Field Trips

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Learn about the field trip lottery: To help more people have a chance at getting a space on our very popular field trips, we have implemented a field trip sign-up lottery system. The first seven days of registration , even with the 24-hour lottery, are open to current Seattle Audubon members only. If spots remain after seven days, registration will be open to the public.

How the lottery works:

  1. New field trip offerings are published in our monthly eNewsletter that goes out the first of each month at approximately 10:00 a.m.
  2. Select up to two field trips you can attend and sign-up (for you and an optional guest) using the registration form link.
  3. 24 hours after field trips open, we will randomly select names for each trip from the registration list.
  4. Those who win a spot on a trip will be emailed. There is no need for registrants to confirm their attendance; we have always expected registrants to attend trips for which they sign up, and that policy stands with this new system.
  5. Those who were not randomly selected for a trip will be notified via email that they are on the wait list.
  6. In the event of a cancellation, participants will be moved off the wait list, and on to the field trip participant list also using this same lottery system, and will be notified by email and by phone.

Seattle Audubon members will continue to have priority registration, and non-Seattle Audubon members may begin registering for the lottery seven days after trip registration opens.

Not a current Seattle Audubon member? Join or renew today! To check your membership status, please email Membership Services Associate, Anna Dukes.

Reminders:

    • Members may sign up for themselves and one guest for no more than two trips per month, even with the new lottery system.
    • We expect people to show up for the trips they are registered. If you need to cancel, please get in touch so that we may fill your spot with someone from the wait list.

Looking for an outing with no pre-registration required? Try a Neighbohood Bird Outing.

June 2022 Trips

Register for the June trip lottery

Saturday, June 4, 2022
Richmond Beach Saltwater Park, Shoreline
2021 NW 190th St, Shoreline, WA
Leader: Joe Sweeney
8:00 AM, Parking lot at the bottom of the entrance road, near the restrooms
Limit: 7
No mask requirements
Trip Accessibility: 1 (leisurely pace), C (hiking trails with gentle rolling hills), 2-3 miles walking
Expect to walk 2-3 leisurely paced miles, including some hills and steps. We will first walk the main paths and steps in this very scenic park. Then, we’ll return to our cars, grab our spotting scopes, and walk the short distance to the beach for some seabird watching overlooking the Puget Sound. The weather is usually cooler on the beach, so wear layers and rain gear, if necessary. Bring binoculars, of course, and a scope, if you have one; however, a pair of binoculars is all you really need to enjoy the walk. Over by 10:30 AM.

Sunday, June 5, 2022
Union Bay Natural Area
Leader: Jen McKeirnan (she/her)
7:30AM East-side parking lot of Center for Urban Horticulture
Limit: 10
No mask requirements
Trip Accessibility: 1 (leisurely pace), B (mostly gravel trails with some soft ground or mud), Up to 3 miles walking
The Union Bay Natural Area is distinguished for diverse habitats including grasslands, woods, ponds, marshland, and lake shoreline. It attracts a wide variety of resident and migratory birds. Expect to walk up to 3 leisurely paced miles on level ground. Bring binoculars. Over by 10am.

 

May 2022 Field Trips

Register for the Wait Lists

The May field trip lottery has closed. Use the link above to register for the wait lists.

Saturday, May 7, 2022
Richmond Beach Saltwater Park, Shoreline
Leader: Joe Sweeney
8:00 AM, Parking lot at the bottom of the entrance road, near the restrooms
Limit: 7
No mask requirements
Trip Accessibility: 1 (leisurely pace), C (hiking trails with gentle rolling hills), 2-3 miles walking
Expect to walk 2-3 leisurely paced miles, including some hills and steps. We will first walk the main paths and steps in this very scenic park. Then, we’ll return to our cars, grab our spotting scopes, and walk the short distance to the beach for some seabird watching overlooking the Puget Sound. The weather is usually cooler on the beach, so wear layers and rain gear, if necessary. Bring binoculars, of course, and a scope, if you have one. Over by 10:30 AM.

Saturday, May 14, 2022
Magnuson Park
Leader: Neil Zimmerman (he/his, 206-200-6700, day of trip only)
7:00 AM, E-4 parking lot at Magnuson Park
Limit: 12
No mask requirements
Trip Accessibility: 1 (leisurely pace), B (mostly gravel trails with some soft ground or mud), ~ 1.5 miles walking
Mid-May is great for birding because migration is in full swing. This will be a causal walk of about two miles through the varied habitats of Magnuson Park. We should be able to see a good mix of bird species. As usual, dress for the weather and bring snacks and/or water. Take 65th St NE off Sandpoint Way. Follow the road to the end and meet at the E-4 parking lot. If you need loaner binoculars, let me know ahead of time and I can arrange to get them through Seattle Audubon. Over by noon.

Saturday, May 14, 2022
Seward Park for Young Adults*
Leader: Brett Eaton (He/Him) (day of trip only: 206-914-1158) and Amanda Virbitsky (she/her) (day of trip only: 610-955-7881)
10:00 AM, Seward Park Nature Center – Seward Park is on the shore of Lake Washington at S. Orcas St., and Lake Washington Blvd. Meet in front of the nature center at the east edge of the oval driveway.
Limit: 12
No Mask Requirements
Trip Accessibility: 1 (leisurely pace), B (mostly gravel trails with some soft ground or mud), ~ 1.5 miles walking
Trip description: We will start at the Audubon Center near the playground and follow the Broken Tree Trail behind the center towards the upper parking lot where we will connect with the Lost Lake trail to continue meandering East further into the peninsula. After the trail bends North we’ll eventually turn West to connect with the Shore Loop Rd where we will look for ducks, herons, and swallows as we head back to the Audubon Center. We plan to make it back to the Audubon Center around noon. *Young Adults definined as those under 40 years old.

Sunday, May 22, 2022
Westcrest Park in Highland Park, Seattle
Leaders: Whitney Neufeld-Kaiser (she/her) and Atul Tandon (he/him/his)
7:30 AM, Playground Parking Lot, on 8th Ave SW between SW Trenton St. and SW Cloverdale St. Bus #131 stops at 9th Ave SW and SW Trenton St, then it’s less than 10 minutes to walk to the parking lot.
Limit: 12
No mask requirements
Trip Accessibility: 1 (leisurely pace), C (hiking trails with gentle rolling hills plus a few sets of stairs), ~1.5 miles walking
Westcrest Park is the southern end of the West Duwamish Greenbelt and includes trails winding through mixed forest, a community garden, and open greenspace over the covered water reservoir. Anyone interested in birds is welcome – the trip leaders will have extra pairs of binoculars for folks who need them. Our route will first meander south through the open space and return via the trees to include different sorts of habitat. We’re likely to encounter year-round residents like Bewick’s Wrens and Spotted Towhees, warblers coming through on the way north, and summer residents like Pacific-slope Flycatcher and Savannah Sparrow. Pileated Woodpeckers, Cooper’s Hawks, and Common Ravens are always possible. A significant portion of the walk lends itself to finding birds by their sounds, because the tree canopy is high, and there should be a lot of singing to listen to. Our route usually takes 2-3 hours, depending on what we see and hear and how many questions spark conversation. We’ll finish around 10:30 AM.

Saturday, May 28, 2022
Union Bay Natural Area (Montlake Fill)
Leader: Julia Hansbrough (270-799-9359, day of trip only)
9:00 AM, Center for Urban Horticulture in the East parking lot off NE 41st Street, one block beyond the place where Mary Gates Memorial Drive turns left to become NE 41st Street.
Limit: 12
No mask requirements
Trip Accessibility: 1 (leisurely pace), B (mostly gravel trails with some soft ground or mud), ~ 1.5 miles walking
Union Bay Natural Area, just east of the University of Washington, is a fantastic spot for spring migration, and offers a range of habitats: wetland to forest to open fields. Likely birds include Cinnamon Teal, Violet-green Swallows, and Common Yellowthroat, and possible birds include Marsh Wren, Osprey, and Wood Duck. Over around 11 AM.

 

COVID-19 Protocol - updated March 2022

Until May 1

  • During field trips, Seattle Audubon requests that participants follow former King County masking guidance for outdoor activities where 6′ distance cannot be maintained:
    • Masks recommended: Fully vaccinated people
    • Masks required: Not fully vaccinated people (honor system)
  • Carpools:
    • Generally discouraged, but permitted, for fully vaccinated individuals wearing masks.
    • Prohibited for unvaccinated or partially vaccinated individuals.
  • Vaccination status for outdoor activities will be determined through a self-reported honor system; Seattle Audubon will not be tracking vaccination status beyond staff and a small circle of volunteers.

The reasoning for sticking with the older guidelines for a bit longer, is that participants signed up feeling comfortable with the existing recommendations and we didn’t want to change the expectations mid-stream.

After May 1

  • Beginning in May, Seattle Audubon will offer both masked and mask-optional trips from which individuals can choose based on risk tolerance and comfort. Until then, masks remain optional for fully vaccinated individuals. However, to align with public health guidelines for transit, masks will still be required for carpooling on all trips until further notice.

We recognize that a significant number of our community members—specifically families with children under 5 and others who are high-risk or medically exempt from vaccination—remain vulnerable.

We urge everyone in our community to remain compassionate towards one another. No one should be judged on the basis of their masking behavior or whether they choose to participate in a carpool, as long as it aligns with Seattle Audubon’s guidelines.

Trip Accessibility Indicators

Trip Accessability Chart

Seattle Audubon offers field trips throughout the year. Beginner birders are encouraged to join any field trip, and trip listings contain details about pace, terrain, walking distance, and information about vehicle travel.

New field trips are generally posted on the first day of the month. Current Seattle Audubon members receive priority registration for new trips during the first week of every month.

We operate under the expectation that folks will attend the trips for which they sign up.

To sign-up for our monthly eNews with updates on events, opportunities, and field trip and neighborhood bird walk listings, fill out this form.