Field Trips – Saturday

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Full Day Field Trips

 
CONDORS OF BIG SUR
Date/Time: Saturday, 9/24/16, 6-6 p.m. Fee: $15 premium trip fee Trip Leader: Phil Brown 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
CALIFORNIA SPECIALTIES
Date/Time: Saturday, 9/24/16, 6:30-4 p.m. Fee: $15 premium trip fee Trip Leader: Kumaran Arul 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

 
VAGRANTS AND MORE ON THE CARMEL RIVER SOUTH BANK TRAIL
Date/Time: Saturday, 9/24/16, 6:30-Noon Trip Leader: Rita Carratello 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
ELKHORN COASTAL BIRDING
Date/Time: Saturday, 9/24/16, 6:30-noon Trip leader: RJ Adams Description: This half-day trip will find us scouring locations such as the mudflats of Moss Landing, visiting the famous Moon Glow Dairy, or checking the freshwater pond of Zmudowski State Beach for the many migrating and wintering shorebirds, gulls, and waterfowl of the region. Peregrine Falcons and Merlin are often attracted to the large flocks of shorebirds, and California sea otters are usually in the area. Come see why Elkhorn Slough has long been a target destination for birders from around the world. Exact itinerary will be determined based on local conditions. Transportation: Car caravan departs from Watsonville Civic Plaza at 6:30 a.m. Activity: Moderate
BIRDING THE DUNES
Dates/Time: Saturday, 9/24/16, 6:30-noon Trip Leader: Nick Levendovsky 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 6:30 a.m. Activity: Moderate
WATSONVILLE HOT SPOTS
Date/Time: Saturday, 9/24/16, 7-11 a.m. Trip Leaders: David and Jane Styer Description: This trip will start at the south part of Lee Road, overlooking the west end of Struve Slough. If there is morning sun, the light is nearly perfect to look over the slough. This is an area that we have inventoried nearly weekly for several years. The area is dynamic so that we never see just the same birds two weeks in a row. The area is good for viewing both land and water birds. From Lee Road Overlook we may go to Harkins Slough, and then to the mouth of the Pajaro River. Each of these areas is different from the other, so that different bird species are likely to be added at each stop. Transportation: Car caravan departs from Watsonville Civic Plaza at 7 a.m. Activity: Moderate
SALINAS RIVER MOUTH
Date/Time: Saturday, 9/24/16, 7-noon Trip Leader: Scott Smithson Description: The mouth of the Salinas River offers an excellent opportunity to find a vagrant shorebird, observe several species of terns, study Snowy Plovers, catch a Northern Harrier or a Peregrine Falcon on the wing, or just enjoy a walk to the Pacific Ocean. Fall is the premier time of the year to visit this locale. Transportation: Car caravan departs from Watsonville Civic Plaza at 7 a.m. Activity: Moderate
ELKHORN RANCH BIRDING (NEW)
Date/Time: Saturday, 9/24/16, 7:30-11:00 a.m. Trip Leader: Hugo Ceja Description: This is a rare opportunity to bird on the historic Elkhorn Ranch private property in Moss Landing. Elkhorn Native Plant Nursery, located on the property and open to the public on Fridays, originally produced California native grass seed for the ranchland’s restoration. The nursery now produces seed for restoration projects throughout the area. You’ll be able to go beyond the nursery on this trip to walk the hills. Birding is superb here, since there is a freshwater pond, as well as grassy hillsides, oaks, willows, conifers, and a stunning overview of Elkhorn Slough. Bring water, sunscreen, and a hat. Spray beforehand for ticks. Transportation: Car caravan departing Watsonville Civic Plaza. Carpooling is essential, since parking is limited. Activity: Moderate.
BIRD SOUNDS FIELD STUDY (NEW)
Dates/Time: Saturday, 9/24/16, 7:30-noon Field Trip Leader: Roy Poucher Description: This field trip is the “hands-on” companion to the “Bird Sounds Workshop” held on Friday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. The goals are to solidify the general principles explored on Friday and to provide practical experience with field identification of specific Monterey Bay bird songs and calls. We will primarily be standing at different locations for short time segments, silently noting on paper what bird sounds we are individually hearing; then, as a group, we’ll discuss and identify these sounds. Though useful, binoculars are not necessary. Notebooks will be needed. The total walking distance will be about a mile, and walking will be easy. IMPORTANT NOTE: The prerequisite for this field trip is the Bird Sounds Workshop, offered Friday at 1:30 p.m. Transportation: Carpooling to field from the Civic Plaza at 7:30 a.m. Activity: Easy
BIRDING AND WINE TASTING (NEW)
Date/Time: Saturday, 9/24/16, 7:45-1:30 p.m. Fee: $15 premium trip Trip leaders: Earl Lebow and Tom Helman Description: Join Earl and Tom in a birding sampler of Watsonville’s productive slough system. The first stop will be parking at Landmark Elementary School. Then, depending on factors such as water levels, you’ll bird East Struve Slough, Harkins Slough, and wherever else scouting indicates. A wide variety of species is likely, as locals well know. Then, caravan to Nicholson Winery in rural Aptos to sample their specialties from noon to 1:30 p.m. Light snacks will be provided. Transportation: Depart from Civic Plaza at 7:45 a.m. to Landmark School Carpooling is essential! Activity: Moderate (and tasty!)
BIRDING FOR TEENS (NEW)
Date/Time: Saturday, 9/24/16, 8-11 a.m. Note: Open to ages 13-18 Trip Leaders: Jeff Manker Description: Are you a young birder, or would you like to be? Here’s the perfect chance to bird with other teens and be guided by a leader who is passionate about helping young birders. Whether you’re just beginning or have some birding experience, this trip is for you. A variety of bird species will be likely in the various locales chosen by the leader. Bring a hat, sunscreen, and water. Open to ages 13-18. Transportation: Car caravan from Watsonville Civic Plaza. Rides provided for non-drivers. Activity: Moderate
BEGINNING BIRDING
Date/Time: Saturday, 9/24/16, 8-noon Trip Leader: Lois and Wally Goldfrank 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
BEGINNING BIRDING
Date/Time: Saturday, 9/24/16, 1-4 p.m. 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 1 p.m. Activity: Moderate
OLIVE GROVE BIRDING/ECOAGRITOURISM (NEW)
Dates/Time: Saturday, 9/24/16, 1:15-4 p.m. Fee: $10 premium 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!)
OWLS OF ROBINSON CANYON
Date/Time: Saturday, 9/24/16, 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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