Home :: Festival Events :: Field Trips :: Field Trips for Saturday, January 24, 2015

Field Trips for Saturday, January 30, 2016

Valley Wetlands & Wintering Waterbirds -- For the Serious Birder - Still Open

$30 Adult
6:30 am - 4:30 pm
Meet at Chico Masonic Family Center
A true adventure trip, lots of driving and hiking

Travel the back roads of Chico to visit the Llano Seco Unit of the North Central Valley Wildlife Management Area, Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge, Thermalito Afterbay, and the Feather River. Also, we'll return to Chico via Cottonwood Road. Along with Snow Geese, we hope to see a variety of waterfowl, raptors, and many other wetland species. This trip is most appropriate for intermediate and advanced birders. Bring lunch, water, binoculars, spotting scopes, and a field guide.

Field Trip Leader: Jay Bogiatto

Focus on Feathers -- Photo Field Trip with George Lepp - Still Open

$150 Adult/Youth
7:00 am - 12:00 pm
Meet at Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge, Willows, CA
Walking, could involve distance but largely flat

Improve your photography skills with a hands-on experience "in the field" with professional photographer George Lepp. He will share tips and techniques while exploring picturesque wetlands for that perfect shot. Waterfowl and various other birds will be the focus on this photo field trip which is limited to ten lucky photographers. All levels welcome. Bring camera, your longest lens, tele-extenders, and sturdiest tripod. George will demonstrate how to get the sharpest images possible with long lenses. This includes mirror lock-up, Live-view, Cam-Ranger, tele-extenders, and even multiple tele-extenders. Age 12 & up. Meet George in the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center parking lot.

Field Trip Leader: George D. Lepp

Refuge to Refuge -- Snow Geese Galore! - Still Open

$30 Adult ; $10 Youth
7:00 am - 5:00 pm
Meet at Chico Masonic Family Center
Walking, could involve distance but largely flat

Visit two premier Sacramento Valley wildlife refuges, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Sacramento NWR, and CA Dept. of Fish and Game Gray Lodge Wildlife Area. See huge flocks of Snow Geese and waterfowl along with cranes, ibis, and a variety of raptors. Dress in layers and bring a sack lunch.

Field Trip Leader: Skip Augur

Bird the Shores of Black Butte Lake - Still Open

$27 Adult ; $10 Youth
7:30 am - 3:00 pm
Meet at Chico Masonic Family Center
More vigorous hiking, some elevation gain/loss

Situated on the west side of the upper Sacramento Valley, Black Butte Lake is surrounded by beautiful dark volcanic buttes. Come explore the backwaters and woodlands this lake has to offer and see Pied-billed Grebes, Clark’s and Western Grebes, Belted Kingfisher, Bonaparte's Gulls, and goldeneyes. Stop along the roads and see Wild Turkeys, Mountain Bluebirds, Red-tailed Hawks, and Turkey Vultures. Lewis’s Woodpeckers, Golden Eagles, and Bald Eagles winter in this area too. Bring a lunch and drink.

Field Trip Leader: Wyatt Hersey

Tehama Bird Trek - Still Open

$27 Adult ; $10 Youth
7:30 am - 3:00 pm
Meet at Chico Masonic Family Center
More vigorous hiking, some elevation gain/loss

Areas that will be visited on this exciting bird trek include always birdy Cone Grove Park bordering Antelope Creek, Payne’s Creek Recreation Area and surrounding BLM lands, and if time allows, a side trip to the western side of Tehama County. Habitats include oak woodland, restored grasslands, and riparian. Target birds for this trip are the Lewis’s Woodpecker, lots of raptors, and possibly Greater Roadrunner. Bring lunch, water, and binoculars.

Field Trip Leader: David Dahnke

Sutter Buttes Hike -- State Park's Peace Valley - Still Open

$45 Adult ; $30 Youth
7:45 am - 4:00 pm
Meet at Chico Masonic Family 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 and involves some moderate uphill hiking, 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
7:45 am - 4:00 pm
Meet at Chico Masonic Family 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 Zack Chambers

Birds & Trees of the Genetic Resource and Conservation Center - Still Open

$22 Adult ; $10 Youth
8:00 am - 12:00 pm
Meet at Chico Masonic Family Center
Walking, could involve distance but largely flat

Join us for a walk through the Genetic Resource and Conservation Center in South Chico. Here you will find a lovely arboretum nature trail that runs next to the creek. Enjoy the 209-acre center with exotic trees and shrubs, some over 100 years old. Joseph will discuss identification, including how to identify trees out of leaf. Tree resources for birds will also be covered. With the large variety of tree species and the creek and its neighboring open space, many species of birds flock to the center. We hope to see Western Bluebird, Downy Woodpecker, and raptors to name a few.

Field Trip Leaders: Joseph O'Neil and Hilary Locke

Tundra Swan Viewing -- District 10 (includes lunch) - Still Open

$32 Adult ; $12 Youth
8:00 am - 1:30 pm
Meet at Chico Masonic Family Center
Mostly birding by car and/or easy walking

Drive from Chico to Marysville and stop at District 10 where traditionally hundreds of large Tundra Swans can be seen. Swan viewing will be mainly from the sides of backcountry roads -- the walking will be very limited. We will stop at the home of Mr. & Mrs. Charlie Mathews who will offer us lunch and a presentation on the benefits of rice farming for wildlife. Bring binoculars and spotting scopes if you have them.

Field Trip Leaders: Charlie Mathews and Dale Whitmore

Sutter Buttes Hike -- Dean Ranch - Still Open

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

A three-mile gentle hillside walk will take us around the 100-year-old Dean Place Cattle Ranch. Along the way the Buttes’ volcanic origins and some Native American artifacts will be revealed. Hopefully, we will see such gems as the Mountain Bluebird, Varied Thrush, Golden Eagle, and Ferruginous Hawk, along with the usual winter sparrows, and with luck, geese and swans flying high over the Buttes. Be sure to bring binoculars, lunch, water, and sturdy boots/shoes and hiking sticks, if you have them. 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: Laura Lush

Llano Seco Viewing Platform -- Dabbling, Diving & Soaring - Still Open

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

The Llano Seco Unit of the Sacramento River NWR offers sensational views from an elevated viewing platform. This is an ideal spot for viewing a large number of geese and ducks in one location! Other often-seen species include Sandhill Cranes, raptors, herons, and egrets. This is definitely a birding hot spot and a good trip for the beginning birder. This trip is also offered on Sunday.

Field Trip Leader: Shelly Kirn

Birding & Brunch in Paradise! - Still Open

$35 Adult ; $15 Youth
8:30 am - 2:00 pm
Meet at Chico Masonic Family Center
Walking, could involve distance but largely flat

Yes, here is an opportunity to see the birds of Paradise and enjoy a sumptuous brunch all in one trip. Follow Amy & Everett as you leisurely walk along the Historic Miocene Flume. The flume trail is gravel and there are no catwalks over the flume. Here we should see towhees, woodpeckers, finches, sparrows, titmice, and raptors flying above, while getting a close view of the effects of the drought on Lake Oroville. Then we will travel up the ridge to enjoy our brunch at the Wulbern's beautiful home where we can overlook the valley and watch the activity at their bird feeders. We will end the day at Kunkle Reservoir. Here we can expect to see ducks and Canada Geese on the water, and on an additional walk, we may have sightings of Western Bluebirds, Red-breasted Sapsuckers, resident hawks, and an assortment of other birds and wildlife.

Field Trip Leader: Amy Darwin & Everett Ayers

Bidwell Park - Bird & Ecological Diversity - Still Open

$22 Adult ; $10 Youth
9:00 am - 12:30 pm
Meet at Chico Masonic Family Center
More vigorous hiking, some elevation gain/loss

Join Dan Efseaff, Park and Natural Resource Manager for the City of Chico, as we explore the diverse habitats of Bidwell Park. We will learn about the factors that influence the vegetation of Blue Oak, grassland, and riparian areas, and create a list of birds from each area and discuss the reasons for the diversity. We will also get a first-hand view of some of the restoration and management efforts in the Park. Participants should plan for wet weather, and hiking uneven terrain. Plan for a great morning out in the park, rain or shine!

Field Trip Leader: Dan Efseaff

Olive City Agriculture and Nature Center (includes lunch) - Still Open

$35 Adult ; $15 Youth
9:00 am - 2:00 pm
Meet at Chico Masonic Family Center
More vigorous hiking, some elevation gain/loss

Are you looking for an agricultural and birding experience? This 354-acre site near Corning strives to illustrate the combined values of both agriculture and the natural environment. See orchard blocks that include varieties grown commercially in Tehama County, past and present. Explore the 275-acre nature preserve where over 100 bird species take advantage of restored wetlands, vernal pools, and uplands, and Burrowing Owls winter in artificial burrows. Relax afterward with a delicious BBQ lunch prepared by Scotty Weston, Operations Manager, who will also be sharing information throughout the day. Wear hiking boots.

Field Trip Leaders: Scotty Weston and Victor Paz and Ruth Paz

Family Hike at Verbena Fields - Still Open

$12 Adult ; $5 Youth
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Meet at Chico Masonic Family Center
Walking, could involve distance but largely flat

In the heart of Chico, a wildflower meadow overlooks a creek meandering past willows and cottonwoods, while overhead a Red-shouldered Hawk surveys the ground for its next meal. If you are thinking Bidwell Park, think again. Lesser-known Verbena Fields is a 21-acre open space that is an active restoration site along Lindo Channel where native plants and animals are making a comeback. Join the Kids and Creeks staff for a lighthearted, activity-filled exploration of this urban gem.

Field Trip Leaders: Kurt Geiger and Heidi Ortiz

Wings & Wine Tasting in Vina - Still Open

$37 Adult
10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Meet at Chico Masonic Family Center
Walking, could involve distance but largely flat

Take a memorable trip to where California history was made and where assorted birds, monks, and a wine maker now reside. We’ll explore the riparian and oak woodland habitats of the Sacramento River in search of resident and wintering birds such as woodpeckers, raptors, thrushes, sparrows, bluebirds, and more. Next, we’ll visit the Monastery of New Clairvaux in nearby Vina, California, home to a community of Trappist monks that was founded in 1955. A discussion of the history of the property and its relation to the history of California, the story of its current residents, and a tour of the under re-construction Twelfth Century Monastic Chapter House will all be included. Included in the price is $5 for wine tasting, which can be applied toward a purchase of wine. Bring a lunch, water, and binoculars.

Field Trip Leaders: Bill Smith and Jon Aull

Raptor Run - Still Open

$25 Adult ; $10 Youth
12:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Meet at Chico Masonic Family Center
Walking, could involve distance but largely flat

The Northern Sacramento River Valley hosts a large assortment of raptors that during our relatively mild, wet winters is augmented by an almost equally large contingent of wintering species, some of which exploit our fantastic cohort of wintering waterfowl and others the vast expanses of grasslands and fallow ag lands. January is one of the best months for raptor viewing in Butte County; accordingly, we will caravan southward along Hwy 99 to the environs south of Chico to seek as many of these birds of prey as we can. Target species include Bald and Golden Eagles, Ferruginous Hawk, Burrowing Owl, Merlin, and Prairie Falcon. Dress for potentially cold, wet weather; bring a scope if you have one; and binoculars are a MUST! Carpooling is mandatory to keep the number of vehicles to a minimum.

Field Trip Leaders: Ken Sobon and Gary Nielsen

Tundra Swan Viewing -- District 10 - Still Open

$22 Adult ; $10 Youth
12:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Meet at Chico Masonic Family Center
Mostly birding by car and/or easy walking

Drive from Chico to Marysville and stop at District 10 where traditionally hundreds of large Tundra Swans can be seen. Swan viewing will be mainly from the sides of backcountry roads -- the walking will be very limited. The group will scout for a wide variety of water birds, from ducks, egrets and ibis to less seen Bald Eagle and Peregrine Falcon. This area is one of the premier swan viewing sites in California. Bring binoculars and spotting scopes if you have them.

Field Trip Leader: Tova Fleming