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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 2020

 

Wednesday, March 4 – G C S D Walk

The first Wednesday of the month Bird Walk at the Groveland Community Services property at 18966 Ferretti Road, Groveland, will be led by Jeanne Ridgley on March 4. The property encompasses an area of more than 200 acres of oak, pine and willow habitat with three water storage ponds. 

On the Feb 5 Bird Walk, we saw 31 species. Highlights were Cooper’s Hawk, Nuttall’s Woodpecker, Cedar Waxwings, and Purple Finches.   Access for birders here is limited, and so 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.

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Saturday, February 8 – Stevenot Winery, Murphys

This is a new field trip (not in the tasting room which comes later if you wish!), but along San Domingo Road just outside Murphys among the vineyards.

Take Sheep Ranch Road from Murphys Main Street (opposite the old Murphys Hotel) and travel 2.1 miles almost (but not quite) to San Domingo Creek at the very bottom. San Domingo Road is a demure little turning on the left, so turn in and park on the right in the clearing about 200 yards in. We’ll meet there at 9am.
Barry Boulton (209)596-0612

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Saturday, February 15 – Salt Springs Valley (near Copperopolis)

This is one of our favorite field trips in Calaveras County with a variety of habitats including ponds, grasslands and oak woodlands. On our last trip we saw 49 species including a Burrowing Owl, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Mute Swans, Bald Eagles and Lewis’s Woodpeckers.

As usual, our trip leader will be Paolo Maffei. Meet at 8:15am at Barrow’s (formerly Perko’s) to carpool from Sonora, or at 9am opposite the pond about 1/4 mile along Rock Creek Road off highway 4 near Copperopolis. Bring water, lunch and radios (for convoying) if you have them. Lunch at the resort ($10 per car). Finish by 2pm – but if you need to depart earlier, we’ll get to the resort around 11:30am. Rain will cancel the trip.
Paolo Maffei (209)532-8426

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Sunday, February 23 – 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.

On the January 26 walk, three of us were optimistic enough to meet at Indigeny in the hopes the rain would subside. Unfortunately, it was clear that was not going to happen soon. Violet from Twain Harte, new to Audubon outings, suggested going out to breakfast. as an excellent way to bide some time for better weather. After a very nice breakfast at Barrow’s, formerly Perko’s, we returned to Indigeny. While the bird species count was not particularly high, 23 species, we were still pleased to see as many birds as we did given the still drippy morning. Highlights included tracking down a very vocal but secretive Bewick’s Wren and a brief sighting of a Great Horned Owl whose faint hoots I had heard earlier. It was, also, nice to see the enjoyment of a fellow birder over some of the beautiful birds we often take for granted like the California Scrub Jay or the Spotted Towhee. While a pleasurable morning, I will hope for better weather for our February walk!
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

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Wednesday, February 26 – Merced NWR

This is our annual trip to the refuge as the cranes, ducks and geese are preparing to return to their northern breeding grounds. This is a good time to visit because cranes and geese are fattening themselves in preparation for their gruelling journey, feeding on corn grown at the refuge, so some may be observable on the refuge during daytime, while others will give us that spectacular sunset fly-in.

We will meet just inside the refuge along Sandy Mush Road south of Merced at the first overlook platform at 2pm. Meet at Barrow’s in Sonora (formerly Perko’s) at 12:15pm if you wish to carpool. If considering carpooling, note that we will stay for dinner at the excellent Thai Star in Merced downtown which means leaving Merced around 7pm.

Perhaps I should add that this is my absolute favorite birding location because of the rich variety of species as well as the often surprising appearances that enchant me.
Barry Boulton (209)596-0612