WINTER 2013

Ogier Ponds / Coyote Valley 01-12-13 08:00 am
Gray Lodge Weekend 01-19+20-13 07:00 am
Panoche Valley (Team 1) 01-26-13 08:00 am
Panoche Valley (Team 1) 02-02-13 08:00 am
Pescadero / Cascade Ranch 02-09-13 04:00 am
Chase Day (Location TBD) 02-16-13 08:00 am
Bodega Bay 02-23-13 08:00 am
Joseph D. Grant Park 03-02-13 08:00 am
Chase Day (Location TBD) 03-09-13 08:00 am

Note
: Trip reports for each of the above outings will be posted on this site before the next class meeting.





Ogier Ponds / Coyote Valley / Calero Reservoir (Santa Clara County)
Saturday, January 12, 8:00 am
(2/3 Day)
This curious area is dominated by several large ponds created by an old abandoned gravel quarry which later filled with rain water and Coyote Creek runoff. Eventually, it created suitable habitat for wintering Waterfowl and Gulls. Along the ponds edges several uncommon species can be found, including American Bittern, Green Heron, Sora and Virginia Rails. Belted Kingfisher and Wood Duck are resident along the creek also, but are often shy and hard to find. Raptors are often exciting here and there is the possibility of Osprey, Merlin and Golden Eagle. Other reports include Ferruginous Hawk, Glaucaus Gull, and Swamp Sparrow. Lunch: Please bring a bag lunch. We will eat somewhere in the preserve. Directions: Drive south on Hwy 101 to Cochran Road in Morgan Hill, then west to Monterey Hwy (Hwy 82) and then turn right to go back north 2.6 miles. Watch for the power towers and turn right where they cross the highway at the Model Aircraft Skypark sign. Entrance to the ponds is .25 mile from the highway. We will meet in the first large turn out after passing through the gate, but if the gate is locked we will park outside the gate, being careful not to block access to the orchards. Drive time: 45 minutes from Palo Alto.








Gray Lodge/Sacramento River NWR Weekend! (Butte/Glenn Counties)
Saturday + Sunday , January 19+20, 7:00 am both days (Weekend)
(All Day, Friday and Saturday night hotel recommended. Won't that be fun!!)
These north valley stops are often wonderful in winter for Waterfowl and Raptors. As well as the full complement of Waterfowl, (including possible Tundra Swans) I'm hoping for a big Raptor sweep that could include Bald Eagle, Ferruginous Hawk, Rough-legged Hawk and Merlin. If our luck holds, we may also encounter American Bittern. Uncommon Passerine targets include Yellow-headed Blackbird and Northern Shrike. For this full day-and-a-half of birding we visit two beautiful areas. I suggest making reservations at the hotel for both Friday and Saturday evenings so you won't be exhausted for the long drive home. Bring food and water and dress in layers. Cricket and I will be staying at:

Bonanza Inn

1001 Clark Avenue, Yuba City, California, United States, 95991-3314
Phone: 530-674-8824
Fax: 530-674-0563

Directions to Yuba City hotel:
There are various ways to get to I-5 of course, and the best way for you do it depends on where you begin. However you choose, if you leave on Friday afternoon, as we will, keep in mind that traffic may be bad in places. Assuming you find your way to I-5, merge onto I-5 toward Sacramento and continue north. Take Hwy 99 after Sacramento. Eventually, it will branch off again and become Hwy 70. Drive north on Hwy 70 toward Yuba City/Marysville. Merge onto Hwy 20 toward Yuba City (west, I believe) and then turn right onto Clark Avenue. End at the hotel. For those who arrive in time, we may want to have dinner together at:

Marcello's Italian Restaurant

1235 Bridge Street
Tel: 530.674.2171
.
We should get a head count early afternoon and call in a reservation from the road. My cell phone is 650.868.4922
but coverage in the valley is not certain.

Directions to the Gray Lodge preserve from Yuba City:
We will caravan to our first destination, Gray Lodge WA at 7:00 Saturday morning. Those who are lodging elsewhere should plan on meeting us at the check in station around 7:30 where we will begin birding along the entrance road. From the hotel, drive 9.5 miles north on Hwy 99 to Pennington Road in Live Oak then drive 8 miles west (Pennington Road makes many turns, eventually becoming North Butte Road) to Almond Orchard Road. Go north 1.7 miles on Almond Orchard (which changes its name to Pennington Road as it crosses the county line) to the entrance of Gray Lodge Wildlife Area on the left. If you are very late, and find no trace of our group at the station, continue into the preserve where we will probably find our birding the marsh trail from Lot 14. Depending on how our day goes, we may also explore some nearby areas for Swans, possibly even Trumpeter, before returning to the hotel and having our group dinner.:

Sopa Thai Cuisine

720 Plumas Street
Tel: 530.590.7672
.
We should get a head count early afternoon and call in a reservation from the road.


On Sunday morning, we can make a quick tour of the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge headquarters before returning home early afternoon. We can caravan from the hotel begining at 7:15 or so and arrive around 8:00.

Directions to the Sacramento National Wildlife Reserve from Yuba City:
We will caravan to the preserve at 7:00 Sunday morning. Those who are lodging elsewhere should plan on meeting us at the main parking area where we will gather before taking the auto loop. A little informationa bout the reserve and its many other sections, can be found at: http://www.fws.gov/sacramentovalleyrefuges/sac.htm Drive north on Hwy 99 to 162 (also called the Butte City Hwy) and turn left. Follow this west toward Hwy I-5. Look also for Z-Road on your right, which is a great place to look for Swans if time allows. At some point you will see 162 turn north, but do not turn here. Instead, continue driving west and the road will change names to Riz Road. Turn left on 99W, which is a frontage road before I-5. The reserve will be on your left and is well marked. Cross the train tracks, pay at the kiosk and continue to the first parking lot where we will begin our tour.

Meals: Friday night will be independent unless you arrive in time to eat Italian with us. Saturday breakfast will be independent. Saturday lunch will be a picnic on the preserve. Bring food. We will have a group dinner on Saturday night at a nearby restaurant. Sunday breakfast will be independent. Sunday lunch will be a picnic on the preserve.

Drive time:
You don't even want to know...





Panoche Valley Team 1 (San Benito and Fresno Counties)
Saturday, January 26, 8:00 am (Full Day)
This area is a famous winter destination for birders looking for uncommon species. Expected species include Ferruginous Hawk, Prairie Falcon, Rock Wren and Lark Sparrow. Rare possibilities include Mountain Plover, Long-eared Owl, Sage Thrasher, Mountain Bluebird, Vesper Sparrow, Lewis's Woodpecker and Greater Roadrunner. Expect a full day of birding caravan style so bring food, water and dress in layers. Bathroom facilities are extremely "boot camp" and there is a fair amount of roadside birding. Directions: Take Hwy 101 south past Morgan Hill and Gilroy to SR 25 and exit east. Proceed on SR 25 through Hollister (the road makes several turns as it leads through town, and even acquires street names in places. Just follow the SR 25 signs though town) On the right side, you will eventually find a large Safeway at an intersection with a gas station. Please fill up your tank in Hollister, use the restroom, make any last minute purches and continue south on SR 25 to the tiny town of Paicines. We will meet at 8:00 am a few hundred yards south of the junction of SR 25 and J1. This is the gravel turnout overlooking the reservoir (where there are NO restrooms). Lunch: Take a bag lunch. We will eat at the Panoche Inn at the picnic tables. Drive time: 2.0 hours from from Palo Alto to the rendez vous. Please bring radios and await further instructions at the junction. Bring food and water. This will be a long full day with many possible birds!





Panoche Valley Team 2 (San Benito and Fresno Counties)
Saturday, February 02, 8:00 am (Full Day)
This area is a famous winter destination for birders looking for uncommon species. Expected species include Ferruginous Hawk, Prairie Falcon, Rock Wren and Lark Sparrow. Rare possibilities include Mountain Plover, Long-eared Owl, Sage Thrasher, Mountain Bluebird, Vesper Sparrow, Lewis's Woodpecker and Greater Roadrunner. Expect a full day of birding caravan style so bring food, water and dress in layers. Bathroom facilities are extremely "boot camp" and there is a fair amount of roadside birding. Directions: Take Hwy 101 south past Morgan Hill and Gilroy to SR 25 and exit east. Proceed on SR 25 through Hollister (the road makes several turns as it leads through town, and even acquires street names in places. Just follow the SR 25 signs though town) On the right side, you will eventually find a large Safeway at an intersection with a gas station. Please fill up your tank in Hollister, use the restroom, make any last minute purches and continue south on SR 25 to the tiny town of Paicines. We will meet at 8:00 am a few hundred yards south of the junction of SR 25 and J1. This is the gravel turnout overlooking the reservoir (where there are NO restrooms). Lunch: Take a bag lunch. We will eat at the Panoche Inn at the picnic tables. Drive time: 2.0 hours from from Palo Alto to the rendez vous. Please bring radios and await further instructions at the junction. Bring food and water. This will be a long full day with many possible birds!

 




Pescadero / Cascade Ranch(San Mateo County)
Saturday, February 09, 08:00 am (2/3 Day)
We will begin with a morning vigil at the picturesque Pigeon Point Lighthouse, scannng the waves for a variety of winter Waterfowl including Loons, Grebes, Alcids and Ducks, as well as the rocks for a selection of rock-loving Shorebirds. From there we will caravan to Gazos Creek Beach overlook to examine the Gulls gathered there, then Cascade Ranch to search the fields and riparian for interesting Sparrows and other Passerines. Finally we'll visit Phipp's Ranch outside of Pescadero for addtional woodland habitat. Directions: Drive south along Hwy 1 from Hwy 84 past Pescadero Road to the Lighthouse parking area on the coast. Lunch: Bring a bag lunch. Although the town of Pescadero has food available, including delicious artichoke bread and goat cheese, we will probably arrive after lunch. Those interested in our favorite goat cheese dairy farm are encouraged to follow us to our traditional after-trip visit. Drive time: 1 hour from Palo Alto.






Chase Day! (Location TBD) (Santa Clara County)
Saturday, February 16, 7:00 am (1/2 Day)
Meet: http://goo.gl/maps/xe49e
Lunch: We will eat at the picnic tables beneath the sycamores.
Drive time:
30 minutes from Palo Alto.






Bodega Bay (Sonoma County)
Saturday, February 23, 8:00 am (Full Day)
We will begin by scanning the bay from the Tides restaurant dock. Loons, Grebes and Waterfowl of various kinds are possible, but we often get Peregrine Falcon, Osprey and a few species of Gull from here as well. We'll work our way up the bay toward the famous "Hole in the Head" and the spectacular coastal overlook. The rock jetty at the harbor mouth has traditionally hosted hundreds of roosting Gulls and Cormorants, Turnstones, Surfbirds and Tattler, as well as the occasional Rock Sanpiper. A seawatch seems in order because there is a possibility of Alcids or Tubenoses if our scopes are ready. Lunch: We will eat at "Hole in the Head". Please bring food and water. Directions: TBA Drive time: 2.5 hours from Palo Alto.







Joseph D. Grant County Par (Santa Clara County)
Saturday, March 02, 8:00 am (3/4 Day)
The area should be colorful with neotropic migrants and loud with their songs! Other (less colorful) species to look for include Golden Eagle, California Thrasher, Wrentit, Rufous-crowned Sparrow and Olive-sided Flycatcher. The trip consists of three separate stops, each one higher than the last and all generally productive. Directions: Drive south on Hwy 101, exiting on Alum Rock Drive. Cross over the highway and northwest toward the Mount Hamilton. Turn right on Mount Hamilton Road and follow the winding road up and over the hill. The park entrance is in the neighboring valley and an entrance fee of $4 is collected at the gate. Continue driving into the park and meet at the first large lot on the left near the restroom facilities. The park's website has information as well: Drive time from Palo Alto to the first stop is about 45 minutes.





Chase Day! (Location TBD) (Santa Clara County)
Saturday, March 09, 7:00 am (1/2 Day)
Meet: http://goo.gl/maps/xe49e
Lunch: We will eat at the picnic tables beneath the sycamores.
Drive time:
30 minutes from Palo Alto.