Bird watchers
The unCommon Marin Birdwatcher, seen here in its winter plumage, often gathers in flocks at the sides of local ponds around Marin County. Photo Maggie Rufo

Field Trips

Marin Audubon Field Trips are open to the public. Bring lunch, field guide, and binoculars.

Information & Questions:
Phone: 559-760-1551

Currently scheduled upcoming field trips are listed here by date in ascending order (i.e., soonest first). For a complete list of all past and currently scheduled field trips click here.

Birding in Marin Third Saturday Field Trip Series:  Jim White and Bob Battagin have graciously offered to lead a trip for Marin Audubon on the third Saturday of every month for 12 months. These trips are included in the list below. Click here for the complete list.

Abbotts Lagoon, No. 10, Birding in Marin Series
Location: Pt Reyes National Seashore
Trip Leader(s): Jim White and Bob Battagin
Host: Jane Medley,, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Saturday, October 21, 2017
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 3:30 PM
Description: This month Jim and Bob will explore Abbotts Lagoon in the Point Reyes National Seashore. Plan to meet by 8:30 AM in the parking lot on Pierce Point Road. Fall migration south along the Pacific coast brings many birds to this place: ducks and geese, shorebirds, raptors, even sparrows and pipits. Tufted Duck, Greater White-fronted Goose, Baird's Sandpiper, Ferruginous Hawk, Clay-colored Sparrow, and American Pipit are a few of the birds that we may find. We will get a look at this migration and many of the birds that stay for the winter. This should be an excellent field trip and will be good exercise. Directions: Allowing about an hour and a half travel time from San Rafael, follow Sir Francis Drake Blvd (SFDB) to Olema. From Olema continue north on Hwy 1, take the second left turn on SFDB, continue through Inverness, turn right (north) onto Pierce Point Road and keep driving until you come to the Abbotts Lagoon parking lot on the left where our group will gather.

Cordell Bank Pelagic Trip - Rescheduled for Oct 22
Location: From Port O Bodega, Bodega Bay
Trip Leader(s): Steve Howell & Friends
Host: Jane Medley,, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Sunday, October 22, 2017
Start Time: 7:00 AM
End Time: 5:00 PM
Description: Strong winds over coastal waters with a small craft advisory forced a disappointing cancellation of our October 1 trip to the Cordell Bank. However, the trip has now been rescheduled for Sunday, October 22, with space available for a few additional passengers interested in voyaging to this rocky undersea bank 22 miles west of the Point Reyes headlands. Our guide, Steve Howell, suggests that this revised date is potentially good for a number of birds not usually seen earlier in the month, particularly Laysan Albatross, Short-tailed Albatross, and Ancient Murrelet. Steve will be assisted by spotters Alan Hopkins, Peter Colasanti, Mark Dettling, and Mario Balibit, who are all pelagic experts eager to help us identify whatever swims or flies by. We sail on Rick Power's Sea Angler, a 65 foot fishing charter boat suitable for birding. Both experienced and beginning birders are invited to join this trip to one of the west coast's best locations for birds and whales. The cost will be $140 per person with the trip limited to Marin Audubon Society members. Our Members Only field trips are limited to chapter-supporting members of Marin Audubon Society (MAS). A membership with National Audubon Society does not qualify for participation in MAS Members Only field trips. Our Members Only field trips are a specific benefit we provide to MAS chapter supporting members for their support of Marin Audubon and the work MAS undertakes in protecting and managing local habitats for the benefit of Marin's resident and migratory birds. Registration and payment for the trip is now available again at For Non-MAS Members we invite you to join MAS at to participate in this trip. WE RECOMMEND BOOKING YOUR SPACE ASAP AS THERE ARE ONLY A LIMITED NUMBER OF SPACES AVAILABLE AT THIS TIME. Include the name, email address, and contact phone number of each participant. There is always a chance the trip may need to be rescheduled at the last minute due to sea conditions (Let's definitely hope not!), so we need to be able to reach participants. As the trip date approaches, we will send an email with additional trip information. Be prepared for any kind of weather with layered clothing. A rain jacket and pants are essential no matter what the weather on shore. Take seasick medication if needed. You will be on the boat all day. Bring lunch, snacks, water, a hat, and plenty of sunscreen. Directions: Head north on Highway 101 from the town of Bodega Bay. Continue past the fire station and the Tides' Wharf in Bodega Bay. Turn left on Eastshore Road and head downhill to the port.

Sandhill Cranes on Woodbridge Road
Location: Near Lodi, CA
Trip Leader(s): Paul Tebbel
Host: Jane Medley,, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Saturday, October 28, 2017
Start Time: 1:00 PM
End Time: 6:00 PM
Description: Join western US crane expert, Paul Tebbel, for a trip in the north Delta to observe sandhill cranes, swans, geese, and other waterfowl. Most of the trip will focus on cranes, which are known for their fascinating and intricate behaviors that they display while wintering in California. You'll learn to differentiate between the lesser and greater subspecies; recognize young of the year; and hopefully will see dancing and/or territory displays. Our guide, Paul Tebbel, has been a student of cranes for over 40 years, including 11 years as manager of Audubon's Rowe Sanctuary in Nebraska. This trip will cover general crane viewing from 1-4 PM, then will proceed to a good viewing spot to observe the fly-in until about 5:30 PM. Participants can leave after the general crane viewing to avoid driving in the dark. However, Paul tells us that the fly-in is both a visual and auditory spectacle. Attendees should bring binoculars, spotting scopes, bug repellent, munchies, water, and folding chairs. Very little hiking is involved. Directions: We will meet at Isenberg South on Woodbridge Road. To get to Woodbridge Rd from I-5, take Peltier from the north or Hwy 12 from the south. Get onto Thornton, which runs parallel (super close) to I-5 just to the east. Turn west on Woodbridge and go about 3 miles. Pass Isenberg North and proceed another half mile to Isenberg South. There is a lovely wetland there with an ag chemical plant in the background. There is likely to be a day use fee of $5 at Isenberg South. Since the passes are not available onsite, our leader, Paul, plans to purchase them in advance of our arrival. Therefore, please notify Jane Medley at if you will need a parking pass that day. If this plan for parking passes changes before our trip, I will let you know. Otherwise plan to reimburse Paul for your parking pass at Isenberg South.

Left of the Fault - Point Reyes Big Day Blast
Location: Pt Reyes National Seashore
Trip Leader(s): Keith Hansen
Host: Janet Bodle, email:
Start Date: Wednesday, November 1, 2017
Start Time: 7:30 AM
End Time: 4:30 PM
Description: Join renowned bird artist Keith Hansen for a full, fine-feathered day of fall birding at Point Reyes. Sometimes thought of as "too late" for fall migrants, November is often an under appreciated time for finding rare birds. We will attempt to see at least 100 species "west of the San Andreas Fault!" We will meet in Point Reyes Station and carpool to the Outer Point hitting as many of the migrant traps as is possible. Time permitting we'll increase the list by hitting the Teal Ponds, Heart's Desire Beach, and maybe Bear Valley and Five Brooks. This is an all-day trip that is not for the faint of heart or those just looking for a leisurely bird walk. Bring a lunch and plenty of liquids. Be dressed for good, to less than good weather. Feel free to bring a scope. Only a big storm will cause us to cancel. There is no charge for this trip but signup is required, as the number of participants is limited. Contact Janet Bodle from 9 AM Monday, October 9 to Friday, October 27 if you wish to sign up. Email Janet at AFTER 5 PM October 27 the trip slots will be filled and the participants notified. Any vacant slots after that will be allotted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Location: San Francisco Bay, The boat departs from the Berkeley Marina
Trip Leader(s): John Klobas and Sarah Brooks
Host: Jane Medley,, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Sunday, November 19, 2017
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 4:00 PM
Description: The San Francisco Bay complex comprises one of the largest and most important estuaries along the Pacific flyway, is located in our backyard, but remains relatively unvisited. Our appreciation of the dynamics of the bay can change dramatically in the course of a day from a new perspective on the water. Join John Klobas and his daughter Sarah Brooks for a memorable day as we cruise the bay with Ronn Patterson of Dolphin Charters in search of natural and cultural history, birds, and marine mammals. Fall is the season of mild weather and calm water on the bay as we cruise by ten islands, under two bridges, and up two creeks in four counties in search of migrating and resident waterfowl, water and shore birds, and marine mammals that call the bay's habitats home. Leaving from the Berkeley Marina, we'll cruise the Richmond shoreline, travel by Red Rock, under the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, investigate the Brothers Islands, then head west to the Marin Islands and San Rafael Creek where we will look for Peregrine Falcons and Black Oystercatchers. We then head south past San Quentin and into Corte Madera Creek, continue south along the Marin shoreline, then turn into Raccoon Strait, where we begin to search for Harbor porpoise, which have only recently returned to the bay after being absent for more than six decades. We'll bird Alcatraz on our way across the bay as we head toward San Francisco, where we get a close look at WWII ships, sea lions, and the bustling waterfront. From there we head toward Treasure Island, around Yerba Buena Island with its Harbor seal haul outs, under the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge, and back to the Berkeley Marina. The trip is limited to 25 Marin Audubon Chapter Supporting members and the cost is $105. Given that this trip is limited to just 25 participants, this boat trip is limited to Marin Audubon Society Members Only. Our "Members Only" field trips are limited to chapter-supporting members of Marin Audubon Society (MAS). A membership with National Audubon Society does not qualify for participation in MAS "Members Only" field trips. Our "Members Only" field trips are a specific benefit we provide to MAS chapter supporting members for their support of Marin Audubon and the work MAS undertakes in protecting and managing local habitats for the benefit of Marin's resident and migratory birds. REGISTRATION AND PAYMENT FOR THE TRIP WILL BEGIN ON OCTOBER 2, 2017. On Oct and after, follow the link below to register. For Non MAS Members we invite you to join MAS to participate in this trip (See our Join Us page on this website). WE RECOMMEND BOOKING YOUR SPACE ASAP AS OUR BOAT TRIPS FREQUENTLY SELL OUT QUICKLY. Include the name, email address, and contact phone number of each participant. Those confirmed on the trip will receive directions to the Berkeley Marina and other instructions prior to the trip.

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