Fall Birding in San Diego with Front Range Birding Company

September 23-27, 2021

With some of the best birding in the country, birders from all over flock to San Diego County, California. Located on the Pacific Flyway and with habitats ranging from coastlines and chaparral to mountains and deserts, more than 500 species of birds have been observed in the region. San Diego has been labeled one of the “birdiest” counties in the country and late September is a phenomenal time to seek resident specialties as well as southbound migrants. Join Chip Clouse and the Front Range Birding Company for a spectacular fall birding trip to southern California.

Chip Clouse is the former General Manager of the Front Range Birding Company and a long-time bird tour leader. Originally enamored with tooth and claw predators, his fascination with birds started by volunteering with the NC Wildlife Resources Commission to monitor Peregrine Falcon nest sites while an undergraduate and was cemented once he saw his first Western Tanager while working for the Peregrine Fund in Oregon. With 20 years of bird research and project management experience in nine states and the Caribbean nation of Grenada, a Masters in Conservation Biology from Colorado State, five years with the American Birding Association, three years as a rep with Opticron optics and Novagrade Digiscoping adapters and stints guiding at 15+ different US birding festivals, Chip is excited to share his love of birds and habitat in this trip to the places he fell in love with during his first trip to the San Diego area in 2008 and in several trips since.

DAY 1 (Thurs, Sept 23): Arrival to San Diego/ Brawley ~ Mid-morning arrival to San Diego followed by departure to Brawley south of the Salton Sea. Birding hotspots en route include Lindo Lake, Kitchen Creek, Jacumba Hot Springs, and New River Wetlands. 

Accommodations: Brawley Inn or similar

Meals: Lunch

DAY 2 (Fri, Sept 24): Salton Sea/ Anza-Borrego/ Chula Vista ~ Full day of birding as you make your way back to Chula Vista where you’ll spend the next three nights. Primary birding stops include Salton Sea and Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. The Salton Sea is a globally significant Important Bird Area (IBA). For the past century, the Sea has served as a major nesting, wintering, and stopover site for millions of birds of approximately 400 species.

Accommodations: Holiday Inn Express Chula Vista or similar

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

DAYS 3 & 4 (Sat, Sept 25 – Sun, Sept 26): San Diego Hotspots ~ Two full days of birding at area hotspots including Tijuana Slough, Border Field State Park, Tijuana River National Estuarine Reserve and Imperial Beach on Day 3 and Sunset Cliffs, Cabrillo National Monument, and the San Diego River on Day 4. Recent sightings may add additional stops.

Accommodations: Holiday Inn Express Chula Vista or similar

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch


Day 5 (Mon, Sept 27): San Diego Hotspots ~ We’ll continue birding in and around San Diego including Lake Murray, La Jolla Cove, and Mission Bay. Afternoon return to the airport in time for evening flight home.

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch



Price: $1575* per person based on  double occupancy (two people sharing accommodations). If you prefer private accommodations, add $305*.

Price includes accommodations, private transportation in a Ford Transit 12-passenger van or similar, full-time guide (Chip Clouse), full-time driver, activities, entrance fees, and meals as listed in the itinerary.

Exclusions: airfare, three dinners, optional gratuities, and travel insurance.

Group size: six + guide + driver. We are known for having smaller group sizes than most companies offering similar itineraries.