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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 past and currently scheduled field trips click here.

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, May 1, 2014
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: Join is for the last Thursday walk of the season 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 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. This walk will resume September 4th. 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.

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 4, 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).

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: Friday, May 16, 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.

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, May 24, 2014
Start Time: 8:00 AM
End Time: [not specified]
Description: Join Jim and Bob on the first 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. This wall will go until mid-afternoon. 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.

New Trip Series
Location: Birding Hotspots around 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: 9:00 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. The trips will begin at 9AM and last until mid-afternoon, Bring bins, scopes, and lunch, dress in layers, carpool if possible, and expect to walk 3 miles. The monthly schedule will be posted here, first walk is the third Saturday in May - May 24.

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