SUN EVNTS (79.5 KiB)
Full Day Field Trips
CONDORS OF BIG SUR
Date/Time: Sunday, 9/25/16, 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.
Maximum number of participants: 12
Date/Time: Sunday, 9/25/16, 6:30-3:30 p.m.
Trip Leader: RJ Adams
Join RJ for a fun carpooling trip to Pinnacles, one of America's newest National Parks. We will go south on Highway 25, entering the park on its east side and from there we will hike the 2.5 mile Reservoir Loop. This hike is listed as "moderately" difficult and does include a fairly steady climb of several hundred feet as well as spots where participants will have to duck under low rock overhangs. In exchange for this, we get to pass through a variety of habitats, including oak woodlands, chaparral, and riparian woodland. Afterwards we will eat our lunch picnic style at the Visitors Center near the campground, which presents one of our best chances for picking up California Condor. Possible birds include a wide variety of raptors including Golden Eagles, Prairie Falcons, and California Condors. Additional possibilities include Yellow-billed Magpies, Acorn and Nuttall's Woodpeckers, California Thrasher, Wrentit, White-throated Swifts, and Bell's Sparrow. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes and hiking clothes, bring plenty of water, and be aware that there is very little in the way of food available for purchase in the park so please make sure to bring your lunch with you in the morning.
Transportation: Carpool from Civic Plaza at 6:30 a.m. – have a full tank of gas.
Activity – High
Date/Time: Sunday, 9/25/16, 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.
Partial Day Field Trips
BIRDING NEW BRIGHTON
Date/Time: Sunday, 9/25/16, 6:30-noon
Trip Leader: Matthew Strusis-Timmer
Description: New Brighton State Beach includes patches of willows, oaks, and a fine Monterey Pine forest, all of which are attractive to both migrating and wintering birds. Townsend’s Warblers, Pygmy Nuthatches, Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers, and Brown Creepers are all likely to be seen. The adjacent waters of Monterey Bay are a good place to view Caspian, Elegant, and Forster’s Terns, and sometimes even a Parasitic Jaeger!
Transportation: Car caravan departs from Watsonville Civic Plaza at 6:30 a.m.
BIRDING QUAIL HOLLOW RANCH (NEW)
Date/Time: Sunday, 9/25/16, 6:30-10:30 a.m.
Trip leader: Alex Rinkert
Description: Quail Hollow Ranch hosts a great diversity of habitats, including the endemic Santa Cruz sandhills, offering a good opportunity to see many of the western birds and California specialties. We will likely encounter Nuttall’s Woodpecker, California Thrasher, Wrentit, and more. This will be an excellent opportunity to learn about Quail Hollow nest box projects for Western Bluebirds, Ash-throated Flycatchers, and other cavity nesters.
Transportation: Car caravan departs from Civic Plaza at 6:30 a.m. Carpooling and full gas tanks recommended; winding road
ELKHORN RANCH BIRDING (NEW)
Date/Time: Sunday, 9/25/16, 7:30-11 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.
HATTON CANYON HOT SPOT (NEW)
Dates/Time: Sunday, 9/25/16, 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 non-migratory, who inhabit our forest. 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.
BIRD SOUNDS FIELD STUDY (NEW)
Dates/Time: Sunday, 9/25/16, 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.
EXPLORING AN OAK WOODLAND (NEW)
Date/Time: Sunday, 9/25/16, 8:15-noon
Fee: $10 premium trip
Trip Leader: Kate Marianchild with ESR Docent, Shirley Murphy
Description: Join author Kate Marianchild as she explores an intact Coast Live Oak woodland at Elkhorn Slough Reserve. Visit a “grandmother” Coast Live Oak and learn why she is so popular with birds, butterflies, and neighboring plants. Inspect Lace Lichen and discover its importance to Hutton’s Vireos, Bullock’s Orioles, oaks, and manzanitas. Enjoy mind-boggling stories about Acorn Woodpeckers and woodrats, and yes, even come to appreciate Poison Oak! This is a two-for-one walk! Shirley Murphy, ESR docent extraordinaire, will accompany Kate in this adventure on land that she loves and tends with great care.
Transportation: Car caravan departs from Watsonville Civic Plaza at 8:15 a.m.
CARMEL RIVER LAGOON HOT SPOT (NEW)
Dates/Time: Sunday, 9/25/16, 1-3 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.
Transportation: Carpool from Civic Plaza to Carmel at noon, if not doing the morning trip to Hatton Canyon. Attendees for only the afternoon session will leave Civic Plaza at noon to rendezvous with Rick and other morning attendees at 1p.m.
Note: Wear a hat and sunscreen, and please avoid wearing white.