Sequoia Audubon Society
                              San Mateo County, California

Sequoia Audubon Field Trips

SAS Field Trip
Sweetwood Group Camp, Half Moon Bay. Trip led by Malia DeFelice & Chris Hayward (on the far right.) Photo by Malia DeFelice

Visitors and guests are welcome!

  • All trips are open and suitable for beginners unless specifically marked.

  • Trips marked as Beginner's Trips include advice on binoculars and telescopes, and a short open-ended discussion on birding and the environment.

  • It is always a good idea to check with the field trip LEADER for confirmation on trips beyond the immediate area in case of last minute changes.

  • Note that some trips require reservations, see the individual descriptions for requirements.

  • Further information may be obtained from the listed Trip LEADER or from

  • A description for the event icons can be found at the bottom of the page.

  • This listing also includes trips and events not sponsored by Sequoia Audubon Society - listed for your information, only.

Note: All phone numbers are for Area Code 650, unless otherwise stated.

Recurring Activities


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


Don't forget to check Other Activities for field trips of interest not sponsored by SAS.

Field TripWednesday May 3, 8:00 am – 12:00 pm
Burleigh Murray State Park

Burleigh Murray State Park is a hidden treasure on the coast. It has very low visitor usage and a very high density of breeding birds. The only trail is the mile-long, old ranch road that leads up to an historic and picturesque barn. The high number of singing birds will keep this walk at a slow pace. This is a great location to learn and practice birding by ear. Morning fog is common here, but it usually burns off and it can be warm and sunny.

Directions: We will meet at the lower parking lot to the Johnston House, located on Higgins-Purisima Road in Half Moon Bay. Higgins-Purisima Road begins just off of SR1, going east where Main Street ends. The Johnston House is the big white 1850s farmhouse on the hill. We will caravan to Burleigh Murray, which is 1 ½ miles further up Higgins-Purisima Road.

Leader: Donna Pomeroy:

Field TripUnder-birded areas of SM Co: Sweeney Ridge
Friday May 5, 8:00 am - 11:00 am

San Mateo county is alive with birds in spring! Join leader Adam Dudley on an exploration of one of the most under-birded areas in the county. Sweeney Ridge presents one of the most beautiful hikes in the Bay Area, and we'll be hiking along mainly paved trails for about 3.5 miles (two miles each way along a gentle climb). The northern shore of the Crystal Springs Reservoir opens below you, and panoramic views of the ocean and the entire Bay Area are breathtaking. While over the years there have been many species reported from this area, on average it is visited only 8 times per year! So we have an excellent opportunity to increase our knowledge of the birds that use this area during spring migration, as well as to discover which "early-nesters" are here. Last year at this time two migrating black swifts were seen from Sweeney Ridge.

Directions: We'll approach Sweeney Ridge from the eastern side, South of San Bruno mountain. Access to Sweeney Ridge begins at the end of Sneath Lane in San Bruno. From either El Camino Real, Skyline Boulevard in San Bruno, or Interstate 280 take Sneath Lane west to where it ends at a locked gate. There is parking space for a small number of vehicles in a small paved parking lot.

Leader: Leader: Adam Dudley:

Field Tripbicycle Bayside by Bicycle - Global Big Day
Saturday, May 13, 8:00 am - 1:00 pm

May can seem a bit late, but migrating songbirds continuing to filter across our county throughout the month. We will take advantage of our nimble form of transportation to wiggle through the various migration hotspots of Redwood Shores and Foster City.

Directions: Contact the leader for more details on meeting location.

Leader: Robert Furrow:

Field TripGazos Creek/Pigeon Point - Global Big Day - RSVP Required
Saturday, May 13, 4:00 am - 11:00 am

This field trip has been cancelled due to an astounding and worrisome lack of owls in the county this year. A replacement trip will be added. Details to follow.

Gazos Gazers, led by Jennifer Rycenga & Donna Pomeroy. This trip will include owling. Starts at 4:00 am to 11:00 am. We will cover Gazos Creek and Pigeon Point. Last year the highlight of this trip was the phenomenal dawn chorus, which even upstaged the owls!

Trip limited to 5 participants.

Leaders: Jennifer Rycenga & Donna Pomeroy

Field TripSan Francisco Watershed - Global Big Day - RSVP Required
Saturday, May 13, Time TBD (Reservations required)

Join leader Ginny Marshall and SF Watershed docents on a walk in the San Francisco Watershed in San Mateo County. We will enter this restricted area off Highway 92 and walk about 5 relatively flat miles along the ridge top. This is a beautiful hike, mostly in the forest, and we will be alone on the trail.

This walk is limited to 15 people. You must RSVP to the leader at least two weeks before the walk as a permit will need to be issued with participants names. Bring lunch, water, layers and sun protection.

Leader: Ginny Marshall:

Field TripEdgewood Co Park from Nature Center
Sunday, May 14, 8:00 am - 12:00 pm

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:

Field TripAlpine Pond and Ipiwa Trail loop – RSVP Required
Friday, May 19, 8:30 am - hike will last 3 to 4 hours

Join Malia and Chris to explore Alpine Pond and vicinity. We will hike around Alpine Pond through willows, chaparral, and mixed forest, then onto the Ipiwa trail to open grassland. Our moderately easy hike has some gain and loss in elevation and will be 3 to 5 miles. We'll look for May migrants including Ash-throated Flycatcher and Black-throated Gray Warbler. This is a lovely hike with some beautiful vistas.

Please confirm if you intend to attend this field trip as predictions of Heavy Rain will cancel.

Directions: Meet at the Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve parking lot at the intersection of Skyline Blvd (Hwy 35) and Alpine Road. Restrooms are located at the parking lot and at the south end of Alpine Lake. Wear layers; temps can be cool under the forest canopy and quite warm in the open grassland areas. Bring water and sunscreen.

Leaders: Chris Hayward and Malia DeFelice. RSVP: If you are running late call 650-346-2009.

Field TripGazos Creek & Pigeon Point Lighthouse
Friday June 9, 8:30 am - 12:00 pm

Gazos Creek is a prime location in the county to see and hear our summer resident woodland birds such as grosbeaks, warblers and thrushes. This lush coastal canyon, with its permanent stream and light traffic, is an excellent birding location. We will meet at the parking lot at the lighthouse and then carpool to Gazos Creek, since there is limited parking along the pullouts on Gazos Creek Road. When we return to our cars at the lighthouse, we will spend some time looking at the Pigeon Guillemots, other waterbirds and whales. Scopes will be useful at the lighthouse, when we look for seabirds. The weather at the lighthouse can be cold and windy; bring layers.

Directions: Take Hwy 1 south from Half Moon Bay for 20 miles. Turn right at the lighthouse and drive to the end of the road to the parking area.

Leader: Adam Dudley:

Field TripEdgewood Co Park from Clarkia Trailhead
Sunday, June 11, 8:00 am – 12:00 pm

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 west down Edgewood; turn south on Cañada Road to the Clarkia Trailhead (see map at

Leader: Susie Hons:

Field TripfeeAño Nuevo State Park - Swallows and Swifts; RSVP Required; $10 entrance fee
Friday, June 16, 9:00 am - hike will last 3 to 4 hours

Join Malia and Chris to explore Año Nuevo State Park. Año Nuevo State Park is a wonderful birding location for a variety of seabirds, coastal prairie birds and raptors of all sorts. But this time of year one can see the six expected swallow species, and if we're lucky, Black Swift. We will be focusing on ID'ing and comparing the swallow species in flight! A predicted low tide at 9:52am will allow us access to Cove Beach where we can view the largest Bank Swallow nesting colony in San Mateo county. We will keep our eyes to the skies for Black Swift which also nest in the area. This time of year we can walk out to the point without a docent, so we will go and see what birds we can find out there.

Please confirm if you intend to attend this field trip as predictions of Heavy Rain will cancel.

Directions: Meet at the parking lot inside Año Nuevo State Park ( There is a $10 entrance fee. Wear layers. Temps can be cool this time of year or quite warm in the open dune and grassland areas. Bring water and sunscreen.

Leaders: Chris Hayward and Malia DeFelice
Contact: to RSVP. Call 650-346-2009 if you are running late.


Additional Field Trips will be added as the information becomes available.

Legend of Field Trip Symbols

Field Trip Wildlife Viewing

fee Fee required for part or all of this event

out of area trip Trip beyond local area, perhaps including an overnight stay

volunteer opportunity Volunteer Opportunity

beginner and family walk Beginner/Family walk

nature walk or viewing Nature Walk or Viewing

pelagic trip Pelagic (Ocean) Trip

motor tour Motor Tour. May include car pooling.

wheelchair accessible Wheelchair Accessible

bicycle Birding by Bicycle


2016 S.A.S.