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Califorinia (San Francisco Area) in January, what do birders want?

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Old Thursday 16th November 2017, 08:03   #1
pietrod
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California (San Francisco Area) in January, what do birders want?

Hi, I'll be spending some days in San Francisco at the beginning of January next year (opportunistic birding connected to business trip). There are a couple of great trip reports/posts on this website that gave me an idea for the best spots around town and the species that I can expect.

However I was also planning to get a car for 4/5 days and travel around a bit. I have been studying eBirds so I got a rough idea to where people go. But maybe some locals can help me to plan these few days with more details.

Does the ABA guide for Southern California cover San Francisco area?

Would you drive south, north or east?

What are the best spots within few hours (8-10) drive from San Francisco?

What are the most sought after species that local birders go for in January?

Any endemic that I should not miss in this season?

Any general advice on what to do/not do? Apps I should get/off line resources/etc.

Thanks anyone that invest some time to help me.
Ciao

Last edited by pietrod : Thursday 16th November 2017 at 12:24.
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Old Saturday 18th November 2017, 18:33   #2
pietrod
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I add one more question.

What about pelagic trips? I could not find any company programming one during January, however on eBird there are quite some pelagic report from January. They are not anymore organized? Anyone I could contact?

Thanks again!!!
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Old Saturday 18th November 2017, 23:13   #3
JerryLogan
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Hello and Welcome!

There is plenty to see in the Bay Area (as SF region is known to locals) even in January. As a preliminary question, can you advise what type of equipment will you be bringing?

I ask because there is a wide range of habitats so the most productive regions will depend on your equipment and wet/rain tolerance levels.

This is a lovely area and youre almost sure to see many interesting birds and animals.

Best,
Jerry
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Old Monday 20th November 2017, 05:34   #4
wimvdam
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> Does the ABA guide for Southern California cover San Francisco area?
Alas it does not.

California is a big and diverse place, so it would help if you could say a bit more about what you are hoping for. If this is your first time visiting the US west coast and you want to get as many different birds as possible, I would advice you to go south along the coast. If you are more interested in wild and spectacular habitat, then going north or east might make more sense.

A lot of California birding talk refer to its counties. You can start learning about them here:
https://fog.ccsf.edu/~jmorlan/county.htm



Wim

Santa Barbara County, CA


Quote:
Originally Posted by pietrod View Post
Hi, I'll be spending some days in San Francisco at the beginning of January next year (opportunistic birding connected to business trip). There are a couple of great trip reports/posts on this website that gave me an idea for the best spots around town and the species that I can expect.

However I was also planning to get a car for 4/5 days and travel around a bit. I have been studying eBirds so I got a rough idea to where people go. But maybe some locals can help me to plan these few days with more details.

Does the ABA guide for Southern California cover San Francisco area?

Would you drive south, north or east?

What are the best spots within few hours (8-10) drive from San Francisco?

What are the most sought after species that local birders go for in January?

Any endemic that I should not miss in this season?

Any general advice on what to do/not do? Apps I should get/off line resources/etc.

Thanks anyone that invest some time to help me.
Ciao
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Old Monday 20th November 2017, 19:15   #5
pietrod
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryLogan View Post
Hello and Welcome!

As a preliminary question, can you advise what type of equipment will you be bringing?

I ask because there is a wide range of habitats so the most productive regions will depend on your equipment and wet/rain tolerance levels.
Thanks Jerry, good point.
I am quite a keen birder...I will bring camera with 400 mm and scope beside binos and audio recorder. wet/rain tolerance level is very high with goretex pro and waterproof gear.
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Old Monday 20th November 2017, 19:26   #6
pietrod
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wimvdam View Post
>
California is a big and diverse place, so it would help if you could say a bit more about what you are hoping for. If this is your first time visiting the US west coast and you want to get as many different birds as possible, I would advice you to go south along the coast. If you are more interested in wild and spectacular habitat, then going north or east might make more sense.

A lot of California birding talk refer to its counties. You can start learning about them here:
https://fog.ccsf.edu/~jmorlan/county.htm
CA
Thanks a lot for the link Wim, it's great, sometimes a bit outdated but very useful resource for anyone visiting CA.

Yes, it would be my first time on the west coast, but not being the best birding season I decided to leave the best birding spots of the South for another trip.
Soon or later I have to visit that area!!
Beside the city of San Francisco during the business days I was thinking to visit Monterey area with a pelagic for a couple of days (whale watching since I could not find anything specific for seabirds).
Than I still have 4/5 days and
I am kind of curious to drive north and check the coast until the red woods National park...someone told me those trees are impressive and on the coast I should find quite some wetlands and somewhat different birds on the hilly nearby areas.... Any suggestions? I definitely haven't set my mind yet. I am just very excited studying birds and other vertebrate of the area!!

Thanks again,
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