Field Trip: Merced National Wildlife Refuge - Currently Full

Date: Sunday January 23, 2022

Time: 8:00 AM

Our January Field Trip will be to the incredible Merced National Wildlife Refuge! Sign up for the Waiting List! (NSAS Event)


Leader: Ralph Baker, who has been the field trip chairperson for Stanislaus Audubon.

Description: Merced NWR has been described as a Crane and Waterfowl Wonderland in the winter! The numbers present in the winter are staggering - 15,000 cranes, 60,000 geese, 50,000 tri-colored blackbirds, and more than 200 species overall, including Snow Goose, Ross’s Goose, Greater White-fronted Goose, Cackling Goose, Sandhill Crane, Cattle Egret, White-faced Ibis, Bald Eagle, Ferruginous Hawk, Great Horned Owl, Prairie Falcon, Loggerhead Shrike, and Horned Lark. There are three walking trails on the refuge. Kestrel Trail is at the NW corner of the auto tour route and Bittern Marsh Trail is at the SE corner (there are also viewing platforms and the only restrooms at those corners), and Cottonwood Trail is across the road, near the NE corner of the loop (map below). We’ll meet at the first platform, then walk Kestrel Trail. Then we'd drive the loop and stop at the second platform before walking Bittern Marsh Trail. If time allows, we'd walk a bit of Cottonwood Trail.

We will spend Saturday night in Merced and meet our guide Sunday morning. On the drive down on Saturday we may stop and bird along the way, but more details on that to follow.

Everyone must be vaccinated and boostered. Covid release forms must be completed.

Limit 15 participants

Directions: Meeting Location: First viewing platform after entering the refuge.

From Napa & Vallejo take Highways 680 to 580 to Hwy 5 South.Exit at Santa Nella onto Hwy 33 South. Turn left on Henry Miller Road. Turn left on Turner Island Road. Turn Right on Sand Slough Rd. Turn Left on Nickel Rd. Right on W Sandy Mush Rd. Enter the Refuge at 7430 W Sandy Mush Rd. Merced. CA 95340. From Fairfield it may be faster to take an alternate Route on Hwy 12 and Hwy 99 South. Exit on Applegate Rd. Turn Left on Hwy 140. Turn Right on N Gurr Rd. Then Right on W Sandy Mush Rd to the Refuge Entrance located at Enter the Refuge at 7430 W Sandy Mush Rd. Merced. Google directions from your starting location to determine which route is the best!

submitted on January 03, 2022, at 05:14 PM PST

Friday Bird Walk at Long Canyon © 2010 Dave McMullen NSAS Viewing Station at SF Bay Flyway Festival © 2008 Dave McMullen Murray Berner © 2009 Frank Toller * Murray at Coast.jpg Δ

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