Field Trips 2022-2023

Enjoy birding at our two local State parks, Anderson Marsh State Historic Park and Clear Lake State Park. Both have docent-led field trips on the second Saturday of each month. The Lake County Land Trust’s Rodman Preserve is open every Saturday.   Check their website for hours, (www.lakecountylandtrust.org).

2022-2023 Field Trip Calendar

Please note. Field trips will start at 9 a.m. unless otherwise announced in the newsletter.

October 22 – Wright Wetland Preserve
November 12 – Anderson Marsh State Historic Park Starting at 8:30 a.m
December 17 – Christmas Bird Count
January 21, 2023 – Colusa and Sacramento National Wildlife Refuges
February 25, 2023 – Reclamation Area near Upper Lake NOTE: DATE CHANGE

Details for each field trip will be published in the preceding newsletter, including directions and start time if different from 9 a.m. The March through May field trips have yet to be determined but will be announced in upcoming newsletters. Put these dates on your calendar and plan for a fun day of birding with friends!

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February 25, 2023 Reclamation Area Upper Lake

We’re hoping to see Great Blue Herons beginning to nest in the tree-tops along the banks of Rodman Slough. After a flat walk of about one-half mile, we should be able to get a good look if there is any GBH activity in that area. Last year around this time we counted about 50 nests and 100 Great Blues.

This area is property of the County of Lake and is located on a dirt road off of Highway 20. The road is passable with regular sedans, but of course if we have a deluge we will probably postpone this visit. Since it is a little tricky to find, we’ll meet at the Upper Lake County Park (see field trip article in the newsletter for more info) and caravan from there. For insurance reasons, Redbud Audubon can no longer “arrange,” carpooling but feel free to do that yourselves with friends.

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Christmas Bird Count
December 17, 2022


The Redbud Audubon Society will conduct its 48th annual Christmas Bird Count (CBC) on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022. The Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is a traditional project of Audubon societies around the country.

Previous participants have been sent information about meeting times and places by the count organizers, Brad and Kathy Barnwell, but new participants are welcome. They can meet at either Anderson Marsh State Historic Park or Clear Lake State Park at 8 a.m. or may participate in smaller individual groups. Email Brad and Kathy at bradleybarnwell@att.net to reserve your spot or to ask about participating in a smaller group within the count circle.

Prior to the bird count, on Thursday, Dec. 15 starting at 7 p.m. Donna Mackiewicz will host a Zoom Bird Identification program. Just click on the link in this newsletter, or go to www.redbudaudubon.org and click the “register” option on the home page. The link to join the program will be sent to you the day of the program. This will be an extensive slide show featuring birds that are often seen on the annual count and birds that are common to Lake County. The program emphasizes the field characteristics of the common and some not-so-common birds here.

National Audubon has been holding a Christmas Bird Count for 125 years. The official count period usually starts around the middle of December and ends the first week of January. Local Audubon Societies can decide what day they conduct their counts within this time frame. Every individual bird and species encountered during the day is recorded. Each count group has a designated circle of 15 miles in diameter and tries to cover as much ground as possible within a certain period of time.

Count volunteers follow specified routes through the designated 15-mile (24-km) diameter circle, counting every bird they see or hear all day. It’s not just a species tally—all birds are counted all day, giving an indication of the total number of birds in the circle that day.

The data collected by each count group are then sent to the National Audubon Headquarters in New York and are made available online.

The Christmas Bird Count began more than a century ago when 27 conservationists in 25 localities, led by scientist and writer Frank Chapman, changed the course of ornithological history.

On Christmas Day in 1900, the small group posed an alternative to the “side hunt,” a Christmas day activity in which teams competed to see who could shoot the most birds and small mammals. Instead, Chapman proposed to identify, count, and record all the birds they saw, founding what is now considered to be the world’s most significant citizen-based conservation effort – and century-old institution. Scientists rely on the remarkable trend data of Audubon’s CBC to better understand how birds and the environment are faring throughout North America – and what needs to be done to protect them. Data from Audubon’s signature Citizen Science program are at the heart of numerous peer-reviewed scientific studies.

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Highland Springs field trip CANCELLED

Join friends at
Anderson Marsh State Historic Park on November 12 at 8:30 a.m.

Due to a variety of conflicts, the planned field trip to Highland Springs Reservoir on Nov. 19 has been cancelled. Instead, everyone is urged to join the State Park sponsored trip, led by state park volunteers at Anderson Marsh State Historic Park starting at 8:30 a.m. Please note the time change from our usual start time of 9 a.m. The park is located on Highway 53 between Lower Lake and the City of Clearlake.

A walk is held every second Saturday at Anderson Marsh State Historic Park and it is open to the public, so Audubon members are always welcome to attend. Expect to see songbirds and raptors and enjoy a beautiful morning in our State Park.

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October Field Trip
Saturday, October 22, 9 a.m.
Wright Wetlands Preserve

Wright Wetlands Preserve field trip gives members a chance to reunite!

Have you missed seeing your friends from Redbud? Here’s the opportunity you’ve been waiting 2-1/2 years for to finally see them in person again! Outdoors in the fresh air! With excellent exercise, to boot!  Join us on this month’s field trip on Saturday, Oct. 22 starting at 9 a.m.

Besides all these good reasons to come on this field trip, the destination is a property you can’t yet visit on your own. The Wright Wetland Preserve on the shoreline of Clear Lake in Lakeport was purchased by the Lake County Land Trust in 2019 as part of its strategic plan to acquire priority wetlands areas critical to preserving important wildlife and bird habitats in the county.

The group will be led by experienced birders and members of both Redbud Audubon and the Land Trust. Be prepared to see migrating songbirds, raptors, woodpeckers and more.

Although there is no picnic area for a bag lunch gathering after the field trip, you can join friends for a catch-up visit and lunch at one of the several good restaurants in Lakeport with both outdoor and indoor seating.

Make this a special occasion for both friendship and good birding!

The Wright Wetland Preserve is located at 446 Soda Bay Road. Coming from Lakeport, heading east on Soda Bay Road, the preserve is the second driveway on the left after going over the Manning Creek Bridge. It is just a short distance past the large recycling/transfer station. If you have any questions please call Redbud Audubon at (707) 805-9410 and leave a message or email: redbud.audubon@gmail.com. The field trip starts at 9 a.m. and be sure to be on time as someone will be waiting at the entrance to guide participants into the property.

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September Field Trip
Saturday, September 17, 9 a.m.
Stonehouse Cellars on Old Long Valley Road

On Saturday, Sept. 17 the Redbud Audubon Society will lead a walk at 9 a.m. at Stonehouse Cellars and Winery for a birding field trip in the hills of Clearlake Oaks.

Beside the vineyards are trails of chaparral and oaks with an abundance of bird life. Birders can expect to see California Quail, Anna’s Hummingbird, Western Scrub-jay, Bushtit, Bewick’s Wren, Wrentit, Spotted Towhee, California Towhee, Oak Titmouse, Ash-throated Flycatcher, maybe Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Orange-crowned Warbler and there are always Western Bluebirds near the vines.

This 145-acre vineyard estate has 21.5-acres of Cabernet vineyards located on a volcanic shelf overlooking the North Fork of Cache Creek. Elevation is 1500 ft. There are two ponds and a historic rock house.

After the gentle hike, visitors are welcome to picnic under the oaks, browse the beautiful storeroom and check out the accommodations.

Directions: Driving east on State Hwy 20, after passing the traffic circle at Hwy 53, go 1.3 miles, then turn left onto Old Long Valley Rd. Travel 1.0 mile and the destination is on the right. 500 Old Long V alley Rd., Clearlake Oaks, CA 95423. (707) 998-3378. Walkers will meet at the tasting room entrance at 9 a.m. sharp. Join us! If you have any questions, email redbud.audubon@gmail.com.