Field Trips


San Diego Audubon Field Trips are dedicated to the goal of introducing newer birders, visiting birders, and anyone else who is interested, to the varied habitats and avian inhabitants of San Diego County. Bring binoculars, scopes, water, sunscreen, hat, and enthusiasm. Everyone is welcome. If you have questions, call Peter Thomas, (858)571-5076, or e-mail to For directions to each birding site, click on Details for each trip.  

Note: Advanced registration for all trips is requested.  Confirmation of your registration will be sent to you by email.

Birding at Silverwood

Silverwood is open to the public on Sundays from 9 am to 4 pm, October through July. Guided nature walks are conducted at 10 am and 1:30 pm October through June. Arrange group tours by contacting Phil Lambert, the resident manager, at (619) 443-2998.

Map  GPS: 32.8581 -117.0068

The Santee Lakes were created in the 1960s as one of the very first water recycling projects in the nation.  Today this series of 7 lakes, the site of a previous quarry operation, has become one of the region’s very best birding and bird photography locations.  It is one of the most reliable places in the county to see Ring-necked Ducks and Wood Ducks, as well as, Osprey, Gulls, Kingbirds, Teal, Wigeons, and wintering warblers.  Watch the pond islands for egrets, heron, and possibly Bitterns.  Kingfishers are usually heard first, and then seen.  Easy, flat walking.  Restrooms available. Capped at 20 participants.

Directions: From Highway 52 going east, exit at the Mast Blvd. off-ramp, turn left to go under the freeway, proceeding east on Mast to Fanita Parkway.  Turn left and proceed to the stop sign at Lake Canyon.  Turn right and park.  Enter the lake area at the walk-in gate and meet in the parking lot by the general store at Lake #5.

32.8581  -117.0068
Event Start Mar 3, 2017 8:00 am
Event End Nov 15, 2015 11:00 am
Available Places 16
Individual Price Free
Leader Terry Hurst, (619) 318-7717, and Lisa Ruby
Map  GPS: 33.871171, -117.122016

 San Jacinto Wildlife Area is approximately 19,000 acres, with 9,000 acres of restored wetlands. It is the first state wildlife area to utilize reclaimed water to enhance its wetlands.  It also is a birding hotspot with approximately 292 species recorded.  Waterfowl, wading birds, raptors and quail are a few of the many birds found here.  We hope to see Virginia Rail, White-faced Ibis, Rock Wren, Marsh Wren, and Golden Eagle.  Other possibilities include Greater Roadrunner, Merlin, Vermilion Flycatcher, Mountain Bluebird and Canvasback.  We will carpool, following the auto tour route, making stops along the way. Bring water and sunscreen, and a lunch for the time that we go over our bird list.  Restrooms and porta-pottys on site.  Capped at 25 participants.

Directions:  From San Diego County take I-15 north to I-215. Exit at the Ramona Expressway right (east). Continue east to Lakeview (a small town). At the stoplight, turn left (north) on Davis Road. Proceed on the asphalt and gravel road for three miles to the SJWA headquarters parking lot on the right. From San Diego, allow at least 90-minutes driving time.
Event Start Mar 11, 2017 8:30 am
Event End Mar 11, 2017 1:00 pm
Available Places 18
Individual Price Free
Leader Nancy Christensen, (769) 415-1744, Mel Senac, and Peter Thomas
Map  GPS: 32.8509, -117.2739

La Jolla Cove is a scenic spot where the Pacific Ocean meets a rocky coastline.  We will start by scanning the offshore out to the coastal kelp beds for pelagic species, including loons, shearwaters, and auklets. Rocky shore species that we might see include Brown Pelican, all three local Cormorants, winter gulls, Black Turnstones, and possibly Wandering Tattlers.  Can be cool and windy (but that could bring the birds closer to the shore).  We did this outing in December, and will try this location again in Spring to see how the species and conditions differ. BRING A SCOPE IF YOU HAVE ONE. Capped at 25 participants.

Directions: From I-5 northbound, exit on La Jolla Parkway, proceed into La Jolla, turn right on Prospect.  At the split in the road, fork right to Coast Blvd., go down the hill to the Cove area.  Park anywhere you can (this can be a challenge!) and meet beyond the public restrooms at “Stan’s Bench” and see what is out there.  From I-5 southbound, exit on La Jolla Village Dr., turn right (west).   Left on Torrey Pines Rd., proceed to Prospect, and follow above directions.
Event Start Mar 18, 2017 7:30 am
Event End Mar 18, 2017 10:30 am
Available Places 24
Individual Price Free
Leader Stan Walens, (858) 450-0258, and Peter Thomas

Map  GPS:32.7756 -117.1977

Tecolote Canyon is one of several protected urban canyons in the San Diego area that support native plant communities and associated bird life.  Birds that are here for the entire year include hawks, Anna’s Hummingbird, California Thrasher, House Wren, Wrentit, and both California and Spotted Towhees.  At this time wintering White-crowned Sparrows, and Yellow-rumped Warblers may still be here.  Easy walking.  Restrooms at the trailhead.  Capped at 25 participants.

Directions:  Exit Highway 5 at Tecolote Road.  Go east, away from the freeway to the parking lot at the end of Tecolote Rd.  Meet by the Tecolote Nature Center.

Event Start Mar 25, 2017 8:00 am
Event End Mar 25, 2017 11:00 am
Available Places 23
Individual Price Free
Leader Anitra Kaye, (619) 517-1168, John Walters, and Jack Friery

Contact Info

4010 Morena Blvd
Suite #100
San Diego, CA 92117
(858) 273-7800

Office Hours

Our office is staffed by volunteer receptionists. Please call (858) 273-7800 before planning your visit to ensure someone will be there to assist you.