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Where to watch birds in the Central Valley

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Old Sunday 5th August 2018, 14:54   #1
Fernando np
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Where to watch birds in the Central Valley


In the middle of October, I'll have some days for travelling through California, after hiking the John Muir Trail. Consequence of this, my optics will be limited to a pair of binocular Nikon 8X32 SE. I'd like to have a look to the North California wildlife. In these dates. the autumn migration in the Pacific flyway, looks a good option. In the article from wikipedia,, several places appear. I'd appreciate the advice from any local birdwatcher.

Thanks in advance.
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Old Wednesday 8th August 2018, 16:38   #2
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Here's a couple things I've heard, but I have not done either of these places, though I do plan to this year! I wish I had first hand experience with these, but I'm just starting out in this.

San Luis National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) has a month-by-month list of general activity there. I've heard it's a good place for birding. There is both a NWR and a state park of the same name right next to each other. There's more hunting in the state park, so its not as good, I've heard, for birding & photography as the NWR. The NWR does sell a waterfowl hunting permit beginning in October, but I am not sure how those areas overlap with the auto-tour and pedestrian boardwalk areas (I'd assume no overlap).

The Marin Headlands, part of the Golden Gate Recreation Area just on the north side of the Golden Gate Bridge, is supposed to be great for the pacific flyway because the migrating birds all get funneled through that area as its the shortest way to open water of the bay entrance along the coast.

Suisun Marsh (about 30 minutes north east of San Francisco) is also supposed to be a major stopping point. The city of Fairfield is supposedly building a big Pacific Flyway center there ( The center is not built yet, but you can look at their gallery to see what's going on there.

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Old Thursday 9th August 2018, 03:28   #3
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California is a big place and its birding organizes itself according to its 58 counties. I still think that this is the best site to start getting oriented:

Regarding the Central Valley, this site seems to be a good resource:

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