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Calendar: Field Trips

Join one of our many free field trips led by an experienced leader. You do not have to be a member to participate, although we are sure you will want to join us to support these popular activities.

Unless specified, advance registration for field trips is not required. Please contact the field trip leader if you have questions. Bring binoculars, field guides, layered clothing, snack, and fluids.

Field trip leaders - please use this participant sign-in sheet (PDF).

December  January  February  March  April  May  June  

Mount Hamilton Christmas Bird Count 2014
Monday December 29 All day
Mark your calendars! We hope to have a great count again through the Mt. Hamilton and San Antonio Valley area. Count leaders are especially needed. Contact Bob Hirt at 408-821-2732 (cell) as soon as possible to participate. More...

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January

County Chase
Saturday January 3 7:30 AM (Half Day)
Leader: Bob Reiling (408) 253-7527
Get a head start on your 2015 County Year List with some vagrant chasing. Notes: Bring a full tank of gas, lunch and field guides as we attempt to track down some of the unusual birds seen on the Christmas Bird Counts in Santa Clara County. Meet near the entrance to the Alviso Marina parking lot. Be prepared to carpool as parking may be limited at some sites. Rain cancels

Directions: From Hwy 237 in San Jose take Gold St. north to the end, bear left on Elizabeth St. and then right on Hope St. to the marina parking lot.

Los Capitancillos Ponds
Sunday January 4 8:00 AM (Half Day)
Leader: Rich Page (408) 377- 1092
We will bird ponds that are filled with a variety of waterfowl and Gulls, a nearby creek for riparian birds as well as other areas closely associated with the ponds that attract birds. Notes: A lack of water may require a change to an alternate site. Rain cancels.

Directions: If coming from Hwy 85, go south on Camden Ave. just past Blossom Hill Rd. Singletree Way is the next left turn-off near Beacon School. Park on the street, we will meet at the trail entrance located on the right just beyond the power plant.

City of Sunnyvale Landfill
Wednesday January 7 12:00 PM (One hour)
Leader: Freddy Howell and Allen Royer. Birding geared toward beginners. Bring binoculars; loaners also available. An RSVP is NOT required, but you can contact the landfill coordinator, Silviana Ruiz, for directions or more details at (408-730-7545). Rain cancels.

Directions:Donald M. Somers Water Pollution Control Plant, junction of Borregas and Caribbean. Meet at Trailhead at north end.

Panoche Valley
Saturday January 10 8:00 AM (Full Day)
Leader: Clay Kempf (831) 761-8260. This is one of our better "out of county" field trips traversing oak woodland and open grassland via backroads into a unique habitat. Targeted species include: Phainopepla, Mountain Bluebird, Prairie Falcon, Ferruginous Hawk, and Golden Eagle; other possibilities include Mountain Plover, Bald Eagle, Vesper Sparrow, Greater Roadrunner and Chukar. Notes: To pre-order a sandwich from the Panoche Inn e-mail the leader (ltjaeger@att.net) between Jan 4th and Jan 7th with your choice of bread, meat (chicken salad, ham, pastrami) cheese and toppings. Or bring your own lunch and a full tank of gas, carpooling is strongly recommended due to limited parking on the narrow roads. IMPORTANT: Do not expect to use the restrooms at the Paicines Store, as their use is limited to paying customers (we encourage patronage of local businesses).

Directions: Meet at Paicinies Store on Hwy 25 approx. 11 miles south of Hollister.

Alum Rock Park
Sunday January 11 9:00 AM (Half day)
Leader: Jim Johnson: (408) 996-3506. This is a moderately strenuous 3-4 mile walk. Resident breeding birds (possible Rufous-Crowned Sparrow, and Canyon Wren if we are lucky) early migrants, and lingering winter birds. Entrance fee required. Be prepared for some mud! Lunch Optional, Rain Cancels.

Directions: From Hwy 101 or I-680 take McKee Rd. northeast toward the hills then left on Toyon Ave., right on Penitencia Creek Rd. and continue on into the park. Pass under the bridge and meet at the far end of the upper parking lot.

Coyote Valley
Wednesday January 14 1:00PM (Half day)
Leader: TBD
NOTE: This is an afternoon trip. Highlights: Raptors. Rain Cancels.

Directions: Take Hwy 101 south, exit right (west) onto Bailey Rd. Turn left on Hale/ Santa Teresa Blvd. In 0.8 miles, turn right on west Laguna Ave.

Charleston Slough
Saturday January 17 8:00 AM (Half day)
Leader: Nick Yatso (408) 891-3187

Directions: From Hwy 101 Mountain View, take San Antonion Rd north to Terminal Blvd. Meet at the entrance nearest San Antonio Rd.

Arastradero OSP
Sunday January 18 8:15 AM (Half day)
Leader: Frank Vanslager (650) 961-1505
Moderate Walking. Rain Cancels.

Directions: From I-280 take Page Mill Rd. west; turn right on Arastradero Rd. and meet in the parking lot about 1/2 mile on the right.

Ogier Ponds
Saturday January 24 8:00 AM (Half day)
Leader: Kirsten Holmquist: (408) 747-0988.
Rain Cancels.

Directions: From Hwy 101 in Morgan Hill take Cochrane Rd. west to Monterey Hwy., turn right, go north 2.6 miles, turn right towards the Model Airplane Park (street is unnamed). Follow the road for 1/4 mile and park in the gravel lot at the first bend in road (meet at the gate if the entrance is locked).

San Francisco's Southern Parks
Sunday January 25 9:00 AM (Half day)
Leader: Alan Hopkins: (415) 664-0983 or Cell phone (415) 794-0281
Meet at the parking lot to Heron's Head Park. Highlights: This newly created park is a great place to look for shorebirds and bay waterfowl. Later we will then visit San Francisco's second largest park, McLaren Park, for land birds and a few dabbling ducks. Rain Cancels.

Directions: From Hwy 280 or 101 take the Cesar Chavez St. exit east to Third St. Turn right onto Third St. after crossing the bridge turn left onto Cargo Way. Cargo Way ends at the Heron's Head Park parking lot.

Coyote Reservoir
Saturday January 31 8:30 AM (Half day)
Leader: Bob Reiling: (408) 253-7527.
Lunch Optional, Rain Cancels.

Directions: From Hwy 101 in Gilroy take Leavesley Rd. east for 1.5 miles, turn left on New Ave. then right on Roop Rd. Go left at the "T" intersection, then after 1.3 miles left again on Coyote Reservoir Rd. and on to the Lakeview Picnic area on the right.

Wintering Waterfowl Field Trip
Saturday January 31 1:30 PM
Location: Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge, Alviso & Shoreline Park, Mtn View
Leader: Stephanie Ellis, SCVAS Executive Director; executivedirector@scvas.org or 408-252-3748
Want to sharpen your duck I.D. skills? Join us for a fun day viewing the abundance of waterfowl that spend their winter on San Francisco Bay. Notes: Wear your woollies. Optional coffee/hot chocolate stop after the trip - on us! Difficulty Level: All are encouraged to attend, but the trip will be geared toward the beginning birder. Trip is limited to 15; RSVP required. Please contact Stephanie to sign-up.

Directions: Please contact Stephanie for directions

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February

Ulistac Natural Area
Sunday February 1 8:00 AM (Half day)
Leader: Steve Tracey: (408) 966-3860.
Highlights: We will look for migrants and local breeding birds in diverse habitat that does not require an entrance fee. No Facilities Available.

Directions: From Hwy 237 take Great America Pkwy south for about 0.8 miles, turn left on Tasman Dr. for about one mile, turn right on Lick Mill Blvd. and meet at the South entrance to the park on the left.

City of Sunnyvale Landfill
Wednesday February 4 12:00 PM (One hour)
Leader: Freddy Howell and Allen Royer. Birding geared toward beginners. Bring binoculars; loaners also available. An RSVP is NOT required, but you can contact the landfill coordinator, Silviana Ruiz, for directions or more details at (408-730-7545). Rain cancels.

Directions: Donald M. Somers Water Pollution Control Plant, junction of Borregas and Caribbean. Meet at Trailhead at north end.

Charleston Slough
Saturday February 7 8:00 AM (Half day)
Leader: Nick Yatso (408) 891-3187.

Directions: From Hwy 101 Mountain View, take San Antonion Rd north to Terminal Blvd. Meet at the entrance nearest San Antonio Rd.

Merced & San Luis Wildlife Refuges
Sunday February 8 8:30 AM (Full day)
Leader: Rich Page: (408) 377-1092. Meet at the parking area near the first Observation Platform in Merced National Wildlife Refuge. Raptors, ducks, geese, Great Horned Owls, Sandhill Cranes and White-faced Ibis possible. This will primarily be a driving bird trip so FRS radios (Walkie-Talkies) set to channel 11 will prove to be of value. After the Merced Wildlife Refuge we will caravan to the San Luis Wildlife Refuge for lunch and more birding. Dress in layers; bring lunch, liquids, and a full tank of gas. Rain Cancels.

Directions: From Hwy 101 in Gilroy take Hwy 152 east thru Los Banos, (no services past Los Banos, so check your gas gauge), approx. 20 miles then north 7 miles on Rte. 59 to Sandy Mush Rd, turn left approx. 8 miles to Merced Wildlife Refuge, on the left. Allow 2.5 hrs driving time from San Jose, more if it's foggy.

Gilroy Water Treatment Facility or Anderson Lake County Park
Wednesday February 11 8:30 AM (half day)
Leader: Dennis Porter: (408) 205-0535 Highlights: If Gilroy ponds have water we'll drive the levees for ducks and shorebirds. If not, we'll bird Anderson County Park. Note: possible entrance fee. Lunch Optional, Rain Cancels.

Directions: We will carpool from McDonald's on Cochrane Rd. in Morgan Hill. Take Hwy 101 south; exit Cochrane Rd. and turn right. Turn left at first stop light and park at McDonald's. We'll carpool from here. Do not meet at birding site.

Oka Ponds
Saturday February 14 8:00 AM (Half Day)
Leader: Jim Johnson (408) 996-3506 Rain Cancels.

Directions: From Hwy 17 in Los Gatos take Lark Ave exit west. Turn right on Oka Rd, left on Mozart Ave and an immediate right on Oka Lane. Meet at gate.

Foster City, Coyote Point, San Mateo Bayside
Sunday February 15 8:00 AM (Half day)
Leader: Al Eisner days and voicemail: (650)-926-2018; evenings: (650)-364-3686
We will begin at the Foster City "shell bar", and then car-caravan to an additional Foster City location, and to Coyote Point (probable admission charge of $6 per car) in time for an appropriate tide. Highlights: This trip should be good for shorebirds (including "rockbirds") and waterfowl (Harlequin Duck is possible) but we'll also look for landbirds. Note: Scopes will be very useful. Lunch optional. Rain Cancels.

Directions: Meet at 8:00 along Beach Park Boulevard in Foster City; park along the bay side of the Blvd., near the intersection with Tarpon St. (there is a church on this corner). To get there follow Hillsdale Blvd. east from Hwy 101; it eventually bears right and becomes Beach Park Blvd.

Coyote Hills Regional Park
Saturday February 21 8:30 AM (half day)
Location: Frank Vanslager: (650) 961-1505.
NOTE: Expect an entrance fee. Lunch Optional, Rain Cancels.

Directions: Take Hwy 84, Dumbarton Bridge, east towards Newark. Exit right on Thornton, then left over freeway, as Thornton becomes Paseo Padre. Turn left at Patterson Ranch/Commerce Rd. into park. Meet at far end of Quarry Parking lot 1/4 mile past park entrance.

Santa Cruz Coastal Hot Spots
Sunday February 22 7:30 AM (half day)
Leader: Todd Newberry, Santa Cruz Bird Club: (831) 426-8741. Half day (optional plus). A chance to visit local birding hotspots and to chase recently reported goodies. Dress in layers; Todd's trips go rain or shine. For those running late, at 8 AM we will be on West Cliff Dr., checking inter-tidal shelves as we approach the Natural Bridges overlook at the west end of West Cliff Dr.

Directions: Meet 7:30 AM at the Santa Cruz lighthouse on W. Cliff Dr. From Hwy 17 take Hwy 1 "north" (toward Half Moon Bay), turn left on Bay St. (just after MacDonald's), go to its end, turn right onto W. Cliff Dr., follow bluff-top to lighthouse.

Lake Cunningham Park
Saturday February 28 8:00 AM (half day)
Leader: Pete Dunten: (650) 210-6764

Directions: From Hwy 101 in San Jose go East on Tully to the entrance to Lake Cunningham Park, 0.3 miles past Capitol Expwy (Raging Waters). Turn left into the park and left again at the entrance booth. Meet in the Marina parking lot and pay the parking fee.

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March

Coyote Valley OSP
Sunday March 1 8:30 AM (half day)
Leader: Rick Herder (408) 779-3985. Highlights: We will bird the lower elevations of the Open Space preserve to the west in search of recent spring migrants, soaring Hawks and Eagles. Cattle graze in the preserve and the trail can be rough and decorated with "cow pies." Note: Trip limited to those over 12 years of age. Rain Cancels, No Facilities.

Directions: From 101 in San Jose take Bailey Ave. west, turn left on Hale Ave. (Santa Teresa) and right to the end of Palm Ave. Early risers will meet at 7:30 AM on the western portion of Laguna Ave. in Morgan Hill, the first right after turning onto Hale Ave.

 

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22221 McClellan Rd., Cupertino, CA 95014
Tel: (408) 252-3747 / Fax: (408) 252-2850