Sequoia Audubon Society
                              San Mateo County, California

Sequoia Audubon Field Trips

SAS Field Trip
Sweetwood Group Camp, Half Moon Bay. Trip led by Malia DeFelice & Chris Hayward (on the far right.) Photo by Malia DeFelice

Visitors and guests are welcome!

  • All trips are open and suitable for beginners unless specifically marked.

  • Trips marked as Beginner's Trips include advice on binoculars and telescopes, and a short open-ended discussion on birding and the environment.

  • It is always a good idea to check with the field trip LEADER for confirmation on trips beyond the immediate area in case of last minute changes.

  • Note that some trips require reservations, see the individual descriptions for requirements.

  • Further information may be obtained from the listed Trip LEADER or from

  • A description for the event icons can be found at the bottom of the page.

  • This listing also includes trips and events not sponsored by Sequoia Audubon Society - listed for your information, only.

Note: All phone numbers are for Area Code 650, unless otherwise stated.

Recurring Activities


Weekday Walks and Field Trips with Donna Pomeroy on the First Wednesday of every month to some places we may not normally bird and usually in San Mateo County. For all trips carpooling is preferred. Contact Donna to arrange if a carpool location is not already suggested. Rain cancels trips.

Trip details found in dated listings below.

Leader: Donna Pomeroy


Don't forget to check Other Activities for field trips of interest not sponsored by SAS.

Field TripFiloli Estate – RSVP Required
Saturday, April 21, 8:30am to 12:00pm

Filoli Estate is the property of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. We have been invited for a morning of birding at this beautiful site on the edge of the San Francisco Watershed land.   In addition to birds, the wildflowers should be plentiful at this time; especially in the shadier areas on the back roads. The grounds of Filoli have a beautiful formal garden surrounded by large oaks and trails leading to riparian, redwood and farm habitats. Over 96 species of birds have been found here. Reservations are required because this trip is limited to 20 people maximum (sorry, no children under 14).  Participants may remain after the field trip to walk through the house and /or formal gardens at no charge. Picnic tables are available near the Visitor Education Center if you wish to enjoy your own food, or you can purchase a wide variety of lunch items and beverages at the Quail's Nest Cafe. The gift shop will also be open.

Directions: Take Hwy 280 to the Edgewood Road exit; go west. Turn right/north on Canada Road and drive approx one mile to the entrance of Filoli.  We will meet in front of the Visitors Center. Call Sue James (650) 348-0315 to reserve your spot. Heavy Rain Cancels.

Leaders: Sue James and Martha O'Neal

Field TripAlpine Lake and Ipiwa Trail Loop - RSVP so we know you plan to attend
Friday April 27, 8:30am - hike will last 3 to 4 hours

Join Malia DeFelice and Chris Hayward and explore Alpine Lake (also called Alpine Pond) and vicinity. We will hike around Alpine Lake through mixed habitat of willows and chaparral, mixed oak, madrone  and conifer forest. Turning onto the Ipiwa Trail, we will move through dense oak forest out to open grassland. Our moderately easy hike has some gain and loss in elevation and will be 3 to 5 miles. We'll look for Ash-throated Flycatcher and Black-throated Gray Warbler.  This is a lovely hike with some beautiful vistas.

Directions: Meet at the Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve parking lot at the intersection of Skyline Blvd. (Hwy 35) and Alpine Rd. Restrooms are located at the parking lot and at the south end of Alpine Lake. Wear layers. Temps can be cool under the forest canopy and quite warm in the open grassland areas.  Bring water, snack and sunscreen.

Leaders: Malia DeFelice and Chris Hayward  RSVP to

Field TripBurleigh Murray State Park
Wednesday, May 2, 8:00am – 12:00pm

Burleigh Murray State Park is a hidden treasure on the coast.  It has very low visitor usage and a very high density of breeding birds. The only trail is the mile-long, old ranch road that leads up to an historic and picturesque barn. The high number of singing birds will keep this walk at a slow pace. This is a great location to learn and practice birding by ear. Morning fog is common here, but it usually burns off and it can be warm and sunny.

Directions: We will meet at the lower parking lot to the Johnston House, located on Higgins-Purisima Road in Half Moon Bay. Higgins-Purisima Road begins just off of SR1, going east where Main Street ends. The Johnston House is the big white 1850s farmhouse on the hill.  We will caravan to Burleigh Murray, which is 1 ½ miles up Higgins-Purisima Road from here.

Leader: Donna Pomeroy

Field Tripbeginner and family walk Stulsaft Park, Redwood City
Sunday, May 6, 9:00am - 1:00pm

Join Sequoia Audubon Society and Grassroots Ecology in searching for the various birds that inhabit Stulsaft Park! This nestled neighborhood park beloved by children, adults, and dogs, is also home to hawks, owls, herons, and passerines! President of the Sequoia Audubon Society and expert birder Jennifer Rycenga leads us in how to use binoculars and the importance of birding at Stulsaft Park.

Who: All ages! Minors under 18 require an online waiver and children under 12 require an accompanying adult. 

What: A 4 hour hike around Stulsaft Park looking at and hearing different birds! 

WhereStulsaft Park at 3737 Farm Hill Blvd in Redwood City. We will meet in front of the playground. Call (562) 400-0885 if running late or lost.

Please bring: a reusable water bottle, sturdy shoes, layers, a hat, and binoculars if you have them!

Sign up:

Co-Leader: Jennifer Rycenga

Field TripfeeSearching for Migrants at Coyote Point County Park (RSVP)
Friday, May 11, 8:00am - 11:00am

Coyote Point needs no introduction as one of the most productive birding sites on the Bay. At this time of year there is a wide variety of species at the park including many duck, grebes, cormorants, herons, raptors, shorebirds, gulls and terns. These are complimented by the chance of interesting migrant passerines such as flycatchers, tanagers, vireos, kingbirds, warblers and orioles. Let's see what we can find! We will meet in the parking lot by the Eucalyptus Group Picnic Area and walk trails at a leisurely pace. We will bird the trail through the eucalyptus grove to the grassy area above the museum, followed by the fresh-water marsh, and the shoreline out to the harbor entrance about 1 1/2 miles all told. High tide is 10:10am so we will be there at a good time to see shorebirds close-in as the tide recedes.

Directions: Take Hwy 101 and follow the signs to the park. There is an admission fee of $6 per vehicle. Beginners welcome! Heavy rain cancels.

Leader: Adam Dudley

Field TripBurleigh Murray State Park
Saturday June 2, 8:00 – 11:00am

Burleigh Murray State Park hosts a wonderful trail through lush riparian, with patches of scrub and eucalyptus groves.  The site has many breeders that are uncommon elsewhere in the county, including Western Wood-Pewee, Olive-sided Flycatcher, and MacGillivray's Warbler.  It also has great potential for wandering eastern songbirds that tend to show up late in spring.  We'll do a lot of listening, enjoying the early morning chorus of our local songbirds.  Expect about 2 miles of walking in total. There are bathrooms on site.

Directions: Burleigh Murray State Park is located on Higgins-Purisima Road in Half Moon Bay. From Hwy One, the park is about 1.5 miles east on Higgins-Purisima Road, on the left side.

Leader: Rob Furrow,

Field TripSkyline Ridge Open Space Preserve – Horseshoe Lake
Wednesday, June 6, 8:00am - 11:30am

Skyline Open Space Preserve attracts an abundance of spring migrants and breeding birds as well as a wonderful variety of resident species. Horseshoe Lake is just one of the many diverse habitats in this park. The hike we will take around the lake will be relatively easy and we will take our time exploring this gorgeous park. Dress in layers.

Directions: The main entrance to this 2,143-acre preserve is located 0.9 miles south of the Alpine Rd. and Skyline Blvd. intersection on Skyline Blvd. (Hwy 35). The turnoff is on the west side of the road. We will meet in the equestrian parking lot, the southernmost lot of the three parking lots.

Leader: Donna Pomeroy

Field TripEnid Pearson Arastradero Preserve
Sunday, June 10, 8:00am - 12:00pm

Arastradero is a wonderful park with rolling hills, oak trees and meadowland. We will look for Western Bluebirds, swallows, Lazuli Bunting, Acorn Woodpeckers and several hawk species. Golden Eagle and Bald Eagle are also possible here. We will walk 2-4 miles at birders' pace. It can get hot here so bring water and sun protection.

Directions: Take highway 280 south. Exit Page Mill Rd. and go west (right). Turn right on Arastradero Road. The parking lot will be on the right.

Leader: Ginny Marshall.

Field TripLas Gallinas Ponds, San Rafael : Least Bittern Odyssey
Saturday June 16, 7:30am - 11:00am

For the last few years Least Bitterns have bred at Las Gallinas Ponds. If the birds return in 2018 this trip coincides with when the birds should be starting their breeding activity. We have a good chance of hearing, and maybe seeing, the smallest North American heron. This is also an excellent area to view a wide variety of waterfowl and other wetland birds, and maybe even have a chance to see one of the resident River Otters. These are level trails along a series of levees. This is a slow-paced trip, excellent for all levels of birding. A scope is useful here, if you have one, but many of the birds are close enough for great photo opportunities.

Directions: From Highway 101 in San Rafael  take the Smith Ranch Road exit, then go east on Smith Ranch toward the McInnis Park entrance. Turn left immediately after crossing the railroad tracks, staying on Smith Ranch, and go about .5 miles to the end of the road, at the Las Gallinas Ponds parking lot. Meet in the parking lot. Heavy rain cancels.

Leader: Adam Dudley

Field TripfeeAño Nuevo State Park - Swallows and Swifts
Please RSVP so we know you plan to attend - $10 entrance fee
Saturday, June 30 8:30am - hike will last 3 to 4 hours

Join Malia and Chris to explore Año Nuevo State Park. Año Nuevo State Park is a wonderful birding location for a variety of seabirds, coastal prairie birds and raptors of all sorts. At this time of year one can see the six expected swallow species, and if we're lucky, Black Swift. We will be focusing on ID'ing and comparing the swallow species in flight!  A predicted low tide at 6:34 am should allow us access to Cove Beach where we can view the largest Bank Swallow nesting colony in San Mateo county. We will keep our eyes to the skies for Black Swift which also nest in the area. This time of year we can walk out to the point without a docent, so we will go and see what birds we can find out there. Please confirm if you intend to attend this field trip so we know to expect you.

Directions:Meet at the parking lot inside Año Nuevo State Park. There is a $10 entrance fee.  Wear layers. Temps can be cool this time of year or quite warm in the open dune and grassland areas. Bring water, snacks  and sunscreen.

Leaders: Chris Hayward and Malia DeFelice Contact: to RSVP.  If you are running late you can try to text 650-346-2009, however there is limited internet/phone access at this location

Field Tripout of area tripmotor tour Mono Lake Basin & Eastern Sierra Slope (Trip full with wait list)
Friday, July 27 - Sunday July 29

Join us for our annual field trip to the Eastern Sierras and Mono Lake area for spectacular scenery and incredible birding!

On Friday afternoon we'll meet at a site in Yosemite to look for Pine Grosbeak, before driving to our accommodation in Mammoth Lakes. A quick turnaround will take us out for an early supper before an optional evening trip to search for Common Poorwill and Common Nighthawk.

On Saturday we'll start at dawn, heading east into the local canyons to look for the special birds of the region including Sagebrush Sparrow, Plumbeous Vireo, Juniper Titmouse, Green-tailed Towhee, Woodhouse's Scrub-Jay, Mountain Quail, Pinyon Jay, and multitudes of desert sparrows. After lunch we'll escape the heat by working our way into the Sierra looking for woodpeckers (White-headed, Black-backed, and Hairy), flycatchers (dusky, gray), Thick-billed Fox Sparrow, Sooty Grouse, and other mountain specialities.

Sunday morning will also start early and at high elevation, looking for Pine and Evening Grosbeaks, Williamson's and Red-breasted Sapsuckers, Red Crossbills and other high altitude species. We'll end our time together in the high Sierra by having brunch/lunch at a nearby resort with feeders and gardens that attract high-altitude species including Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch, Cassin's Finch, Mountain Chickadee and Clark's Nutcracker.

This trip is very popular and is limited to 14 participants. Trip full with wait list

Contact Adam Dudley at

Additional Field Trips will be added as the information becomes available.

Legend of Field Trip Symbols

Field Trip Wildlife Viewing

fee Fee required for part or all of this event

out of area trip Trip beyond local area, perhaps including an overnight stay

volunteer opportunity Volunteer Opportunity

beginner and family walk Beginner/Family walk

nature walk or viewing Nature Walk or Viewing

pelagic trip Pelagic (Ocean) Trip

motor tour Motor Tour. May include car pooling.

wheelchair accessible Wheelchair Accessible

bicycle Birding by Bicycle


2018 S.A.S.