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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 2019


Wednesday, November 6 – 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. The property encompasses an area of more than 200 acres of oak, pine and willow habitat with three water storage ponds.

On the October 2 bird walk, birders saw 40 species. Lewis’s Woodpecker and Northern Harrier were seen for the first time here bringing the number of species seen since 2007 to 152. We saw fifteen White-throated Swifts flying over the large pond  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. For additional information call Jeanne at (209)962-7598.


Thursday, November 14 – Joe Domecq Wilderness Area followed by Merced NWR

We will start our birding at Joe Domceq Wilderness Area which will include Old Basso Bridge environs on Lake Rd. less than 2 miles off J59 while heading south on Hwy 132. Located near and on the Tuolumne River, this is an interesting area to explore with a variety of habitats that is about 45 minutes from Sonora. We will have a little sack lunch before beginning Part 2 of our adventure.
We will make a brief stop at Dawson Lake before heading down to the Merced National Wildlife Refuge, at Sandy Mush Rd. about a one hour drive from Joe Domeq. The refuge is home to a great variety of waterfowl as well as raptors. We will stay till dusk to the watch the Sandhill Cranes fly in and hopefully see some Virginia Rails or Sora. We will finish our day at the Basil Star Cafe for a yummy Thai dinner.
Part 1 – Meet at the parking lot of Perko’s in Sonora at 8:00 AM to carpool (or meet at Joe Domeq around 8:45 AM.)
Part 2 – Meet at the Merced NWR first viewing platform at 2:00 PM to start the auto tour route.
Please wear muted clothing, sturdy shoes (Joe Domecq while level is quite rocky and some may want a walking stick), a hat and sunscreen. Please bring your binoculars, scope if you
have one, a sack lunch and water. Should be a great day! Rain will cancel. Please RSVP to Kit DeGear – call, text or email Cell: (925)822-5215 or kdegear@gmail.com




Sunday, November 24 – Indigeny

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.
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. Kit DeGear (925) 822-5215 or kdegear@gmail.com


Tuesday, December 3 – Lodi & Consumnes Sandhill Crane trip

Beat the weekend crowds to observe both Greater and Lesser Sandhill Cranes resting, eating and dancing in flooded farm fields. We will meet in Sonora (Perkos at 7:30 am) and carpool to Lodi, a 90 minute drive, on Tuesday, December 3. We will stop briefly in Copperopolis to pick up any folks coming from Calaveras. The next stop will be at Hwy 12 in Lodi 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. 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. Trip leader is Jean Dakota; call her if you want a ride and to let her know you are coming: (209)591-9952.