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Best sites in Northern California (1 Viewer)

James

I'm losing it!
Folks

My wife and I are birding Northern California for 2 weeks next September. We have already been sent some trip reports and have the book "Birding Northern California" by John Kemper.

The problem is distilling all this down into 9 or 10 days worth of "must see" sites to get the widest range of species and habitats. So - what sites simply cannot be missed?

Regards

James
 

Richard Klim

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Of the sites in John Kemper's guide, I would particularly recommend Point Reyes, Monterey area (including Big Sur, Elkhorn Slough, Año Nuevo and pelagics from Monterey and/or Santa Cruz), Mines Road, Yosemite, and Mono Lake region.

Richard
 

lewis20126

Well-known member
A short diversion to the Pinnacles NM should get you Lawrence's Goldfinch (campsite), California Thrasher (if missed elsewhere) and is now another Condor site (not when I was there though). I saw Bobcat in the campsite, YBMagpies etc

I would base the entire trip around pelagics; book at least four; Bodega Bay best for Blue Whale; Fort Bragg best for rare deep water stuff (I saw Hawaiian Petrel); Monterey (and another nearby trip TBC) for Storm-Petrels.

Glacier Point Car Park in Yosemite for tame Dusky (was Blue) Grouse.

Cheers, alan
 

fugl

Well-known member
For rails (Clapper, Sora, Virginia) & the common waterfowl & shorebirds, the Palo Alto Baylands--about 30 miles S of the City--can't be beat.
 

James

I'm losing it!
All info being absorbed - thanks. What I might do is publish our provisional itinerary to see what people think. I know if someone did that for the UK it would be obvious to local birders if a "must see" site had been missed out! California birders have a high reputation so should be able to spot the holes quite easily.

James
 

fugl

Well-known member
What about a guaranteed easy site for California Black Rail?

Richard ;)

Same place, actually, the Palo Alto Baylands, but it has to be at the spring tides in January or February, not September. Or at least this used to be true many years ago when I (with crowds of other birders) saw my only Black Rails at such tides, along with the scores of Clapper Rails, Virginia Rails & Soras also driven into the open by the high water. Happy days!. I must remember to drive out to the coast & do it again some winter.
 

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