Leaders: David “Doc Quack” Riensche & Bob Toleno
Come explore this peninsula which protrudes seaward from the mainland and provides a “landing strip” for many miss-oriented migrants that you can add to your species list. During the fall season we may see as many as twenty warbler species in one day with the high probability of one-or-two of them being eastern vagrants! We will start our avian exploration by meeting at the Bear Valley Visitor Center (0830). Birding will be easy around the Visitor Center with plenty of raptor, woodpecker, warbler, wren, nuthatches, thrushes, and sparrow species to enjoy. We will then visit Abbotts Lagoon which is an excellent spot to watch a wide diversity of waders, waterfowl and shorebirds. While more than 30 bird species are present year-round, this number can climb to over 100 bird species during migration. This site has recorded 42 types of shorebirds including rarities such as the Hudsonian and Bar-Tailed Godwits, Sharp-tailed and Buff-breasted Sandpipers. Sanderling and threatened Western Snowy Plovers may be seen running along the sandy beaches. Our next stop will be the grassland areas along the Estero Trail which will provides hawk watching opportunities, while Great Egrets, Great Blue Herons, loons, terns, gulls, grebes, ducks (Eurasian Wigeon, cinnamon teal), shorebirds and other waterbirds occur in the Drakes Estero. Due the distinct habitat types (bay, beach, dune, mudflat, marshes, grassland, and coastal scrub), Drakes Estero annually produces more than 60 bird species including three types of loons, four types of grebes, both pelican species, Ring-Necked Duck, Canvasback and Red-Breasted Merganser!
Directions: To reach the park from the town of Olema, turn right onto Highway 1 and proceed approximately 100 yards, and make a left turn onto Bear Valley Road and travel west about .5 miles and follow signs to Bear Valley Visitor Center.
GPS 38.041146 N -122.80023 W to Bear Valley Visitor Center