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Field Trips for Friday, January 23, 2015

Marathon Big Day Birding in Glenn County - Sold Out!

$30 Adult ; $10 Youth
6:30 am - 5:30 pm
Meet at Chico Creek Nature Center
A true adventure trip, lots of driving and hiking

Let the birding begin! For all you county listers, here's a great chance to break your milestone for Glenn County. We will be birding sunup to sundown and will scour the county floor and foothills for resident birds and rarities. We will travel to Stony Gorge and take our chances at finding Greater Roadrunner, Rock Wren, and other mid-elevation birds. Also, we will stop off at Black Butte Lake area where we will surely turn up some great birds. The Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge will surely produce the majority of our ducks and geese with a possibility of seeing Eurasian Wigeon and blue morph Snow Goose, along with raptors and many other wonderful creatures and birds. Please bring lunch, snacks, water, binoculars, and prepare to eat in the car while traveling to different locations. Come help us break the record for the highest number of species seen (well over 100) on this full day extravaganza! Carpooling is mandatory to keep the number of vehicles to a minimum.

Field Trip Leaders: Mary Muchowski and Matt Forster

Table Mountain/Coal Canyon Falls Hike - Sold Out!

$27 Adult ; $10 Youth
7:30 am - 1:30 pm
Meet at Patrick Ranch
A true adventure trip, lots of driving and hiking

We will bird while hiking to one of Butte County's best waterfalls, hoping to see raptors, Horned Lark, oak woodland species, and explore some geologic sites. This is a strenuous hike over uneven terrain, which includes some rock scrambling and small stream crossings. Expect muddy boots. Bring snacks, water, and binoculars.

Field Trip Leader: Phil Johnson

Sutter Buttes Hike -- Dean Ranch - Still Open

$45 Adult ; $30 Youth
7:30 am - 4:00 pm
Meet at Gridley McDonalds
More vigorous hiking, some elevation gain/loss

Enjoy a three-mile walk to visit the 100-year-old Dean Place Cattle Ranch. This trip will focus primarily on birding with hopes of seeing Golden Eagles, Phainopeplas, and Rufous-crowned Sparrows, so bring binoculars along with lunch and water. No early departures on this trip. Be aware that you will be driving another 12-15 miles to the hike's starting point from the meeting place at the McDonald's in Gridley.

Field Trip Leader: Peter Sands

Digiscoping Workshop/Field Trip - Still Open

$22 Adult ; $10 Youth
8:00 am - 12:00 pm
Meet at Chico Creek Nature Center
Mostly birding by car and/or easy walking Wheelchair accessible

The marriage of a spotting scope and a digital camera to document wildlife sightings is one of the hottest topics in the birding world today. In this seminar, you will spend time in the classroom at the Chico Creek Nature Center to help you make some preliminary camera settings. Then we will step outside and get some bird photos. Bruce Webb, Field Technician for Swarovski Optik, will work with participants on topics such as: choosing the best camera mounting options, shooting tips, techniques in the field, and using a Digital SLR behind the scope eyepiece. Participants are encouraged to bring their spotting scopes and digital still cameras. We will spend about 3 hours.

Field Trip Leader: Bruce Webb, Swarovski Optik Field Tech

Riparian Ecology Tour at Willow Bend - Still Open

$22 Adult ; $10 Youth
8:00 am - 12:00 pm
Meet at Patrick Ranch
More vigorous hiking, some elevation gain/loss

Work on your Colusa County bird list while touring a 145-acre private property along the Sacramento River. The tour will focus on floodplain salmon research, water policy issues, riparian restoration and ecology, and of course, bird watching. Chico based River Partners owns the property which has been the site of native grass restoration, and is the future planting site for a mixed riparian forest. We’ll hike the property, enjoy the river, and see some great birds.

Field Trip Leader: Michael Rogner

Sutter Buttes Hike - State Park's Peace Valley - Sold Out!

$45 Adult ; $30 Youth
8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Meet at Chico Creek Nature Center
More vigorous hiking, some elevation gain/loss

Explore California State Park's Peace Valley in the Sutter Buttes. It will be like stepping back in time as you learn about Peace Valley's natural and cultural history. We will visit a Native American site used for grinding acorns. As we traverse this incredible valley, we will learn the interesting geological processes that formed it. This is an undeveloped area, so wear sturdy hiking boots. Bring a sack lunch and beverage. No early departures on this trip.

Field Trip Leader: Tim Davis

Sutter Buttes Hike - State Park's Peace Valley & "House Hill" - Still Open

$45 Adult ; $30 Youth
8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Meet at Chico Creek Nature Center
A true adventure trip, lots of driving and hiking

Explore California State Park's Peace Valley in the Sutter Buttes. It will be like stepping back in time as you learn about Peace Valley's natural and cultural history. Our journey will include a climb to the top of "House Hill" where fantastic views of the valley and the surrounding buttes can be found. This is an undeveloped area, and this is a strenuous hike over some steep terrain so wear sturdy hiking boots. Bring a sack lunch and beverage. No early departures on this trip.

Field Trip Leader: Ranger Jeremy Alling

Bidwell Park Bird Walk - Sold Out!

$12 Adult ; $5 Youth
8:30 am - 10:30 am
Meet at Chico Creek Nature Center
Walking, could involve distance but largely flat

Enjoy a bird walk through Bidwell Park with ornithologist and author of Birds of Bidwell Park, Roger Lederer, and his wife, Carol. Learn amazing facts about the birds of the park and how to identify them. Bidwell Park is a wonderful place to see birds because it is both semi-wild and very accessible. It is excellent birding for both the beginner and expert. This trip is also offered on Sunday. Sunday's trip is led by Roger and Scott Weidensaul.

Field Trip Leaders: Roger Lederer and Carol Burr

Feather River Birds & Fish Hatchery Tour - Still Open

$22 Adult ; $10 Youth
8:30 am - 12:30 pm
Meet at Chico Creek Nature Center
Walking, could involve distance but largely flat

Walk along the banks of the Feather River to view the waterfowl (goldeneye, Bufflehead, merganser) and the winter residents (Phainopepla, woodpeckers, herons, egrets, and more). Then cross the river and receive a personal tour of the Oroville Fish Hatchery led by Jana Frazier of the Department of Water Resources. See and learn about the incredible life cycle of the salmon.

Field Trip Leader: Gaylord Grams

Colusa National Wildlife Refuge - Sold Out!

$27 Adult ; $10 Youth
8:30 am - 2:00 pm
Meet at Patrick Ranch
Walking, could involve distance but largely flat Wheelchair accessible

Wildlife, wintering waterfowl, and nature photography are exceptional at Colusa National Wildlife Refuge, especially along the three-mile gravel auto tour, one-mile trail, and at their new observation deck. With over 4500 acres of wetlands, seasonal marshes, and uplands, the refuge supports wintering populations of more than 200,000 ducks and 100,000 geese. Spectacular flights of Snow Geese and Ross’ Geese along with thousands of Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, Mallard, Gadwall, and Northern Shovelers can be seen in the marshes.

Field Trip Leader: Joseph O'Neil

Dye Creek Preserve - Sold Out!

$27 Adult ; $10 Youth
8:45 am - 2:30 pm
Meet at Chico Creek Nature Center
More vigorous hiking, some elevation gain/loss

Visit the rugged Dye Creek Preserve in the Lassen Foothill region of eastern Tehama County. Depending on weather conditions, we will hike the scenic Dye Creek Canyon or visit a stream-side restoration site along the lower flood plain as we discuss land management efforts by The Nature Conservancy. Expect to see birds common to oak woodlands such as the Lewis’s Woodpecker, Acorn Woodpecker, Oak Titmouse, and California Quail. Ferruginous Hawk, Bald Eagle, and Golden Eagle may also be seen at the Preserve. Bring lunch and drink. Boots/sturdy footwear is a MUST!

Field Trip Leader: Jesse Klingler

Birds & Rice Growers - Still Open

$22 Adult ; $10 Youth
9:00 am - 12:30 pm
Meet at Patrick Ranch
Walking, could involve distance but largely flat

Take this trip over to Richvale where Butte County Rice Growers Association, a farmer-owned cooperative founded in 1914, will provide a tour of the drying operations and the plant. Richvale is not only rich in rice farming history but also rich in wintering waterfowl on the flooded rice fields. Visible from the gravel roads, we’ll see Snow Geese, Tundra Swans, ducks, and maybe even a Bald Eagle.

Field Trip Leader: Leroy Hord

Foothill Birding & LaRocca Vineyards - Sold Out!

$32 Adult
9:00 am - 2:00 pm
Meet at Chico Creek Nature Center
More vigorous hiking, some elevation gain/loss

Enjoy the beauty of nature, sample award winning organic wines, and look for the birds of the foothills. Join Dawn as she leads you upslope along Hwy 32, stopping along the way to look for Rock Wren, Mountain Bluebird, Prairie Falcon, Steller’s Jay, and Pileated Woodpecker. Then on to LaRocca Vineyards for a tour, chocolate, cheese, and wine tasting which includes their Sparkling wine. The vineyard, at 2600 feet elevation on Doe Mill Ridge, offers magnificent canyon views. Bring lunch, water, and sturdy footwear for hiking.

Field Trip Leaders: Dawn Garcia and Jo Anna Arroyo

Sacramento Refuge Fly-Off - Still Open

$27 Adult ; $10 Youth
12:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Meet at Patrick Ranch
Walking, could involve distance but largely flat

Leaving Chico in the early afternoon will give us plenty of time to stop and look for geese, swans, and cranes on our way to the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge. We will arrive at the refuge in time to witness thousands of birds silhouetted against the sunset sky as they leave the refuge all at once in their spectacular 'fly-off'. Dress warmly. Photographers are welcome and encouraged to bring their equipment. This trip is also offered on Thursday with a different leader.

Field Trip Leader: Maureen Morales

Raptor Run thru Butte County - Sold Out!

$22 Adult ; $10 Youth
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Meet at Chico Creek Nature Center
Walking, could involve distance but largely flat

We will explore some of the grasslands favored in winter by Ferruginous, Rough-legged and Red-tailed Hawks, and Bald and Golden Eagles. On this trip we will not just tick off birds, but we will study hunting behaviors, and plumage differences. With binoculars and spotting scopes, we will pay attention to structural differences between species and discuss why some raptors have special features. Why do some raptors and not others have feathered legs? By the end of the trip, everybody will know and appreciate more about each species. Carpooling is mandatory to keep the number of vehicles to a minimum.

Field Trip Leader: Bruce Webb, Swarovski Optik Field Tech

Thermalito Afterbay & Surrounding Grasslands - Still Open

$25 Adult ; $10 Youth
1:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Meet at Chico Creek Nature Center
More vigorous hiking, some elevation gain/loss

This hike along the north side of the Afterbay reservoir offers a great mix of habitat including open water, rice fields, short-grass plains, back-bays, and marsh. We hope to see a variety of waterfowl and raptors. Lots of open sky views. Bring food, good hiking gear, and all-weather clothing.

Field Trip Leaders: Andy Tomaselli and Hilary Locke

A Chico Birding Hotspot! - Oxidation Ponds - Sold Out!

$22 Adult/Youth
1:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Meet at Chico Creek Nature Center
Walking, could involve distance but largely flat

For those who arrive at the Snow Goose Festival on Friday and need to stretch their legs, a walk through the old Oxidation Ponds behind the Chico Water Treatment Plant is a great way to do it. A few years back, through a grant, the City of Chico improved the habitat around the ponds and created a very nice wildlife sanctuary. In the winter months, this area becomes a great place to see most of the waterfowl found in the valley. The habitat in and surrounding this area will bring many other species of birds as well.

Field Trip Leaders: Steve King and Raina King

Family Owl Prowl - Sold Out!

$12 Adult ; $5 Youth
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Meet at Chico Creek Nature Center
Mostly birding by car and/or easy walking

This family-oriented field trip offers a unique glimpse into the amazing nocturnal world of owls. The Prowl, a leisurely hike into Bidwell Park, will start and end at the Chico Creek Nature Center. Dress warmly and bring a flashlight.

Field Trip Leader: Scott Torricelli