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Field Trips

Sea & Sage trip at Lake Carneros
photo by Tom Drouet

Our Field Trip Program

Use these links to navigate to a portion of the Field Trip Schedule:

Field Trip Schedule

Fall Field Trips

Winter Field Trips

Spring Field Trips

Summer Field Trips

Use this link to navigate to the Details for each of the Field Trips:

Field Trip Details

Use this link to navigate to the Google Calendar for all Field Trips:

 Field Trip Calendar

Sea and Sage has changed the field trip reservations procedure.

 

For all trips with a fee, participants must make reservations and pay fees using EventBrite, a self-service ticketing platform. For a trip with a limit to the number of participants, you will be able to join a waitlist through EventBrite if the trip is full. Participants do NOT need to pay any service fees to EventBrite.  

Your trip confirmation and detailed trip information will be sent to you by EventBrite using the email address that you provide.  Your trip fee will be refunded (less a small credit card handling fee) if you cancel your reservation via Eventbrite seven days or more before the trip. No refunds will be given if you cancel less than 7 days before the trip.

For most trips without a fee, participants are Requested to make reservations using EventBrite. Some trips without a fee Require reservations using EventBrite due to habitat restrictions at the field trip location.  Participants do NOT need to pay any service fees to use EventBrite for the free trips. We are requesting reservations as a courtesy to the Field Trip Leaders, so that they know how many people to expect and to allow the leader to contact participants before or after the field trip with important information.

 

The description of each field trip has a link to an EventBrite order page. The individual links are shown in the Field Trip Descriptions below. You can also use the Field Trip Calendar to find the trip and date and click through the calendar item to the EventBrite order page.

Trips with ($) have a Trip Fee and require advance registration and payment.
Trips with (P) have a Parking or Entrance fee but do not require advance registration or payment.

For additional info, contact Field Trip Coordinator by email.

We have three types of Birding Trips: DAY TRIPS, WEEKEND TRIPS, and PELAGIC TRIPS.
DAY TRIPS (also known as Bird Walks)

Most of them only occur in the morning.

Some of the day trips are monthly; others occur quarterly or every other month (bi-monthly).

Monthly Bird Walk at the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary (SJWS) – 2nd Sunday

Monthly Bird Walk at Upper Newport Bay (UNB) – last Sunday

Bi-Monthly Bird Walk at the BOLSA CHICA Ecological Reserve (BCER)

Monthly Bird Walk at the CARBON CANYON REGIONAL PARK bird walk (P) – 3rd Sunday alternating with Anaheim Coves Park

Bi-Monthly Bird Walk at the ANAHEIM COVES PARK (ACP)bird walk – 3rd Sunday – alternating with Carbon Canyon Regional Park

Monthly UPPER NEWPORT BAY by pontoon boat – 3rd Wednesday ($)

WEEKEND TRIPS

which are not in Orange County and may require travel and overnight lodging (Participant responsible)

Salton Sea Trip – usually scheduled in January or early February ($)

Eastern Sierra – usually scheduled in early April ($)

Big Morongo Preserve & Vicinity – usually scheduled on a Sunday in late April ($)

Mammoth Lakes Trip – usually scheduled in late May or early June ($)

PELAGIC TRIPS

Each Pelagic trip is an 8-hour trip out of Dana Point

Fall Pelagic – to see fall migrants – usually in September or early October ($)

Winter Pelagic – to see wintering birds – usually in January ($)

Spring Pelagic – to see spring migrants – usually in early May ($)

Summer Pelagic – to see early migrants – usually in July or August ($)

American Birding Association Principles of Birding Ethics

Everyone who enjoys birds and birding must always respect wildlife, its environment, and the rights of others.  In any conflict of interest between birds and birders, the welfare of the birds and their environment comes first.

CODE OF BIRDING ETHICS

Promote the welfare of birds and their environment.

— Support the protection of important bird habitat.

— To avoid stressing birds or exposing them to danger, exercise restraint and caution during observation, photography, sound recording, or filming. 

— Limit the use of recording and other methods of attracting birds, and never use such methods in heavily birded areas or for attracting any species that is Threatened, Endangered, of of Special Concern, or is rare in your local area.

— Keep well back from nests and nesting colonies, roosts, display areas, and important feeding sites.  In such sensitive areas, if there is a need for extended observation, photography, filming , or recording, try to use a blind or hide, and take advantage of natural cover.

— Use artificial light sparingly for filming or photography, especially for close-ups.

— Before advertising the presence of a rare bird, evaluate the potential for disturbance to the bird, its surroundings, and other people in the area, and proceed only if access can be controlled, disturbances can be minimized, and permission has been obtained from private land-owners.  The sites of rare nesting birds should be divulged only to the proper conservation authorities.

— Stay on roads, trails, and paths where they exist; otherwise keep habitat disturbance to a minimum.

Respect the law and the rights of others.

Do not enter private property without the owner’s explicit permission.

Follow all laws, rules, and regulations governing use of roads and public areas, both at home and abroad.

Practice common courtesy in contacts with other people.  Your exemplary behavior will general goodwill with birders and non-birders alike.

Ensure that feeders, nest structures, & other artificial bird environments are safe.

Keep dispensers, water, and food clean and free of decay or disease. It is important to feed birds continually during harsh weather.

Maintain and clean nest structures regularly.

If you are attracting birds to an area, ensure the birds are not exposed to predation from cats and other domestic animals, or dangers posed by artificial hazards.

Group birding, whether organized or impromptu, requires special care.

Areas Covered in this Field Trips Section

Carpooling policy:

For some outings, it is customary that participants make carpooling arrangements. Sea and Sage Audubon does not have insurance for carpooling arrangements and assumes no liability for them.  Carpooling, ride sharing or anything similar is strictly a private arrangement among the participants.  Participants assume the risks associated with this travel.

Field Trip Schedule:

This covers all trips on the schedule. It includes destination, date and time, leader(s) and a link to a detailed description of the trip plus the link to make a reservation.

Field Trip Liability Waivers: 
Every trip participant must read and sign a trip liability waiver before participating in a field trip. The trip leaders for all trips will have copies of the waiver to be signed at the meeting place before the trip.

Group Trip Waiver

for leaders to use only

Pelagic Trip Waiver

For Ocean Institute

Our Policy about Trip Cancellations & Refunds:
Cancelations are handled through EventBrite. Refunds will be credited back to your credit card (less a small credit card handling fee). Cancellations made within 7 days of the trip date will not receive any refund.

Two-Way Radios used on field trips:

We often use two-way radios (aka walky-talkys) on field trips that involve car caravanning. They help to keep the group together on the road and also allow the leader(s) to notify the group of points of interest along the way. They can be very handy. Depending on the kind you buy, some of the newer models have a range of 5-15 miles if there are no mountains or large obstacles in between. Some of the newer models have rechargeable batteries which are helpful. Our field trip program will provide a loaner radio for each car on such a trip if no one in the car already has one.

Questions about our field trips, contact Field Trip Coordinator by email.

Field Trip Schedule

AUGUST 2023

Sun, Aug 13

Jeff Bray

8:00 am – 12 noon

Wed, Aug 20

Samuel Bressler

8:00 am – 12:00 pm

Wed, Aug 23

Darrell Wilson

8:15 am – 11:30 am

Sat, Aug 26

Jon Dunn

6:30 am – 3:00 pm

Sun, Aug 27

Betty Kanne/ Jim Kendall

8:00 am – 11:00 am

SEPTEMBER 2023

Sun, Sept 10

Jeff Bray

8:00 am – 12 noon

Sun, Sept 12

Pete Gordon

7:00 am – 10:00 am

Sun, Sept 17

Samuel Bressler

8:00 am – 12:00 noon

Wed, Sept 20

Darrell Wilson

8:15 am – 11:30 am

Thur, Sept 21

Vic Leipzig

8:00 am – 12:00 noon

Sun, Sept 24

Betty Kanne/ Jim Kendall

8:00 am – 11:30 am

OCTOBER 2023

Sat, Oct 07

Jon Dunn

6:30 am – 4:00 pm

Sun, Oct 08

Jeff Bray

8:00 am – 12 noon

Sun, Oct 15

Samuel Bressler

8:00 am – 12:00 pm

Wed, Oct 18

Darrell Wilson

8:15 am – 11:30 am

Thur, Oct 19

Diane Etchison

8:00 am – 12:00 noon

Sun, Oct 29

Betty Kanne/ Jim Kendall

8:00 am – 12:00 noon

NOVEMBER 2023

Sat, Nov 4

OCBPC escort

1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Sun, Nov 12

Jeff Bray

8:00 am – 12 noon

Wed, Nov 15

Darrell Wilson

8:15 am – 11:30 am

Thur, Nov 16

Vic Leipzig

8:00 am – 12:00 noon

Sun, Nov 19

Samuel Bressler

8:00 am – 12:00 noon

Sun, Nov 26

Betty Kanne/ Jim Kendall

8:00 am – 11:30 am

DECEMBER 2023

Sun, Dec 10

Jeff Bray

8:00 am – 12 noon

Tue, Dec 12

Pete Gordon

7:00 am – 10:00 am

Sun, Dec 17

Doug Lithgow

Wed, Dec 20

Darrell Wilson

8:15 am – 11:30 am

Sat, Dec 23

Darrell Wilson

Sat, Dec 30

Samuel Bressler

JANUARY 2024

Mon, Jan 01

Bettina Eastman

Sun, Jan 14

Jeff Bray

8:00 am – 12 noon

Wed, Jan 17

Darrell Wilson

8:15 am – 11:30 am

Thur, Jan 18

Vic Leipzig

8:00 am – 12:00 noon

Sun, Jan 21

Samuel Bressler

8:00 am – 12:00 noon

Sat-Sun, Jan 27-28

Vic Leipzig

Sun, Jan 28

Betty Kanne/ Jim Kendall

8:00 am – 11:30 am

FEBRUARY 2024

Sun, Feb 11

Jeff Bray

8:00 am – 2:00 pm

Tue, Feb 13

Pete Gordon

7:00 am – 10:00 am

Sat, Feb 17

Bettina Eastman

8:00 am – 2:00 pm

Sun, Feb 18

Samuel Bressler

8:00 am – 12:00 noon

Wed, Feb 21

Darrell Wilson

8:15 am – 11:30 am

Sun, Feb 25

Betty Kanne/ Jim Kendall

8:00 am – 11:00 am

MARCH 2024

Sat, Mar 09

Jon Dunn

6:30 am – 4:00 pm

Sun, Mar 10

Jeff Bray

8:00 am – 12 noon

Wed, Mar 13

Darrell Wilson

8:15 am – 11:30 am

Fri, Mar 15

Diane Etchison

8:00 am – 11:00 am

Sun, Mar 17

Samuel Bressler

8:00 am – 12:00 noon

Thur, Mar 21

Vic Leipzig

8:00 am – 12:00 noon

Sun, Mar 31

Betty Kanne/ Jim Kendall

8:00 am – 11:30 am

APRIL 2024

Sat, Apr 6

Vic Leipzig

Tue, Apr 9

Pete Gordon

7:00 am – 10:00 am

Sun, Apr 14

Jeff Bray

8:00 am – 12 noon

Wed, Apr 17

Darrell Wilson

8:15 am – 11:30 am

Sun, Apr 21

Samuel Bressler

8:00 am – 12:00 noon

Sun, Apr 28

Betty Kanne/ Jim Kendall

8:00 am – 11:30 am

MAY 2024

Sat, May 4

Jon Dunn

6:30 am – 4:00 pm

Sun, May 12

Jeff Bray

8:00 am – 12 noon

Wed, May 15

Darrell Wilson

8:15 am – 11:30 am

Thur, May 16

Vic Leipzig

8:00 am – 12:00 noon

Sun, May 19

Samuel Bressler

8:00 am – 12:00 noon

Sun, May 26

Betty Kanne/ Jim Kendall

8:00 am – 11:30 am

JUNE 2024

Sun, Jun 9

Jeff Bray

8:00 am – 12 noon

Tues, Jun 11

Pete Gordon

7:00 am – 10 am

Sun, Jun 16

Samuel Bressler

8:00 am – 12:00 noon

Sat, Jun 22

Vic Leipzig

Sun, Jun 30

Betty Kanne/ Jim Kendall

8:00 am – 11:30 am

JULY 2024

Sun, Jul 14

Jeff Bray

8:00 am – 12 noon

Thur, Jul 18

Vic Leipzig

8:00 am – 12:00 noon

Sat, Jul 20

Jon Dunn

6:30 am – 4:00 pm

Sun, Jul 21

Samuel Bressler

8:00 am – 12:00 noon

Sun, Jul 28

Betty Kanne/ Jim Kendall

8:00 am – 11:30 am

AUGUST 2024

Sun, Aug 11

Jeff Bray

8:00 am – 12:00 noon

Sun, Aug 18

Samuel Bressler

8:00 am – 12:00 noon

Sun, Aug 25

Betty Kanne/ Jim Kendall

8:00 am – 11:30 am

Wed, Aug 28

Darrell Wilson

8:15 am – 11:30 am

Field Trip Information

SAN JOAQUIN WILDLIFE SANCTUARY bird walk (R)

2nd Sunday monthly — (8:00 am – 12:00 pm) – Leader: Jeff Bray

Join Jeff Bray for the 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, roadrunners, 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.

BOLSA CHICA Ecological Reserve bird walk

3rd Thursday, bi-monthly — (8:00 am – 12:00 pm) – Leader: Vic Leipzig

Come prepared for a great morning of birding to check out the resident birds, wintering species & summer breeding species, as well as migrants. Bring binoculars, a field guide, and a scope if you have one. We will meet in Harriet Wieder Park, then drive to other parts of Bolsa Chica. From PCH, turn inland on Seapoint Street. Follow Seapoint 1 mile to Garfield Avenue and make a U-turn.  Driveway entry to parking lot next to the playground will be on the right in 0.25 mile. 

UPPER NEWPORT BAY bird walk

Last Sunday monthly — (8:00 am – 11:00 am) – Leader: Jim Kendall and Betty Kanne  

Join the monthly bird walk in Upper Newport Bay to view the seasonal shorebirds, ducks, grebes, herons & egrets that frequent the bay. We will continue walking through the adjacent riparian woodland and coastal sage scrub habitat to view resident and seasonally migrating bird species. Bring your binoculars and possibly a scope and camera. This is an excellent 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.

 

Reservation Requested, walk-ins welcome

CARBON CANYON REGIONAL PARK bird walk

3rd Sunday alternating with Anaheim Coves Park — (8:00 am – 12:00 pm) – Leader: Samuel Bressler

Join us on a bi-monthly bird walk to this bird-rich and beautiful park nestled in the Chino Hills of north Orange County. The park hosts a wide variety of habitats, including riparian woodland, oak-walnut woodland, coastal sage scrub, and suburban parkland/green space. In total, over 190 species have been seen here, and depending on the time of year, the park hosts bird species such as Hooded Mergansers, Bell’s Vireos, Lark Sparrows, Rock Wren, and Lawrence’s Goldfinch, as well as all of our common migrant warblers, flycatchers, sparrows, orioles. and others. Birders of all skill levels are welcome.

DIRECTIONS: Meet at the picnic tables near the entrance kiosk. Entrance fee is $5 if you don’t have an OC Parks Pass. (4442 Carbon Canyon Rd, Brea) From CA-57 head east on Lambert Road about 2.5 miles. (Name changes to Carbon Canyon Rd.)

ANAHEIM COVES PARK bird walk

3rd Sunday alternating with Carbon Canyon Regional Park – (8:00 am – 12:00 pm) – Leader: Samuel Bressler

This is a new birding area for our chapter. Join us on a bi-monthly bird walk to this bird-rich park located near the heart of central Anaheim. The large basins within the park and the adjacent Santa Ana River host large numbers of shorebirds, waterfowl, and wading birds, as well as one of very few inland tern colonies found in the county. The adjacent upland and riparian habitat can host a surprising variety of migrant land birds and riparian breeding species. Birders of all skill levels are welcome.

DIRECTIONS: The park is located along the Santa Ana River between Ball Rd and Frontera Street. Parking is free and there are clean restrooms. The address is 962 South Rio Vista in Anaheim. From Lincoln Avenue, head south on S. Rio Vista St. for 0.8 miles. MEET at 8:00 am by the entrance to the park at Rio Vista and Lizbeth.

DANA POINT HARBOR bird walk (P)

Thursday, October 19, 2023 — (8:00 am – noon) Leader: Diane Etchison

Easy walk will include the area around the Ocean Institute, the south end of the island, and Puerto Rd to the mouth of the creek (about a half mile on the sandy beach and back on a paved surface).  Meet in the parking lot next to the old Pilgrim berth at the end of Dana Point Harbor drive (on the left before you get to the Ocean Institute parking area). We will drive to other locations — the island and the Puerto Rd parking lot — and walk to the mouth of the San Juan Creek. Be prepared to pay for parking at Puerto Rd ($1 an hour) or join a carpool from the meetup area.

CASPERS WILDERNESS PARK bird walk (P)

Friday March 15, 2024 — (8:00 – noon) Leader: Diane Etchison

The easy walk will be on flat paved roads and dirt trails. It will cover the entrance area, Ortega Flats Campground, Juaneno to Pumphouse trail loop (about 1 mile), the Nature trail loop (less than a mile), the drip and the Nature Center. We will drive to the different areas. Meet just inside the entrance at 8 AM. Free entrance if you have an OC Parks parking pass; otherwise, there is a $3 entrance fee.

UPPER NEWPORT BAY by pontoon boat ($20)

Third Wednesday monthly — (8:15 am – 11:30 am) Leaders: Darrell Wilson

Join us for the rare chance 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. Trips are limited to 15 people and there is a $20 trip fee per person payable when you register. Contact the Field Trip Coordinator by email with any questions. Directions & trip information will be provided to those with reservations.

Advance reservations are necessary through EventBrite. This is a collection of all the trips for the year. When you get to the EventBrite page, select the date you want and click on the picture or the title of the event to start the reservation process.

Reservations Required

Salton Sea Weekend Trip ($80 per car)

Sat-Sun, late January or early February

photo by Henry Detwiler
White-faced Ibis
photo by Henry Detwiler
photo by Henry Detwiler
Salton Sea Reflection
photo by Henry Detwiler
photo by N. Kenyon
Fig Lagoon in late afternoon
photo by N. Kenyon

The Salton Sea area provides some of the best year-round birding in Southern California. In species diversity, the area is one of the leading localities in the country; some 360 species have been sighted there. In the past, we’ve had woodpeckers, Verdins, Abert’s Towhees, Burrowing Owls, American & Least Bitterns, Sandhill Cranes, White-faced Ibis, and vast numbers of geese, pelicans, ducks, grebes, gulls, and shorebirds.

Our trip this year will be led by Vic Leipzig.

Advance reservations are necessary; Trip fee is $60/car and $10/passenger. 

There are two types of tickets for this trip: Drivers and Passengers.  The Driver ticket costs $60. The Passenger ticket costs $10. Sea and Sage does not participate in the process of establishing carpools other than to provide a list of all ticket holders to participants. Participants can decide to allocate driving and ticket costs.  If you prearrange a carpool, you may purchase all the tickets for the car in one transaction on EventBrite..

Contact the Field Trip Coordinator by email with any questions.

Additional Information:

Meeting place and time will be distributed to those who register.

Bird List from previous 13 Sea & Sage Salton Sea trips – (2006-2018)
Birding Locations at the Salton Sea – from Southwest Birds website
Finding Birds at the Salton Sea and in Imperial County – by Henry Detwiler & Bob Miller (excellent spiral bound bird finding guidebook available for sale at Audubon House)
Guide to Birds of the Salton Sea – by Barbara Massey & Richard Zembel (book – good info on status & distribution of Salton Sea birds)

Reservations Required

Egrets roost

Egrets roost

photos by N. Kenyon
Cormorants roost by the sea
photos by N. Kenyon
Birds leave their nighttime roost at dawn

Birds leave their nighttime roost at dawn

Eastern Sierra Weekend Trip ($)

Sat & Sun, Early April

Tickets on Sale in November

Group birding at the Lek area
Group birding at the Lek area

We will meet in Diaz Lake at 7:00 am on Saturday morning. From there, we will drive up 395 to Bishop, enjoying the magnificent Eastern Sierra scenery and birding along the way. We hope to see tule elk and black-billed Magpies on our drive. Later that afternoon, as well as on Sunday, we will caravan to various sites in the majestic Owens Valley in search of Bald and Golden Eagles, Red Crossbills, Pinyon Jays, Gray-crowned Rosy Finches, and six swallow species including Bank.

Group Birding at Diaz Lake
Group Birding at Diaz Lake
Diaz Lake scenery
Diaz Lake scenery
Group birding near Lone Pine
Group birding near Lone Pine

On Sunday, we will reassemble early in the morning and drive to a Greater Sage-Grouse strutting grounds (or lek) where we will watch the Sage-Grouse display. We will then drive to areas such as Crowley Lake to search for the Sage Thrasher and Common Loon in breeding plumage. Depending on the weather and our time, we may go northeast over the nearby hills to spots for our picnic lunch and mountain birds such as Pinyon Jay, Cassin’s Finch, Williamson’s Sapsucker, White-headed Woodpecker, and Black-backed Woodpecker.

Advance reservations are needed; trip size is limited.  Trip fee is $60/car and $10/passenger. 

There are two types of tickets for this trip: Drivers and Passengers.  The Driver ticket costs $60. The Passenger ticket costs $10. Sea and Sage does not participate in the process of establishing carpools other than to provide a list of all ticket holders to participants. Participants can decide to allocate driving and ticket costs.  If you prearrange a carpool, you may purchase all the tickets for the car in one transaction on EventBrite.

Meeting time & directions to the meeting place will be provided to those with reservations.

Contact the Field Trip Coordinator by email with any questions.

Chinese Tea Rose
Chinese Tea Rose
Great-tailed Grackle
Great-tailed Grackle
Mat Lupine
Mat Lupine
Owens River Gorge
Owens River Gorge
All photos by Tjie Poo
Hike to see Bank Swallows
All photos by Tjie Poo
Bank Swallow site
Bank Swallow site

Additional Information:

Mammoth Lakes & Vicinity ($tbd)

Sat. & Sun., Late June

Tickets on Sale in January

Group will meet at 5:15 am on both Saturday and Sunday

7 car limit- no solo drivers; everyone must carpool from Orange County since there will be no good place to leave a car for the weekend. When you sign up, let me know how many passengers you can take. 

This trip will involve two full days of birding in and around the town of Mammoth Lakes, CA at relatively high elevations (6,000 – 9,000 ft) though we will not be doing any extensive hiking.

On Saturday, we will visit a locations including Virginia Lakes, Mono Lake and Saddlebag Lake.  On Sunday, we’ll spend the morning in Devils Postpile National Monument and the afternoon in the vicinity of Mammoth Lakes.  Since these will be two full days of birding, it will be necessary to drive up to Mammoth on Friday and return home on Monday. Most participants will stay Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights in motels or rental condos in Mammoth Lakes.  Lodging is also available in Lee Vining and June Lake

Target species include Sooty Grouse, Common Nighthawk, Black Swift, Black-backed Woodpecker, Mountain Bluebird, Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch, Red Crossbill, Pine Grosbeak, and Evening Grosbeak.  (See the webpage for a more complete list of birds seen on previous trips there.)

Our meeting time on Saturday will be 5:15 am so we can catch the sunrise over Mono Lake and see the Common Nighthawk. Sunday morning, our meeting time will be 5:15 am and we will bird until late afternoon both days. We will visit pine/fir forests, sagebrush prairie, and some high desert on the shores of Mono Lake. Besides birds, we expect to see some spectacular vistas, and natural features such as old volcanoes, waterfalls, and glacial moraines. We also can expect to see some interesting mammals such as Yellow-bellied Marmot, Pika, Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel and Douglas Squirrel, Mule Deer, Coyote, and Black Bear.

Advance reservations are necessary; trip size is limited.   Trip fee is $60/car and $10/passenger.  

There are two types of tickets for this trip: Drivers and Passengers. The Driver ticket costs $60. The Passenger ticket costs $10. Sea and Sage does not participate in the process of establishing carpools other than to provide a list of all ticket holders to participants. Participants can decide to allocate driving and ticket costs. If you prearrange a carpool, you may purchase all the tickets for the car in one transaction on EventBrite.

Please include the following information when you send in your reservation for this trip:

Additional Information: additional info will be forthcoming

Trip Information

Motel Information

Weather forecasts

Bird Trip List from the past 7 trips

Contact the Field Trip Coordinator by email with any questions.

Reservations Required

Pelagic Trips out of Dana Point

seen on a Winter Pelagic trip photo by John Thomlinson
Rhinoceros Auklet
seen on a Winter Pelagic trip
photo by John Thomlinson
The boat we use for our Pelagic Trips photo by Jeffrey Cowell
R/V Sea Explorer
The boat we use for our Pelagic Trips
photo by Jeffrey Cowell
seen on Winter Pelagic trip photo by John Thomlinson

Bottlenose Dolphin

seen on Winter Pelagic trip
photo by John Thomlinson

FALL TRIP

Sat, Oct 7, 2023

9 hour trip

6:30 am – 4:00 pm

$120 per person

Trip Leader: Jon Dunn

WINTER TRIP

Sat, Jan. 20, 2024

9 hour trip

6:30 am – 4:00 pm

$120 per person

Trip Leader: Jon Dunn

SPRING TRIP

Sat, May 4, 2024

9 hour trip

6:30 am – 4:00 pm

$120 per person

Trip Leader: Jon Dunn

SUMMER TRIP 

Sat, July 20, 2024

9 hour trip

6:30 am – 4:00 pm

$120 per person

Trip Leader: Tom Benson

Advance reservations are mandatory for these trips. The group size is limited to 50 persons including the leaders, and it ALWAYS fills well in advance of the trip date. 

You will be asked to sign the Sea and Sage Trip Waiver before boarding the boat.

You will need to print out, read, and sign a trip waiver for the Ocean Institute and turn it in before boarding the boat. Ocean Institute waiver

We will be using the RV Sea Explorer, a 70 ft. research vessel belonging to the Ocean Institute in Dana Point. It has two decks for viewing the birds, plenty of seating as well as deck space to move around on, a PA system for our trip leaders to use when pointing out the birds to us, and good restroom facilities (heads) on the lower deck.

The Ocean Institute is located at 24200 Dana Point Harbor Drive in Dana Point.

Trip destination is usually the Fourteen-Mile Bank and it takes us a while to get out there. Beginning in May of 2014, all of our pelagic trips – Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter – have been 8 hour trips to allow us more time to study the birds out at the 14-mile bank. (The half hour period before the boat leaves is spent checking in, meeting with the trip leaders who will have some “words of wisdom” to pass on to you, and boarding the boat well in advance of the departure time. The staff on board will also have information to impart.)

THIS IS A NO SMOKING TRIP.

No refunds will be given if received less than 1 week before the trip.

A recently updated checklist to the pelagic birds of Southern California, (link coming soon) prepared by Jon Feenstra, complete with bar graphs and a list of marine mammals found here in Southern California is an excellent reference guide for any pelagic birder.

Trip Leader: Jon Dunn

Contact the Field Trip Coordinator by email with any questions.

Reservations Required

Owl and Hawk Banding (R)

PETE WITH MIGUEL 2012

Pete Bloom with Miguel

O’Neill Regional Park 

Saturday, June 10, 2023

Time: 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm or as long as you want to stay

Parking Fee-$3 w/o Park Pass

The event is free but Click here for Reservations (required).

Pete has been studying California Raptors and working to conserve their habitats for more than 50 years and is now a renowned Raptor Specialist. He will be showing us how he has spent his life, banding hawks and owls in the wild. Raptors (we hope both hawks and owls) will be trapped in “mist nets” and other small cage traps by Pete, Scott and his crew and then be brought to a picnic table, where Pete and Scott will show us characteristic features of the birds. He will band them, record some important data, such as the bird’s weight and molt. Then the birds will be taken back to where they were captured and released. 

Bring your dinner and/or snacks as this event spans the dinner hour. You will need to bring a chair and maybe a lap blanket. It may get cool as the hours go by so bring a jacket and wear sturdy shoes. A flashlight will be very useful to get to the restroom and move around.

We expect you will be hanging out in the day-use (evening) area with us to join the banding work and planning to leave around 10:00-11:00PM (at the earliest) on Saturday night. Scott and Pete may continue banding until 1:00 or 2:00AM.  You can stay as late they work and as late you like in the day-use area, but if you prefer to stay all night and camp or RV, which would be fun, you must make your own reservations for your own campsite. Pete may band again on early Sunday morning, so if you want to return you may arrange that with Pete or Scott.

Owl Banding Map

Quail Hill Open Space Preserve Bird Walk (R)

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2nd Tuesday June, September, December

Join Pete Gordon for a weekday morning of birding the Quail Hill Loop Trail and the Irvine Ranch Water District Settling Ponds at the Quail Hill Open Space Preserve. This trip will last about 2-3 hours depending on the number of bird species we encounter.  The pace will be relaxed.

The skill rating for this trip is “All Levels”:  We will stop when hearing or seeing any birds along the trail.  The focus will be on bird sightings. The terrain is open grassland and scrub with a seasonal pond during rainy seasons, and the settling ponds include wetlands and woodlands.

The difficulty rating for this trip is “Easy to Moderate”:  The loop trail is about 2 miles along a wide dirt path with minimum elevation gain. The settling pond area covers less than 1/2 mile and is flat with little elevation gain or loss.

There are restrooms and water available at the Quail Hill Trailhead parking lot, but please bring bottled water with you on the trip as it can get rather warm as the morning progresses, and I recommend wearing a hat.  There is no shade on the loop trail and limited shade at the settling ponds. Please wear closed-toe shoes or hiking boots.  I recommend you bring binoculars, and if you enjoy photographing birds, your camera. (During the warmer portions of the year, rattlesnakes are present at the preserve.)

Some of the birds that we might encounter on the trip include California Quail, White-tailed Kite, Red-tailed Hawk, Northern Harrier, Lesser Goldfinch, Lawrence’s Goldfinch, Grasshopper Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Lincoln’s Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Western Meadowlark, Greater Roadrunner, Blue Grosbeak, Lazuli Bunting, and Common Yellowthroat.

Directions:  Quail Hill Open Space Preserve is located in Irvine California just off Interstate 405 at Sand Canyon/Shady Canyon Drive. Meet Pete at the Quail Hill Trailhead at 34 Shady Canyon Drive at 7 am on Tuesday.

This trip is limited to 15 people and Reservations are required.  There are no fees for parking.

Reservations Required

Orange County Bird of Prey Center($)

Facility Picture

November 4, 2023, 1:00 3:00 pm

with an optional 0.6-mile bird walk at 4:00 pm

Cost- $25 Donation to the OCBPC

The Orange County Bird of Prey Center is providing Sea and Sage Audubon Society this special opportunity to visit this rehabilitation center for the first time since it opened in 2020. Come join us on Saturday, November 4, 2023. Located on Orange County Parks land, the organization’s new facility was begun in 2020. Designed for rehabilitation as well as education, the site currently includes enclosures capable of housing more than 200 wild birds undergoing rehabilitation as well as permanent housing for non-releasable education birds. The tour will include information about the entire rehabilitation process, from intake to release, as well as details about the care these birds require in order to return to the wild. Finally, you’ll get a chance to meet some of our education ambassadors “in person” and learn more about their stories from several of our volunteer Educators.

How to Reach the Access Gate 
Navigation Address:

Oso Lake Scout Camp

21131 Los Alisos Blvd, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688

Please note that we keep a very low public presence for the safety of the raptors.  We do not have any signs on Los Alisos Blvd.

NOTE: Please do not enter “Orange County Bird of Prey Center” into Google Maps or your navigation system; this will result in you being directed to either the animal hospital or our mailing address.

At the Access Gate

Please plan to arrive between 12:35 and 12:50. Start lining up along the road. The OCBPC escort will greet you along the road, then you will caravan to our entrance and be directed to parking.  

Please comply with the 5 mph signs. If you are causing dust, you are going too fast.

What to Bring

Your enthusiasm, your curiosity, and your love for raptors. Wear closed-toed shoes or boots. You may want to bring your own water, and wear a hat or cap, since we are outside and there is limited shade.  Bring binoculars if you are going on the bird walk.

Reservations Required

San Jacinto Wildlife Area ($)

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Saturday, February 17, 2024

Meeting Time: 8:00 am. The trip will run until 1:30 or 2:00, depending on the birds, the weather, and the whims of the group. Directions and additional information will be given to registered participants prior to the field trip date. Advanced reservations are necessary; trip size is limited and may fill quickly. 

The San Jacinto Wildlife Area consists of a series of ponds which support an abundance of waterfowl and shorebirds under the scenic backdrop of Mt. San Gorgonio and the San Bernardino Mountains. Also, nearby grasslands provide foraging habitat for eagles and a variety of overwintering raptors. Additionally, other varieties of birds can be found using the grasslands such as Loggerhead Shrike, Western Meadowlark, Mountain Bluebird, and several species of wintering sparrows.

Savannah San Jacinto
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We will be driving slowly amongst the ponds for a good portion of the trip and will cover some areas on foot (approximately 2 miles). Walking areas will be on fairly level ground however, there will be a moderate incline on one of the trails to look for Bell’s Sparrows. Two-way radios will be provided to help keep the group together when driving. Participation will be limited due to the restricted space along roads hampering our ability to pull over with a large group of cars. 

The pace of the trip will be determined by the leader’s evaluation of the group and their experience/ability level throughout the trip. Teenagers are welcome with an accompanying adult, however, please keep in mind the described pace of the trip. And, that the drive from Orange County to the location is at least an hour to an hour and a half. Please contact the field trip leader with any questions or concerns.

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Advanced reservations can be made through EventBrite. A fee of $8.50 will be charged at the time of EVENTBRITE registration to cover entrance fees for all participants.
 
Additional information will be emailed to registered participants.

Real rain cancels the trip. We will try to reschedule, weather and road conditions permitting.

Questions?  Please contact field trip leader Bettina Eastman

Reservations Required

Field Trip Calendar

Field Trips

Sea & Sage trip at Lake Carneros
photo by Tom Drouet

Our Field Trip Program

Use these links to navigate to a portion of the Field Trip Schedule:

Field Trip Schedule

Fall Field Trips

Winter Field Trips

Spring Field Trips

Summer Field Trips

Use this link to navigate to the Details for each of the Field Trips:

Field Trip Details

Use this link to navigate to the Google Calendar for all Field Trips:

 Field Trip Calendar

Sea and Sage has changed the field trip reservations procedure.

 

For all trips with a fee, participants must make reservations and pay fees using EventBrite, a self-service ticketing platform. For a trip with a limit to the number of participants, you will be able to join a waitlist through EventBrite if the trip is full. Participants do NOT need to pay any service fees to EventBrite.  

Your trip confirmation and detailed trip information will be sent to you by EventBrite using the email address that you provide.  Your trip fee will be refunded (less a small credit card handling fee) if you cancel your reservation via Eventbrite seven days or more before the trip. No refunds will be given if you cancel less than 7 days before the trip.

For most trips without a fee, participants are Requested to make reservations using EventBrite. Some trips without a fee Require reservations using EventBrite due to habitat restrictions at the field trip location.  Participants do NOT need to pay any service fees to use EventBrite for the free trips. We are requesting reservations as a courtesy to the Field Trip Leaders, so that they know how many people to expect and to allow the leader to contact participants before or after the field trip with important information.

 

The description of each field trip has a link to an EventBrite order page. The individual links are shown in the Field Trip Descriptions below. You can also use the Field Trip Calendar to find the trip and date and click through the calendar item to the EventBrite order page.

Trips with ($) have a Trip Fee and require advance registration and payment.
Trips with (P) have a Parking or Entrance fee but do not require advance registration or payment.

For additional info, contact Field Trip Coordinator by email.

We have three types of Birding Trips: DAY TRIPS, WEEKEND TRIPS, and PELAGIC TRIPS.
DAY TRIPS (also known as Bird Walks)

Most of them only occur in the morning.

Some of the day trips are monthly; others occur quarterly or every other month (bi-monthly).

Monthly Bird Walk at the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary (SJWS) – 2nd Sunday

Monthly Bird Walk at Upper Newport Bay (UNB) – last Sunday

Bi-Monthly Bird Walk at the BOLSA CHICA Ecological Reserve (BCER)

Monthly Bird Walk at the CARBON CANYON REGIONAL PARK bird walk (P) – 3rd Sunday alternating with Anaheim Coves Park

Bi-Monthly Bird Walk at the ANAHEIM COVES PARK (ACP)bird walk – 3rd Sunday – alternating with Carbon Canyon Regional Park

Monthly UPPER NEWPORT BAY by pontoon boat – 3rd Wednesday ($)

WEEKEND TRIPS

which are not in Orange County and may require travel and overnight lodging (Participant responsible)

Salton Sea Trip – usually scheduled in January or early February ($)

Eastern Sierra – usually scheduled in early April ($)

Big Morongo Preserve & Vicinity – usually scheduled on a Sunday in late April ($)

Mammoth Lakes Trip – usually scheduled in late May or early June ($)

PELAGIC TRIPS

Each Pelagic trip is an 8-hour trip out of Dana Point

Fall Pelagic – to see fall migrants – usually in September or early October ($)

Winter Pelagic – to see wintering birds – usually in January ($)

Spring Pelagic – to see spring migrants – usually in early May ($)

Summer Pelagic – to see early migrants – usually in July or August ($)

American Birding Association Principles of Birding Ethics

Everyone who enjoys birds and birding must always respect wildlife, its environment, and the rights of others.  In any conflict of interest between birds and birders, the welfare of the birds and their environment comes first.

CODE OF BIRDING ETHICS

Promote the welfare of birds and their environment.

— Support the protection of important bird habitat.

— To avoid stressing birds or exposing them to danger, exercise restraint and caution during observation, photography, sound recording, or filming. 

— Limit the use of recording and other methods of attracting birds, and never use such methods in heavily birded areas or for attracting any species that is Threatened, Endangered, of of Special Concern, or is rare in your local area.

— Keep well back from nests and nesting colonies, roosts, display areas, and important feeding sites.  In such sensitive areas, if there is a need for extended observation, photography, filming , or recording, try to use a blind or hide, and take advantage of natural cover.

— Use artificial light sparingly for filming or photography, especially for close-ups.

— Before advertising the presence of a rare bird, evaluate the potential for disturbance to the bird, its surroundings, and other people in the area, and proceed only if access can be controlled, disturbances can be minimized, and permission has been obtained from private land-owners.  The sites of rare nesting birds should be divulged only to the proper conservation authorities.

— Stay on roads, trails, and paths where they exist; otherwise keep habitat disturbance to a minimum.

Respect the law and the rights of others.

Do not enter private property without the owner’s explicit permission.

Follow all laws, rules, and regulations governing use of roads and public areas, both at home and abroad.

Practice common courtesy in contacts with other people.  Your exemplary behavior will general goodwill with birders and non-birders alike.

Ensure that feeders, nest structures, & other artificial bird environments are safe.

Keep dispensers, water, and food clean and free of decay or disease. It is important to feed birds continually during harsh weather.

Maintain and clean nest structures regularly.

If you are attracting birds to an area, ensure the birds are not exposed to predation from cats and other domestic animals, or dangers posed by artificial hazards.

Group birding, whether organized or impromptu, requires special care.

Areas Covered in this Field Trips Section

Carpooling policy:

For some outings, it is customary that participants make carpooling arrangements. Sea and Sage Audubon does not have insurance for carpooling arrangements and assumes no liability for them.  Carpooling, ride sharing or anything similar is strictly a private arrangement among the participants.  Participants assume the risks associated with this travel.

Field Trip Schedule:

This covers all trips on the schedule. It includes destination, date and time, leader(s) and a link to a detailed description of the trip plus the link to make a reservation.

Field Trip Liability Waivers: 
Every trip participant must read and sign a trip liability waiver before participating in a field trip. The trip leaders for all trips will have copies of the waiver to be signed at the meeting place before the trip.

Group Trip Waiver

for leaders to use only

Pelagic Trip Waiver

For Ocean Institute

Our Policy about Trip Cancellations & Refunds:
Cancelations are handled through EventBrite. Refunds will be credited back to your credit card (less a small credit card handling fee). Cancellations made within 7 days of the trip date will not receive any refund.

Two-Way Radios used on field trips:

We often use two-way radios (aka walky-talkys) on field trips that involve car caravanning. They help to keep the group together on the road and also allow the leader(s) to notify the group of points of interest along the way. They can be very handy. Depending on the kind you buy, some of the newer models have a range of 5-15 miles if there are no mountains or large obstacles in between. Some of the newer models have rechargeable batteries which are helpful. Our field trip program will provide a loaner radio for each car on such a trip if no one in the car already has one.

Questions about our field trips, contact Field Trip Coordinator by email.

Field Trip Schedule

AUGUST 2023

Sun, Aug 13

Jeff Bray

8:00 am – 12 noon

Wed, Aug 20

Samuel Bressler

8:00 am – 12:00 pm

Wed, Aug 23

Darrell Wilson

8:15 am – 11:30 am

Sat, Aug 26

Jon Dunn

6:30 am – 3:00 pm

Sun, Aug 27

Betty Kanne/ Jim Kendall

8:00 am – 11:00 am

SEPTEMBER 2023

Sun, Sept 10

Jeff Bray

8:00 am – 12 noon

Sun, Sept 12

Pete Gordon

7:00 am – 10:00 am

Sun, Sept 17

Samuel Bressler

8:00 am – 12:00 noon

Wed, Sept 20

Darrell Wilson

8:15 am – 11:30 am

Thur, Sept 21

Vic Leipzig

8:00 am – 12:00 noon

Sun, Sept 24

Betty Kanne/ Jim Kendall

8:00 am – 11:30 am

OCTOBER 2023

Sat, Oct 07

Jon Dunn

6:30 am – 4:00 pm

Sun, Oct 08

Jeff Bray

8:00 am – 12 noon

Sun, Oct 15

Samuel Bressler

8:00 am – 12:00 pm

Wed, Oct 18

Darrell Wilson

8:15 am – 11:30 am

Thur, Oct 19

Diane Etchison

8:00 am – 12:00 noon

Sun, Oct 29

Betty Kanne/ Jim Kendall

8:00 am – 12:00 noon

NOVEMBER 2023

Sat, Nov 4

OCBPC escort

1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Sun, Nov 12

Jeff Bray

8:00 am – 12 noon

Wed, Nov 15

Darrell Wilson

8:15 am – 11:30 am

Thur, Nov 16

Vic Leipzig

8:00 am – 12:00 noon

Sun, Nov 19

Samuel Bressler

8:00 am – 12:00 noon

Sun, Nov 26

Betty Kanne/ Jim Kendall

8:00 am – 11:30 am

DECEMBER 2023

Sun, Dec 10

Jeff Bray

8:00 am – 12 noon

Tue, Dec 12

Pete Gordon

7:00 am – 10:00 am

Sun, Dec 17

Doug Lithgow

Wed, Dec 20

Darrell Wilson

8:15 am – 11:30 am

Sat, Dec 23

Darrell Wilson

Sat, Dec 30

Samuel Bressler

JANUARY 2024

Mon, Jan 01

Bettina Eastman

Sun, Jan 14

Jeff Bray

8:00 am – 12 noon

Wed, Jan 17

Darrell Wilson

8:15 am – 11:30 am

Thur, Jan 18

Vic Leipzig

8:00 am – 12:00 noon

Sun, Jan 21

Samuel Bressler

8:00 am – 12:00 noon

Sat-Sun, Jan 27-28

Vic Leipzig

Sun, Jan 28

Betty Kanne/ Jim Kendall

8:00 am – 11:30 am

FEBRUARY 2024

Sun, Feb 11

Jeff Bray

8:00 am – 2:00 pm

Tue, Feb 13

Pete Gordon

7:00 am – 10:00 am

Sat, Feb 17

Bettina Eastman

8:00 am – 2:00 pm

Sun, Feb 18

Samuel Bressler

8:00 am – 12:00 noon

Wed, Feb 21

Darrell Wilson

8:15 am – 11:30 am

Sun, Feb 25

Betty Kanne/ Jim Kendall

8:00 am – 11:00 am

MARCH 2024

Sat, Mar 09

Jon Dunn

6:30 am – 4:00 pm

Sun, Mar 10

Jeff Bray

8:00 am – 12 noon

Wed, Mar 13

Darrell Wilson

8:15 am – 11:30 am

Fri, Mar 15

Diane Etchison

8:00 am – 11:00 am

Sun, Mar 17

Samuel Bressler

8:00 am – 12:00 noon

Thur, Mar 21

Vic Leipzig

8:00 am – 12:00 noon

Sun, Mar 31

Betty Kanne/ Jim Kendall

8:00 am – 11:30 am

APRIL 2024

Sat, Apr 6

Vic Leipzig

Tue, Apr 9

Pete Gordon

7:00 am – 10:00 am

Sun, Apr 14

Jeff Bray

8:00 am – 12 noon

Wed, Apr 17

Darrell Wilson

8:15 am – 11:30 am

Sun, Apr 21

Samuel Bressler

8:00 am – 12:00 noon

Sun, Apr 28

Betty Kanne/ Jim Kendall

8:00 am – 11:30 am

MAY 2024

Sat, May 4

Jon Dunn

6:30 am – 4:00 pm

Sun, May 12

Jeff Bray

8:00 am – 12 noon

Wed, May 15

Darrell Wilson

8:15 am – 11:30 am

Thur, May 16

Vic Leipzig

8:00 am – 12:00 noon

Sun, May 19

Samuel Bressler

8:00 am – 12:00 noon

Sun, May 26

Betty Kanne/ Jim Kendall

8:00 am – 11:30 am

JUNE 2024

Sun, Jun 9

Jeff Bray

8:00 am – 12 noon

Tues, Jun 11

Pete Gordon

7:00 am – 10 am

Sun, Jun 16

Samuel Bressler

8:00 am – 12:00 noon

Sat, Jun 22

Vic Leipzig

Sun, Jun 30

Betty Kanne/ Jim Kendall

8:00 am – 11:30 am

JULY 2024

Sun, Jul 14

Jeff Bray

8:00 am – 12 noon

Thur, Jul 18

Vic Leipzig

8:00 am – 12:00 noon

Sat, Jul 20

Jon Dunn

6:30 am – 4:00 pm

Sun, Jul 21

Samuel Bressler

8:00 am – 12:00 noon

Sun, Jul 28

Betty Kanne/ Jim Kendall

8:00 am – 11:30 am

AUGUST 2024

Sun, Aug 11

Jeff Bray

8:00 am – 12:00 noon

Sun, Aug 18

Samuel Bressler

8:00 am – 12:00 noon

Sun, Aug 25

Betty Kanne/ Jim Kendall

8:00 am – 11:30 am

Wed, Aug 28

Darrell Wilson

8:15 am – 11:30 am

Field Trip Information

SAN JOAQUIN WILDLIFE SANCTUARY bird walk (R)

2nd Sunday monthly — (8:00 am – 12:00 pm) – Leader: Jeff Bray

Join Jeff Bray for the 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, roadrunners, 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.

BOLSA CHICA Ecological Reserve bird walk

3rd Thursday, bi-monthly — (8:00 am – 12:00 pm) – Leader: Vic Leipzig

Come prepared for a great morning of birding to check out the resident birds, wintering species & summer breeding species, as well as migrants. Bring binoculars, a field guide, and a scope if you have one. We will meet in Harriet Wieder Park, then drive to other parts of Bolsa Chica. From PCH, turn inland on Seapoint Street. Follow Seapoint 1 mile to Garfield Avenue and make a U-turn.  Driveway entry to parking lot next to the playground will be on the right in 0.25 mile. 

UPPER NEWPORT BAY bird walk

Last Sunday monthly — (8:00 am – 11:00 am) – Leader: Jim Kendall and Betty Kanne  

Join the monthly bird walk in Upper Newport Bay to view the seasonal shorebirds, ducks, grebes, herons & egrets that frequent the bay. We will continue walking through the adjacent riparian woodland and coastal sage scrub habitat to view resident and seasonally migrating bird species. Bring your binoculars and possibly a scope and camera. This is an excellent 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.

 

Reservation Requested, walk-ins welcome

CARBON CANYON REGIONAL PARK bird walk

3rd Sunday alternating with Anaheim Coves Park — (8:00 am – 12:00 pm) – Leader: Samuel Bressler

Join us on a bi-monthly bird walk to this bird-rich and beautiful park nestled in the Chino Hills of north Orange County. The park hosts a wide variety of habitats, including riparian woodland, oak-walnut woodland, coastal sage scrub, and suburban parkland/green space. In total, over 190 species have been seen here, and depending on the time of year, the park hosts bird species such as Hooded Mergansers, Bell’s Vireos, Lark Sparrows, Rock Wren, and Lawrence’s Goldfinch, as well as all of our common migrant warblers, flycatchers, sparrows, orioles. and others. Birders of all skill levels are welcome.

DIRECTIONS: Meet at the picnic tables near the entrance kiosk. Entrance fee is $5 if you don’t have an OC Parks Pass. (4442 Carbon Canyon Rd, Brea) From CA-57 head east on Lambert Road about 2.5 miles. (Name changes to Carbon Canyon Rd.)

ANAHEIM COVES PARK bird walk

3rd Sunday alternating with Carbon Canyon Regional Park – (8:00 am – 12:00 pm) – Leader: Samuel Bressler

This is a new birding area for our chapter. Join us on a bi-monthly bird walk to this bird-rich park located near the heart of central Anaheim. The large basins within the park and the adjacent Santa Ana River host large numbers of shorebirds, waterfowl, and wading birds, as well as one of very few inland tern colonies found in the county. The adjacent upland and riparian habitat can host a surprising variety of migrant land birds and riparian breeding species. Birders of all skill levels are welcome.

DIRECTIONS: The park is located along the Santa Ana River between Ball Rd and Frontera Street. Parking is free and there are clean restrooms. The address is 962 South Rio Vista in Anaheim. From Lincoln Avenue, head south on S. Rio Vista St. for 0.8 miles. MEET at 8:00 am by the entrance to the park at Rio Vista and Lizbeth.

DANA POINT HARBOR bird walk (P)

Thursday, October 19, 2023 — (8:00 am – noon) Leader: Diane Etchison

Easy walk will include the area around the Ocean Institute, the south end of the island, and Puerto Rd to the mouth of the creek (about a half mile on the sandy beach and back on a paved surface).  Meet in the parking lot next to the old Pilgrim berth at the end of Dana Point Harbor drive (on the left before you get to the Ocean Institute parking area). We will drive to other locations — the island and the Puerto Rd parking lot — and walk to the mouth of the San Juan Creek. Be prepared to pay for parking at Puerto Rd ($1 an hour) or join a carpool from the meetup area.

CASPERS WILDERNESS PARK bird walk (P)

Friday March 15, 2024 — (8:00 – noon) Leader: Diane Etchison

The easy walk will be on flat paved roads and dirt trails. It will cover the entrance area, Ortega Flats Campground, Juaneno to Pumphouse trail loop (about 1 mile), the Nature trail loop (less than a mile), the drip and the Nature Center. We will drive to the different areas. Meet just inside the entrance at 8 AM. Free entrance if you have an OC Parks parking pass; otherwise, there is a $3 entrance fee.

UPPER NEWPORT BAY by pontoon boat ($20)

Third Wednesday monthly — (8:15 am – 11:30 am) Leaders: Darrell Wilson

Join us for the rare chance 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. Trips are limited to 15 people and there is a $20 trip fee per person payable when you register. Contact the Field Trip Coordinator by email with any questions. Directions & trip information will be provided to those with reservations.

Advance reservations are necessary through EventBrite. This is a collection of all the trips for the year. When you get to the EventBrite page, select the date you want and click on the picture or the title of the event to start the reservation process.

Reservations Required

Salton Sea Weekend Trip ($80 per car)

Sat-Sun, late January or early February

photo by Henry Detwiler
White-faced Ibis
photo by Henry Detwiler
photo by Henry Detwiler
Salton Sea Reflection
photo by Henry Detwiler
photo by N. Kenyon
Fig Lagoon in late afternoon
photo by N. Kenyon

The Salton Sea area provides some of the best year-round birding in Southern California. In species diversity, the area is one of the leading localities in the country; some 360 species have been sighted there. In the past, we’ve had woodpeckers, Verdins, Abert’s Towhees, Burrowing Owls, American & Least Bitterns, Sandhill Cranes, White-faced Ibis, and vast numbers of geese, pelicans, ducks, grebes, gulls, and shorebirds.

Our trip this year will be led by Vic Leipzig.

Advance reservations are necessary; Trip fee is $60/car and $10/passenger. 

There are two types of tickets for this trip: Drivers and Passengers.  The Driver ticket costs $60. The Passenger ticket costs $10. Sea and Sage does not participate in the process of establishing carpools other than to provide a list of all ticket holders to participants. Participants can decide to allocate driving and ticket costs.  If you prearrange a carpool, you may purchase all the tickets for the car in one transaction on EventBrite..

Contact the Field Trip Coordinator by email with any questions.

Additional Information:

Meeting place and time will be distributed to those who register.

Bird List from previous 13 Sea & Sage Salton Sea trips – (2006-2018)
Birding Locations at the Salton Sea – from Southwest Birds website
Finding Birds at the Salton Sea and in Imperial County – by Henry Detwiler & Bob Miller (excellent spiral bound bird finding guidebook available for sale at Audubon House)
Guide to Birds of the Salton Sea – by Barbara Massey & Richard Zembel (book – good info on status & distribution of Salton Sea birds)

Reservations Required

Egrets roost

Egrets roost

photos by N. Kenyon
Cormorants roost by the sea
photos by N. Kenyon
Birds leave their nighttime roost at dawn

Birds leave their nighttime roost at dawn

Eastern Sierra Weekend Trip ($)

Sat & Sun, Early April

Tickets on Sale in November

Group birding at the Lek area
Group birding at the Lek area

We will meet in Diaz Lake at 7:00 am on Saturday morning. From there, we will drive up 395 to Bishop, enjoying the magnificent Eastern Sierra scenery and birding along the way. We hope to see tule elk and black-billed Magpies on our drive. Later that afternoon, as well as on Sunday, we will caravan to various sites in the majestic Owens Valley in search of Bald and Golden Eagles, Red Crossbills, Pinyon Jays, Gray-crowned Rosy Finches, and six swallow species including Bank.

Group Birding at Diaz Lake
Group Birding at Diaz Lake
Diaz Lake scenery
Diaz Lake scenery
Group birding near Lone Pine
Group birding near Lone Pine

On Sunday, we will reassemble early in the morning and drive to a Greater Sage-Grouse strutting grounds (or lek) where we will watch the Sage-Grouse display. We will then drive to areas such as Crowley Lake to search for the Sage Thrasher and Common Loon in breeding plumage. Depending on the weather and our time, we may go northeast over the nearby hills to spots for our picnic lunch and mountain birds such as Pinyon Jay, Cassin’s Finch, Williamson’s Sapsucker, White-headed Woodpecker, and Black-backed Woodpecker.

Advance reservations are needed; trip size is limited.  Trip fee is $60/car and $10/passenger. 

There are two types of tickets for this trip: Drivers and Passengers.  The Driver ticket costs $60. The Passenger ticket costs $10. Sea and Sage does not participate in the process of establishing carpools other than to provide a list of all ticket holders to participants. Participants can decide to allocate driving and ticket costs.  If you prearrange a carpool, you may purchase all the tickets for the car in one transaction on EventBrite.

Meeting time & directions to the meeting place will be provided to those with reservations.

Contact the Field Trip Coordinator by email with any questions.

Chinese Tea Rose
Chinese Tea Rose
Great-tailed Grackle
Great-tailed Grackle
Mat Lupine
Mat Lupine
Owens River Gorge
Owens River Gorge
All photos by Tjie Poo
Hike to see Bank Swallows
All photos by Tjie Poo
Bank Swallow site
Bank Swallow site

Additional Information:

Mammoth Lakes & Vicinity ($tbd)

Sat. & Sun., Late June

Tickets on Sale in January

Group will meet at 5:15 am on both Saturday and Sunday

7 car limit- no solo drivers; everyone must carpool from Orange County since there will be no good place to leave a car for the weekend. When you sign up, let me know how many passengers you can take. 

This trip will involve two full days of birding in and around the town of Mammoth Lakes, CA at relatively high elevations (6,000 – 9,000 ft) though we will not be doing any extensive hiking.

On Saturday, we will visit a locations including Virginia Lakes, Mono Lake and Saddlebag Lake.  On Sunday, we’ll spend the morning in Devils Postpile National Monument and the afternoon in the vicinity of Mammoth Lakes.  Since these will be two full days of birding, it will be necessary to drive up to Mammoth on Friday and return home on Monday. Most participants will stay Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights in motels or rental condos in Mammoth Lakes.  Lodging is also available in Lee Vining and June Lake

Target species include Sooty Grouse, Common Nighthawk, Black Swift, Black-backed Woodpecker, Mountain Bluebird, Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch, Red Crossbill, Pine Grosbeak, and Evening Grosbeak.  (See the webpage for a more complete list of birds seen on previous trips there.)

Our meeting time on Saturday will be 5:15 am so we can catch the sunrise over Mono Lake and see the Common Nighthawk. Sunday morning, our meeting time will be 5:15 am and we will bird until late afternoon both days. We will visit pine/fir forests, sagebrush prairie, and some high desert on the shores of Mono Lake. Besides birds, we expect to see some spectacular vistas, and natural features such as old volcanoes, waterfalls, and glacial moraines. We also can expect to see some interesting mammals such as Yellow-bellied Marmot, Pika, Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel and Douglas Squirrel, Mule Deer, Coyote, and Black Bear.

Advance reservations are necessary; trip size is limited.   Trip fee is $60/car and $10/passenger.  

There are two types of tickets for this trip: Drivers and Passengers. The Driver ticket costs $60. The Passenger ticket costs $10. Sea and Sage does not participate in the process of establishing carpools other than to provide a list of all ticket holders to participants. Participants can decide to allocate driving and ticket costs. If you prearrange a carpool, you may purchase all the tickets for the car in one transaction on EventBrite.

Please include the following information when you send in your reservation for this trip:

Additional Information: additional info will be forthcoming

Trip Information

Motel Information

Weather forecasts

Bird Trip List from the past 7 trips

Contact the Field Trip Coordinator by email with any questions.

Reservations Required

Pelagic Trips out of Dana Point

seen on a Winter Pelagic trip photo by John Thomlinson
Rhinoceros Auklet
seen on a Winter Pelagic trip
photo by John Thomlinson
The boat we use for our Pelagic Trips photo by Jeffrey Cowell
R/V Sea Explorer
The boat we use for our Pelagic Trips
photo by Jeffrey Cowell
seen on Winter Pelagic trip photo by John Thomlinson

Bottlenose Dolphin

seen on Winter Pelagic trip
photo by John Thomlinson

FALL TRIP

Sat, Oct 7, 2023

9 hour trip

6:30 am – 4:00 pm

$120 per person

Trip Leader: Jon Dunn

WINTER TRIP

Sat, Jan. 20, 2024

9 hour trip

6:30 am – 4:00 pm

$120 per person

Trip Leader: Jon Dunn

SPRING TRIP

Sat, May 4, 2024

9 hour trip

6:30 am – 4:00 pm

$120 per person

Trip Leader: Jon Dunn

SUMMER TRIP 

Sat, July 20, 2024

9 hour trip

6:30 am – 4:00 pm

$120 per person

Trip Leader: Tom Benson

Advance reservations are mandatory for these trips. The group size is limited to 50 persons including the leaders, and it ALWAYS fills well in advance of the trip date. 

You will be asked to sign the Sea and Sage Trip Waiver before boarding the boat.

You will need to print out, read, and sign a trip waiver for the Ocean Institute and turn it in before boarding the boat. Ocean Institute waiver

We will be using the RV Sea Explorer, a 70 ft. research vessel belonging to the Ocean Institute in Dana Point. It has two decks for viewing the birds, plenty of seating as well as deck space to move around on, a PA system for our trip leaders to use when pointing out the birds to us, and good restroom facilities (heads) on the lower deck.

The Ocean Institute is located at 24200 Dana Point Harbor Drive in Dana Point.

Trip destination is usually the Fourteen-Mile Bank and it takes us a while to get out there. Beginning in May of 2014, all of our pelagic trips – Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter – have been 8 hour trips to allow us more time to study the birds out at the 14-mile bank. (The half hour period before the boat leaves is spent checking in, meeting with the trip leaders who will have some “words of wisdom” to pass on to you, and boarding the boat well in advance of the departure time. The staff on board will also have information to impart.)

THIS IS A NO SMOKING TRIP.

No refunds will be given if received less than 1 week before the trip.

A recently updated checklist to the pelagic birds of Southern California, (link coming soon) prepared by Jon Feenstra, complete with bar graphs and a list of marine mammals found here in Southern California is an excellent reference guide for any pelagic birder.

Trip Leader: Jon Dunn

Contact the Field Trip Coordinator by email with any questions.

Reservations Required

Owl and Hawk Banding (R)

PETE WITH MIGUEL 2012

Pete Bloom with Miguel

O’Neill Regional Park 

Saturday, June 10, 2023

Time: 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm or as long as you want to stay

Parking Fee-$3 w/o Park Pass

The event is free but Click here for Reservations (required).

Pete has been studying California Raptors and working to conserve their habitats for more than 50 years and is now a renowned Raptor Specialist. He will be showing us how he has spent his life, banding hawks and owls in the wild. Raptors (we hope both hawks and owls) will be trapped in “mist nets” and other small cage traps by Pete, Scott and his crew and then be brought to a picnic table, where Pete and Scott will show us characteristic features of the birds. He will band them, record some important data, such as the bird’s weight and molt. Then the birds will be taken back to where they were captured and released. 

Bring your dinner and/or snacks as this event spans the dinner hour. You will need to bring a chair and maybe a lap blanket. It may get cool as the hours go by so bring a jacket and wear sturdy shoes. A flashlight will be very useful to get to the restroom and move around.

We expect you will be hanging out in the day-use (evening) area with us to join the banding work and planning to leave around 10:00-11:00PM (at the earliest) on Saturday night. Scott and Pete may continue banding until 1:00 or 2:00AM.  You can stay as late they work and as late you like in the day-use area, but if you prefer to stay all night and camp or RV, which would be fun, you must make your own reservations for your own campsite. Pete may band again on early Sunday morning, so if you want to return you may arrange that with Pete or Scott.

Owl Banding Map

Quail Hill Open Space Preserve Bird Walk (R)

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2nd Tuesday June, September, December

Join Pete Gordon for a weekday morning of birding the Quail Hill Loop Trail and the Irvine Ranch Water District Settling Ponds at the Quail Hill Open Space Preserve. This trip will last about 2-3 hours depending on the number of bird species we encounter.  The pace will be relaxed.

The skill rating for this trip is “All Levels”:  We will stop when hearing or seeing any birds along the trail.  The focus will be on bird sightings. The terrain is open grassland and scrub with a seasonal pond during rainy seasons, and the settling ponds include wetlands and woodlands.

The difficulty rating for this trip is “Easy to Moderate”:  The loop trail is about 2 miles along a wide dirt path with minimum elevation gain. The settling pond area covers less than 1/2 mile and is flat with little elevation gain or loss.

There are restrooms and water available at the Quail Hill Trailhead parking lot, but please bring bottled water with you on the trip as it can get rather warm as the morning progresses, and I recommend wearing a hat.  There is no shade on the loop trail and limited shade at the settling ponds. Please wear closed-toe shoes or hiking boots.  I recommend you bring binoculars, and if you enjoy photographing birds, your camera. (During the warmer portions of the year, rattlesnakes are present at the preserve.)

Some of the birds that we might encounter on the trip include California Quail, White-tailed Kite, Red-tailed Hawk, Northern Harrier, Lesser Goldfinch, Lawrence’s Goldfinch, Grasshopper Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Lincoln’s Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Western Meadowlark, Greater Roadrunner, Blue Grosbeak, Lazuli Bunting, and Common Yellowthroat.

Directions:  Quail Hill Open Space Preserve is located in Irvine California just off Interstate 405 at Sand Canyon/Shady Canyon Drive. Meet Pete at the Quail Hill Trailhead at 34 Shady Canyon Drive at 7 am on Tuesday.

This trip is limited to 15 people and Reservations are required.  There are no fees for parking.

Reservations Required

Orange County Bird of Prey Center($)

Facility Picture

November 4, 2023, 1:00 3:00 pm

with an optional 0.6-mile bird walk at 4:00 pm

Cost- $25 Donation to the OCBPC

The Orange County Bird of Prey Center is providing Sea and Sage Audubon Society this special opportunity to visit this rehabilitation center for the first time since it opened in 2020. Come join us on Saturday, November 4, 2023. Located on Orange County Parks land, the organization’s new facility was begun in 2020. Designed for rehabilitation as well as education, the site currently includes enclosures capable of housing more than 200 wild birds undergoing rehabilitation as well as permanent housing for non-releasable education birds. The tour will include information about the entire rehabilitation process, from intake to release, as well as details about the care these birds require in order to return to the wild. Finally, you’ll get a chance to meet some of our education ambassadors “in person” and learn more about their stories from several of our volunteer Educators.

How to Reach the Access Gate 
Navigation Address:

Oso Lake Scout Camp

21131 Los Alisos Blvd, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688

Please note that we keep a very low public presence for the safety of the raptors.  We do not have any signs on Los Alisos Blvd.

NOTE: Please do not enter “Orange County Bird of Prey Center” into Google Maps or your navigation system; this will result in you being directed to either the animal hospital or our mailing address.

At the Access Gate

Please plan to arrive between 12:35 and 12:50. Start lining up along the road. The OCBPC escort will greet you along the road, then you will caravan to our entrance and be directed to parking.  

Please comply with the 5 mph signs. If you are causing dust, you are going too fast.

What to Bring

Your enthusiasm, your curiosity, and your love for raptors. Wear closed-toed shoes or boots. You may want to bring your own water, and wear a hat or cap, since we are outside and there is limited shade.  Bring binoculars if you are going on the bird walk.

Reservations Required

San Jacinto Wildlife Area ($)

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Saturday, February 17, 2024

Meeting Time: 8:00 am. The trip will run until 1:30 or 2:00, depending on the birds, the weather, and the whims of the group. Directions and additional information will be given to registered participants prior to the field trip date. Advanced reservations are necessary; trip size is limited and may fill quickly. 

The San Jacinto Wildlife Area consists of a series of ponds which support an abundance of waterfowl and shorebirds under the scenic backdrop of Mt. San Gorgonio and the San Bernardino Mountains. Also, nearby grasslands provide foraging habitat for eagles and a variety of overwintering raptors. Additionally, other varieties of birds can be found using the grasslands such as Loggerhead Shrike, Western Meadowlark, Mountain Bluebird, and several species of wintering sparrows.

Savannah San Jacinto
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We will be driving slowly amongst the ponds for a good portion of the trip and will cover some areas on foot (approximately 2 miles). Walking areas will be on fairly level ground however, there will be a moderate incline on one of the trails to look for Bell’s Sparrows. Two-way radios will be provided to help keep the group together when driving. Participation will be limited due to the restricted space along roads hampering our ability to pull over with a large group of cars. 

The pace of the trip will be determined by the leader’s evaluation of the group and their experience/ability level throughout the trip. Teenagers are welcome with an accompanying adult, however, please keep in mind the described pace of the trip. And, that the drive from Orange County to the location is at least an hour to an hour and a half. Please contact the field trip leader with any questions or concerns.

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Advanced reservations can be made through EventBrite. A fee of $8.50 will be charged at the time of EVENTBRITE registration to cover entrance fees for all participants.
 
Additional information will be emailed to registered participants.

Real rain cancels the trip. We will try to reschedule, weather and road conditions permitting.

Questions?  Please contact field trip leader Bettina Eastman

Reservations Required

Field Trip Calendar