My 3 week trip to Arizona and California has crept up on me and is now just over a week away(!), and I still have a few gaps in my itinery/things i'm unsure on, that i am hoping someone will be able to help me with! My basic itinery is:
Phoenix-Flagstaff(2 nights)-Ridgecrest(2 nights)-Mammoth Lakes(1 night)-Oakhurst(1 night)-Watsonville(2 nights + 1 extra night undecided)-Ventura(1 night)-Long Beach(2 nights + pos 1 more in area)-1 unbooked night indio/brawley-tucson(2 nights)-Green Valley(1)-Sierra Vista(1) and 2 unbooked nights in SEAZ, and perhaps use the extra day put aside for long beach/san diego area in SEAZ also. Flying back from phoenix
I have the ABA guides to southern CA and SEAZ, and the Flagstaff guide, but planning the other areas has been solely off the internet, and not always easy to find!
The areas i could most use some help with are:-
Eastern Sierra Nevadas
I have a full day and a morning here. On the full day im hoping to get up to aspendell for the rosy-finches, and after go looking for woodpeckers and mountain bluebirds(owens river road and june lake burn are 2 sites that look good for these on ebird), but would like to start the day at a wetland site near bishop(around or south of) to get the daylist off to a good start if there is one? Owens lake sounds promising but cant find any access details. The following morning i am planning on visiting the sage-grouse lek at lake crowley, does anyone know directions to here? Otherwise i will go to where the marker is on ebird but have found out that these are not always accurate! Afterwards i will be visiting mono lake, maybe have time for 2 stops around here? Main targets i guess would be sagebrush sparrow and sage thrasher
Hopefully will arrive in time for dusk from the long drive over/around the sierra nevadas to search for great grey owl, and will also look from before dawn the following day. Do they have a favoured area to help narrow down the search? Also presume its best to park at the hotel?
Monterey Bay Area
Have 2 full days and a morning here. The 1st day i was planning on doing the northern half, perhaps starting at big basin redwoods, then hitting the coast, main targets marbled murrelet, the rocky coast waders(b.oystercatcher/surfbird/tattler/b.turnstone) and GW gull. Anyone know any good spots for any of these? The closer to santa cruz the better!
THe second day i am booked on to a whale watching trip from monterey in the morning, then in the afternoon will most likely go searching locally for any of the species missed from the previous day, but havn't yet completely ruled out heading north into varied thrush territory! Does anyone know of a reliable spot (way)south of eureka? Don't really fancy travelling all that way for 1 bird, and have a long enough drive the following day!
Recommended stops along the coast road(1) between monterey and morro bay? Heard big sur is good but it looks big a wouldn't know where to begin!
Santa Cruz Island
Where do i need to go from prisoner's for the scrub-jay? Also be interested to see the island race of pacific-slope flycatcher and island fox
I know yellow-footed gull is scarce at this time of year, but can anyone recommend a likley spot to start searching? Red hill marina perhaps?
And any good spots for any of the following along/near my route
Know there's a lot there but any help with even just a bit of it would be most appreciated!
Thanks in anticipation,