Field Trips

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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 prthomas1@yahoo.com. 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: 32.601  -117.095    Trip cancelled because of weather.

The South Bay Salt Works, a part of the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge, is a collection of salt ponds used to extract salt from seawater by evaporation.  This area is normally closed to the public, except for a few SDAS led walks during the bird non-breeding fall and winter months.  We will learn about the history of the salt works, and the process of obtaining salt from nature.  We also look to see birds, including Peregrine Falcon, Belding’s Savannah Sparrow, as well as wintering shorebird and duck species.  There is a choice of walks on flat terrain.  One is about 2.0 miles, retracing its route.  The other is 5 miles, and will follow the perimeter of the levees.  Porta-Potties at the trailhead. Capped at 30 participants.

Directions: Take I-5 to Chula Vista and exit on Palomar Street.  Go west to the T-intersection at Bay Blvd. and turn left.  Drive .3 miles and park on the right outside the gated fence.
Event Start Jan 22, 2017 8:00 am
Event End Jan 22, 2017 12:00 pm
Available Places 0
Individual Price Free
Leader Peter Thomas, (858) 571-5076, John Bruin, Jim Pea, Caron Andregg, and others
Map   GPS: 32.790, -117.047

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.  Winter visitors are now present. We will see Yellow-rumped Warblers, White-crowned Sparrows, and other surprises.  You can never tell what we may see at this special place.  Easy walking.  Restrooms at the trailhead. Capped at 25 participants.

Directions:  Exit I-5 at Tecolote Rd.  Go east, away from the freeway to the parking lot at the end of Tecolote R.  Meet by the Tecolote Nature Center.
Event Start Jan 28, 2017 8:00 am
Event End Jan 28, 2017 11:00 am
Available Places 6
Individual Price Free
Leader Anitra Kaye, (619) 517-1168, John Walters and Jack Friery
Map  GPS: 33.0160 -116.9106

The Ramona Grasslands and the Santa Maria Creek riparian area are well known for their wintering raptors. Over a dozen raptors are possible, but Golden Eagles, Bald Eagles, and Ferruginous Hawks are among our best target birds. Our leader is Jeff Lincer, who is a Cornell PhD Ornithologist who specializes in raptors, and helped co-found the Wildlife Research Institute in Ramona. Bring your highest power binoculars, a scope if you have one, and venture out to Ramona. We will car caravan after the first stop. Porta-potties only at the second Grasslands stop. Capped at 30 participants.

Directions: From San Diego, go east to Highway 67, and then north toward Ramona. Just prior to entering Ramona turn left on Highland Valley Rd. (stoplight), then right almost immediately (.2 miles) on Highland Valley Ct.
Event Start Jan 29, 2017 10:00 am
Event End Jan 29, 2017 1:00 pm
Available Places 0
Individual Price Free
Leader Peter Thomas, (858) 571-5076, and Jeff Lincer
Map  GPS: 32.978711, -115.551238

This outing will be a variation of a trip done in the past. Instead of a single overnight, we will spend 2 nights in Brawley, giving us the opportunity to view not only the morning take-offs of both the Snow and Ross’s Geese, but also of the Sandhill Cranes. We will also visit wetland areas that have not been on our itinerary before.

The Imperial Valley and the area around the Salton Sea is an incredible area to visit in the Winter.  The birds here are a mix of those that are year-round residents, and those that flee the north to spend the winter here. These include Gambel’s Quail, Common Ground-Dove, Burrowing Owls, Verdin, Loggerhead Shrikes, Abert’s Towhee, the geese and Sandhill Cranes, ducks of many species, White-faced Ibis, Grebes, large numbers of shorebirds, and many more.  We will be staying at the Brawley Inn, with a group dinner on Friday night at an on-site restaurant, Assagio’s; on Saturday we will dine at Las Chabelas Mexican Restaurant. Each morning we be up early to catch the birds when they are at their most active. On Sunday we will finish in the early afternoon, allowing plenty of time for the return journey to San Diego. Because of the logistics of car-pooling, and the limitations of the Brawley Inn, the group will be limited to 20 persons. On-line sign up, and a registration fee, is required.

Directions: From San Diego, go east on Highway 8. Just prior to getting to El Centro, one exit past Drew Rd, turn left (north) on Forrester Rd.  Proceed 9.5 miles to Keystone Rd., and then turn right.  Proceed 3 miles to Imperial/ Hwy 86 (stoplight), and turn left. Imperial becomes Brawley Ave, continue a total of 5.5 miles to Main St.  Turn left. Look for Brawley Inn on the right (before dropping down to the river bottom).

Please note: Capped at 20 participants.  Online sign up required.  Registration fee $35.
Event Start Feb 3, 2017 6:00 pm
Event End Feb 5, 2017 2:00 pm
Available Places 0
Individual Price $35.00
Leader Peter Thomas, (858) 571-5076, and Bob Miller
Map   GPS: 32.5998 -117.0926

The South Bay Salt Works at the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge is a collection of salt ponds used to extract salt from seawater by evaporation.  This area is normally closed to the public, except for a few SDAS led walks during the bird non-breeding fall and winter months.  We will learn about the history of the salt works, the process of obtaining salt from nature, and the more recent restoration of salt marsh areas. We will seek out Peregrine Falcon, and Belding’s Savannah Sparrow, as well as wintering shorebird and duck species.  There is a choice of walks on flat terrain.  One is about 2.0 miles, retracing its route.  The other is 5 miles, and will follow the perimeter of the levees.  Porta-Potties at the trailhead.. Cap: 30 participants.

Directions: Take I-5 to Chula Vista and exit on Palomar Street.  Go west to the T-intersection at Bay Blvd. and turn left.  Drive .3 miles and park on the right outside the gated fence.
Event Start Feb 11, 2017 11:30 am
Event End Feb 11, 2017 3:30 pm
Available Places -1
Individual Price Free
Leader Peter Thomas, (858) 571-5076, John Bruin, Jim Pea, Caron Andregg, and others
Map   GPS: 32.860  -116.917

This outing is specifically directed at beginning birders, though all are welcome. Lindo Lake, the only natural lake in San Diego County, is in an urban park in the town of Lakeside.  The lake has a variety of ducks, songbirds, and a heron/egret rookery.  Birds that are possible include Wood Duck, Eurasian Collared-Dove, Western Bluebird, Kingbirds, and Grackles.  Parrots, Tricolored Blackbirds, and Greater White-fronted Goose are also possible. Cap: 20 participants.

Directions: From I-8 in El Cajon, or from the east end of Highway 52, go north on Highway 67 until the divided road ends in Lakeside.  Turn right onto Mapleview St., then immediately to the right again onto Maine Ave.  Go 2 blocks and turn left onto Lakeshore Drive.  Park in the far (east) end of the parking lot along the lake.  Restrooms available.
Event Start Feb 17, 2017 8:00 am
Event End Feb 17, 2017 11:00 am
Available Places 12
Individual Price Free
Leader Terry Hurst, (619) 318-7717, and Peter Thomas
Map  GPS: 32.5541 -117.0631

Anza-Borrego is noted for its wildflowers in the spring.  The desert birds that we’ll be looking for include Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Black-throated Sparrow, Black-tailed Gnatcatcher, Verdin, and spring migrants.  Possible Thrashers. Allow 2 hours to get to ABDSP if coming from San Diego.  Some may wish to travel to Borrego Springs and spend Friday night there to allow a more leisurely early morning on Saturday.  Call Peter Thomas (above) if questions.  Restrooms at the Visitor Center. Cap: 25 participants.

Directions: Take Route 78 to Santa Ysabel.  Drive north on Route 79, east on Route S2 (Hawk Alley). Turn left onto Route S22, which becomes a winding road as it descends into Anza-Borrego.  At the T-intersection, turn left and continue to the park Visitors Center.  We will meet by the bathrooms adjacent to the parking lot.  Carpooling is encouraged from there.
Event Start Feb 18, 2017 8:30 am
Event End Feb 18, 2017 11:30 am
Available Places 10
Individual Price Free
Leader Bob Thierault, and Peter Thomas, (858) 571-5076
 

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.