Merced NWR with Matthew Dodder

Saturday, January 29, 2022
08:00 AM - 01:00 PM
Observation deck next to parking lot
7430 W Sandy Mush Rd, Merced, CA 95341, USA

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


Come explore one of the Central Valley’s winter birding jewels. Sandhill Crane, Snow, Ross’s, and Greater White-fronted Geese could number in the thousands, along with many varieties of ducks, shorebirds, and raptors. This is an auto tour around the perimeter of the refuge so it is accessible to all. Bring a lunch and we will eat together at the observation platform halfway around the loop. Scopes recommended.

Sign up early. Spots are limited to 16. Rain cancels, with refund.

COVID protocol: Everyone attending a trip must be fully vaccinated. Trip attendees are required to consolidate into 4 cars. This means you will be sharing a car with other field trip attendees. Passengers must remain in the vehicle they select at the beginning of the tour and wear face masks while in the car. Birding will be done from the vehicles unless we are in areas where exiting is permitted. Please do not attend if you have experienced fever or other symptoms within 48 hours of the trip.

Trip Difficulty: 1-2 miles, flat dirt trails

Leaders: Matthew Dodder,, (650) 868-4922 and Raminder Bajwa (650) 861-1439

Beginner Friendly, Family Friendly Ages 10 and up

Meet: Observation deck next to main parking lot

Directions: From US-101 in Gilroy, exit 10th St/CA-152 E. Take CA-152 E for about 45 miles passing through the hills, the Central Valley, and Los Banos. After Los Banos, continue on CA-152 E for another 20 miles, then take the exit for CA-59 N. Continue on CA-59 N for 7 miles then turn left (heading west) onto Sandy Mush Rd. Continue on Sandy Mush Rd for another 7 miles to the refuge entrance on the left (south) side of the road. Continue into the park on Tour Rte Loop Rd for 0.3 miles. The parking lot and observation deck are on your right. Address: 7430 W Sandy Mush Rd, Merced, CA 95341. Latitude/Longitude: 37.182496, -120.620241

Facilities: ADA accessible pit toilets in parking lot and along the auto route

Parking: gravel parking lots, no fees

Banner Photo: Sandhills Cranes and White-faced Ibises by Chuq Von Rospach

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

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Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society