Field Trips

Every August, a new field trip schedule is posted on our webpage. The trips are subject to change, some trips cancelled, others are added. Detailed information about each trip can be found on this page. Information on these trips can also be found in the "Western Meadowlark." On all field trips please observe the Code of Birding Ethics.​

​Field Trip Checklist​

  • Comfortable shoes or hiking boots and a hat.

  • Drinking water, snacks and lunch.

  • Binoculars, spotting scope and field guide.

  • Full fuel tank

  • To email a trip leader simply click on the leader's name at the top of the field trip description

  • Minors will not be allowed on field trips unless accompanied by a parent or a teacher/advisor with appropriate parent permission slips

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    All participants must sign a liability waiver. You may print one out ahead of time and bring it with you, or the trip leader will have forms available on site.

     

T. Benson

Verdin

T. Benson

Trip Chairman Gene Cardiff

Ferruginous Hawk

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B. Singer

Clark's Nutcracker

For more detailed information on the trips below, contact the leader at the telephone listed

Sunday, September 25, 2022 - 7:30 am

Mojave Narrows Regional Park

Steve Myers (951) 616-7578

Mojave Narrows Regional Park in Victorville has long been considered one of the biological jewels of the Mojave Desert. The park contains extensive cottonwood-willow forest that is home to species such as Summer Tanager, Yellow-breasted Chat, Yellow Warbler, Blue Grosbeak, Bell’s Vireo, and scores of other species. The park is host to 4-5 pairs of nesting Vermilion Flycatchers. This trip will focus on fall migrants, and in addition to the forest, we will bird the two fishing lakes, open fields, and the large marsh in the park. Time permitting, we may also visit nearby Spring Valley Lake and the pond at Victor Valley College. The park opens at 7:30, and we will meet at the old silos, which can be reached by going straight after you enter the park (you can’t miss them). There is a per car entry fee into the park.

 

Sunday, October 2, 2022 - 8:00-10:00 am 

Beginning Bird Walk at Glen Helen     

Brad Singer (909) 936-5087

Our goal will be to teach you enough basic birding techniques and identification skills so that you will feel comfortable birding on your own or joining our longer birding trips throughout the year. We will introduce you to some of our local species. The walk is free, but there is an entry fee for the park; see below. No reservations are needed. Everyone is welcome. 
We will meet at the Ash Cove parking lot at the north end of the park. If you do not have a San Bernardino County Regional Parks pass, you will have to pay the $10 daily entry fee for the park. Please contact Brad Singer for further information. Rain or other conditions may cause last minute changes.

Saturday, October 8, 2022 - 8:00 am

Bearpaw Ranch

Tony Metcalf (951) 242-7038

This is a beautiful spot and very accessible from the Riverside/San Bernardino area so we expect to see a lot of you there. Birding in the area will be led by Tony Metcalf. To really enjoy the day, bring binoculars, sturdy shoes, water and maybe a jacket for the mountains, depending on the weather, and don't forget a lunch if you are planning to stay for awhile. Again, all are welcome. 

Saturday, October 15, 2022 - 8 a.m.

High Desert Field Trip

Dori Myers (714) 336-1420

Meet at 8 a.m., at Covington Park, on Park Ave., in Morongo Valley. We will spend the morning in the park and surrounding area and then travel stopping on the way at various parks and venues looking for migrants and resident species.  We will probably end the day, at sunset, in Twenty-nine Palms.  Bring a lunch, snacks, water and all birding essentials including a scope if you have one.  

Sunday, November 20, 2022 - 7:00 am

Northern San Jacinto Valley

Tony Metcalf (951) 242-7038 

Ah, cooler weather. Wintering birds of prey and waterfowl, coastal sage scrub and wetlands, all close by. Please join us for our fall field trip to the northern San Jacinto Valley. We have two goals for this trip. First is to have fun. Second, is to see 100 species. We always accomplish the first goal and have come very close to the second. Maybe this is the year. The northern San Jacinto Valley is known for its high species diversity. We have ranked highest in number of bird species seen for inland areas in North America for Audubon's Christmas Bird Counts, and are usually in the top 1-2% for all counts. At the heart of the region is the public San Jacinto Wildlife Area.We will meet at the parking lot at the gates of the San Jacinto Wildlife Area (map). From Riverside go south on 215 then east on Ramona, then north on Davis road three miles to parking lot. From Hemet, go west on Ramona to Davis road. From Redlands, go east on 10,  then south on 215, then east on 60 or go south on Redlands Blvd, east on 60, East on Gilman springs, south on Bridge Street, west on Ramona and north on Davis road.  As Davis is a dirt road, it is not recommended if there have been recent rains. The dirt roads are too dangerous for normal travel when wet. You can call or e-mail Tony Metcalf or the San Jacinto Wildlife Area headquarters (951-654-0580) for updated road info to the Wildlife Area.

 

Saturday, December 3, 2022 - 8:00 am

Daggett & Newberry Springs

Dori Myers (714) 336-1420 and Gene Cardiff  

We will look for wintering birds at Newberry Springs and Daggett areas in the alfalfa fields and ponds, with a particular interest in birds of prey.  If we have the time we may head over to Silver Lakes and see what we can find there. We will meet at the Denny's on Lenwood Road in Barstow (map) at 7:00 am (before breakfast) or 8:00 am (after breakfast). To get there, take I-15 north to Barstow and turn right at the Lenwood Road offramp. Denny's will be on the right hand side. Bring a lunch, water, snacks and warm clothes, because summer may be over by then. After lunch we will caravan and do some more looking for hawks and other birds. For more information on weather etc., call Dori at the number above.​

 

Sunday, December 4, 2022 - 8:00-10:00 am

Palm Springs Demuth Park

Leader: David Rankin, david.rankin@ucr.edu

For those of you who are just beginning the wonderful pastime of bird watching, please join us for a fun, slow-paced morning of birding in one of our local parks. Our goal will be to teach you enough basic birding techniques and identification skills so that you will feel comfortable birding on your own or joining our longer birding trips throughout the year. We will introduce you to some of our local bird species. You may be surprised at what wonderful birds can be seen! Wear comfortable walking shoes, hats and sunscreen and bring water and binoculars. Everyone is welcome.  Meet at 8 am at the parking lot near the tennis courts on E. Mesquite Blvd. near Vella Road.

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Saturday, January 14, 2023- 8:00 am

Malibu Lagoon to Point Mugu

Dori Myers (714) 336-1420 and Gene Cardiff

 Malibu is always a special place to visit.  Meet at the entrance to the Malibu Pier at 8:00 AM, after breakfast.  Try to park along the highway on the beach side up a little and across from the Jack In the Box.  We will bird the pier and lagoon area in the morning and have lunch on the beach and then we will drive up the coast making several stops along the way.   Be prepared for cool to cold conditions on the pier and hope that it warms during the day.  We should stay to see the sunset so dress in layers, bring water and lots of snacks and a lunch. A spotting scope would be useful.

 

Saturday, January 28, 2023 - 7:00 am

Salton Sea Goose & Crane Trip

Tom Benson (909) 648-0899

This trip at times has been called the “waterfowl trip” the “goose trip” and “a wonderful field trip.”  It is all of that and more.  Perhaps a glimpse at some of the species seen on previous trips will help stoke the the fires of desire:  American White Pelican (hundreds), American Bittern, White-faced Ibis, Roseate Spoonbill, Snow Goose (thousands), Ross’s Goose (hundreds), Greater White-fronted Goose, Bald Eagle, four falcon species, Sandhill Cranes, Mountain Plover, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Burrowing Owl, Mountain Bluebird, and American Redstart.  We usually tally over 100 species.  We will meet at 7:00 am in the Denny’s parking lot at 66th Street and the 86 Highway in Mecca.  We will work South from Mecca on Highway 111 to North Shore, Salton Sea Recreation Area (SRA), toward Brawley, and our eventual terminus at Sonny Bono NWR Unit 1.  Expect mud.

Saturday, February 4, 2023 8:00 am

Silverwood Lake Field Trip     

Brad Singer 909-936-5087/bcsinger@gmail.com

We will bird the perimeter of the lake and some adjacent areas.  We will meet at the marina at 8:00 am. To reach the marina from the Inland Empire, go north on I-15 toward Cajon Pass, exiting at Highway 138. Go east on 138 approximately 11 miles to the Silverwood Lake exit.  Turn left and follow the road to the park entrance. There is an entrance fee per vehicle.  Past the entrance follow signs to the marina.  This will be a long 1/2 day trip, lasting until 1-2 pm.  Expect a variety of waterfowl, raptors, and passerines.

Sunday, February 12, 2023

San Jacinto Valley and Lake Perris

Tony Metcalf (951) 242-7038

The San Jacinto Wildlife Area (SJWA) and the San Jacinto Valley have lots of birds all year. SBVAS leads a Fall trip, a Spring trip, and now a Winter trip to this remarkable birding hotspot.   In addition to the high number of resident species, overwintering birds and the occasional spectacular occurrence, the diversity and number of birds of prey and gulls peak after the new year. So join us on a fairly intense but unstructured day. We will certainly cover the SJWA and adjacent lands, and we may go to Lake Perris and …well, who knows. We will meet at 7:00 AM at the San Jacinto Wildlife Area entrance.

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Saturday March 4, 2023 - 8:00 am

Lake Skinner County Park Field Trip

Charity Hagen

Lake Skinner County Park is an oasis for birds.  In the many wild and manicured areas of the park, birders can expect to see a wide range of birds.  The park contains oak woodlands, Riversidian sage scrub, riparian areas, exotic trees and shrubs, and a reservoir.  This combination of habitats has attracted well over 200 species to the park.  The reservoir is an important wintering ground for species such as Common Goldeneye, Common Loon, Bald Eagle, and multiple other duck and grebe species.  In the riparian areas and manicured trees of the park, many wintering passerine species can be found, with such notable birds as sapsuckers, thrushes, multiple sparrow species, and the occasional wintering eastern warbler.  On this field trip we will scour the many different habitats and multiple shoreline access points to find as many of these birds as possible. In early spring expect to see lingering winter visitors mixed with early arrival breeders such as orioles, along with year round residents such as Acorn Woodpecker and California Gnatcatcher.   Expect to see from 50-70 species during the field trip, with rarities always a possibility.  Most areas can be accessed by vehicle, but be prepared to walk up to a mile in search of the best birding locations. 

Meet at 8 am at the Alamos Schoolhouse Nature Center just inside the park entrance.  There is a $6 per person fee to access the park.

Saturday, March 18, 2023 - 8:00 am

Bolsa Chica & Orange County Coast

Dori Myers (714) 779-2201 (h) or (714) 336-1420 (m)

Please join us for what should be a great day of birding in the wetland areas of Orange County. Expect to see a large variety of wintering birds including ducks, shorebirds, grebes, herons, egrets, terns, cormorants, etc. We ought to find gulls and raptors and some song birds. With any luck we will see 50 or more species just in the morning. After birding Bolsa Chica (until around noon) we will go to Newport Back Bay or the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary to eat our lunch and finish the day.  We will meet at the PCH parking lot of Bolsa Chica at 8:00 am (map). To reach Bolsa Chica, take the 91 freeway south to the 55 (Newport freeway). Continue on the 55 to the 405 and go north towards Long Beach. Exit at Beach Blvd. (south) and continue to Pacific Coast Highway. Turn right and head north on PCH, past Huntington Beach. We will meet in the parking lot of the Ecological Preserve (Bolsa Chica) on the inland side of Pacific Coast Hwy at the signal between Seagate and Warner. Please bring a lunch if you intend to stay for the day. Also bring binoculars, bird book and a scope if you have one. It can get cold along the coast in winter so dress in layers.​

 

 

Sunday, April 16, 2023

7:00 am

San Jacinto Wildlife Area

Tony Metcalf (951) 242-7038 

We will meet at 7:00 am at the San Jacinto Wildlife Area headquarters on Davis Road, a few miles north of Lakeview and the Ramona Expressway. The study of shorebirds is greatly enhanced by the use of spotting scopes so we hope there will be plenty besides our own. Though not necessary, we suggest having rubber boots for those hard to get to spots.  Bring lunch and snacks and drinks. Weather is likely to be excellent, and there will be many birds to see besides the waders.  As usual, the San Bernardino Valley Audubon Society field trips are open to all.

Saturday, April 29, 2023 

7:00 am

Big Morongo Preserve

Matt Grube (909) 253-3867

The last week of April is about the best time for observing migrant land birds in Southern California and Big Morongo is one of the best places for it. In addition to migrant warblers, vireos and flycatchers, we expect to see the breeding specialities including Vermilion Flycatcher, Yellow-breasted Chat, Summer Tanager, Brown-crested Flycatcher, Bullock’s Oriole and Hooded Oriole.  Join us for a morning birdwalk on the trails and roads of the preserve and surrounding areas. We will meet at the preserve parking lot at 7:00 am. To get there, take I-10 to Highway 62, go north ten miles to Morongo Valley, then turn right on Park Avenue to Covington Park. Turn left at Covington Park, then do a quick right-left-right into the preserve. Weather is typically good this time of year. Bring water, snacks and lunch if you plan to make a day of it. Some of us will probably stay out all day. Who knows where the afternoon will lead us?​

​Sunday, May 7, 2023

8:00 am

Whitewater Canyon 

Steve Myers (951) 616-7578

Portions of Whitewater Canyon have long been more or less closed to public access, but the former trout farm is now the "Whitewater Canyon Preserve," managed by The Wildlands Conservancy. If you visited the trout farm in the past, you will not know the place now. Most of the facilities have been removed, and habitat restoration is under way. Riparian and desert scrub habitats should be teaming with birds on this trip. The canyon hosts nesting Summer Tanagers and Brown-crested Flycatchers, and migrants should be easy to find. In addition to the Preserve, we may visit Bonnie Bell, a small community in the canyon that contains excellent cottonwood and willow forest and woodland, somewhat reminiscent of Big Morongo. Meet at the Whitewater Canyon Preserve at 8:00 am. To reach the Preserve, go east on I-10, past the turn-off for Highway 111, and take the Whitewater exit. Turn left, pass over I-10, and watch for Whitewater Canyon Road on your left. The Preserve is at the end of Whitewater Canyon Road, approximately 5 miles north of I-10. Bring sturdy footwear, water, lunch, and the usual essentials.

​Saturday, May 13, 2023

9:00 am

Baby Birds at Bearpaw Ranch

Cin Greyraven (909) 794-0509

Join us for a trip into the hidden world of nesting birds at Bearpaw Nature Sanctuary in Forest Falls (map). Biologist Cin Greyraven will lead the group in its search for evidence of breeding behavior in the common birds of the chaparral and forest. Since 1994, Bearpaw Sanctuary has been part of the National Nest Box Trail system, offering homes to Western Bluebirds, Oak Titmice, House Wrens, Mountain Chickadees, and Ash-throated Flycatchers. Learn what types of nest boxes work best and how monitoring data by average citizens across the continent can contribute to scientific research. Learn how to monitor a nest box without disturbing the nesting effort. Enjoy a peek inside the usually inaccessible world of cavity nesters, and learn to recognize different species by their nests, eggs, and chicks. Bring binoculars for long-distance viewing and cameras for close-up snapshots. Children are welcome. For additional information, call (909) 794-0509.

Saturday, May 27, 2023

7:30 am

San Bernardino Mountains

Brad Singer (909) 936-5087/bcsinger@gmail.com

The San Bernardino Mountains trip will meet outside the Starbuck's located in the Von's shopping center on Big Bear Blvd. and Sandalwood Drive at 7:30 am. We will spend the morning at Cactus Flats and Arrastre Creek where expected species include Black-chinned Sparrow, Green-tailed Towhee, Lazuli Bunting, Scott's Oriole, and Mountain Quail. We will also search for Hepatic Tanager, Indigo Bunting, Calliope Hummingbird, Plumbeous Vireo, Gray Vireo, and Pinyon Jay. About midday we'll bird around Big Bear Lake in search of any lingering shorebirds, terns, and raptors, and then spend the afternoon up either at Bluff Lake or Wildhorse Meadows in search of Williamson's Sapsucker, Dusky Flycatcher, Cassin's Finch, Townsend's Solitaire, and Clark's Nutcracker. For those wanting to continue on, we will stop in Big Bear for an early dinner, and then head to Green Canyon in search of Mexican Whip-poor-wills and owls. Expect a long day, bring plenty of water, lunch, and sturdy hiking shoes. A vehicle with high clearance is recommended but not required. 

 

 

Saturday, Sunday June 3-June 4, 2023

7:30 am

Eastside Sierra 

Brad Singer (909) 936-5087/bcsinger@gmail.com

Join us for a trip to explore birds on the east side of the majestic Sierra Nevada Mountains.  We will meet Saturday morning in Lone Pine at the corner of Highways 395 and 136 in the parking lot of the Eastern Sierra Visitor's Center. Saturday we will explore the Owen's Valley with side jaunts to Glacier Lodge and the White Mountains. Our day will end in Bishop.  Please book a hotel there for the evening.  On Sunday we will travel up to the high Sierra's birding around the Crowley Lake Lek in hopes of spying the Greater Sage- Grouse. From there we'll head to Mammoth Lakes, Inyo Craters, and Mono Lake.  If time permits we will circle back through Wild Horse Canyon and end our day at Tom's Place.  Expect many montane birds on the trip and with luck we may see Evening Grosbeak, Pine Grosbeak, Red Crossbill, Sooty Grouse, and Black-backed Woodpecker.  Sagebrush Sparrow, Brewer's Sparrow, Sage Thrasher,  Cassin's Finch and Mountain Bluebird are expected species.  If you are planning to come, please call or email me as trip participation is limited.

 

Saturday, June 10, 2023

7:30 am

Wrightwood & Blue Ridge

Gene Cardiff (909) 875-5358

The San Gabriel Mountains trip will start at the California Department of Forestry Mormon Rocks Station on Highway 138 at 7:30 am (map). Take I-15 north from San Bernardino or south from the Victor Valley and turn toward Palmdale on Highway 138. The CDF Station is located 1.5 miles up Hwy 138 on the left side of the road, opposite the large sandstone formation called the Mormon Rocks. (There are no restrooms at the CDF Station, use the restrooms at the gas stations near the off ramp.) After birding that area for 30-45 minutes, we will proceed up Lone Pine Canyon Rd into Wrightwood to Big Pines and eventually wind up at 8000 feet and Blue Ridge Campground for lunch.  Bring a lunch, liquids and a good pair of shoes. We will look for mountain birds such as the Fox Sparrow, Green-tailed Towhee, Dusky Flycatcher, and Williamson's Sapsucker. Please don’t forget: you will need an Adventure Pass (we will stop at the ranger station).​

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