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 fieldtrips@sequoia-audubon.org.

  • 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

Field TripFIRST WEDNESDAYS

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 dpom@comcast.net

2017

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

Download the March Field Trips Flyer (Note: does not include recent updates.)

Field TripBurleigh Murray State Park - R.S.V.P.
Saturday, March 25, 9:00am - 1:00pm

It's a tradition! Come celebrate Spring with a bird walk! Burleigh Murray State Park is a former ranch. The park's only active trail consists of the old ranch road. The habitats include mature eucalyptus groves, grassy valleys, and an extensive riparian corridor along the ranch road. It is a pleasingly birdy hike of just over a mile from the parking lot to the barn, with nearly constant activity and bird sounds. The road gains elevation quite slowly, and would be an appropriate trail for people with mild mobility issues. There are 2 bathrooms along the route. We should anticipate spring migrants including Allen's Hummingbird and Wilson's Warbler. Birds to expect include California Quail, Red-tailed and Red-shouldered Hawk, Band-tailed Pigeon, Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers, Northern Flicker, Black Phoebe, Hutton's Vireo, Bewick's and Pacific Wrens, Wrentit, Dark-eyed Junco, and finches.

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

Directions: Burleigh Murray State Park is located on Higgins-Purisima Road in Half Moon Bay. Higgins-Purisima Road begins just off of SR1, going east where Main Street ends. Visible as a landmark, from SR1, is a local Fire Station at the corner of Main St. and Higgins Canyon Rd. The park is about 1.5 miles east on the left side of Higgins-Purisima Road.

Leaders: Malia DeFelice and Chris Hayward at 650-346-2009 (call if you are running late or lost) email: malia.defelice.sas@gmail.com to R.S.V.P.

Field TripSCVAS Birdathon -- Sequoia Audubon Society special feature!
Team name: Peninsula Plovers (San Mateo County)
Saturday April 1: Full-day Team with Rob Furrow; RSVP Required

Do you ever wish your Big Days had more ocean views? This all-day San Mateo County Big Day will start with seabirds and lush riparian around Pescadero, work north to the hyper-productive Pillar Point Harbor, then use the remainder of the day to explore mountain and bayside habitats. Come be an April fool with us! This trip is partnered with the Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society's Spring Birdathon fundraiser: www.scvas.org.

A donation or fundraising for Sequoia Audubon Society of at least $50 is requested for participation: www.sequoia-audubon.org/donate.html. 120+ species.

RSVP to receive location and timing info: robertfurrow@gmail.com

Field TripLake Merced, San Francisco
Sunday, April 2, 8:00 am - 12:00 pm

Located in the southwest corner of San Francisco, Lake Merced is the largest freshwater wetland between Pt. Reyes in Marin County and Pescadero Marsh in southern San Mateo County. The 509-acre lake is regarded by many birders as offering some of the best birding in the city of San Francisco. Much of the lake is surrounded by marsh and heavy willow growth, providing cover both for water birds and small passerines. The lake is a hot spot for migrating birds and hosts significant flocks of waterfowl in winter. Join leader Dominik Mosur as we take an easy walk to explore the lake and Harding park golf course.

Directions: UPDATED - Meet at 8AM at the concrete bridge/John Muir drive parking lot.

Leader: Dominik Mosur

Field TripPulgas Ridge Open Space Preserve
Wednesday, April 5, 8:00 am - 11:00 am

Pulgas Ridge OSP is not as well-known as its neighboring park, across the road, Edgewood Preserve. We will explore this oak woodland and grassland in search of birds, wildflowers and butterflies.

Directions: From Edgewood Road (near I-280), go north on Crestview Drive, then take an immediate left onto Edmonds Road. The parking lot is clearly marked on Edmonds. The trail is moderately strenuous, but the slow pace should allow everyone to keep up. Bring fluids, sunscreen, hat, etc.

Leader: Donna Pomeroy dpom@comcast.net

Field TripUnder-birded areas of SM Co: Port of Redwood City
Friday April 7, 8:00 am - 11:00 am

The Bayside of San Mateo county is alive with birds in late winter and early spring! While other birders watch the "well known" hotspots, join leader Adam Dudley on an exploration of some of the most under-birded areas in the county. The Port of Redwood City is an industrial center, surrounded by extensive tidal marshland, bays and inlets, and with a few urban parks. Almost no bird reports come from this area of the county (one eBird hotspot has just 1 species reported!), so we have an excellent opportunity to increase our knowledge of the birds that use this area during late winter and spring migration. We'll time our visit to coincide with a rising tide so we can watch shorebirds coming to roost and ducks feed in the fast-flowing channels. Given the lack of data from this area, who knows what we may see!

Directions: Meet at the public shore parking lot at the end of Seaport Boulevard (to the west of Westpoint Harbor).

Leader: Adam Dudley Adam.Dudley@iCloud.com

Field TripEdgewood Co Park from Nature Center
Sunday, April 9, 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: susieturtlewings@mac.com

Field TripEducation Series 3: Peeps, Plovers & Phalaropes (RSVP Required)
Various bayside shorebird locations
Friday, April 14, 10:00 am - 2:00 pm

Do you struggle to tell a plover from a peep? Do you want to learn more about some of the longest-distance migrants in the birding world? Join leader Adam Dudley on our third education series field trip, which will help you improve your understanding of the life of shorebirds and improve your shorebird identification skills. Birds will be in their fantastic "alternate" (or breeding) plumage and so we'll be able to appreciate their colors! While focused on this fascinating group, we will also be looking for other birds of interest along the Bayside as we explore several areas as the tide comes in. There will be no specific lunch stop, so bring lunch with you and eat while birding (the best way to eat!). The trip is suitable for beginner and experienced birders alike.

Leader: Adam Dudley. Please contact Adam if you would like to join this trip and for exact details: Adam.Dudley@iCloud.com

Field TripNational Citizen Science Day Field Trip at Edgewood County Park
Saturday, April 15, 8:00 am - 12:00 pm

In celebration of National Citizen Science Day, join San Mateo County's top iNaturalist enthusiasts for a morning at Edgewood County Park. Attend the Thursday night Sequoia Audubon Society program on 4/13/2017 to become familiar with iNaturalist and spend Saturday morning documenting all of the plants and flowers, insects including butterflies, herps, birds and other animals we can find. Be sure to download iNaturalist before arriving and bring a fully charged smart phone or camera.

Directions: We will meet at the dirt parking area along Cañada Road, opposite the entrance to the Clarkia trail. From Hwy 280, go west on Edgewood Road to Cañada Road. Turn left on Cañada Road and follow it as it goes under the freeway. Look for the dirt parking area on the right and the trail entrance on the left.

Leaders: Jennifer Rycenga, Donna Pomeroy and Leslie Flint. Contact: lflint@earthlink.net

Field Tripout of area trip Pinnacles National Park
Wednesday, April 19, Whole Day Trip, 8:00 am - 3:00 pm

Pinnacles lies just south of Hollister and affords the opportunity to see California Condor in the wild. We'll also look for canyon wren, Lawrence's goldfinch, prairie falcon and more.

Directions: Take Hwy 101 south through the city of Gilroy to Hwy 25 south. On Hwy 25, go through the town of Hollister and continue about 30 miles to Hwy 146. Turn right on Hwy 146, then turn left into the Pinnacles Campground and Visitor Center. Allow 2 hours driving time. $15.00 entrance fee (per car). Bring a flashlight for walking through the caves. Contact Leslie for no-host carpool.

Leader: Leslie Flint: lflint@earthlink.net

Field TripFiloli Estate (RSVP Required)
Saturday, April 22, 2017, 8:30 am to 12:00 pm

Filoli Estate is the property of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. We have been invited for a morning of birding at this beautiful site on the edge of the San Francisco Watershed. In addition to birds, the wildflowers should be very plentiful at this time; especially in the shadier areas on the back roads. The grounds of Filoli have a beautiful formal garden surrounded by large oaks and trails leading to riparian, redwood and farm habitats. Over 96 species of birds have been found here.

Reservations required as this trip is limited to 20 people maximum (sorry, no children under 14). Participants may remain after the field trip to walk through the house and /or formal gardens at no charge. No food or picnicking is allowed but light food and beverages at the Cafe are available for purchase and the gift shop will be open.

Directions: Take Hwy 280 to the Edgewood Road exit; go west. Turn right/north on Cañada Road and drive approx one mile to the entrance of Filoli. We will meet in front of the Visitors Center. Heavy Rain Cancels.

Leaders: Sue James and Martha O'Neal. Call Sue James at 650-348-0315 to reserve your spot.

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: dpom@comcast.net

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: Adam.Dudley@iCloud.com

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: robertfurrow@gmail.com

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

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 RSVP TO: dpom@comcast.net

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: ginnybirder@gmail.com

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: susieturtlewings@mac.com

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: malia.defelice.sas@gmail.com. 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: Adam.Dudley@iCloud.com

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 http://parks.smcgov.org/edgewood-park-trails)

Leader: Susie Hons: susieturtlewings@mac.com

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 (http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=523) 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: malia.defelice.sas@gmail.com 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.