Travel with Golden Gate Audubon Society
Are you thinking of traveling outside the Bay Area? Do you want to expand your life list while experiencing a different environment or a different culture? If so, consider these upcoming guided trips, all designed especially for GGAS. For information, a detailed itinerary and registration, please contact GGAS Travel Coordinator Pat Kirkpatrick at firstname.lastname@example.org or her assistant Alexis Hummel at email@example.com.
We welcome suggestions for future trips. If you have been on a birding trip that was especially wonderful, experienced a terrific guide, or have a suggestion of an area to visit, please email Pat or Alexis.
Oaxaca – December 2-12, 2013
Led by experienced naturalist Mark Pretti, this tour is designed to provide the optimum exposure to the flora and fauna, history, culture, cuisine and scenery at a comfortable pace while enjoying unique and superb lodging. Some birding highlights will include: White-throated Towhee, Boucard’s Wren, Elegant Euphonia, Rufous-capped Brush Finch, Aztec Thrush, Blue-capped Hummingbird, Emerald Toucanet and Colima Pygmy Owl. Your journey combines birding with a visit to master Zapotec weavers, a tour of the ruins of Monte Alban, a visit to the Oaxaca Cultural Museum and a tour of the Finca El Pacifico organic coffee plantation.
Six spots available: Cost will be $2,850 per person, double occupancy, includes all meals, lodging, entrance fees and transportation from Oaxaca City. (Does not include airfare to Oaxaca.) More info at http://www.markprettinaturetours.com/oaxaca.htm . To register, please contact Pat Kirkpatrick at firstname.lastname@example.org or Alexis Hummel at email@example.com.
Belize — February 1-11, 2014 – sold out
Belize is one of the world’s finest natural destinations. This trip, led by expert naturalist Mark Pretti, includes stays in some of Belize’s finest accommodations, including Hidden Valley Inn, Bird’s Eye View Lodge and Pook’s Hill Lodge. You will visit Mayan ruins, see spectacular waterfalls, enjoy a night safari boat ride, sunset lagoon trip and observe some of Belize’s 570+ species of birds including toucans, woodcreepers, tanagers, antbirds, hummingbirds, raptors, waders and more, not to mention mammals, reptiles, dazzling butterflies and other tropical treats.
Six spots available: Cost will be about $3,300-$3,400 per person, double occupancy, includes all meals, lodging and transportation from Belize City. (Does not include airfare to Belize.) More info at http://www.markprettinaturetours.com/belize.htm. To register, please contact Pat Kirkpatrick at firstname.lastname@example.org or Alexis Hummel at email@example.com.
South Texas – April 11-20, 2014
Eddie Bartley and Noreen Weeden of Nature Trip will lead you through the famous avian migrant traps along the central & southern Texas Coast during the peak period of the Gulf of Mexico spring migration. Easily explore the distinctive sub-tropical habitats of the Rio Grande Valley in wonderful parks & refuges. Observe unique avifauna and other wildlife that exists nowhere else in the U.S. Enjoy a full day nature tour of the world famous King Ranch. Travel as a small group (trip is limited to eight people) in a spacious and comfortable van with experienced nature & bird guides.
Cost: $2,750.00 per person based on double occupancy, including all transportation, park fees, lodging, all meals and a donation to GGAS. Air and ground transportation to Corpus Christi is not included. Contact Pat Kirkpatrick at firstname.lastname@example.org or Alexis Hummel at email@example.com for registration forms and itinerary.
Upper Texas Coast / Hill Country – April 20-29, 2014
This trip visits the famous avian migrant traps along the upper Texas Coast during the peak period of the Gulf of Mexico spring migration. Led by Eddie Bartley and Noreen Weeden of Nature Trip, it also includes time exploring the Texas Hill Country searching for two rare and difficult-to-find species, the Golden-cheeked Warbler and the Black-capped Vireo. You’ll witness the second largest bat fly-out in the world, and tour the uniquely beautiful Balcones Canyonlands, with wildflowers galore. Travel as a small group (tour is limited to eight people) in a spacious and comfortable van with experienced nature & bird guides.
Cost: $2,650 per person based on double occupancy, including all land transportation, guide service, park fees, lodging and meals and donation to GGAS. Does not include airfare and transportation to and from Houston airport.
Central Wisconsin – May 5-9 and May 10-15, 2014
Wisconsin has recorded 435 species and is a nesting sink for Vireos, Warblers Orioles and Sparrows. This five-day birding field trip with Rich Cimino’s Yellow Billed Tours will provide birders with opportunities to experience a touch of America’s conservation history, including visits to the boyhood homes of John Muir and Aldo Leopold’s as well as a visit to the International Crane Center. The Mississippi Flyway, as it cuts through Wisconsin, is an overlooked birding opportunity for those seeking spring migrants and raptors. It’s the peak period for spring migration with many species in full breeding plumage. The 2013 field trips observed 160+ species, including over 20 warbler species.
Want a firsthand account? Click here to read Carol Lombardi’s blog post about GGAS’ 2013 trip to Wisconsin!
Cost per person is $1,550.00, which includes donation to GGAS and covers ground transportation guide services and park entry fees. Not included are airfares and meals.
Magee Marsh, Ohio — May 14-17, 2014
This midwestern spring migration trip led by Harry Fuller includes two full days and one morning at Magee Marsh and nearby birding spots such as Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge. You will see up to 31 species of warblers, including Blackburnian, Chestnut-sided, Magnolia, Cerulean, Golden-winged, Blue-winged, Kentucky, Connecticut, Black-and-White Warbler, etc. You may also see Philadelphia Vireo, Long-eared Owl, Trumpeter Swan, Black-billed Cuckoo, Eastern Screech Owl, Whip-poor-will, etc. as well as abundant locally breeding birds.
Want more details and photos? Click here for an online brochure for this trip, including links to photos and blog posts from the 2013 Magee Marsh trip.
Cost: $1,290, including lodging, van rental, access fees, breakfast and a donation to GGAS. Does not include lunch, dinner or flight to Detroit, MI.
Nome, Alaska — May 31-June 5 & June 5-10, 2014
The Nome eco-region is home for a short period of time during the short Arctic summer for many Neo-tropic and Indo-Asian migrant nesting birds, many of which you’ll observe in their breeding plumages. Participants in these sub-Arctic trips, led by Rich Cimino of Yellow Billed Tours, recorded 94 species in 2013. Highlights may include Emperor Goose, Cackling Goose, Northern Goshawk, 21 Sandpiper species, Black Guillemot, Gyrfalcon, Gray Jay Bluethroat, Alder Flycatcher, Gray Jay, Arctic Warbler and Rusty Blackbird.
The Nome field trip is an all-day birding marathon often lasting 10 hours. Riding on non-paved roads can be taxing, while at the same time very adventurous. The scenery is an open landscape to the shores of the Bering Sea, mountains, rivers, tundra and Spruce Forest. Trip is limited to six people.
Want a firsthand account? Click here to read Carol Lombardi’s blog post about her 2012 trip to Nome through GGAS.
The cost is $2,675.00 per person, which includes a donation to GGAS and lodging, ground transportation, fuel, airport pick-up and drop-off and field guide services. Not included are airfare and meals.
Northern Colombia – June 3-13, 2014
Colombia is famous among birders for being the most bird-rich country on Earth. The unique topography of the county supports a tremendous number of bird species, including almost 80 endemics and 109 near endemics.
Led by experienced bird guide and naturalist Mark Pretti, you will begin in the coast lowlands, which provide homes for waders, waterfowl, raptors, Dwarf Cuckoo, Bi-colored and Stripe-back Wrens, Russet-throated Puffbirds, and many others. You will then work your way up to the small town of Minca in the foothills, where you’ll enjoy good forest birds. Your hotel’s hummingbird feeders attract numerous species, while the grounds have plenty of Tanagers, Tlycatchers, Wrens, Motmots and Manakins. From Minca, you will head to the cloud forest and the El Dorado Lodge and surrounding reserve where you will have views of snow-capped peaks and the Caribbean as well as the Santa Marta Woodstar. White-tailed Starfrontlet, the Black-backed Thornbill and the White-tipped Quetzal. The trip will conclude at Play La Roca, a beachfront lodge providing good access to a peninsula with a nearby forest and great birds. Photos, details and past trip reports on Mark Pretti’s web site.
Cost will be about $3,000-$3,100 per person, double occupancy, all-inclusive from Barranquilla, Colombia. Trip is limited to eight people.
North Slope, Barrow, Alaska – June 11-14, 2014
The Barrow eco-region records 100+ nesting Arctic birds species annually, including all the eider species — the Common Eider, Spectacled Eider, Steller’s Eider and the King Eider. Led by Rich Cimino of Yellow Billed Tours, you’ll also be looking for 40 species of shorebirds including the White-rumped Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper, Stilt Sandpiper and Buff-breasted Sandpiper. Puffins, Snowy Owls, Smiths Longspur and the Gray-crowned Rosy Finch can also be seen. With some luck we may see a real Slaty-back Gull and all five species of loons. Trip is limited to four people.
The cost is $2,675.00, which includes a to GGAS, lodging, transportation and guide services. It does not include airfare or meals. Field trips of this nature are intense, often lasting 10 hours a day on non-paved roads. Be prepared for a great adventure.
Eastern Oregon – June 11-14, 2014
This wonderful trip includes birding the length of Malheur and Page Springs Campground for Sage and Brewer’s Sparrow, Gray Flycatcher, Sage Thrasher, Kingbirds, Boblink, Great Horned Owls. Led by Harry Fuller, you will bird the sagebrush and marshland in the north of Malheur Lake and then along “Raptor Alley” around Crane, Oregon to see Loggerhead Shrike, Burrowing Owl, Ferruginous and Swainson’s Hawks, Prairie Falcon, Wilson’s Phalarope, Horned Lark, Black Tern and possibly American Bittern.
Cost: $310 per person, includes meals, lodging, donation to GGAS and ground travel. Trip is limited to ten people. Malheur is about 300 miles from Ashland, Oregon. (Break up the drive home with some Shakespeare?)
Mato Grosso, Brazil - Aug. 2-15, 2014
With its lush tropical forests, abundance of rivers and wetlands, vast diversity of flora and fauna, and outstanding birding, Mato Grosso is one of the world’s finest wildlife viewing destinations. Led by experienced nature guide Mark Pretti, you’ll explore a roughly 500-mile long, north-south transect where over 200 species of mammals and almost 750 species of birds make their home.
Your adventure begins in the Pantanal, the world’s largest freshwater wetland, where you will see hundreds of bird species, including Hyacinth Macaw, Toco Toucan, Plumbeous Ibis, Chestnut-bellied Guan and Green-backed Becard. From the Pantanal, you’ll head to the southern Amazon where 570 species of birds have been recorded. Finally, you will enjoy the Chapada dos Guimaraes, a national park know for waterfalls, sandstone escapments and unique cerrado habitat. Throughout the trip, you will enjoy the comforts of some of Brazil’s best nature lodges.
Cost will be $5,500 per person, double occupancy, all inclusive from Cuiaba, Mato Grosso. Four or five spots are available. Photos, details and past trip reports on Mark Pretti’s web site.
Northern New Mexico – Aug. 11-15 & 18-22, 2014
New Mexico is a spectacular state with an astonishing variety of habitats, wide-open blue sky, eastern plains, grasslands, mountain ranges, deep canyons, and pine and juniper forest situated on the spine of the Continental Divide. Up to 400 bird species have been recorded in New Mexico. Birding here offers species found west of the Continental Divide–Pacific Flyway, as well as species from east of the Continental Divide–Central Flyway, which contribute to an impressive birding experience. Join Rich Cimino of Yellow Billed Tours to experience fall migration in full swing in August for both passerines and shorebirds. Each trip is limited to six people.
The Week Two trip allows you to arrange a convenient visit on your own to the Santa Fe Indian Market, held Saturday and Sunday, August 16–18.
Cost per person is $950.00, which includes a donation to GGAS and covers ground transportation, guide services and park entry fees. Not included are airfares to Albuquerque and meals.