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.

Jean and John Starkweather Shoreline Park
Location: San Rafael, CA
Trip Leader(s): Rich Cimino and Janet Bodle
Host: Jane Medley,, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 11:30 AM
Description: Join guides Rich Cimino and Janet Bodle for an easy bird walk during a high tide. We will bird the shoreline of San Pablo Bay for diving ducks, grebes, peeps, gulls, and terns. We will also look for the Puget Sound variety of White-crowned Sparrow. Bring your scope, water, and snacks. Restrooms are available at the bird walk halfway mark (Target Store). Meet in the parking lot for the Jean and John Starkweather Shoreline trailhead. Heavy rain will cancel. Directions: From the north, take Highway 101 to the Bellam Blvd exit. Turn left on Bellum then right on East Francisco Blvd, which parallels I-580. Head east (toward the Richmond/San Rafael Bridge for about 1.5 miles. You will see a Bay Cafe sign at the Bay Park Center. Turn left on Pelican Way then right to the trailhead parking area. From the south you can take the exit to the San Rafael Bridge getting off at the last Marin exit, the San Quentin exit. For GPS, use the Bay Cafe address, 2165 Francisco Blvd, San Rafael.

Tolay Lake Regional Park
Location: Petaluma, CA
Trip Leader(s): Peter Colasanti
Host: Jane Medley,, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Saturday, March 25, 2017
Start Time: 8:45 AM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Description: This 1,700 acre park, located between the Petaluma River and Sonoma Valley, includes pristine farm and grasslands, ridges, a seasonal freshwater lake that has water this year, ponds, wetlands, and many other natural resources. This area is not open to the general public without permits, but we will be allowed access with our guide, Peter Colasanti. We will meet at 8:45 AM at the gate at the top of Cannon Lane, which is off Lakeville Highway just south of and across from Papa's Taverna (restaurant now closed). WE WILL DEPART FROM THE GATE PROMPTLY AT 9 AM. Peter's permit requires that our group enter and leave the park together, and anyone arriving late will not be allowed to enter. There is a $7.00/day vehicle use fee at the Park. We will hike several miles to check all the available habitats at the park: grassland, oak woodland, riparian corridors, ponds, ridgelines, and ranch buildings. For those who wish to continue birding after lunch, we can visit the Ellis Creek ponds a few miles north at the south edge of Petaluma. Wear sturdy hiking shoes and be prepared to hike for several miles. Bring water, lunch, sunscreen, hat and dress in layers. Heavy rain cancels.

Petaluma River Boat Trip - Signups begin on March 15
Location: Boat leaves and returns to Petaluma Turning Basin
Trip Leader(s): Peter Colasanti
Host: Jane Medley,, 559-760-1551
Start Date: Thursday, April 13, 2017
Start Time: 8:15 AM
End Time: 1:30 PM
Description: THIS TRIP IS FULL. Please contact Jane Medley for wait list information.Our boat ride with Dolphin Charters will take us through a small salt water estuary off San Pablo Bay that runs about ten miles through some of the last (mostly untouched) salt water marshes in the Bay Area. Onboard, passengers enter a different world. Cruising down the Petaluma River and meandering past sloughs, oxbows, and marshes where our leader, Peter, has done extensive kayaking, participants will experience these vital aquatic links in our natural world. Boating makes accessible an intimate experience of this backwater, riparian world that lies beyond the end of the road. Our boat will continue out into San Pablo Bay where grebes, ducks, and terns can be seen in the shallow water habitat. In addition, the extensive mud flats along the edge of San Pablo Bay often host large numbers of shorebirds as well as the raptors that feed on them. This trip has been scheduled at low tide to enhance birding opportunities for our group. The trip is limited to 25 Marin Audubon members, and the cost is $90. (Of course, you can become a Marin Audubon member and join us on the trip.) Registration and payment for the trip will begin on March 15, 2017. Follow the link below to sign up and pay via Paypal. Please Include the name, email address, and contact phone number of each participant. Those confirmed on the trip will receive directions to the Petaluma Turning Basin and other instructions prior to the trip.

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