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Coastal Santa Cruz

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

08:00 AM - 03:00 PM

Natural Bridges State Park Visitor Center

36.95239817323276, -122.0571311190452

Please limit your sign-ups to 2 WEEKEND trips per month.

Before signing up for this trip, please take a moment to read our trip policies and view our liability waiver.

Coastal Santa Cruz

Leaders: Sheila Raymond (408) 887-4854, Andy Melnick (650) 823-4117, Vicki Silvas-Young (408) 807-6993 and Joyce Zhang (650) 656-5830

Locations: Natural Bridges State Beach, Antonelli Pond, Homeless Garden, Seymour Marine Discovery Center.

Description: This field trip explores the coast and just-inland areas of Santa Cruz county on the north side of the city of Santa Cruz. The upland trails in Natural Bridges State Beach wander among eucalyptus and evergreen groves (including the Monarch Grove) providing habitat for nuthatches, hummingbirds, forest raptors, and various seasonal passerines; creek and beach areas may find herons, egrets, blackbirds, and yellowthroat; and the ocean views from the beach bring gulls, cormorants, pelicans, and peeps. A walk around Antonelli Pond may reveal ducks, grebes, coots, wintering warblers, hermit thrush, and a variety of sparrows. The Homeless Garden often exposes sparrows, blackbirds, and towhees. The coastal bluffs at the Seymour Marine Center offer (occasionally distant) views of gulls, cormorants, loons, guillemots, and murres; at the shoreline below may be found godwits, surfbirds, turnstone, whimbrel, oystercatchers, and peeps.

Level of Difficulty: All levels of birding skills and experience; telescopes will be beneficial for coastal viewing.

Availability: Spots are limited to 15 attendees.

Accessibility: This field trip is probably manageable for people with slight mobility limitations, but may not be appropriate for wheelchairs.

COVID protocol: Everyone attending this trip must be fully vaccinated.

Trip difficulty: Easy. There is a fair bit of mostly level walking along trails and streets, totaling 1-2 miles.

Getting there: We will meet at the visitor center of Natural Bridges State Beach. Parking for a fee is available there, although traditionally we have parked for free just outside the park along Delaware Avenue in the general vicinity of (~36.954485, -122.059848).

Facilities: Indoor/vault toilets at Natural Bridges State Beach visitor center; indoor toilets at Seymour Marine Discovery Center.


  • Natural Bridges State Beach, Antonelli Pond, Homeless Garden: None if parking on a public street (e.g., Delaware Avenue)
  • Natural Bridges State Beach: $10 vehicle day-use fee -- regular sized auto: $10 (senior $9, age 62 or older)
  • Seymour Marine Discovery Center: ~$3.45 for 2 hours, ~4.95 for 3 hours; payable using ParkMobile (see

Lunch: Bring if you like -- we plan to picnic at Seymour Marine Discovery Center.

Adverse conditions may result in cancellation of this trip on short notice.

Banner Photo: Pygmy Nuthatch by Brooke Miller

Questions? Email general questions to or contact the trip leader for questions regarding the event.

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Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society