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Birding Info

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Field Trips

All CSAS trips are open to the public, and beginning birders, including children, are welcome on day trips.  Bring drinking water and a lunch or snacks.  Suggested apparel: Muted colors in clothing and hats; sturdy shoes, a sun hat and sunscreen, and insect repellent are advisable for all trips.  Dress layered, particularly in winter months. Carry water and snacks.  Bring binoculars, spotting scopes and birding field guides if you have them and insect repellent and sunscreen if needed.
NOTE: Heavy rain cancels field trips.  If in doubt, call the trip leader by one hour before the meeting time.

Upcoming Field Trips

Wednesday, November 7 — G C S D Walk

The first Wednesday of the month Bird Walk at the Groveland Community Services District property at 18966 Ferretti Road, Groveland will be will be led by Jeanne Ridgley on November 7 at 8:00 AM. The property encompasses an area of more than 200 acres of oak, pine and willow habitat with three water storage ponds.
On the October field trip, 33  species were  seen, including a Spotted Sandpiper, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Cedar Waxwing, Orange-crowned Warbler and three species of Sparrows–White-crowned, Golden-crowned, Song and Lincoln’s.
Access for birders here is limited. Birders must be accompanied by an authorized birder.  Please meet the group in the GCSD parking lot at 8:00 AM. Bring binoculars and a birding field guide if you have one. Rain will cancel the trip. The walk will last about two to three hours.


Thursday, November 15 — Horseshoe Road recreation Area

This is often a stop on our String of Pearls trip, and I thought it would be nice to devote a little more time to this unique site. From the parking area a 1/4 mile level walk takes you along the Stanislaus River on your right out to a large pond. Many cool waterfowl can be observed here including migrating ducks, herons and egrets. I have seen the Mute Swan here more than once. Walking another 1/4 mile will take you to the campground located right on the river – a lovely spot for a snack or lunch. There are many other birds to be seen in the trees and shrubs along the way. I hope you will join me!
We will meet at 8:00 AM at Perko’s to car pool, or, you can meet us at the site at 8:45 AM. I expect the trip to last a couple of hours. Please bring your binoculars and a scope if you have one, water, a snack or lunch, wear muted clothing and a hat and sunscreen as needed. There is a restroom at the parking lot. Rain will cancel the trip. Trip Leader: Kit DeGear, 925-822-5215 or email Kit.
Directions: To get to Horseshoe Road Recreation Area, take 108 West from Sonora, turn right on Sonora Road and go through the town of Knights Ferry, stay straight to turn onto Orange Blossom Rd. where Sonora Rd. veers off to the right. Horseshoe is between Knights Ferry and Orange Blossom Recreation Areas. You will see the large pond area on your left, then drive past the actual Horseshoe Rd. on your right and the entrance to the Recreation Area will be shortly on your left. Drive down to the parking area by the river.

Sunday, Nov. 25 – Indigeny Reserve

Please join me as we bird through the beautiful grounds at Indigeny. Besides the apple orchards, there are large oaks, some pines, stream-side thickets and a marshy area with reeds that provide some great habitats for birds. As always, bring your binoculars and/or scopes, wear muted colors and you may wish to include a hat,  sunscreen and water.  On our last visit on October 28th I was joined by Ron and Barbara McDow. We enjoyed a leisurely walk taking in the wonderful fall colors as well as the birds on hand. The Golden-crowned and White-crowned Sparrows, Dark-eyed Juncos and Ruby-crowned Kinglets have returned for the Winter. Other highlights included a Red-breasted Sapsucker and Cedar Waxwings. American Robins were out in full force! A total of 38 species were seen.
The walk will last 2-3 hrs. Children are welcome! Meet in the parking lot at 8:00 AM. Rain will cancel the trip. Follow the signs from the intersection of Greenley and Lyons/Bald Mountain Roads in Sonora. After a few miles on Lyons/Bald Mountain Road, turn right onto Apple Hill Drive where there is a large sign that says “Apple Valley Ranches.” A quick left turn onto Summers Lane leads you to Indigeny. Trip Leader: Kit DeGear, 925-822-5215 or email Kit.

Tuesday, December 4 – Lodi Sandhill Crane Trip

Beat the weekend crowds to observe both Greater and Lesser Sandhill Cranes resting, eating and dancing in flooded farm fields. The 2,000 acres of wetlands of the Cosumnes River Preserve are jointly managed by private and government agencies. The Preserve hosts a rich variety of up to 90 seasonal bird species including shore birds and migrating ducks. Expect to see Black-bellied Plover, Black-necked Stilt, Greater Yellowlegs, Dunlin, Long-billed Dowitcher, and many other species. We will stay on the asphalt paths and not venture into the restricted and/or muddy areas. There are  restrooms and a covered picnic area that should be available for use. Bring lunch, snacks and water. We will be back in Sonora by dinnertime. We will meet in Sonora and carpool to Lodi, a 90 minute drive, on Tuesday, December 4. We will stop for bathroom breaks and coffee before arriving at Woodbridge Road. There we can view/ photograph the Sandhill cranes and numerous other birds at several spots along this public road. After, we will proceed a few miles north to the Cosumnes River Preserve. Jean Dakota, (209)591-9952 or email Jean.

Saturday, Dec. 8 – Stanislaus Audubon Trip to Merced NWR

This auto route tour gives birders an opportunity to see many species of waterfowl returning to the San Joaquin Valley for the winter. There are also a few trails where we may encounter some passerine species. Meet at the first overlook platform and parking lot in the refuge at 8:30am. Location is 7430 W Sandy Mush Rd, Merced, CA 95341.  Trip leader,  Sal Salerno, President of Stanislaus Audubon.
This will be an excellent complementary trip to the one above that Jean Dakota will be leading to Cosumnes River Preserve, just a few days before, on December 4. You can contrast and compare the species and environments at the two locations.