Thank you Cassowary.
I am seeing some places being out of reach by public transport (BART included) and realise it will be difficult without a car. I will be bringing my driving licence just in case anyway if I change my mind, although preference is not to drive (UK driving is stressful enough).
I have had a quick look at Birdingpal again, and may use it after I am back from other trips.
Thank you again.