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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.

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.

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.

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 5, 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.

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 8, 2015
Start Time: 8:15 AM
End Time: 4:30 PM
Description: This trip is now FULL. Additional signups cannot be accepted. 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.

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.

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.

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