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: 32.8509, -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).  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 Dec 3, 2016 7:30 am
Event End Dec 3, 2016 10:30 am
Available Places 0
Individual Price Free
Leader Stan Walens (858)450-0258, and Peter Thomas
Map     GPS: 33.2427, -117.3354  

Whelan Lake is a private bird sanctuary located in Oceanside featuring a large freshwater lake surrounded by freshwater marsh, riparian woodland, grassland, and oak woodland habitats.  We expect to see resident Wood Ducks, wintering species such as Shoveler and Gadwall, along with Merlin, White-crowned Sparrows, Loggerhead Shrikes, and Red-shouldered Hawks.  Bring water and sunscreen.  Hard rain cancels, call to confirm.  Porta-potty is available. Capped at 25 participants.

Directions:  Exit I-5 to Highway 76 East.  Continue about 5 miles, then go left (north) on Douglas Drive.  Continue less than 2 miles; turn left (west) on North River Rd.  Continue about ½ mile to a cul-de-sac with a gate on your left.  Drive through the gate on a dirt road, which leads to a small residence and an old barn.  We will meet in the small parking area next to the small residence.


Event Start Dec 10, 2016 8:00 am
Event End Dec 10, 2016 11:00 am
Available Places 5
Individual Price Free
Leader John Haddock, (760) 941-7824 and Denise Riddle
Map   GPS: 32.7756, -117.1978

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. These resident birds are quite common. Wintering birds will also be present, such as White-crowned Sparrows, and Yellow-rumped Warblers. Easy walking. Restrooms may be found at the trailhead by the Visitor Center. 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 Dec 24, 2016 8:00 am
Event End Dec 24, 2016 11:00 am
Available Places 22
Individual Price Free
Leader Anitra Kaye (619) 517-1168 and John Walters
Map GPS: 33.0036 -117.2725

This is one of the finest coastal lagoon and marshlands in all of San Diego County.  We will venture through a mixture of habitats, including wetlands, where we expect to see  wintering ducks and shorebirds, then into upland willow and sage scrub vegetation to seek resident and visiting birds, such as California Thrasher, Bewick’s and House Wrens, Towhees, and possibly Gnatcatchers.  Some hilly terrain.  No restrooms. Capped at 25 participants.

Directions:  From I-5 exit at Lomas Santa Fe Drive and go west to Rios Avenue.  Turn right and go to the end of the road and meet at the beginning of the trailhead.

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 Saturday night there to allow a more leisurely early morning on Sunday.  Call Peter Thomas (above) if questions.  Restrooms at the Visitor Center.

 

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 in front of the bathrooms by the parking lot.  Carpooling is encouraged from there.

Ed Henry (619) 460 4794, and Terry Hurst
Event Start Jan 7, 2017 8:00 am
Event End Jan 7, 2017 11:00 am
Available Places 20
Individual Price Free
Leader Jack Friery (619) 218-7342, and others
Map  GPS: 32.5541 -117.0631

Dairy Mart Ponds are an outstanding birding spot in our south county that has more recently been made even better with the addition of a bird blind, elevated viewing sites, and improved trails. These ponds, on the northeast edge of the Tijuana River Valley, are surrounded by willows and other riparian trees and shrubs, and support patches of freshwater marsh vegetation.  We will view the ponds and walk the trails, looking for various ducks, Common Gallinules, wintering warblers, and raptors.  The number of notable raptors seen here is often high.  Later we will travel by car to the Bird and Butterfly Garden to see what might be there this January. Easy walking No restrooms. Capped at 25 participants.

Directions: Take Highway 5 south to the Dairy Mart Road exit. Turn right on Dairy Mart Road and go past the apartments on the right.  Park and meet in the dirt parking area on the right, opposite to Camino de la Plaza.
Event Start Jan 14, 2017 8:00 am
Event End Jan 14, 2017 11:00 am
Available Places 22
Individual Price Free
Leader John Walters (616) 267-1821, and others.
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.
Event Start Jan 20, 2017 8:00 am
Event End Jan 20, 2017 11:00 am
Available Places 20
Individual Price Free
Leader Terry Hurst, (619) 596-0745, and Lisa Ruby
Map   GPS: 32.601  -117.095    

The South Bay Salt Works 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.  No restrooms. 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 29
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 25
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 23
Individual Price Free
Leader Peter Thomas, (858) 571-5076, and Jeff Lincer
 

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.