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Bird watchers
The unCommon Marin Birdwatcher, seen here in its winter plumage, often gathers in flocks at the sides of local ponds around Marin County. Photo Maggie Rufo

Field Trips

Marin Audubon Field Trips are open to the public. Bring lunch, field guide, and binoculars.

Information & Questions:

(415) 299-2514

Currently scheduled upcoming field trips are listed here by date in ascending order (i.e., soonest first). For a complete list of all past and currently scheduled field trips click here.

Third Saturday Field Trip Series:  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. These trips are included in the list below. Click here for the complete list.

Ellis Creek Wetlands Walk
Location: Petaluma, CA
Trip Leader(s): Peter Colasanti
Host: Vicky Van Meter,, 415-299-2514 or Jane Medley,, 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.

No. 7, Birding in Marin Series
Location: Marin Headlands
Trip Leader(s): Jim White and Bob Battagin
Host: Vicky Van Meter,, 415-299-2514 or Jane Medley,, 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.

LEFT of the FAULT - Point Reyes BIG DAY BLAST
Location: Point Reyes Station, CA
Trip Leader(s): Keith Hansen
Host: Vicky Van Meter,, 415-299-2514 or Jane Medley,, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Tuesday, November 3, 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, 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.

Abbott's Lagoon
Location: Point Reyes National Seashore
Trip Leader(s): Carolyn and John Longstreth
Host: Vicky Van Meter,, 415-299-2514 or Jane Medley,, 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.

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