Field Trips

Field Trips

Listing of Madrone field trips in Sonoma County and the North Bay, plus other upcoming events.

General Information for All Events

The field trips are free, open to the public and suitable for all levels of interest. No sign-up is required. Bring your binoculars, field guide, liquids, plus lunch for full-day trips; wear layered clothing, hats, and sun protection. Sturdy walking shoes or hiking boots recommended. Heavy rain cancels the walks unless otherwise indicated. Prior notification of attendance is not required. Participants of all experience levels are welcome and may join or leave the group at any time during the day.

For more information, contact Gordon Beebe gdbeebe@earthlink.net 707-583-3115

NEW! Map to White House Pool (for Point Reyes field trip).


Field trips are listed by date, starting with the soonest first.

Sonoma County Regional Parks and RROS both have field trips for birders too. For their field trip information, as well as other Bay Area calendars, click here


Bodega Bay, Wednesday, Nov 15 Bodega Bay, Wednesday, Nov 15
Location: Cypress Day Use Area in Doran County Park at Bodega Bay
Trip Leader(s): Tom McCuller, t.sisyphus@comcast.net, 707-546-1812
Host: Madrone Audubon Society
Start Date: Wednesday, November 15, 2017
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 2:30 PM
Description: To meet the group, take Doran Park Road from Hwy. 1 at the southern end of Bodega Bay harbor and follow signs to Doran County Park (a Sonoma County park permit or $7 entrance fee is required). Continue 0.5 miles past the park entrance to the parking lot of the Cypress Day Use Area on the left side of the road. After birding Doran Park, the group will search the harbor and adjacent seas and woodlands for birds. Weather permitting, the group will eat a picnic lunch on the west side of the harbor.

Tolay Lake Regional Park, Saturday, Nov 18 Tolay Lake Regional Park, Saturday, Nov 18
Location: See important carpooling and permit instructions, below
Trip Leader(s): Larry Broderick, northcoastraptor@gmail.com, and Gordon Beebe, gdbeebe@earthlink.net, 583-3115
Host: Madrone Audubon Society
Start Date: Saturday, November 18, 2017
Start Time: 8:00 AM
End Time: 2:00 PM
Description: An expansive hawk-rich habitat for Madrone Saturday bird walks, Tolay requires at lease three participants to be permit holders. Permits are now easy to obtain online by watching an orientation and completing a quiz at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/tolaypermitorientation. CARPOOL: meet at the Ellis Creek Water Treatment Facility parking lot at 8:00 AM, or meet us at TOLAY LAKE: at 8:30 AM. Leaders: Larry Broderick, northcoastraptor@gmail.com, and Gordon Beebe, 583-3115.
Link: http://parks.sonomacounty.ca.gov/Get_Outdoors/Parks/Tolay_Lake_Regional_Park.aspx

Central Valley - Gray Lodge - Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge, Saturday & Sunday, Dec 2-3 Central Valley - Gray Lodge - Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge, Saturday & Sunday, Dec 2-3
Location: Gray Lodge (see details below)
Trip Leader(s): Gordon Beebe, gdbeebe@earthlink.net, 583-3115
Host: Madrone Audubon Society
Start Date: Saturday, December 2, 2017
End Date: Sunday, December 3, 2017
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 6:00 PM
Description: Reinstating our annual late fall trip to the Central Valley to enjoy the enormous concentrations of waterfowl, raptors, cranes, geese, and other interesting birds seldom seen in Sonoma County. Directions to Gray Lodge from 5 & 99: From the junction of Interstate 5 and Highway 99, take Highway 99 north to Live Oak. Turn west on Pennington (North Butte) Road. Turn right on Almond Orchard Avenue and continue to entrance. The distance from Live Oak is about eight miles. After birding Gray Lodge, we will go to Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge for the afternoon, hopefully enjoying good views of the fly-out at dusk (fee $6). Some of our group will stay overnight in Willows or Yuba City Friday and/or Saturday to visit parts of the nearby Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge. Call the leader for more information. Leader: Gordon Beebe, 583-3115. Photo courtesy of CA Division of F&W.
Link: http://https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/Lands/Places-to-Visit/Gray-Lodge-WA

NEW! CBC 4 Kids (Spring Lake), Saturday, Dec 16 NEW! CBC 4 Kids (Spring Lake), Saturday, Dec 16
Location: Spring Lake Regional Park
Trip Leader(s): Monica Schwalbenberg-Peña and Peter Leveque
Host: Sonoma County Regional Parks & Madrone Audubon
Start Date: Saturday, December 16, 2017
Start Time: 10:00 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM
Description: One bird, two bird. Blackbird, bluebird. How many species can we find? This Christmas bird count is co-sponsored by Sonoma County Regional Parks and the Madrone Audubon Society. It is modeled after the annual Christmas Bird Count (CBC4K) events taking place in December and early January all around the United States. Let’s get our young citizen scientists outside to identify and count birds during this fun event. Meet at the Shady Oaks picnic area on the east side of Spring Lake. Refreshments provided after the count. Use the east entrance on Violetti Rd, off of Channel Dr. Madrone team leaders are Monica Schwalbenberg-Peña and Peter Leveque. For questions or to sign-up, contact Susan Kirks at 707-241-5548.
Link: http://https://sonomacountyparks.ticketleap.com/christmas-bird-count-4-kids/

Santa Rosa CBC, Sunday, Dec 17 (not a Madrone event) Santa Rosa CBC, Sunday, Dec 17 (not a Madrone event)
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Trip Leader(s): Bill Doyle, shortbill@comcast.net
Host: Redwood Region Ornithological Society
Start Date: Sunday, December 17, 2017
Start Time: 6:00 AM
End Time: 5:00 PM
Description: The annual Santa Rosa Christmas Bird Count, sponsored by Redwood Region Ornithological Society (RROS).
Link: http://rros.org/

Bodega Bay, Wednesday, Dec 20 Bodega Bay, Wednesday, Dec 20
Location: Doran Park - Cypress Day Use Area
Trip Leader(s): Tom McCuller, t.sisyphus@comcast.net, 707-546-1812
Host: Madrone Audubon Society
Start Date: Wednesday, December 20, 2017
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 2:30 PM
Description: To meet the group, take Doran Park Road from Hwy. 1 at the southern end of Bodega Bay harbor and follow signs to Doran County Park (a Sonoma County park permit or $7 entrance fee is required). Continue 0.5 miles past the park entrance to the parking lot of the Cypress Day Use Area on the left side of the road. After birding Doran Park, the group will search the harbor and nearby seas and woodlands for birds. Weather permitting, the group will eat a picnic lunch on the west side of the harbor.

Sonoma Valley CBC, Friday, Dec 29 (not a Madrone event) Sonoma Valley CBC, Friday, Dec 29 (not a Madrone event)
Location: Sonoma, CA
Trip Leader(s): Gene Hunn, enhunn323@comcast.net
Start Date: Friday, December 29, 2017
Start Time: 6:00 AM
End Time: 5:00 PM
Description: The annual Sonoma Valley Christmas Bird Count, organized by Gene Hunn. Contact Gene at enhunn323@comcast.net to sign up on a team.

West Sonoma County CBC, Saturday, Dec 30, 2017 West Sonoma County CBC, Saturday, Dec 30, 2017
Location: West Sonoma County, CA
Trip Leader(s): Peter Leveque and Stacy Li
Host: Madrone Audubon Society
Start Date: Saturday, December 30, 2017
Start Time: 6:00 AM
End Time: 5:00 PM
Description: The 51st annual West Sonoma County Christmas Bird Count is being organized by Peter Leveque and Stacy Li. See more information on the Birds/CBC page on this website.
Link: http://madroneaudubon.org/birds-christmas-bird-count.php

Petaluma's 8th Annual CBC for Kids, Saturday, Jan 6, 2018 (not a Madrone event) Petaluma's 8th Annual CBC for Kids, Saturday, Jan 6, 2018 (not a Madrone event)
Location: Shollenberger Park
Trip Leader(s): Al Hesla, 486-9030, a.hesla@comcast.net
Host: Petaluma Wetlands Alliance & City of Petaluma
Start Date: Saturday, January 6, 2018
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 1:00 PM
Description: Come join us for the 9th Annual Petaluma Christmas Bird Count for Kids, a half-day of birding designed for kids ages 8-15. This event is co-sponsored by the Petaluma Wetlands Alliance and the City of Petaluma Parks and Recreation Department. Check-in at the picnic tables near Shollenberger Park’s main entrance. Parents must attend with their kids and provide any necessary transportation to various wetland areas. Sign up by January 2nd by contacting Al Hesla at a.hesla@comcast.net or 486-9030.
Link: http://madroneaudubon.org/activities-junior-audubon-cbc-for-kids.php

Point Reyes CBC for Kids, Sunday, Jan 7, 2018 (not a Madrone event) Point Reyes CBC for Kids, Sunday, Jan 7, 2018 (not a Madrone event)
Location: TBD
Trip Leader(s): Lynn Hinck 415-663-1200 x305
Host: Point Reyes National Seashore Association
Start Date: Sunday, January 7, 2018
Start Time: 10:00 AM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Description: Pre-registration is required. Space is limited, please only one adult or guardian per family or group. Gather your fledglings for this half-day event celebrating nature, parks, education and outdoor family fun. The event brings together all the basic elements of birding to introduce the next generation of stewards to the importance of birds in the ecosystem and the annual tradition of bird counts. The park is an ideal location for birding with 490 bird species recorded here, which also makes it a perfect outdoor classroom for you and your brood to learn more about the fascinating world of birds. This event is in honor and memory of Richard Stallcup, a mentor to a generation of birders.
Link: http://https://www.nps.gov/pore/planyourvisit/events_cbc4k.htm

Bodega Bay, Wednesday, Jan 17 Bodega Bay, Wednesday, Jan 17
Location: Doran Park - Cypress Day Use Area
Trip Leader(s): Tom McCuller, t.sisyphus@comcast.net, 707-546-1812
Host: Madrone Audubon Society
Start Date: Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 2:30 PM
Description: To meet the group, take Doran Park Road from Hwy. 1 at the southern end of Bodega Bay harbor and follow signs to Doran County Park (a Sonoma County park permit or $7 entrance fee is required). Continue 0.5 miles past the park entrance to the parking lot of the Cypress Day Use Area on the left side of the road. After birding Doran Park, the group will search the harbor and nearby seas and woodlands for birds. Weather permitting, the group will eat a picnic lunch on the west side of the harbor.

Snow Goose Festival, Jan 24-28 (not a Madrone event) Snow Goose Festival, Jan 24-28 (not a Madrone event)
Location: Chico, CA
Trip Leader(s): Jon L. Dunn, author of Nat Geo guide to Birds
Host: Altacal Audubon Society
Start Date: Wednesday, January 24, 2018
End Date: Sunday, January 28, 2018
Start Time: [not specified]
End Time: [not specified]
Description: This action-packed 5-day event celebrates the remarkable journey of millions of waterfowl and raptors along the Pacific Flyway that call the Northern Sacramento Valley their home during the winter months. Choose from over 70 field trips and workshops that are sure to appeal to a wide variety of interests. Our workshops offer something for everyone! Free nature activities are offered for youth as well as armchair adventures for all. Special Guest & Keynote Speaker: Jon L. Dunn, chief consultant and author of all seven editions of the National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America, and a birding tour leader for over 30 years. Register online at the link below.
Link: http://www.snowgoosefestival.org

Map to White House Pool parking lot

Map for the Point Reyes field trip meeting location. The parking lot is located on Sir Francis Drake Blvd, a little under a mile southwest of Point Reyes Station. This map includes GPS coordinates that can be typed in to a browser: Map.

Other Groups' Field Trip Calendars

Sonoma Co. Regional Parks "Winging it Wednesdays"
Winging it Wednesdays

Redwood Region Ornithological Society (RROS)
RROS calendar

Mayacamas Mountains Sanctuary Meetup group
Mayacamas group

Bay Area Calendar
Bay Area Calendar

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Birding Quiz - test your skills.

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Carved Bird Pins

In the 1970s, member Tom Olds hand-carved bird pins and sold them to raise money for Madrone Audubon. More