Blvd and drive 1.7 miles to the Cosumnes Preserve Visitor's Center on your left. Travel time from Marin County is approximately 2 hrs. Bring binoculars and scope, lunch, snacks and liquids; wear comfortable footgear and dress in layers. Heavy rain cancels. For more information contact Terry at 916-705-8991, or at: www.tlcbirding.com .

Gulls of Sonoma and Marin
Location: Shollenberger Park and Lucchesi Park in Petaluma
Trip Leader(s): Peter Colasanti
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Sunday, January 09, 2011
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 11:30 AM
Description: Remember Hitchcock's The Birds? Do you remember how scary the gulls were and did you ever get over it? Join a fellow Laraphobe for a day of immersion therapy near the scene of that cinematic crime in southern Sonoma county and Bahia in Marin. Those who dare can meet me for the exodus AT DAYBREAK ABOUT 6:30 AM at Shollenberger Park Sunday January 9, where over 2000 gulls flyover en route to their daily feast. Next we'll convene at 8:30 AM at Lucchesi Park for close views in an urban setting and then head south to Bahia in Novato to see the activity at Marin Audubon's restoration site. We'll relish the adults, study the juveniles, and mostly ignore the adolescents and hybrids. Be a Student at Gulls for a day. The trip will end at about 11:30. Directions to Shollenberger Park: Take 101 North to Petaluma. Take the Hwy. 116/Lakeville Hwy. East exit. Turn onto Lakeville (left, east bound), go approximately 3 long blocks from highway overpass. Turn right onto South McDowell. Turn right in 0.3 miles onto Cader Lane, which dead ends in the Shollenberger Park parking lot. Meet at the kiosks. Directions to Lucchesi Park: Take 101 North, exit at E Washington and take a right heading toward east Petaluma. Take the first left onto North McDowell Blvd and then a right in one quarter mile on Community Center Way.

Las Gallinas Storage Ponds
Location: McInnes Park, San Rafael, CA
Trip Leader(s): Len Blumin
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Thursday, January 06, 2011
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: All are welcome to join Len Blumin on the first Thursday of each month for a walk around the Las Gallinas Storage Ponds at McInnis Park. There is always something interesting to see and this walk is great for all levels of birders. From Highway 101 North, take the Smith Ranch Road exit, go east to the McInnis Park entrance, turn left immediately after crossing the railroad tracks and go to the end of the road to the Las Gallinas Storage Ponds parking lot. Meet the group by the bridge just past the parking lot. The walk starts at 8:30 AM but late arrivals should be able to easily find the group.

Birding the Northwest Passage
Location: West Marin, Lawson's Landing, and Chileno Valley
Trip Leader(s): David Wimpfheimer
Host: David Wimpfheimer (415) 415-663-1363
Start Date: Sunday, December 12, 2010
End Date: Monday, December 13, 2010
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 3:30 PM
Description: This field trip will focus on some of the less familiar habitats near the town of Tomales. After meeting at the Tomales Bakery we will caravan to Lawson's Landing, a private resort near the mouth of Tomales Bay. Loons, grebes, possibly included Red-necked, ducks and brant can be quite numerous here. Shorebirds are diverse here as well. After birding the coast, the rest of the day will be spent covering the open grasslands, wetlands and forests of this part of Marin. Chileno Valley can have Ferruginous and Rough-leged Hawks, amongst the more common raptors. Meet at the Tomales Bakery. at 9:00. Plan on arriving earlier to sample the delicious pastries. Light rain will not cancel this trip, but a heavy storm will.

Bahia Bird Walk
Location: Bahia Marsh, Novato
Trip Leader(s): Lowell Sykes
Host: Lowell Sykes, 415-388-2821
Start Date: Sunday, December 05, 2010
End Date: Monday, December 06, 2010
Start Time: 9:30 AM
End Time: 11:00 PM
Description: Join Lowell for an easy walk to see the many birds in the newly restored lagoons, marshes and uplands of Marin Audubon's 60 acre Bahia property in Novato. This will be an excellent opportunity to learn about the work being done to restore this important area. Directions: Take either Hwy 101 north or Hwy 37 east to Atherton Ave in Novato. From 101 take a right (east) on Atherton. Proceed on Atherton about 1 mile and take a left onto Bugeia Lane. From Hwy 37, take the Atherton exit and go left under the highway. Proceed about 2.3 miles on Atherton and take a right on Bugeia. Go straight on Bugeia over the hill toward the marshes (Bugeia becomes Bahia Drive at some point) to the end and park in the cul-de-sac. The gates will be open. For questions, contact Lowell at 415-388-2821.

Las Gallinas Storage Ponds
Location: McInnis Park, San Rafel, CA
Trip Leader(s): Len Blumin
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Thursday, December 02, 2010
End Date: Friday, December 03, 2010
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: All are welcome to join Len Blumin on the first Thursday of each month for a walk around the Las Gallinas Storage Ponds at McInnis Park. There is always something interesting to see and this walk is great for all levels of birders. From Highway 101 North, take the Smith Ranch Road exit, go east to the McInnis Park entrance, turn left immediately after crossing the railroad tracks and go to the end of the road to the Las Gallinas Storage Ponds parking lot. Meet the group by the bridge just past the parking lot. The walk starts at 8:30 AM but late arrivals should be able to easily find the group.

Beginner Birding in Marin
Location: Starkweather Shoreline Park, San Rafael
Trip Leader(s): Lizabeth Gluck
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Sunday, November 21, 2010
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 11:30 AM
Description: This will be an introduction to the most common species seen around the bay including a variety of ducks, shorebirds, and egrets, as well as some songbirds such as house finches, mockingbirds, and hummingbirds. This accessible and enjoyable location is flat and open, check the weather report (be prepared for sun or fog and wind). Rain cancels the trip. Please bring binoculars and field guide if you have them. We will discuss field guides, binoculars, and birding spots. Meet at 9 AM at entrance to the park on Baypoint Village Drive in San Rafael. Directions: Exit 101 at Francisco Blvd and take Bellam Avenue east as far as it will go. This becomes Baypoint Village Drive. Follow this briefly and park near the deep curve in the road where the entrance to the park is. (The park has many entrances, but this one is on a deep curve after Bellam has become Baypoint Village Drive just before it intersects with Baypoint Drive.) If you reach the intersection of Baypoint Village Drive and Baypoint Drive you have gone a few yards too far. Look for a blue Toyota RAV-4.

Arrowhead Marsh and Surroundings
Location: Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline, Oakland
Trip Leader(s): Rusty Scalf
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Saturday, November 06, 2010
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: Arrowhead Marsh, part of the Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline, is noted for Clapper Rails, Soras and Virginia Rails. In the annual survey of this marsh by Fish and Game several years ago, the rail count was 112 Clapper, 67 Sora and 17 Virginia! Visiting this area during a rising high tide should enable us to spot quite a few. Join our leader Rusty Scalf to view this interesting marsh and adjacent shoreline. Wintering shorebirds, ducks and geese should be seen and songbirds, gulls and raptors will probably show up. Directions: Meet at 9 AM at the Arrowhead Marsh parking lot. From Marin, cross the Richmond-San Rafael bridge and take 80 south. Continue south on I-880 to Hegenberger Rd (goes to Oakland Airport) then go west on Hegenberger to Doolittle Dr. Turn right on Doolittle, then right on Swan Way. Turn left into the MLKRS Park and drive to the parking at end of road.

Las Gallinas Storage Ponds
Location: McInnis Park, San Rafel, CA
Trip Leader(s): Len Blumin
Host: Vicky Van Meter, vicky.vanmeter@gmail.com, 415-299-2514
Start Date: Thursday, November 04, 2010
End Date: Friday, November 05, 2010
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: Join Len on this morning birding walk at the storage ponds. Many of our feathered fall visitors will have arrived to join the resident ones that stay all year round. From Highway 101 North, take the Smith Ranch Road exit, go east to the McInnis Park entrance, turn left immediately after crossing the railroad tracks and go to the end of the road to the Las Gallinas Storage Ponds parking lot. Meet the group by the bridge just past the parking lot.

Limantour
Location: Pt Reyes National Seashore
Trip Leader(s): Rich Stallcup
Start Date: Friday, October 22, 2010
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Description: Bring your scope and join Rich for a walk on Limantour Spit. We shall scope the ocean side for loons, grebes and sea ducks and check the estero side for waders, Brant and raptors. The walk will be about 4 miles round trip with some of that in sand. Rain does not cancel but may change our destination! Bring a lunch and dress in layers. DIRECTIONS: Take Sir Francis Drake Blvd west and turn onto Bear Valley Rd. Continue to the Limantour Rd turn-off and drive to the first parking lot at Limantour Beach.

Abbott's Lagoon
Location: Pt Reyes National Seashore
Trip Leader(s): Daniel Edelstein
Host: edelstein@earthlink.net
Start Date: Saturday, October 09, 2010
Start Time: 9:30 AM
End Time: 2:00 PM
Description: Join Daniel for the day at Abbott's Lagoon, a birder's paradise at this time of year because the amazing autumn passage of shorebirds will be joined by some other species that are just arriving to stay with us through the winter. While viewing the birds, we'll discuss their migration routes and learn why this is one of the spots in Marin County where you can often see more bird species in the autumn and winter than during the breeding season. We'll walk the 1.5 easy miles to the lower lagoon and another 0.3 mile to the ocean beach for lunch-with-a-view! DIRECTIONS: Allowing about an hour and a half travel time, from San Rafael follow Sir Francis Drake Blvd (SFDB) to Olema. From Stinson Beach go north on Hwy 1 to Olema. From Olema continue north on Hwy 1 (SFDB), take the second left turn (SFDB west), continue through Inverness, turn right (north) onto Pierce Point Road and keep driving until you come to the Abbott's Lagoon parking lot on the left (west) where our group will gather. For more information contact edelstein@earthlink.net and check out his website at www.warblerwatch.com
Document/Field Trip Report: Field Trip Report- Abbotts Lagoon.pdf

Birding Walk at Elllis Creek, Petaluma
Location: Ellis Creek Water Recycling Facility
Trip Leader(s): Peter Colasanti
Host: Helen Lindqvist, helen_lindqvist@yahoo.com, Tel: 415-789-0703
Start Date: Sunday, September 26, 2010
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 1:00 PM
Description: This new water recycling facility came online last year and much of the area is now wildlife sanctuary accessible via a 3 mile trail system. Bird sightings could include Blue-winged Teal, Great-tailed Grackle, White Pelican, moorhens, rails and dowitchers. Walk may be extended to Shollenberger Park. Go North on Hwy 101, take 2nd Petaluma exit,or Rte 116 (Lakeville Hwy). Go east about one mile to South MacDowell Blvd and turn Right. At the curve turn Right on Cypress and straight to the east end. Meet in the parking lot just inside the gate.
Link: http://www.petalumawetlands.org

Pelagic Trip to Farallones
Location: Aboard
Trip Leader(s): David Wimpfheimer
Host: Bob Chilvers at chilvers-law@comcast.net
Start Date: Sunday, August 22, 2010
Start Time: 8:00 AM
End Time: 4:00 PM
Description: Come join us for a day's bird and wildlife watching on the rich stretch of the Pacific out to the Farallon Islands and beyond. On previous trips we have seen a good number of species and this time we'll be hoping to sight Tufted Puffin, Cassin's and Rinoceros Auklet, Pigeon Guillemot, Common Murre, Red-necked Phalarope, Elegant Tern, three species of Shearwater--Pink-footed, Buller's and Sooty--and some rarer birds like Black-footed Albatross and different species of Jaeger. In the mammal department we might spot Harbor or Dall's Porpoise, Risso's Dolphin and Humpback Whale. We shall be aboard Mick Menigoz' large sturdy boat, "Superfish." To sign up contact Bob Chilvers at chilvers-law@comcast.net or phone 415-444-0875 or Helen Lindqvist at helen_lindqvist@yahoo.com or phone 415-789-0703.
Document/Field Trip Report: Field Trip Report - Farallones.pdf

Scheduled Bird Walks will resume in September 2010
Location: Various Marin County locations.
Start Date: Monday, June 28, 2010
End Date: Wednesday, September 01, 2010
Start Time: [not specified]
End Time: [not specified]

Yuba Pass, Sierra & Plumas Counties
Location: Sierras
Trip Leader(s): Phil and Pat Gordon
Host: Marin Audubon Society
Start Date: Saturday, June 19, 2010
End Date: Sunday, June 20, 2010
Start Time: 7:30 AM
End Time: [not specified]
Description: Our leaders Phil and Pat are naturalists and conservationists and Phil is the compiler of the current Plumas-Eureka State Park Birdlist. Come join them for a great weekend trip where the bird count for the two days is always over 100 species!
Document/Field Trip Report: YUBA PASS June 2010 Field Trip.pdf

Las Gallinas Storage Ponds
Location: San Rafael
Trip Leader(s): Len Blumin
Start Date: Wednesday, May 12, 2010
End Date: Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Start Time: [not specified]
End Time: [not specified]
Description: There will not be an organized walk at Las Gallinas Storage Ponds in June as most of the migratory birds have left for nesting areas and the bird count is low. Walks will resume in September.

Las Gallinas Storage Ponds
Location: McInnis Park, San Rafael
Trip Leader(s): Len Blumin
Host: Marin Audubon Society
Start Date: Thursday, May 06, 2010
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: Join Len on this Thursday morning birding walk at the Storage Ponds. We might still see a few of our winter visitors and most of the Neotropicals will have arrived. The birds should be in their distinctive breeding plumage!
Document/Field Trip Report: LAS GALL 5-06-10 .pdf

Mines Road and Del Puerto Canyon
Location: Livermore area
Trip Leader(s): Terry Colborn
Host: Marin Audubon Society
Start Date: Saturday, May 01, 2010
End Date: Sunday, May 02, 2010
Start Time: 7:30 AM
End Time: 3:30 PM
Description: Long recognized as one of the premier birding areas in the Bay Area to observe an array of resident species and neo-tropical migrants, the combination of Mines Road and Del Puerto Canyon provides easy access to a number of different habitats. The bird list is quite impressive for this popular destination, and includes Wood Duck, Costa's Hummingbird, Lewis's Woodpecker, Western Wood-Pewee, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Western Kingbird, Yellow-billed Magpie, Rock and Canyon wrens, Nashville, Orange-crowned, Hermit, Yellow and MacGillivray's warblers, Rufous-crowned Sparrow, Black-headed Grosbeak, Bullock's Oriole and Lawrence's Goldfinch, just to name a few. The elusive Greater Roadrunner is reported annually. We'll also visit Del Valle Regional Park (fee) and Frank Raines Park.
Document/Field Trip Report: Mines Road - Del Puerto Canyon.pdf
Trip Report Mines Rd-Del Pureto Cyn.pdf

Mount Burdell
Location: Marin County Open Space
Trip Leader(s): Neill Fogarty
Host: Marin Audubon Society
Start Date: Saturday, April 17, 2010
Start Time: 8:00 AM
End Time: 12:30 PM
Description: This gem in northern Marin with its oak woodland, grassland and mixed forest is a prime nesting area for over 50 species of birds - many of which have wintered south of our border. Join us on this uphill stroll as we look and listen for many of these birds. Past trips have yielded Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Bullock's Oriole, Lazuli Bunting and Western Kingbird as well as a host of other species. Wildflowers and lizards are on the 'look-for' list too!
Document/Field Trip Report: MT BURDELL - Apr '10.pdf
Trip Report - Mt BurdellAp10.pdf

Bolinas Area Birding
Location: Meet at the Stinson Beach Post Office at 8:30 a.m. (Coffee shop nearby !!) Heavy rain cancels.
Trip Leader(s): Keith Hansen
Host: Marin Audubon Society
Start Date: Wednesday, April 07, 2010
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 2:30 PM
Description: Come and join Keith to explore the environs of Bolinas Lagoon - an area that Keith knows 'like the back of his hand'! We shall check out the beaches for pelagic and shore birds, go up to Stinson Gulch to look for the woodsy ones and scope out the lagoon to see the variety of birds and other wildlife that rest-up or feed in the quiet waters.
Document/Field Trip Report: BOLINAS AREA BIRDING 04-07-10.pdf
Trip Report - BolinasAp10.pdf

Las Gallinas Storage Ponds
Location: McInnis Park, San Rafael
Trip Leader(s): Len Blumin
Host: Marin Audubon Society
Start Date: Thursday, April 01, 2010
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: Join Len on this Thursday morning birding walk at the Storage Ponds. We might still see a few of our winter visitors and most of the Neotropicals will have arrived. The birds should be in their distinctive breeding plumage!
Document/Field Trip Report: LAS GALL 4-01-10 .pdf

Marta's Marsh
Location: Corte Madera
Trip Leader(s): Roger Harris and Meryl Sundove
Start Date: Sunday, March 14, 2010
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 11:00 AM
Description: Join Meryl Sundove and Roger Harris on a bird walk in Marta's Marsh in Corte Madera. This field trip often affords a look at and a listen to the namesake of the Marin Audubon Society's newsletter, the endangered California Clapper Rail. Meryl and Roger have been studying the marsh for over twenty-five years. Walking the levee around the marsh makes it possible to get good looks at a variety of shore and water birds. This walk is timed with the incoming tide that pushes feeding shorebirds off exposed Bay mudflats into mudflats in the marsh for closer views. Marta's Marsh is a great place to learn about marsh processes, watch shorebird behavior, and practice identifying the birds. Beginners welcome! Depending on the weather the levee can be damp so wear appropriate shoes, bring layers of clothes, and, of course, a bird book and binoculars (scope if you have one.) There are no bathroom facilities at the marsh. Steady rain cancels. Directions to Marta's Marsh From Highway 101 take the Corte Madera Paradise exit. Come east toward the Bay and then curve right coming past the Highway Patrol office. At the second stop light, turn left on Harbor Drive, then right on Yolo, and left on Channel, a dead end road. Park at the end of Channel.

Lake Lagunitas and Environs
Location: Lake Lagunitas
Trip Leader(s): Neill Fogarty
Host: Marin Audubon Society
Start Date: Saturday, March 06, 2010
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 1:00 PM
Description: Come join us for a morning's birding in this interesting lake area of the Mt Tamalpais Watershed. The local birds will be singing and a few Spring arrivals may be on the scene. Some of the Winter residents may be singing before they leave. Expect to see a good variety of birds including Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Bewick's Wren, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Cedar Waxwing, several species of woodpeckers such as Acorn, Downy, Nuttall's and possibly Pileated and some raptors like Red-shouldered Hawk and Osprey patrolling overhead. Various lake species may be seen such as Hooded or Common Merganser, Ring-necked Duck, Bufflehead and Ruddy Duck and if we are really lucky, a Bald Eagle at Bon Tempe Lake harassing the Ospreys for their fish! This is a fee area: $8 per car. To carpool, meet in Fairfax by the Java Hut (across from the P.O.) at the west end of Albertson's on Center Boulevard at 8:30 AM. Otherwise meet the group in the Lake Lagunitas parking lot at 9:00 AM. From Hwy 101 in Greenbrae, go west on Sir Francis Drake Blvd to Fairfax and turn onto Broadway (which parallels S.F.D.) From there turn left onto the Fairfax-Bolinas Rd, follow up the mountain, take another left onto Sky Oaks Rd which leads to the lakes. After you have paid the entrance fee at the Pay Station (small notes for machine) continue approx. 1 1/2 miles to the Lake Lagunitas parking area. Bring water and snacks. Steady rain cancels. Confirm with Helen Lindqvist (415) 789-0703.
Document/Field Trip Report: Lake Lagunitas Trip Report 3-10.pdf

LAS GALLINAS STORAGE PONDS
Location: Las Gallinas, San Rafael
Trip Leader(s): Len Blumin
Start Date: Thursday, March 04, 2010
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: There is still a good variety of birds to be seen on the water and in the vegetation beside these ponds. Join Len to see the wintering birds before they head north! From Hwy 101 in San Rafael, take the Smith Ranch Road exit, go east to the McInnis Park entrance, turn left immediately crossing the railroad tracks and go to the end of the road to Las Gallinas Storage Ponds' parking lot. Meet the group up by the bridge. Heavy rain cancels.

A Delightful Day in Picturesque Capay Valley
Location: Capay Valley
Trip Leader(s): Terry Colborn
Start Date: Saturday, February 27, 2010
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Description: The almond orchards should be at peak bloom as the valley's harbinger of the coming spring season. We'll visit historical Capay Cemetery and several favorite birding spots along Cache Creek as it winds through idyllic Capay Valley. We'll look for Yellow-billed Magpie, Lewis' Woodpecker, Red-breasted Sapsucker, Phainopepla, Western Bluebirds and resident raptors, as well as any lingering wintering raptors. We also hope to see some early spring arrivals such as Barn and Violet-green Swallows, Lawrence's Goldfinch, and warbler species. Past trips have produced Golden and Bald Eagles, Western Kingbird and Prairie Falcon. We also expect to see some early spring wildflowers along with Redbud, that very conspicuous flowering shrub along the roadside. Terry Colborn will meet participants at the Community Park in Esparto at 8:30am. Participants can also carpool from there. Directions to Esparto: take Hwy 37 east to Vallejo then go east on I-80; just past the new Nut Tree Center take I-505. Travel I-505 north for about 20 miles to the Route 16 exit and turn left (west). Esparto is located about 4 miles west on Route 16 - the park is in the center of town. Driving time is about one and a half hrs, but allow a little extra time, as there may be early morning fog. Bring lunch, liquids and dress in layers and wear sturdy footwear, as we will do a little walking. Heavy rains cancel. For more information contact Terry at tlcgdc@aol.com or 916.705.8991.

Bahia: Woods and Wetlands, Novato
Location: Bahia - Novato
Trip Leader(s): Jim White
Start Date: Sunday, February 21, 2010
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 1:00 PM
Description: Come to see the wealth of birdlife using the tidal wetlands of this 150 plus acres of restored bay marshes. Although the levees were breached just over a year ago, the birds utilizing this new habitat numbered 2,795 in a recent count and included White Pelican, Double-crested Cormorant, many species of duck, three types of sandpiper and Snowy Egret. The upland terrain of Blue Oak woodlands always produces woodpeckers too so come join us for a leisurely stroll around this new restoration area. Allowing a half hour to forty minutes from central or southern Marin, head north on Hwy 101 and exit on to Atherton Avenue in Novato then turn left onto Bugeia Lane that becomes Bahia Drive as it goes further east. Park and meet near the double gates at the end of Bahia. Heavy rain cancels. Phone to verify - Helen Lindqvist (415) 789-0703.

Las Gallinas Storage Ponds
Location: San Rafael
Trip Leader(s): Len Blumin
Start Date: Thursday, February 04, 2010
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: Come join Len to check out the variety of waders and other waterbirds that are now here for our mild winter! Several raptors are always seen flying over this large marshy area too! From Hwy 101 in San Rafael, take the Smith Ranch Road exit, go east to the McInnis Park entrance, turn left immediately after crossing the railroad tracks and go to the end of the road into the Las Gallinas S.P. parking lot. Meet the group by the bridge just past the parking lot. Heavy rain cancels.

Cosumnes River Preserve and Sunset Crane Fly-in
Location: Cosumnes River Preserve
Trip Leader(s): Terry Colborn
Start Date: Saturday, January 30, 2010
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 6:00 PM
Description: The 1,500 acre Cosumnes River Preserve, managed by The Nature Conservancy (TNC), is one of the last remnants of a once vast riparian habitat in the Sacramento Valley. This is the only river from the Sierra flowing into the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta that isn't dammed. After a morning walk of about one mile on a flat trail, we'll eat lunch on the deck at the Visitor's Center. Afterwards well spend some time scoping the impoundments, opposite the Visitor's Center, that host a significant number of waterfowl. We'll also scope out several large winter ponds checking for shorebirds, waterfowl and the resident Peregrine Falcon. Next up, we'll head to Staten Island Road, a renowned area that is the winter home to thousands of Sandhill Cranes. The birds feed in the nearby recently harvested rice and cornfields, and move to roost in the wetlands by late afternoon, early evening. The area often has a nice variety of ducks and shorebirds, and may even hold a surprise or two. The sight and sound of hundreds of Sandhill Cranes coming into roost at sunset is a sight to behold. Meet Terry Colborn at 9 AM at Cosumnes River Preserve Visitor's Center parking lot. From Hwy 101 in Novato, take Hwy 37 to I-80 east; at Fairfield/Suisun City turn onto Hwy 12 (southeast) and continue to Hwy I-5, near Lodi. Go north on Hwy I-5 approximately 13 miles to the Twin Cities Road exit. Travel 1 mile east, turn right (south) on Franklin Blvd and drive 1.7 miles to the Cosumnes Preserve Visitor's Center on your left. Travel time from Marin County is approximately 2 hrs. Bring binoculars and scope, lunch, water, snacks, wear comfortable footgear and dress in layers. Heavy rain cancels. For more info: call Terry at 916/705-8991 or email tlcgdc@aol.com.
Document/Field Trip Report: MAS Consumnes Trip Report 01.30.10 with images.pdf

Shollenberger Park to Ellis Creek, Petaluma
Location: Shollenberger Park and Ellis Creek, Petaluma
Trip Leader(s): Peter Colasanti
Start Date: Sunday, January 17, 2010
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 1:00 PM
Description: This wildlife preserve is a city park and encompasses a diversity of wetland habitats - including saltwater marsh, freshwater marsh and tidal mudflats. There is always a good variety of birds here and the possibility of seeing Blue-winged Teal, Virginia Rail, yellowthroats and moorhens. Going north on Hwy 101 from Marin, take the second Petaluma exit, which is Rte 116 (Lakeville Hwy). Go east about one mile to South McDowell Blvd (4th traffic light) and turn right. Take the 3rd right onto Cader Lane and on into the parking lot. Meet Peter and the group up on the path by 8:30am. We shall shuttle cars to Ellis Creek so the walk will only be one-way. Bring binoculars and a spotting scope if you have one. Heavy rain cancels.

Las Gallinas Storage Ponds
Location: Las Gallinas Storage Ponds
Trip Leader(s): Len Blumin
Start Date: Thursday, January 07, 2010
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: Start the new year off right by joining Len for this morning birding walk at the storage ponds. A good variety of waterbirds are now here for the viewing and no day passes without several interesting raptors being spotted! From Hwy 101 in San Rafael, take the Smith Ranch Road exit, go east to the McInnis Park entrance, turn left immediately after crossing the railroad tracks and go to end of road to the Las Gallinas Storage Ponds' parking lot. Meet the group by the bridge just past the parking lot.

Gray Lodge and Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge
Location: Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge
Trip Leader(s): Bruce Deuel
Host: Marin Audubon Society
Start Date: Saturday, December 05, 2009
End Date: Sunday, December 06, 2009
Start Time: [not specified]
End Time: [not specified]
Description: Join us for a post-holiday extravaganza! We'll spend most of Saturday at Gray Lodge Wildlife Area that is managed by the California Department of Fish and Game. Normally about half a million birds use this area in winter and favorable breeding years can bring more. We will walk a 2-mile loop observing birds until lunch, then hike out to the viewing platform to look for additional species. Time permitting we will take a drive around part of the Sutter Buttes then return for the evening fly-out! See Clapper Rail Newsletter page 3 for full details.
Document/Field Trip Report:
Gray_Lodge_Trip_Report_images.pdf

Birding West Marin
Location: Tomales Bay, Drake's Estero or Abbott's Lagoon
Trip Leader(s): David Wimpfheimer
Host: Marin Audubon Society
Start Date: Sunday, November 22, 2009
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Description: Come and join David to discover the varied habitats of West Marin, an area he has been exploring for almost 30 years. Our route will be flexible, but our birding will include wetlands at Tomales Bay, Drake's Estero or Abbott's Lagoon - where ducks, loons, grebes and shorebirds should be numerous. Over 200 species of birds are found in Point Reyes National Seashore and nearby habitats in the winter. We'll look through forests for thrushes, woodpeckers, warblers and wintering landbirds, as well as visiting ocean bluffs to look for seabirds and raptors. Total walking distance will be less than three miles and mostly a number of short hikes. Dress in layers with footwear that may get wet. Gentle rain will not cancel this outing. Meet in the parking lot opposite Bear Valley Visitor Center near the restrooms at 9 AM (Coffee shop nearby). If the weather is questionable, contact Helen at 415/789-0703 or 415/306-2325 (cell).

Arrowhead Marsh and Surroundings
Location: Arrowhead Marsh, Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline, Oakland
Trip Leader(s): Rusty Scalf
Host: Marin Audubon Society
Start Date: Sunday, November 15, 2009
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: Arrowhead Marsh, part of the Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline, is noted for Clapper Rails, Soras and Virginia Rails. In the annual survey of this marsh by Fish and Game several years ago, the rail count was 112 Clapper, 67 Sora and 17 Virginia! Visiting this area during a rising high tide should enable us to spot quite a few! Join our leader Rusty Scalf to view this interesting marsh and adjacent shoreline. Wintering shorebirds, ducks and geese should be seen and songbirds, gulls and raptors will probably show up. Meet at 9 AM at the Arrowhead Marsh parking lot. From Marin, cross the Richmond-San Rafael bridge and take I-80 south. Continue south on I-880 to Hegenberger Rd (goes to Oakland Airport) then go west on Hegenberger to Doolittle Dr. Turn right on Doolittle, then right on Swan Way. Turn left into the MLKRS Park and drive to the parking lot at end of road.

Abbott's Lagoon
Location: Abbott's Lagoon, Pt. Reyes National Seashore
Trip Leader(s): Daniel Edelstein, Birding Guide
Host: Marin Audubon Society
Start Date: Saturday, October 24, 2009
Start Time: 10:00 AM
End Time: 2:00 PM
Description: With Daniel Edelstein, Birding Guide (www.warblerwatch.com). A birder's paradise anytime, Abbott's Lagoon in Pt. Reyes National Seashore is even more majestic now because the amazing autumn passage of shorebirds will be joined by many other waterfowl species that are just arriving to stay with us through the winter. While viewing the birds, we'll discuss migration and learn why this is one of the best birding spots in Northern California. In fact, it's actually true that you can see more bird species here (and within Marin County) currently and throughout the winter than during the breeding season! (shared in a handout from Daniel). His 1.5 mile meandering, easy-paced walk is on flat ground to the lower lagoon and another .3 mile to the ocean beach for lunch (where we'll see views of ocean birds with his high-powered spotting scope). Allow 1.5 hour travel time from central Marin; from San Rafael follow Sir Francis Drake Blvd or from Stinson Beach go north on Hwy 1 to Olema. Continue north on Hwy 1 (SFDB), take the second left turn (SFDB west), continue through Inverness, turn right (north) onto Pierce Point Road and keep driving until you see our meeting point at the Abbott’s Lagoon parking lot on the left. Bring snacks, water and lunch. For more information contact edelstein@earthlink.net and check out his website at www.warblerwatch.com and his wood-warbler blog at http://warblerwatch.blogspot.com
Document/Field Trip Report: Field Trip Report Abbotts2 reduced.pdf
ABBOTT'S_LAG-MAS_9-09.pdf
Link: http://warblerwatch.blogspot.com

Bahia Walk
Location: Bahia Marsh, Novato
Trip Leader(s): Helen Lindquist
Host: Marin Audubon Society
Start Date: Saturday, October 17, 2009
Start Time: 9:30 AM
End Time: 2:00 PM
Description: Bahia is a newly restored wetland area in Novato. We need your helping in planting native grasses along the levees to prevent non-native plants from invading the area. Volunteers of all ages and abilities are welcome. (Children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult).

Hawks Over the Headlands
Location: Hawk Hill, Marin Headlands
Trip Leader(s): Allen Fish
Host: Golden Gate Raptor Observatory
Start Date: Saturday, October 03, 2009
Start Time: 10:00 AM
End Time: 1:30 PM
Description: The Pacific Coast’s greatest raptor thoroughfare is at the Marin Headlands, part of our neighborhood Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Come watch hawks, vultures, kites, harriers, osprey, eagles, merlins, kestrels and other falcons with Allen Fish, the Director of Golden Gate Raptor Observatory since 1985. Allen will bring a variety of pictures, props and raptor books to help us identify the different species and to pass the time between bird sightings! Come feast your eyes on this spectacular natural event! Meet at the base of Hawk Hill at 9:50 AM to check in with MAS then we shall walk up the Hill to meet our leader and begin raptor spotting! There will be a GGRO Banding Demonstration at 1:00 PM wherein a live hawk is brought over from a banding blind for a brief up-close showing prior to its release. Binoculars are a must and layered clothing and lunch are recommended! Go south on Hwy 101 and take the last Sausalito exit before the Golden Gate Bridge. Head up Conzelman Rd for approx 1.8 miles, park at the side and walk the few hundred yards up the trail to the Hill. For more information call the GGRO at (415) 331-0730 or go to www.ggro.org.
Document/Field Trip Report: HAWKS_OVER_THE_HEADLANDS-Oct-09.pdf
Link: http://ggro.org

Pelagic Trip to the Farallones
Location: Participants will be notified of payment method and other trip details by reply emails
Trip Leader(s): David Wimpfheimer
Host: Marin Audubon Society
Start Date: Sunday, September 20, 2009
Start Time: 8:00 AM
End Time: 4:00 PM
Description: Windy weather cancelled our trip on Aug 30 at the last minute so we have rescheduled for Sunday, Sept 20. The trip will be a full-day one from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The birds and marine mammals we shall hope to see include shearwaters, auklets, jaegers, Tufted Puffin, terns, murres guillemots, phalaropes, cormorants and Black-footed Albatross plus whales, dolphins and porpoises. David Wimpfheimer who did a great job as trip leader for us last year, will be leading again. Due to the change of date there are still several spaces available for this exciting trip, so anyone interested in participating should contact Helen, the trip co-ordinator, as soon as possible by Email at: helen_lindqvist@yahoo.com or phone 415-789-0703. Participants will be notified of payment method and other trip details by reply Emails. Members of other Audubon Chapters may join us if space is available. So gather up your friends and come join us for a great day’s cruise on the Pacific!!
Document/Field Trip Report: Farallones_092009-3.pdf

Las Gallinas Storage Ponds
Location: Las Gallinas Storage Ponds, San Rafael
Trip Leader(s): Jim White
Host: Marin Audubon Society
Start Date: Saturday, September 19, 2009
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: Let’s start off the season of weekend birding trips with a Saturday morning stroll through this good area ‘close-to-home’. The open level paths around the ponds offer children and adults a great place to watch ‘up close’ the varied bird life both on the water and on the vegetated islands. Hawks will be seen flying overhead or hunting low over the adjacent wetlands. From Hwy 101 in northern San Rafael, take the Smith Ranch road exit, go east to the McInnis Park entrance, turn left immediately after crossing the railroad tracks and meet at the parking lot at the end of this road. Bring water and snacks!
Document/Field Trip Report: LAS-GALLINAS-STORAGE-PONDS-Sat-Sept-19-2009.pdf

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