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Upcoming Field Trips in 2017

Great Horned Owl Long-eared Owl Kestrell with Lizard
photos by Bruce Aird, taken at Big Morongo Preserve
MARCH Trips:
Fri 24 Owl Prowl at Starr Ranch (R - 1 spot available) 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Sat 25 Owl Prowl at Starr Ranch (R - Full) 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Sun 26 Upper Newport Bay bird walk 8:00 am - 11:00 am
Fri 31 Owl Prowl at Starr Ranch (R - Full) 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
APRIL Trips:
Sat 01 Monthly Wildlife Walk at the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary 9:00 am - 10:30 am
Sat 01 Owl Prowl at Starr Ranch (R - 1 spot available) 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Wed 05 Caspers Wilderness Park bird walk 8:00 am - 12 noon
Sa/Su 8-9 Eastern Sierra weekend trip (R - Full) 7:30 am Sat
Sat 08 Villa Park Flood Basin field trip 8:00 am - 12 noon
Sun 09 Monthly Bird Walk at the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary 8:00 am - 12 noon
Wed 19 Upper Newport Bay by pontoon boat (R) 8:15 am - 11:00 am
Sun 30 Big Morongo Preserve (R - Full) 7:00 am - 2:00 pm
Sun 30 Upper Newport Bay bird walk 8:00 am - 11:00 am
— Information About These Field Trips —
Advance Reservation Trips: (R)
The following upcoming trips require advance reservations. They are trips you need to plan ahead for because you won't be able to sign up for them at the last minute. A separate page has been set up for each trip. Click on the link (name of trip) to reach that page.
Monthly, 3rd Wed. morning UNB by Pontoon Boat Leader: Nancy Kenyon $10
2017 date to be announced Morro Bay Trip Leader: Kaaren Perry $50
Sat, date to be announced Seal Beach NWR tba no fee
2018 date to be announced Antelope Valley Hawk-Banding Trip Leader: Pete Bloom no fee
2018 date to be announced Winter Pelagic Trip Leaders: Jon Dunn & 5 others $60
2018 date to be announced Salton Sea weekend trip Leader: Vic Leipzig $35
Fri, March 24 Owl Prowl at Starr Ranch - 1 spot available Leader: Pete DeSimone $25
Sat, March 25 Owl Prowl at Starr Ranch - Full Leader: Pete DeSimone $25
Fri, March 31 Owl Prowl at Starr Ranch - Full Leader: Pete DeSimone $25
Sat, April 1 Owl Prowl at Starr Ranch - 1 spot available Leader: Pete DeSimone $25
Sat/Sun, April 8-9, 2017 Eastern Sierra weekend trip - waiting list only Leader: Vic Leipzig
Sat, May 6, 2017 Spring Pelagic Trip Leaders: 5 co-leaders $60
Sun, April 30, 2017 Big Morongo Preserve - Full Leader: Bruce Aird no fee
Sat-Sun, July 8-9, 2017 Mammoth Lakes weekend trip Leader: Vic Leipzig $40
Sat, July 22, 2017 Summer Pelagic Trip Leaders: Jon Dunn & 5 others $60
3rd Wed, monthly - Upper Newport Bay by pontoon boat $10
Payment should be made on the day of the trip; directions will be sent to those with reservations. Contact Nancy Kenyon for reservations.
Information about the past Field Trips & their Recent Trip Lists:
DRAGONFLIES & BUTTERFLIES walk - June 26, 2016 (List)
PELAGIC TRIPS - Trip Reports — Trip Highlights from July 16th trip - Feb. 19 Winter Trip
HUNTINGTON CENTRAL PARK - Fall Migration - (Trip List); Searching for Rarities - (Trip List); Spring - (Trip List)
MORRO BAY weekend trip - Trip list
STARR RANCH (Fall) - Trip List
SEAL BEACH NWR - Report on Dec. 3 field trip
UPPER NEWPORT BAY by pontoon boat - Monthly Reports
Information & Directions for the trips listed above:
WESTERN SNOWY PLOVER field trip to Salt Creek

One of Orange County’s beaches where the Western Snowy Plover (WSPL) consistently roosts is Salt Creek in February. You are invited to come on a special field trip to Salt Creek – a search for the well-camouflaged and oft-thought invisible Western Snowy Plover. We had the good fortune to see the Snowy Plover in October on our trek to Balboa Peninsula. We hope we’re lucky at Salt Creek too!

During the field trip, Sea and Sage Audubon will share information about how Snowy Plovers use the beaches of Orange County – where they feed, roost and nest. This is an opportunity to learn a little about the natural history of the Snowy Plover, and see – we hope - the cutest bird on the beach!

Please join us! Allow yourself 30 minutes to walk from the Parking Area to the Meeting Place on the beach.  It’s a beautiful location and worth the walk.

Meeting Place: On the beach in front of the restroom and Zack’s burger stand which are just to the right at the bottom of the paved road from the Parking Area.  The walk will last about 2 hours, north to Salt Creek and back.
Parking Area: Pay Parking for Salt Creek Beach Park, South Pacific Coast Hwy. and Ritz-Carlton Drive
(33333 South Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point)

Cheryl Egger & Susan Sheakley, Leaders

BOLSA CHICA Ecological Reserve Thursdays: March 16, May 18 — (8:00 a.m. to 12 noon)
Come prepared for a great morning of birding[ to check out the resident birds as well as summer breeding species. Bring binoculars, a field guide, and a scope if you have one. We will meet in Harriet Wieder Park in the lot off Garfield.

Directions: We will meet at the playground in Harriett Wieder Regional Park.  From PCH, turn inland on Seapoint Street. Follow Seapoint 1 mile to Garfield Avenue and make a U-turn.  Drive entry to the playground will be on the right in 0.25 mile.

Vic Leipzig, Leader

Join us in Costa Mesa to explore two adjoining but overlooked parks. Our morning begins in Canyon Park where we will look for warblers and other migrants in the trees around the park. We will then cross over into Talbert Regional Park, walking the perimeter looking for raptors and more migrating birds, over to the Santa Ana riverbed for shorebirds, and then back around through the parks. We shall spend a morning a little off the beaten track and see what there is to discover!
Parking: Free at Canyon Park
Directions (To get to the Canyon Community Park parking lot where we will meet ): Take the 55 freeway heading toward the beach. Once you exit at the end of the 55 freeway, head west (right) on 19th Street. Go approximately 1 mile and make a right onto Monrovia followed by a quick left onto Arbor. After this turn, the park entrance is just ahead on your right. Drive to the lower parking area where there are a number of parking spaces. Parking is free and Canyon Community Park is open from dusk to dawn 7 days a week.

SOUTH SAN DIEGO & the Tijuana River Valley Area
This is an interesting birding area we haven't visited for many years. The Dairy Mart Ponds are a remnant of an old sand mining operation and are now managed by the San Diego County Parks Dept. They are part of the large Tijuana River Valley Regional Park on the U.S.- Mexican border. Fall is a good time to visit the area because it often attracts interesting migrants. We will bird this area for about half an hour and then move over to the Visitor Center where there are restrooms and other areas to bird. John and Gary will be leading the group to several different birding hotspots in the area, depending on what they discover when they do their pre-scouting. The trip was diliberately scheduled for high tide so that we'd have a good chance of seeing Rails.
Directions to the Dairy Mart Ponds: Be sure to start the trip with a full tank of gas since you will loose the group if you have to stop for gas somewhere, once the trip begins.
Allow 2+ hours for the drive down there. . . From Orange County, take I-5 south past Mission Bay, past the airport, past Imperial Beach to the Dairy Mart Road exit and watch for a large dirt turnout on the right hand side about 1/8 of a mile from the exit. Park there. (The turnout does not have a sign, but it's a good place to park off the road.) Bring snacks, your lunch, and your binoculars. (Go easy on the coffee since there may not be a lot of restrooms.) The trip may extend past noon, depending on conditions.
John McKeever (714-623-4357) & Gary Meredith, Leaders

Discover the local birds of our canyons and foothills at Carbon Canyon Regional Park. Offering different habitats, this park provides a glimpse of some birds uncommon throughout most of the county. Birds vary seasonally, but the walk begins at the sycamores and the pond for possible swallows, warblers, flycatchers, herons & egrets, orioles, nuthatches, woodpeckers & sapsuckers, and Red-shouldered Hawks. We will cross into the riparian area for sparrows and more warblers, then head toward the dam for possible Rock Wrens, Cliff Swallows, Greater Roadrunners, California Thrashers, and, in season, Black-chinned Hummingbirds and Horned Larks. Next,we'll head to the redwood grove for finches and accipiters, returning back along the hillside for more raptors and California Quail.
Directions: Carbon Canyon Regional Park is located at 4442 Carbon Canyon Road in Brea. From the 57 freeway, exit on Lambert. Go east on Lambert to Carbon Canyon (park will be on the right). Upon entry to the park, turn left and park in the first parking area on the right, in front of the pond and the children's playground. Be prepared to pay the $5 entrance fee if you don't have a county parks pass.

Join Diane Etchison on a bird walk at Caspers Wilderness Park. The park is home to an abundant number of native species of birds and mammals. The walk will meander through old growth Sycamores, Coast Live Oak, Riparian, and/or Coastal Sage Scrub habitats. Come prepared for a morning of exploring this wonderful park and its abundant wildlife. Wear sturdy shoes.
Directions: Caspers Wilderness Park is located at 33401 Ortega Hwy. in San Juan Capistrano. Take the I-5 Fwy south to the Ortega Highway (#74) and turn left (toward the mountains). Drive 7.6 miles to Caspers Park which will be on your left. Be prepared to pay the $3 entrance fee if you don't have a county parks pass. Meet in the Old Corral day use area.
Diane Etchison, Leader

CBC SPECIALTIES TRIP - 7:00 AM (Jan. 2017)
The purpose of this trip is to search for some of the more unusual birds seen on this year's Christmas Bird Counts. Be sure to bring an Orange County map with you if you don't have a GPS in your car. The length of the trip depends on the weather and the number of birds to be seen. Trip meeting location: We will meet in the Slater St. parking lot at Huntington Central Park. Entrance to the parking lot is between Gothard & Goldenwest in Huntington Beach.
Bruce Aird, Jeff Bray & Vic Leipzig, Co-Leaders

Join us as we explore Craig Regional Park, focusing on summer breeding. The park provides a number of birds in the park's different habitats, from the natural area near the dam, park areas, ponds and creeks. Notable at this park is the year-round Chipping Sparrow population. Parking is free with an OC parks pass, or if you park outside the park; $5 if you park inside.
Directions: Craig Park is located at 3300 N. State College Blvd. in Fullterton. We will meet just behind the ranger station in the nearest parking lot just after you enter. See you there!

Join Diane Etchison for a bird walk at Dana Point headlands and harbor. We will start at the headlands, which is home to many California Gnatcatchers and has great views of the ocean and harbor. Then descend to cover the lower side of the bluffs, the point, and Baby Beach where terns, loons, and grebes are often seen. The last area will be the mouth of the San Juan Creek where Gulls congregate.
Directions: Exit Fwy 5 at Pacific Coast Hwy and turn left at Dana Point Harbor Drive. Park in the lot at the corner of Golden Lantern and Dana Point Harbor Drive. We will car-pool up the hill to the headlands, back down the hill to the Ocean Institute parking area, and then to Doheny State Park. Be prepared to pay an entrance fee to Doheny State Park if you don't have a State Parks pass.
Diane Etchison, Leader

Come join us at Mile Square park as we look for spring migrants as well as the local resident birds. We will meet at the south east end of the north pond (at the corner of Edinger and Euclid) near the rental buildings. There we will look for warblers and nesting raptors, and then circle the pond, head over to the Nature Center for sparrows and more raptors, then down toward the archery range and athletic fields for flycatchers. We will circle back looking for more warblers and other migrants along the tree lined main road. Parking is free along the perimeter, but parking inside requires a OC Parks Pass or paying the $5 parking fee.
Directions: Our meeting location witll be the corner of Edinger and Euclid near the rental buildings in Fountain Valley

BOMMER CANYON nature walk

Come join Ryan Winkleman for a morning nature walk on the public access trails of Bommer Canyon, where we will explore riparian woodlands, mulefat scrub, coastal sage scrub, a freshwater pond, and one of Orange County's last remaining public large, open grasslands. Our primary targets will be spring migrants and summer residents, including swifts, swallows, warblers, Blue Grosbeak, Least Bell's Vireo, and the star of Bommer Canyon, the Grasshopper Sparrow. We will also keep an eye out for non-avian wildlife and will identify the dominant vegetation making up the various on-site habitats. We will be covering approximately 4 miles round trip on primarily flat, maintained, dirt trails. If time allows we may do some light hiking on a slope. There is little to no shade, so sunscreen, water, and a hat are highly recommended; there is a restroom at the trailhead.

Directions: From Culver, turn onto Shady Canyon Drive (opposite Anteater Drive), drive past the Bommer Canyon entrance, then turn left onto Sunnyhill and the Turtle Rock Community Park will be on your left. We will meet in the parking lot of the Turtle Rock Community Park in Irvine at 7:30 am.


Come join us for a walk at Oak Canyon Nature Center, a little jewel nestled in Anaheim Hills. We will bird along the stream and oak woodlands for woodpeckers, warblers, and winter visitors like chickadees, then throuogh the coastal sage scrub along the canyon ridge for Cactus Wrens and Rufous-crowned Sparrows, and up to the Walnut Canyon Reservoir for waterfowl and shorebirds. Parking and entry is free. We will meet at the Nature Center near the parking lot. Address: Oak Canyon Nature Center, 6700 East Walnut Canyon Road, Anaheim, CA 92807

Directions: From the #55 freeway, exit on Nohl Ranch Rd and travel east, then left on E. Walnut Canyon Rd; the park is at the end of the road. From the #91 freeway, exit on Imperial Highway and head soouth, then left on Nohl Ranch Rd heading east to E Walnut Canyon Rd.

IRVINE REGIONAL PARK bird walk (8:00 am to 11:00 am)
Join Linette for a bird walk at Irvine Reg. Park at 8:00 AM. Irvine Psrk supports a large number of resident as well as wintering species, and it does not close when it rains because the connecting roads are paved.
Directions:Take Jamboree NE (toward the mts.) and follow it across Santiago Canyon Rd. and into the park. OR, from the 55 Fwy, exit on Katella & drive east. Katella turns into Villa Park Rd. & then Santiago Cyn. Rd. which you will stay on until it intersects with Jamboree. Turn left on Jamboree & follow it into the park.  Be prepared to pay the $5 entrance fee if you don’t have a county park pass. Meet in the 1st parkinglot on the right after you enter the park.
Leader: Linette Davenport

DRAGONFLIES & BUTTERFLIES WALK at SJWS (10:00 am to 12:30 pm ) —
Join Mike Clayton for a monthly Dragonfly and Butterfly walk around the ponds of the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary in Irvine. We will continue over the footbridge to the Urban Forest Trail, cross over to San Diego Creek, and return along the creek to Audubon House. This is a leisurely walk of approximately 2 miles. Like birds and butterflies, dragonflies are beautiful, colorful, interesting and diverse creatures. There are now many people watching, documenting, and photographing California's fascinating dragonfly and damselfly species.
Directions: We will meet by the front door of Audubon House, at the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary in Irvine.. All children 8 years old and older are welcome. Don't forget your binoculars and cameras. See our dragonfly webpage for information about dragonflies by Mike Clayton..
Mike Clayton, Leader

LAGUNA NIGUEL REGIONAL PARK Wednesday, (8 am to 12 pm ) — March 1, May 3
Join Diane Etchison for a morning of birding at Laguna Niguel Reg. Park at 8:00 am. This park attracts a wide variety of birds due to the landscaped park vegetation and lake.  We will look for early fall migrants and resident species.
Directions: Take the Santa Ana Frwy (5) to the La Paz Road off-ramp. Head west 4 miles to the park entrance. Be prepared to pay the $5 entrance fee if you don’t have a county parks pass.  Meet at the Shelter #3 parking lot at the far end of the park where there is ample parking and a nearby restroom.  (Ask for directions to Shelter 3 at the park entrance kiosk.)  The park is located at 28241 La Paz Rd. in Laguna Niguel.
Diane Etchison, Leader

Join us for a bird walk at Riley Wilderness Park. Come prepared for a morning of exploring this delightful park and its abundant bird life. Wear shoes with good traction; some of the trails are quite steep.
Directions: From the #5 Freeway, exit on Oso Pkwy. and drive inland towards the mountains. Watch for the park entrance on the right just before the road ends at Coto de Caza. For those without a county park pass, the parking fee is $3; you will need to purchase a day-use permit from the park ticket machine.
Diane Etchison, Leader

SAN JOAQUIN WILDLIFE SANCTUARY 2nd Sunday monthly (8 am to 12 pm ) — Mar. 12, Apr. 9, May 14, June 11
Information about the SJWS and its birds
Join Chris Obaditch for a monthly bird walk around the ponds of the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary in Irvine at 8:00 am on the 2nd Sunday morning of each month. Join us to see the birds of the marsh, both migrant and resident. (geese, ducks, grebes, quail, pelicans & cormorants, herons, egrets, ibis, birds of prey, rails & coots, stilts & avocets, shorebirds, gulls & terns, skimmers, doves, hummingbirds, kingfishers, woodpeckers, flycatchers, vireos, crows & ravens, swallows, Wrentits & bushtits, wrens, kinglets & gnatcatchers, mockingbirds & thrashers, pipits & waxwings, warblers, towhees & sparrows, blackbirds & finches) The walk, which is open to interested birders of all ages, will meet by the front door of Audubon House. Children under the age of 11 must be accompanied by an adult.
Directions: (The San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary is located at 5 Riparian View in Irvine; you must enter from Campus Dr.) From the San Diego Fry. (405), exit on Jamboree south toward Newport Beach. At the 1st signal (which is Michelson), turn left. Continue on Michelson (past the old entrance to the SJWS) to the 5th signal which is Harvard and turn right. Drive to University & turn right. Drive to Campus & turn right. Stay in far right lane and immediately turn right onto Riparian View which will enter the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary. (There is a dark green sign by the turnoff indenting this as the route into the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary.) At the end of the road, you will make a sharp left turn down a steep driveway and into the parking lot. The 1st building you will see will be Audubon House; the Duck Club is adjacent to Audubon House. Beyond this area are the ponds and marsh mitigation areas of the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary which are open every day from dawn to dusk. . . . . . (If you miss the turn on to Riparian View, and reach Carl son, which is the next signal, just turn right and go around the block again to Harvard.
Chris Obaditch, Leader

UPPER NEWPORT BAY bird walk Last Sun. of each month - (8:00 to 10:30 am) — Feb. 26
Join Mark Kincheloe for a monthly bird walk in Upper Newport Bay to check out the seasonal shorebirds, ducks, grebes, herons & egrets, etc. that frequent the bay. Bring your binoculars, a field guide, and a scope if you have one. This is a good vantage point to watch for Black Skimmers and terns flying over the water as well as herons & egrets stalking their prey in the shallows.
Directions: The meeting place for this walk is the Big Canyon parking lot in Newport Beach. This is easily reached from Jamboree. Take San Joaquin Hills Road west toward the bay where it intersects with Back Bay Drive. Turn right on Back Bay Drive and follow the road to the Big Canyon parking lot on your left. The length of the bird walk will depend on the tide and the number of birds to be seen.
Sharon Harrow, Leader

UPPER NEWPORT BAY by pontoon boat (R) 3rd Wed. monthly - (8:15 - 11:00 am)
Mar. 15, April 19, May 17, June 21, July & Aug. tba, Sept. 20, etc.
Join us for the rare opportunity of birding the Upper Newport Bay from the deck of a pontoon boat. Spotting birds from the water offers one a different perspective and the birds seem to view us differently also. Trip duration is 2 1/2 hours. We will be using a 15 passenger pontoon boat belonging to the Newport Sea Base. Trip fee is $10 per person to help cover operating expenses. The money will be collected by the trip leader on the day of the outing. Directions to the Sea Base will be emailed to those with reservations. If at all possible, please make your reservation by email so that we can email you back the directions. These trips tend to fill up quickly so advance reservations are recommended.
During the trip, some of the birders will be conducting a bird count. The data from these monthly bird counts in Upper Newport Bay can be found here on our webpage. Copies of the bird count on the day of the outing will be sent to each trip participant.
These trips fill up quickly; don't wait until the last minute to make your reservations! Contact Nancy Kenyon to sign up for a trip.
Nancy Kenyon, Leader

WILDLIFE WALK at the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary (Monthly Walk)
1st Saturday monthly (9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.) — March 4, April 1, May 6, June 3, July 1, Aug. 5, etc.
We'll be exploring the birds, plants, and creatures of the marsh every month on the 1st Saturday morning of each month at 9:00 am in the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary, in Irvine. We'll enjoy the winter migrants, see the baby Mallards learn to swim, watch the Tree Swallows feeding their young, observe the plants going quiet and dormant under the summer's heat, and watch the marsh come alive again as the fall rains appear, and the waterfowl return to the ponds. These walks are still about Seasons of Nature, but with more frequent walks and more wildlife to experience. What's not to like about that? We hope you will join us. We will meet in front of Audubon House.
Directions: (The San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary parking lot is located at 5 Riparian View in Irvine. The only way to enter the area by car is from Campus Drive, not from Michelson.) From the San Diego Fwy (405), exit on Jamboree south toward Newport Beach. At the 1st signal which is Michelson, turn left. Continue on Michelson (past the old entrance to the SJWS) to the 5th signal which is Harvard, and turn right. Drive to University and turn right. Drive on to Campus Drive and turn right. Stay in the far right lane and immediately turn right on to Riparian View which will enter the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary. The entrance road is marked by a green sign. If you miss the turn and reach Carson, turn right and go around the block again. There is ample free parking.
Leaders: Audubon Naturalists

Contact Nancy Kenyon, field trip chair, if you have any questions about these field trips. Some trips require advance reservations; these are marked (R).

updated March 23, 2017


Sea & Sage Audubon Society
PO Box 5447 • Irvine, CA 92616 • 949-261-7963