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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: 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 4, 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.

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.

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.

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.)

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.

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