Field Trips – Friday




Full Day Field Trips

Date/Time: Friday, 9/23/16, 6-6 p.m. Fee: $15 premium trip fee Trip Leader: Eric Feuss Description: This trip takes you birding in one of the country’s pristine locations – Big Sur! Field trip leaders will take you to Andrew Molera State Park, one of the premier vagrant traps on the West Coast. Afterward, you’ll spend time looking for condors in likely spots along Highway 1. Participants should bring plenty of water to drink, lunch, and sunscreen for this nearly all-day trip. Transportation: Carpooling is recommended, as is a full tank of gas. Car caravan departs from Watsonville Civic Plaza at 6 a.m. Andrew Molera State Park is approximately 50 miles from Watsonville. For those not traveling in the caravan, meet at 7:15 a.m. at the Ventana Discovery Center/Andrew Molera State Park. Activity: Moderate Maximum number of participants: 12
Date/Time: Friday, 9/23/16, 6:30-4 p.m. Fee: $15 premium trip fee Trip Leader: Tim Amaral This trip focuses on seeing birds unique to California and the Western United States, such as Yellow-billed Magpie, California Thrasher, Wrentit, Nuttall’s Woodpecker, Snowy Plover, California Towhee, Lawrence’s Goldfinch, Clark’s Grebe, White-tailed Kite, and many more. Ranging from Pacific beaches to the foothills to the Salinas Valley, this fast-paced trip will help maximize your list of western birds. Perfect for the out-of-state birder, but fun for anyone. Participants should bring plenty of water to drink, lunches, and sunscreen for this nearly all-day trip. Transportation: Car caravan from Watsonville Civic Plaza at 6:30 a.m. Carpooling recommended. Please have a full tank of gas. Activity: Moderate  

Partial Day Field Trips

Date/Time: Friday, 9/23/16, 6:30-noon Trip Leader: Bill Hill Description: September and fall migration is the time to head to riparian corridors to search for vagrants and rarities not found in the area at any other time of the year. This Carmel Valley hotspot opened to the public in 2011 and is already collecting rarities such as: Blue-winged and Blackpoll plus 8 other Warbler species, Eastern Kingbird, and Red-eyed Vireo. The trail, a 3-mile round trip that is flat and mostly paved, meanders through multiple habitat types along the Carmel River. Transportation: Car caravan departs from Watsonville Civic Plaza at 6:30 a.m. Activity: Moderate
Dates/Time: Friday, 9/23/16, 6:30-1:00 p.m. Fee: $15.00 premium trip fee Trip Leader: Mark Paxton Description: Explore the upper reaches of the Pajaro River watershed on this rare opportunity to bird in a restricted access area. We’ll explore Llagas Creek, a tributary of the Pajaro River. A restored native plant corridor borders this creek, which is managed by the Santa Clara County Water District. Paralleling the City of Gilroy’s wastewater treatment plant, it consistently offers surprises in any season. Depending on water conditions, San Felipe Reservoir will be included. Participants should pack a lunch, hat, sunscreen, and plenty of water for this nearly all-day trip. Transportation: Car caravan departs from Watsonville Civic Plaza at 6:30 a.m. Please carpool as parking is limited. Activity: Moderate
Dates/Time: Friday, 9/23/16, 7-11:30 a.m. Leaders: Earl Lebow and Tom Helman Description: Shorebirds, songbirds, and waterfowl are all likely as we visit the varied habitats of Pajaro Dunes. Snowy Plovers nest on the dunes themselves, and the Pajaro River Mouth has long been one of the premier locations for rare shorebirds, gulls and terns. Stands of Monterey Cypress and willow patches provide habitat for a variety of passerines. This trip highlights some of the richest birding areas of the entire Pajaro Valley. Transportation: Car caravan departs from Watsonville Civic Plaza at 7 a.m. Activity: Moderate
Date/Time: Friday, 9/23/16, 7-11 a.m. Trip leader: Todd Newberry Description: The UCSC Arboretum, overlooking the north end of Monterey Bay, has an internationally famous array of “Mediterranean,” Australian and South African trees and shrubs. This all-morning trip will explore this extraordinary 60-acre habitat. While September is a quiet time for songbirds, some 50 species of them are likely to be in the gardens. But, we will focus not so much on building a long bird list as on honing some of the observational and interpretive skills that lead naturalists into keen perceptions of other creatures’ lives. Transportation: Carpool departure from Civic Plaza at 7 a.m. to meet the leader at 8 a.m. at the Arboretum entrance. Activity: Easy
Dates/Time: Friday, 9/23/16, 7:30-11:30 a.m. Trip Leader: Rick Berg Description: This may be a half day trip or extended into a full day to include Carmel River Lagoon at 1 p.m. Hatton Canyon and the Carmel Mission trail involve a leisurely birding walk on flat trails through riparian and tall pines woodlands. This is a heavily forested area with a large number of bird species. Expected are migrating songbirds and hummingbirds, several varieties of woodpeckers, woodland raptors, nonmigratory birds, and other feathered friends. Regularly seen in Hatton Canyon are: Anna’s Hummingbirds; Red-shouldered and Cooper’s Hawks; Band-tailed Pigeons; Nuttall’s, Acorn, and Downy Woodpeckers; California and Spotted Towhees; Western-scrub and Steller’s Jays; Blue-gray Gnatcatchers; and the sparrows and songbirds, migratory and nonmigratory, who inhabit our forest. Note: Wear a hat and sunscreen, bring water, and avoid wearing white. Lunch is on your own in Carmel (eatery suggestions from Rick) or bring a lunch if continuing with Rick at 1 p.m. Transportation: Car caravan departs from Civic Plaza at 7:30 a.m. Please divide into those folks only doing the morning trip and those planning to stay with Rick for the afternoon trip. Activity: Easy
Dates/Times: Friday, 9/23/16, 7:30-11:30 a.m. Trip Leader: Bob Ramer Description: Pinto Lake area is home to the Red-shouldered and Red-tailed Hawk, White-tailed Kite, California Thrasher, woodpeckers, ducks, and songbirds. We’ll wander the trails of Pinto Lake County Park searching for these and other birds. This trip is recommended for both beginners and experienced birders as something unusual nearly always shows up. Transportation: Car caravan departs from Watsonville Civic Plaza at 7:30 a.m. Activity: Moderate
Date/Time: Friday, 9/23/16, 7:30 a.m.-noon Leader: Nelson Samuels Wander the back roads of San Benito County in a drive-stop-drive trip that’s especially good for less mobile birders. There should be an excellent array of raptors and residents such as Rock Wren, Oak Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, the three local woodpeckers, and Yellow-billed Magpies. For those who would like to have lunch on your own at Flapjacks in Tres Pinos afterwards, you’ll enjoy an area and leader favorite. The menu is at Transportation: Carpooling is essential to cut down on the number of vehicles on road shoulders. Note: A volunteer will lead carpooling birders from the Civic Plaza at 7:30 a.m. to Tres Pinos to meet the leader at 8:30. Promptness is essential. Activity: Easy (and tasty!)
Date/Time: Friday, 9/23/16, 8-noon Trip Leader: Rusty Scalf Description: Unsure about how to find birds in your binoculars? Don’t know a Great Blue Heron from a Mourning Dove? Or, are you just looking for some tips about how to improve your identification skills? Come join us for an introductory bird walk emphasizing the ABCs of identifying and observing birds in the wild. Transportation: Car caravan departs from Watsonville Civic Plaza at 8 a.m. Activity: Moderate
Dates/Time: Friday, 9/23/16, noon-3 p.m. Trip Leader: Rick Berg Description: Explore the mouth of the Carmel River, the watershed that nourishes the valley and its towns and cities. This involves some uphill walking and beach sand, but trails are mostly good. Migrating shore, wading, and woodland birds stop at the lagoon on their way south, and nonmigratory birds take advantage of the riparian woodlands and seaside brush terrain. Among the species regularly encountered in September are: various gull species; Double-crested and Brandt’s Cormorants; nonmigratory White-crowned Sparrows; herons and egrets; raptors such as White-tailed Kites, Peregrine Falcons, Northern Harriers, and American Kestrels; and waterfowl, including Red-breasted Mergansers. A Wrentit or California Thrasher may pop up, too. Note: Wear a hat and sunscreen, and please avoid wearing white. Transportation: Attendees for only the afternoon session will leave Civic Plaza at noon to rendezvous with Rick and other morning attendees at 1p.m. Activity: Moderate
Dates/Time: Friday, 9/23/16, 1:15-4 p.m. Fee: $10 premium trip fee Note: Roger will have olive oil for sale. Trip leader: Roger Wolfe Description: Join birder and grower Roger Wolfe at his organic olive grove, Dos Aguilas, for birding and olive oil tasting. Roger will treat us to a tasting of his award-winning oil and table olives. He’ll explain California olive history, growing and curing methods, and other aspects of his business. Additionally, since Roger’s grove teems with birds, there will be casual, fun birding. A sampling includes: California Thrasher, Barn Owl, California and Spotted Towhee, and woodpeckers, such as Acorn, Nuttall’s, and Northern Flicker. An eastern vagrant such as a Blackpoll might even be seen at the pond. Transportation: Car caravan from Civic Plaza at 1:15 p.m. Activity: Easy (and tasty!)
Date/Time: Friday, 9/23/16, 7 p.m. to after midnight Fee: $15.00 premium trip fee Trip Leader: Steve Rovell Description: These trips always sell out! Robinson Canyon is one of California’s most productive owling sites. Western Screech, Great Horned, Barn, and Northern Saw-whet owls are all likely. Northern Pygmy and the endangered Spotted Owl are possibilities. These field trips, limited to 8, are a must if you’re looking for owls. Bring a flashlight and dress warmly. Please be aware that most owls will only be heard, and not seen. Transportation: Car caravan departs from Watsonville Civic Plaza at 7 p.m. Activity: Limited Maximum number of participants: 8
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