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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).

Special Thanksgiving Weekend Trip
Friday November 28 through Saturday, Nov. 29 (beginning at 9:00AM on Friday, Nov 28) Full day and a half.
Location: Sacramento Valley Wildlife Refuges, Gray Lodge, Sutter Buttes
Leader: Bill Walker and Mary Wisnewski, 408.887.0738,

Notes: Trip limited to 15 people; contact Mary to reserve a space. Highlights will include ducks, geese, swans, cranes and raptors. Bring spotting scope, full tank of gas and allow for a 3-hour drive from the South Bay. This trip is highly recommended for beginning birder.

Directions: Meet at the Sacramento NWR headquarters (entrance fee) on I-5 approx. 20 miles north of Williams. (it is recommended that people meet and carpool from McDonald's 2nd parking lot in Williams as carpooling and use of FRS radios, set to Ch 11, will allow for best viewing possibilities on this trip). Take Road 68 exit east (towards Princeton) from I-5, then immediately north on frontage road to Refuge.

Charleston Slough
Sunday November 30 8:30 AM (Half day)
Leader: Steve Tracey (408) 966-3860
This trip recommended for beginning birders but all are encouraged to attend. Notes: Bring your spotting scope and a friend.

Directions: From Hwy 101 in Mtn. View take San Antonio Rd. north to the Terminal Way parking area. Meet at the entrance near San Antonio Rd.

City of Sunnyvale Landfill
Wednesday December 3 12:00 PM (One hour)
Leader: Freddy Howell and Allen Royer. No RSVP necessary, but contact the landfill coordinator, Silviana Ruiz, at (408) 730-7545 with questions. Birding geared toward beginners. Bring binoculars; loaners also available. Rain cancels.

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

Alum Rock Park
Saturday December 6 8:15 AM (Half Day)
Leader: Jim Johnson: (408) 996-3506. Moderately strenuous 3 to 4 mile walk. Entrance fee required. 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. Drive under the bridge and meet at the far end of the parking lot.

Wintering Waterfowl Field Trip
Sunday December 7 1:30 - 3:30 PM
Location: Palo Alto Baylands & Shoreline Park, Mtn View
Leader: Stephanie Ellis, SCVAS? Executive Director; 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; please contact Stephanie to sign-up.

Directions: From 101, take Embarcadero Rd. East (towards the Baylands). At the stop sign at the very end of Embarcadero, take a left (staying on Embarcadero). Turn left, and park in the Duck Pond parking lot.

Graystone Park and Alamitos Creek Trail
Wednesday December 10 8:30 AM (Half day)
Leader: Janna Pauser 408-569- 9264 or
We'll check the pines in Graystone Park, then bird north on the Alamitos Creek trail. Difficulty Level: Easy walking. Lunch optional, rain cancels.

Directions: from Hwy 85 south, exit Camden Ave. south. Continue 4.8 miles. Turn right onto Mt. Carmel Dr. (one half mile after Almaden Expwy) and park on street.

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...

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: Drought conditions may require a change in venue. 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.

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 ( 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.


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