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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:

559-760-1551

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 6, 2016
Start Time: 8:00 AM
End Time: 3:00 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.

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.

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. 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.

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.

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