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San Diego and the Imperial Valley *FULL*

The subtropical Mediterranean climate of Southern California matched with local specialties, and diverse habitats makes San Diego a must-visit winter birding destination. On this six-day trip we’ll visit a variety of locales, from the Pacific Ocean through the Laguna Mountains to the Colorado Desert, that make this region a favorite for birders.

We’ll start in the City of San Diego itself, visiting the Tijuana River National Wildlife Refuge and nearby hotspots, searching for birds like Ridgway’s Rail, Yellow-crowned Night Heron, California Thrasher, and Lawrence’s Goldfinch. A trip to the coast north of San Diego will bring opportunities for California Gnatcatcher, Costa’s Hummingbird, and Nuttall’s Woodpecker.

We’ll also head over the mountains to the Imperial Valley in order to visit the famed Salton Sea, looking for Gambel’s Quail, Abert’s Towhee, and Yellow-footed Gull, with a stunning backdrop of waterfowl and shorebirds.

Our last bioregion to visit will be Anza Borrego, where we will visit desert canyons and bajadas in search of unique flora while keeping an eye out for LeConte’s and Crissal Thrasher, Verdin, Black-tailed Gnatcatcher, and Greater Roadrunner.

Enjoy the sun and birds of San Diego and the Imperial Valley!

Visit the “birdiest county in the U.S.” with Bird Alliance of Oregon to search for desert specialties and enjoy large numbers of wintering songbirds, shorebirds, raptors, and waterfowl in southern California’s subtropical Mediterranean climate.



Distance: Most days will feature several hikes of up to 1-2 miles
Elevation changes: Some hikes will have moderate elevation changes, but none of our hikes will be considered arduous. We will adjust walks to suit the weather and group.
Trail: Most of our trails will be wide and paved or small single-track trails with fine gravel covering them.
Pacing: Slow
Rest Stops: The leaders will try to provide rest stops when possible, but not all trails will have suitable benches, etc.
Sun Exposure: Participants should expect several hours of full sun every day. While the leaders will try to break up and limit sun exposure when possible, participants must come prepared with proper sun protection.
Amenities: Typically, leaders will try to provide formal bathroom stops every two hours.

Trip Details

  • Trip Leaders: Brodie Cass Talbott and Kirk Hardie
  • Dates: March 6-11, 2023
  • Fee: $1,995 member / $2,495 non-member
  • Single supplement: $400
  • Deposit: $1000
  • Group size: Limited to 14 participants
  • Fee Includes: Fee is based on double occupancy and includes all lodging, all ground transportation, all meals except dinners, and all guide fees.
  • Fee Does Not Include: Airfare, dinners, or alcoholic beverages.



March 6, 2023
March 11, 2023
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Tara Lemezis