These area activities are scheduled on various weekends and usually on a Wednesday
or Thursday during the week. The field trips range from half-day
outings to weekend trips to birding hot spots. Field trips are open
to MDAS members and nonmembers alike. You do not have to be a birding
expert: only one who enjoys nature.
All our field trips are rated for physical difficulty:
Category 1: Easy, little or no walking, smooth paths.
Category 2: Moderate, 1 mile or more, possibly rough terrain.
Category 3: Difficult, extensive walking on rough terrain.
What to Bring?
It’s a good idea to bring a small backpack with rain gear, hat, sunscreen,
field guide, and binoculars. We have a limited number of loaner
binoculars available by calling the trip leader at least 7 days
in advance. Some people like to take a drink and a snack to keep
them going. Wear suitable shoes. Subdued colored clothing is preferable
but not essential.
For full day outings take your lunch. Ask whether you will be returning to the
cars for lunch. Many people also take a drink and a snack to have
at the end of the walk.
What about Bad Weather?
Weather or the vailability of leaders may require changes. Trips go in light rain
or drizzle. If in doubt, call the leader up to 1/2 hour before departure.
If you are coming from some distance, call the leader and confirm
departure point and time.
What about Transportation?
You can drive to the meeting point and carpool with the leader or other birders.
Carpool expense are shared among driver and riders at the rate of
20 cents per mile; tolls and entry fees are shared equally by driver
In the directions, the term “carpool time” refers to the actual time that
the participants depart from the meeting site.
Looking for the Field Trip Schedule or Trip Descriptions?
Our Field Trips page has our trip schedule with pull-down descriptions for the year..
For the year schedule, download our September 2018 - August 2019 Field Trip Schedule . This schedule was published in August and is subject to change. The Field Trips page and the MDAS Online Calendar will have the most up to date information for upcoming trips as the season progresses.
The year's Field Trip Descriptions are not always updated during the season.
East Bay Birding Email Groups:
Do you want to share your bird sightings with other Contra Costa birders? Would you like to know where birds are currently located?
You can now do both by joining the MDAS East Bay Bird Sightings mailing list group dealing with birding in Contra Costa County, Alameda County and the San Francisco Bay area.
East Bay Birding - Discussion is a new email group for the broader topic of birding our region. It is hosted through Groups.io, and requires no logins or password, only a valid email address to participate.
Local Check Lists:
Banded birds can be occasionally seen upon close examination. These birds are being tracked
for scientific purposes by a variety of sources. These two links include information about
how to report banded birds.
Before advertising the presence of a rare bird, evaluate the potential for disturbance to the bird,
its surroundings, and other people in the area. Proceed only if access can be controlled, disturbance
can be minimized, and permission has been obtained from landowners. The sites of rare nesting birds
should be divulged only to proper conservation authorities. In any conflict of interest between birds
and birders, the welfare of the birds and their environment comes first.
Birding Northern California by Jean Richmond
Download Birding Northern California by Jean Richmond.