San Mateo County, California
Weekday Walks and Field Trips with Donna Pomeroy on the First Wednesday of every month to some places we may not normally bird and usually in San Mateo County. For all trips carpooling is preferred. Contact Donna to arrange if a carpool location is not already suggested. Rain cancels trips.
Trip details found in dated listings below.
Leader: Donna Pomeroy firstname.lastname@example.org
Don't forget to check Other Activities for field trips of interest not sponsored by SAS.
Birding by bike: raptors and rarities of Pescadero
Saturday, January 21, 9:00am - 12:00pm
On this biking trip we'll explore areas of Cloverdale and Stage Road, looking for wintering raptors such as Peregrine Falcons, Merlins, and Ferruginous Hawks. In addition, we'll try to track down any rarities located on the Ano Nuevo CBC, such as rare sapsuckers, Eastern Phoebes, or Rough-legged Hawks. 6-8 miles of biking in total. Heavy rain cancels. Any bike is fine, but you should come prepared with binoculars, water, sunscreen, warm clothes, and snacks.
Directions: We'll meet in the gravel parking lot in Pescadero at the intersection of Pescadero Creek Road and Stage Road. This is right across from the gas station, on the south side of the road.
Leader: Rob Furrow Contact: email@example.com
Panoche Valley (RSVP required)
Sunday, January 22, 8:30am - 5:00pm
Attendance must be confirmed to the leaders.
Join Francis and Gary on a one-day trip to Panoche Valley . Panoche Valley lies between Hwy 101 and Hwy 5 in San Benito County. Winter in Little Panoche Valley is great for raptors! Golden Eagle, Ferruginous Hawk, and Prairie Falcon are all possible. We also hope to see Roadrunner, Lewis's Woodpecker, Phainopepla, Mountain Bluebird, Rufous-crowned and Vesper Sparrows. In a good year, we may find Mountain Plover, Chukar, Sage Thrasher and possibly Bald Eagle.
Directions: Meet at 8:30am at Paicines Reservoir, on the right just past the junction of Hwy 25 and County Road J1, 13 miles south of Hollister. From San Mateo, take Hwy 101 south to Hwy 25; follow Hwy 25 through Hollister to Paicines. Bring lunch and liquids and a full tank of gas. Call if you are running late or lost; heavy rain cancels.
Education Series: Gulls! Gulls! Gulls!
Saturday, January 28, 9:00am - 1:00pm
This field trip, the first of our new Education Series, will help you improve your understanding of the life of gulls and develop your gull identification skills! Gulls are easy to see. but for all their ease of viewing they can be frustratingly difficult to ID. In the month of January there is a potential to see 7 species of expected gull on our coast side and the chance of something rare! Our goal is to view and learn the field marks of the common gulls we typically see at this time of year. We'll start our day at Pilarcitos Creek mouth in Half Moon Bay and may move around the coast in search of gull flocks. Bring cameras. We'll photograph the gulls we identify. Dress in layers, it can be cold and windy this time of year. Please confirm if you intend to attend this field trip as predictions of Heavy Rain will cancel.
Directions: From Hwy 1 in Half Moon Bay take Kehoe Ave West. At the T-junction, turn right on Pilarcitos Ave. Drive to the northernmost end of Pilarcitos Ave and park in the residential area.
Leaders: Chris Hayward and Malia DeFelice Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org to R.S.V.P.
Candlestick & Heron's Head Parks
Sunday, January 29, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Between September and April it is possible to see most of our local shorebirds on the mudflats along the entrance road and in the protected cove north of Candlestick Point. The open water is usually good for diving ducks including Scaup, Scoters, Common Goldeneyes, Buffleheads, Red-breasted Mergansers, plus Western, Clark's, Horned, and Eared Grebes. Then we will caravan to Heron's Head, a site notable for breeding Black-necked Stilts, rare in San Francisco.
Directions: From Hwy 101, take exit 429A toward Candlestick Park. Turn slight right onto Alana Way, left onto Harney Way and right onto Jamestown Ave. Use the main entrance by the kiosk and drive to the southern end of the parking lot. Rain cancels.
Leader: Robbie Fischer email@example.com
Las Gallinas Ponds - San Rafael
Wednesday, February 1, 8:00am - 11:00am
The Las Gallinas Ponds include the treatment ponds, tidal marsh and surrounding agricultural fields at the Las Gallinas Valley Sanitary District Wastewater Treatment Reclamation Project. This is an excellent area to view a wide variety of waterfowl and other wetland birds and maybe even a chance to see one of the resident River Otters. These are level trails along a series of levees. This is a slow-paced trip, excellent for all levels of birding. A scope is useful here, if you have one, but many of the birds are close enough for great photo opportunities.
Directions: From Highway 101 in San Rafael take the Smith Ranch Road exit, then go east on Smith Ranch toward the McInnis County Park entrance. Turn left immediately after crossing the railroad tracks, staying on Smith Ranch, and go about .5 miles to the end of the road, at the Las Gallinas Ponds parking lot. Meet in the parking lot. Heavy rain cancels.
Leader: Donna Pomeroy Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Raptors of San Benito County
Saturday, February 11, 8:30am - 3:00pm
Let's explore the backroads of San Benito County in search of Golden Eagles, Ferruginous Hawks, Prairie Falcons (and whatever else we might find). Bring lunch, liquids and a scope if you have one. Meet at the Catholic Church in Tres Pinos.
Directions: From San Mateo, take Hwy 101 south to Hwy 25; follow Hwy 25 through Hollister to the small town of Tres Pinos. The large white Catholic Church is on the right side of the road. Park in the section of the lot farthest from the church. Take advantage of bathroom facilities in Hollister before you drive to Tres Pinos. Contact leader for carpooling info. Heavy rain cancels.
Leader: Leslie Flint Contact: email@example.com
Bird Photography, Lake Merritt Wildlife Refuge, Oakland - RSVP Required
Sunday, February 12, 8:30am - 12:00pm
Have you ever wanted to expand your birding and wildlife passion to include photography? Or would you like to improve your eBird and Facebook photos? Bring your camera and your imagination on this outing to Lake Merritt where our leaders, two local wildlife photographers, will help you improve your skills or help you start from the beginning! A wide variety of birds can be seen and photographed at this time of the year, including many species of geese, ducks, grebes, herons, and gulls. These are perfect for photography because they provide close and obliging views.
Directions: Meet at the geodesic dome next to the nature center on Bellevue Avenue.
Leaders: Donna Pomeroy and Jane Dixon.
Contact: Please contact Donna Pomeroy (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Jane Dixon (Jane.Dixon71@iCloud.com) for further information or if you have questions. Heavy rain cancels. Trip is limited to 15 participants; RSVP required.
Edgewood County Park
Sunday, February 12, 8:00am – 12:00pm
Explore this gem of a park while hiking 3-6 miles through oak woodlands, some hills and natural meadows. Look for California Thrasher, Wrentit, Oak Titmouse and Western Bluebird year round.
Directions: Take 280 to Edgewood Rd. in Woodside. Go east down Edgewood to the park entrance on the right. Meet at the Nature Center.
Leader: Susie Hons Contact: email@example.com
GBBC! Pillar Point Harbor
Friday, February 17, 9:00am – 11:00am
Pillar Point is a hot spot for birding year-round. We should find a variety of resident birds and wintering shorebirds. Most of the walking will be on fairly level dirt trails, but if time permits, we may hike up onto the bluff top for a better view out to sea. Scopes will be useful here, so if you have one, bring it along. A primitive restroom is available at the parking lot.
Directions: The harbor is located just west of Coast Highway One, 18 miles south of San Francisco and 4 miles north of Half Moon Bay. From Coast Highway One, turn west at the stoplight at Capistrano Road and continue along the north side of the harbor to Prospect Way. Turn left onto Prospect, then a brief jog right on Broadway, to an immediate left on Harvard Avenue. Proceed through the boat yards to the end of Harvard Avenue, then turn right onto West Point Avenue, which curves around a marshy area and heads uphill to an Air Force Radar Facility. Meet at the "West Shoreline Access", popularly known as the parking lot to Mavericks, just below the radar station.
Leader: Donna Pomeroy firstname.lastname@example.org
GBBC! Sawyer Camp Trail Segment
Friday, February 17, 8:00 am - 10:00 am
The area was scouted in early January and yielded 29 species in two hours of slow walking.
Directions: Meet at the west end of Hillcrest Blvd. in Millbrae for a 1/2 mile leisurely walk down to the dam and back. Heavy Rain Cancels.
Leader: Sue Cossins email@example.com
GBBC! Beginning Birding on the Bayshore
Saturday, February 18, 9:30m – 11:30am
Families and kids are welcome on this beginner-oriented trip. We'll learn about some of the local shorebirds, ducks, and sparrows as we explore the bayshore habitats. Binoculars are highly recommended.
Directions: We will meet in the gravel parking lot just inside the entrance off of Marsh Road.
Leader:Rob Furrow. Contact: Robertfurrow@gmail.com
GBBC! Ross Cove to Seal Cove – R.S.V.P.
Saturday, February 18, 9:30am – 1:30pm (to coincide with low tide)
Join Malia DeFelice, Chris Hayward and Mary DeLong (Friends of Fitzgerald) as we hike the beaches from Ross Cove to Seal Cove in Moss Beach. What birds, mammals or other species will we find? Let's explore! This is roughly a 2-mile hike one way. We will plan to place cars at our Moss Beach destination to drive back to starting point or option to hike back along the bluff. Plan to wear sturdy shoes as part of the walk will be done on rocky, sometimes slippery, tide-pool type surfaces.
Directions: Please confirm if you intend to attend this field trip as predictions of Heavy Rain will cancel. Meet-up at Mavericks parking lot. Plan for the day given to those who R.S.V.P.
Leader: Malia DeFelice firstname.lastname@example.org
GBBC! Education Series: Sparrows and Their Allies
Cascade Ranch, Coastal San Mateo County
Sunday, February 19, 8:30am - 12:00pm
As a group, sparrows and their allies (the "little brown jobs" or LBJ's) can be one of the more difficult families to master. With just a little study, however, the identification details of many of the more common sparrow species can be learned fairly quickly. This field trip, the second of our new education series, will help you improve your understanding of the life of sparrows and develop your sparrow identification skills. We will consider components such as location, time of year, habitat, plumage, behavior and calls. We will also consider confusion species that look like sparrows, but which are not. While focused on LBJ's, we will also be looking for other birds of interest in this fantastic area as part of the Great Backyard Bird Count.
The trip is suitable for beginner and experienced birders alike and provides good photography opportunities.
Leader: Adam Dudley. Please contact Adam if you would like to join this trip and for exact details. Adam.Dudley@iCloud.com
GBBC! Birding the border 1 - San Franciscquito Creek and O'Connor Pond
Sunday, February 19, 8:30am – 11:00am
San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties are blessed with some of the best birding in Califormia! In 2017 SAS and SCVAS are collaborating to bring a series of three field trips that will be held along the borders between our two counties. These trips will be run by our most experienced and popular field trip leaders - on this first "Birding the Border" trip, join Francis Todi and Garth Harwood as they explore this fantastic Bayside area. Most of the shorebirds and waterbirds that spend the winter in the Bay Area are likely on this walk, and there's always the chance of something exciting!
The trip will meet at the parking lot at the end of Geng Road near the Baylands Athletic Center in Palo Alto. We will walk slowly along the flat San Francisquito Creek trail in Santa Clara County, crossing over a bridge into San Mateo County to explore the freshwater O'Connell Pond and nearby Bay Trail, and then continue out to the creek mouth before returning to the parking lot. Total distance is about 2 miles.
GBBC! Edgewood County Park
Sunday, February 19, 9:00am – 12:00pm
Explore this gem of a park while hiking up to 3 miles through oak woodlands and natural meadows. Look for California Thrasher, Wrentit, Oak Titmouse, raptors, sparrows and Western Bluebird. Great for beginners!
Directions: Take 280 to Edgewood Rd. in Woodside. Go West down Edgewood to Cañada Road and proceed South for half a mile to the Clarkia trailhead where we'll meet.
Leader: Susie Hons email@example.com
GBBC! Birding at Jasper Ridge
Monday, February 20, 8:00am – 11:00am
This trip is intended for beginners, as well as experienced birders. We will explore this bird rich area, collecting data for the annual Great Backyard Bird Count. Please join us, and encourage friends, family, children (12 years and up), and adults to discover the joys of birding! On-going projects at Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve contributes to the understanding of the Earth's natural systems through research, education, and protection of the Preserve's resources. The only access to this area is through docent led tours such as this one.
Trip is limited to 10 people so please contact Sonny to reserve your place. Directions and meetup location to be shared when registration is confirmed. From I-280, the main gate is on the left side of the road about 2 miles West (away from the freeway) on Sand Hill Rd. Trip involves 2-3 miles of moderately strenuous walking, and goes rain or shine.
Leader: Sonny Mencher firstname.lastname@example.org or 650-814-8028