Field Trips

                                                                                                                                                                               American Dipper by Blake Matheson

Monterey Audubon's volunteer-lead field trips are open to birders of all levels. Most field trips occur in spring and fall during the height of migration and breeding season, though we occaisonally offer other trips at other times of year. Check back here and in our digital newsletter for updates. 

Sat. March 12th  7:30 - 12:00pm: Moonglow Dairy

Because the diverse flora and fauna Moonglow Dairy is one of Monterey Counties top birding locations. We will explore the dairy, ponds, eucalyptus grove and the edge of Elkhorn Slough looking for shorebirds, ducks, raptors and hopefully a rarity or two. Mild hiking / walking. Meet: At the Wild Bird Haven in Del Monte Shopping Center at 7:30am
RSVP: Required. Contact Cooper Scollan 
831-241-1422 or  Rain cancels. 

Sat. March 26th  8:00am - 12:00pm: South Bank Trail, Carmel
Recently the Monterey Regional Park District and the Big Sur Land Trust formed a new access trail to the east side of Palo Corona Regional Park that runs adjacent to the Carmel River from its trailhead off of Rancho San Carlos Rd. in Carmel Valley. We will explore this access trail as it winds its way from the Quail Lodge Golf Course area to the east entrance of the park, birding in a variety of habitats from riparian to oak woodland, grassland, and golf park environments. Group limited to 12, carpooling a must as parking is limited. 

Meet: 8am Wild Bird Haven at the Del Monte Shopping Center. 
RSVP: Required. Contact Rita Carratello at 831-375-0794 or Rain cancels.  Note If you wish to continue birding inside the Park after the 
field trip, a permit is required and can be obtained at the Regional Park website:

Sat. April 2nd  7:00am - 5:00pm:  Pinnacles National Monument
This trip will explore the east side of the park near the Big Gulch Nature Center and will have some moderate hiking to the Big Bear Gulch Reservoir and back (about a 2.5 mile route).  A variety of habitats should provide a number of interesting birds such as Canyon Wren, Rock Wren and possibly Calif. Condors. There is also a $10 fee/person at the entrance. 

Meet: At the Wild Bird Haven parking area at Del Monte Shopping Center at 7 AM for carpooling. We will plan to leave there at 7:15 sharp.

RSVP: Required. Contact Robert Horn 831-372-4608 or Rain cancels. 

Sat. April 9th 8:00am - 12:00pm: Carr Lake, Salinas. 
Come explore one of Salinas’s birding gems! Carr Lake and surrounding areas are home to wetland species, ducks, raptors and assorted passerines. It also a great spot to hear birds as well.  Mild hiking / walking throughout the area. 

Meet: At the parking lot of Veteran’s Memorial park at 8:00am

RSVP: Required. Contact Mike Stake (email preferred) or 831-710-0171 Rain cancels. 

Sat. April 16th 8:30am - 10:30am: Frog Pond Wetlands Preserve

Spring is well underway by April here especially when the pond is full. It is harder to see the birds than it is to hear them so we will practice ear training with the common nesting species. Since the path is narrow and parking is limited, the group is limited to 6 participants. 

Meet: At the Frog Ponds in Del Rey Oaks at 8:30
RSVP: Required.  Contact Rita Carratello 
831-375-0794 or Rain cancels. 

Sun. May 1  7:30am-2pm:  Fort Ord National Monument

Fort Ord National Monument is a local treasure with a rich natural and cultural history.   BLM Biologist Bruce Delgado will lead this driving/light hiking tour exploring Fort Ord National Monument looking for birds in habitats such as rare maritime chaparral, oak woodland and native grassland.  Group limited to 12.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Meet: Corner of 8th Ave and Giggling Rd in Seaside at 
7:30am.  Then carpool to locations.  Late arrivals and early departures not possible due to locked gates.                                                                                                                                  
RSVP: Required.  Contact Shawn Wagoner, Email (preferred): or call 925-487-7335 Rain cancels. 

Sun. May 1 SPECIAL EVENT: Return of the Natives Spring Bird Count and Clean-up at Carr Lake

Experienced birders and novices alike are invited to join Return of the Natives (R.O.N.) at Upper Carr Lake for the Spring Bird Count! There will be lots of new birds nesting during this time of year! This is also “Take It Outside Day” started by Big Sur Land Trust – celebrate by getting outside with R.O.N.!

Why count birds? The quantity and diversity of birds helps us to assess the success of our ongoing habitat restoration work. It’s a really fun way to learn more about local species and the restoration process! Bird count will be 7am-10am. After 10am, volunteers are invited to help cleanup the natural waterways and area around Upper Carr Lake. R.O.N. events are a great way to learn more about where you live, meet new people, earn community service hours, and help protect our clean water supply. Everyone is welcome! A great family activity that is FREE. Tools, water, and great snacks provided. Wear sturdy footwear and plenty of layers. Bring your community service forms to earn hours.

Directions: Upper Carr Lake is located on East Laurel Drive between Constitution and Sanborn Rd. in Salinas. Look for the R.O.N. community event signs! (Use 824 E. Laurel Dr., Salinas for Google Maps) 

*Volunteer groups of 10 or more please RSVP. *
If under the age of 18 please have your parent or guardian sign a waiver prior to the event. (

*For Community Service Documents: 
Name of Sponsoring Organization - Return of the Natives
Organization Representative - Lauren Krohmer
Title - Volunteer Coordinator
Phone Number - 831-582-3686

*Weather Policy: The event will be postponed only if it is raining hard on the day of the event. Event postponement will be posted on our website , our Facebook page, and a voicemail recording on the 582-3686 line by 8:30am on the day of the event. 

Sat. May 7th 8:00 - 12:30pm: Andrew Molera State Park:

Andrew Molera State Park offers one of the most diverse ecosystems anywhere in California with a current eBird HotSpot count of 326 different species. A great outing for birders of all experience levels from beginners to twitchers, the walk will start in coastal scrub and quickly move into oak woodlands that gently slope toward the Big Sur River riparian habitat and end in a finale of panoramic views of the Pacific Coast that offers good sea watching opportunities depending on the weather. We can expect to see more than 50 different species on this outing ranging from warblers to gulls.  Meet7:30am behind Carmel Crossroads Starbucks.      
RSVP: Required. Contact Blake Rain cancels.  

Monterey Audubon Society, P.O Box 5656, Carmel, CA 93921                                                    © Monterey Audubon 2012