Upcoming Field Trips and Events

See Programs, Owens Lake, and CBC pages for more!

Eastern Sierra Audubon Event Official Audubon Events

Eastern Sierra Audubon Event Antelope Valley/Topaz Lake Birding, First Friday of each month at 9am - Beginners Welcome! (Binoculars and bird books provided)

Join us as we look for resident and migrant species of birds throughout the beautiful Antelope Valley, including along the shores of Topaz Lake (in the northern part of Mono County).
Please Note: Starting in January 2017, we will be meeting at 9am instead of 8am.

Leader: Elena Espinosa (30+ years of birding experience)

Cedar Waxwing in Mountain Gate Park, Photo by Dick Padgett

Cedar Waxwing in Mountain Gate Park
Photo by Dick Padgett

Lately (Nov-Dec) we've been seeing an assortment of buteos and accipiters including Ferruginous Hawks, Sharp-shinned Hawks, Northern Harriers and a Prairie Falcon. We continue to see the occasional American Dipper at Mountain Gate Park. The Loons in winter plumage are back at Topaz Lake. The Northern Flickers are making their way through along with Juncos and White-crowned Sparrows. We're seeing the resident Great-horned Owl almost every time in his group of Cottonwoods that he likes to hang out in on Cunningham Lane.

I hope to see you for breakfast around 8am on the first Friday of the month and then head out for the birding around 9am.

When: 9:00am on the first Friday of each month

Where: Sweetwater Coffee Shoppe at 107537 Hwy 395 in Coleville. The coffee shop makes delicious beverages and serves croissant, burrito and bagel breakfasts. Arrive at 8 to order before we head out at 9.

Contact Elena with questions or for more information: 928-300-8088 or espinosa2015@gmail.com.

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Eastern Sierra Audubon Event Monthly Bird Walk and Census - Second Saturday of the Month, at the Bishop Paiute Tribe's COSA

2017 COSA Walk Dates and Meeting Times:

  • January 14, 8:30 am
  • February 11, 8:30 am
  • March 11, 8:30 am
  • April 8, 8:30 am
  • May 13, 8:30 am
  • Meet at 7:30 these months:
  • June 10, 7:30 am
  • July 8, 7:30 am
  • August 12, 7:30 am
  • September 9, 7:30 am
  • October 14, 8:30 am
  • November 11, 8:30 am
  • December - will coordinate with the Bishop CBC

[COSA walks are held on the second Saturday of every month, unless otherwise announced]

Conservation Open Space Area in Bishop

The Pond at the COSA

Unless otherwise indicated, our COSA bird walks will all be the second Saturday of the month, except (sometimes) for December, because we will have it coincide with the Christmas Bird Count. During June, July, August, and September they will start at 7:30 instead of 8:30. Watch the monthly email update, this field trips page, or local media for confirmation, updates on leader(s) and meeting time. Or, contact Hillary (below), or if you just show up at 8 or so, you'll probably find us!

The Conservation Open Space Area is being developed for wildlife and the community by the Bishop Paiute Tribe. We'll be keeping species lists and observing behavior as well as identifying birds, for the purpose of creating bird lists for the site. For more information, read this article on the COSA in the March-April 2013 Sierra Wave newsletter. There have been surprises every month so far - come find out what new birds we'll see next time - maybe you'll add toour bird list on e-Bird!

All are welcome - these walks are for birders of ALL LEVELS, beginners included! We will bring extra binoculars and field guides to share. If you'd like to print out a bird checklist, with blanks for adding your own discoveries, you can download that here: COSA Bird Checklist trifold (pdf)

Please meet at 7:30am in June-September, or 8:30am during October-May at the BLM/Forest Service Building on West Line Street in Bishop. Contact Hillary Behr for more information, or if you are interested in leading a future monthly walk: hillarybehr@yahoo.com.

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Eastern Sierra Audubon Event Winter Wildlife Field Trip with Tom & Jo Heindel

Western Screech Owl

Western Screech Owl spotted on a previous Winter Wildlife Tour
Photo by Tom Heindel

February 25, 2017, 8:00 am

On 25 February 2017, Tom & Jo Heindel have planned their annual Winter Wildlife Field Trip from Klondike Lake to Tinemaha Reservoir. The start time is 8:00 am at Glacier View Campground at the intersection of Hwy 395 & 168 in north Big Pine.

The route includes Klondike Lake, Warren Lake, the Big Pine canal road, Fish Springs fish hatchery, and ends at the upper overlook on Tinemaha Reservoir about noon. Bring your own water, snacks, binoculars, and telescope if you have one.

For more information call Tom & Jo Heindel at 760-938-2764.

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March 4, Saturday, 9am-2pm, Bishop: Birding Field Trip with Jon Dunn

Part of the Inyo Council for the Arts' Community Reads program this year, Cultivating Connections through the Natural World: a Community Celebration of Birds and Birdwatching.

World renowned ornithologist and world birding tour leater, Jon Dunn, will lead a Northern Inyo County birding tour.

SPACE IS LIMITED. Call Inyo Council for the Arts at 760-873-8014 to RSVP.
Please note: this event is at capacity. RSVP’s will be added to the wait-list and contacted if a space opens.

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March 25 Saturday, 9am-1pm, Owens Lake: The Miracle of Migration with Mike Prather

Part of the Inyo Council for the Arts' Community Reads program this year, Cultivating Connections through the Natural World: a Community Celebration of Birds and Birdwatching.

Join local bird expert Mike Prather to witness the annual migration on Owens Lake.

SPACE IS LIMITED. Call Inyo Council for the Arts at 760-873-8014 to RSVP.

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Eastern Sierra Audubon Event April 1, 8am: Raptors Field Trip with Ron Oriti

American Kestrel, photo by Ron Oriti

American Kestrel, photo by Ron Oriti

Ron Oriti has given two very popular presentations for Eastern Sierra Audubon featuring his gorgeous raptor photos. There are 17 different raptors that are typically found in the eastern Sierra - come join Ron in the field to spot some of these beautiful birds!

Limited to 20 participants - call Bart Godett at 760-876-0317 to reserve your spot.

We will meet at 8am on April 1st on the corner of Wye Road and Spruce Street where we can carpool as desired.

Ron Oriti is a retired Planetarium Director and astronomy teacher whose love of nature and the outdoors brought him to the Eastern Sierra. With the aid of the digital camera he has specialized in photographing local landscapes, wildflowers, dragonflies, butterflies, lizards, raptors, and other birds.

For Questions/More information, contact Bart Godett at 760) 876-0317

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April 15 Saturday, 9am-1pm, Owens Lake: The Miracle of Migration with Mike Prather

Part of the Inyo Council for the Arts' Community Reads program this year, Cultivating Connections through the Natural World: a Community Celebration of Birds and Birdwatching.

Join local bird expert Mike Prather to witness the annual migration on Owens Lake.

SPACE IS LIMITED. Call Inyo Council for the Arts at 760-873-8014 to RSVP.

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Eastern Sierra Audubon Event Owens Lake 2017 Spring Big Day - Monday, April 24th

Owens Lake Big Day Birders

Owens Lake Big Day Birders

The Owens Lake Spring Big Day will be Monday, April 24th. We will gather at 7AM at the Diaz Lake County Park parking lot 3 miles south of Lone Pine on Highway 395. Volunteer citizen scientists will partner with Los Angeles Department of Water and Power biologists to census all of the birds on Owens Lake Important Bird Area on a single peak spring date. Spring numbers are normally quite high and over 100,000 birds is a real possibility. Intermediate birding skills are helpful, but extremely interested beginners are welcome – we are always recruiting and training. Please RSVP to Mike Prather.

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2017 Owens Lake Bird Festival - April 28-30, 2017

Register Early in order to secure the trips you want!

Owens Lake Bird Festival

Join Friends of the Inyo and our partners for the 3rd Annual Owens Lake Bird Festival on April 28-30.

Experience the resounding return of thousands of migratory birds to Owens Lake, a designated Important Bird Area by the National Audubon Society. The Festival kicks off Friday, April 28 with a reception at the Museum of Western Film History in Lone Pine. Join local experts on birding and natural history tours on and around Owens Lake on Saturday and Sunday April 29 and 30. The keynote speakers at Saturday evening’s reception this year will be iconic Owens Valley birders Tom and Jo Heindel.

Early registration for Friends of the Inyo members starts February 1 and general registration opens February 15.

See the Friends of the Inyo Owens Lake Bird Festival page for more information and registration.

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Birds and Brews

Second Tuesday of each month, 5pm: Birds and Brews!

Meet other birders to talk birds and enjoy the delicious food and drink at the Mountain Rambler Brewery in Bishop, located at 186 South Main Street in downtown Bishop.

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Birding Festivals in California and Nearby

Upcoming Birding Festivals


Wings Over Willcox

Willcox, Arizona
January 11-15, 2017
Registration for Wings Over Willcox opens October 3, 2016. See website for details.

Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival

Morro Bay - CA
January 13-16, 2017
Online registration for the 2017 Festival opens 8 a.m., November 5th, 2016.

Galt Winter Bird Festival

Galt, CA
January 21, 2017 - David Sibley is the Keynote in 2017!

Snow Goose Festival of the Pacific Flyway

Chico & Red Bluff - CA
January 25-29, 2017
Check website for registration information, available in December

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Winter Wings Festival

Klamath Falls, Oregon
President’s Day Weekend
February 16-19, 2017
Registration opens December 10, 2016

Eastern Sierra Audubon Event Great Backyard Bird Count

Your backyard!
February 17-20, 2017

San Francisco Bay Flyway Festival

Mare Island, Vallejo, CA
February 19-21, 2017

San Diego Bird Festival

San Diego, CA
February 23-26, 2017
This is a big one! Registration opens in October. Online registration is free, and many events are free! Many events are also full - go to the San Diego Bird Festivalwebsite to check it out!

California Duck Days

Davis, CA
February 24-25, 2017

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Godwit Days

Arcata, CA
April 19-25, 2017

Eastern Sierra Event Owens Lake Bird Festival

Lone Pine, CA
April 28-30, 2017

We've set the dates for the 3rd annual Owens Lake Bird Festival. Stay tuned for more details over the coming months. We look forard to seeing you next spring.

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Eastern Sierra Event Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua

Lee Vining, CA
June 16-18, 2017

Get your binoculars ready for the 16th Annual Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua coming June 16-18, 2017! Eastern Sierra Audubon is a proud sponsor of this great birding event. We hope you’ll be here to celebrate and support the rich diversity of bird life, the legacy of avian research, and the ongoing conservation efforts in the Eastern Sierra—all while having a darn good time. We hope to see you at the Chautauqua!

Registration opens Monday, April 15th at 6:30am. We encourage you to register online at that time as some classes do fill quickly. As you gear up for registration, please read our tips for a smooth registration process. There are no early registrations. The complete Chautauqua program will be available online soon, so you can choose your first, second, and third choices ahead of time.

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Eastern Sierra Event Birding the Valley

Coleville/Walker/Topaz, Northern Mono County
September 9-10, 2017
Explore the beautiful Antelope Valley in Northern Mono County, with birding, hiking, geology, photography, and more.

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California Swan Festival

Marysville, CA
November - TBA (check website for updates)

Sandhill Crane Festival

Lodi, CA
November - TBA (check website for updates)

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