California Gnatcatcher
Lake Murray Park, San Diego, CA
photo by David Trently
Townsend's Warbler photo
by Bill Schmoker
Steller's Jay
Pinnacles National Monument, CA
photo by David Trently
Heerman's Gull, Goleta Beach, CA
photo by David Trently
Black Turnstone photo
by Bill Schmoker
Northern California Bird Watching
Northern California
Island Scrub-Jay
Santa Cruz Island, CA
photo by David Trently
For more information or to register for this trip, call Charles at 888-203-7464 or
Charles directly at 720-320-1974 or by email at
Detailed Itinerary
For more information or to register for this trip, call Charles at 888-203-7464 or
Charles directly at 720-320-1974 or by email at
Day 1:  Arrival and San Francisco Birding:

Arrive at San Francisco International Airport by 10 AM.  
We will spend the day birding Lake Merced, Golden Gate
Park and Land's End.   Here we should find Black
Oystercatcher, Black Turnstone, Surfbird, Brandt’s
Cormorant, Chestnut-sided Chickadee, Heermann’s Gull,
Thayer’s Gull, Clark’s and Western Grebe.  Short
seawatch for loons and other ocean birds.  Migrants could
include Western Tanager, Bullock’s Oriole Hermit Warbler
and Townsend’s Warbler.  In the late afternoon, we will
drive into Marin County for the evening.

Day 2: Point Reyes National Seashore and Marin

We will look for some of Point Reyes’ storied vagrants.  All
three scoters possible, Nuttall’s Woodpecker, Oak
Titmouse, Acorn Woodpecker, California Quail, Hutton’s
Vireo, Wilson’s Warbler, Black Phoebe, Western Bluebird,
Wrentit, Spotted Towhee, Tricolored Blackbird.

Day 3:  Inland to Livermore:

The highlight of this day will be Yellow-billed Magpie.  But
other excellent birds (and tough to get elsewhere) will be
California Thrasher and Nuttall’s Woodpecker.  In addition,
we will try for Lawrence’s Goldfinch, Rufous-crowned
Sparrow and Nuttall’s Woodpecker.

Day 4:  Calaveras Big Trees in the Sierra Foothills:  

Along with Giant Sequoias, we will find White-headed
Woopecker, Mountain Chickadee, Mountain Bluebird,
possible Sooty Grouse, American Dipper, Burrowing Owl,
and possible Mountain Quail.

Day 5:  Big Sur:

We will again leave early, but this time head to Big Sur for
California Condor.  There are now more condors in the
wild than in captivity as the restoration program continues
to work for the largest birds in North America.  Also
possible American Dipper, Sea Otter and any ocean birds
we may have missed.   

Day 6:  Monterrey Bay in the morning, then extend
trip over the weekend or off to the Airport

  • We will spend the morning birding the Monterrey
    Bay area, birding along the sea shore and other
    nearby sites.
  • Later in the day on September 14, those not staying
    for pelagic extension, return to San Francisco
    International Airport in the afternoon.   
  • All pelagic birders will overnight in downtown
    Monterey near boat docks. Friday afternoon in
    Monterey can used for sight-seeing, a visit to the
    huge Monterey Aquarium or general loafing about.

Pelagic Extension Available over the Weekend:

We will hope to get any pelagic birders onto the
September 15 (Saturday)  Shearwater Journeys trip.  
(They also offer pelagic trips on Sunday and sometimes
more often).  This pelagic trip will be with California’s
premiere offshore birding outfit.  Expect three or more
species of shearwater, Black-footed Albatross with Laysan
possible, Ashy Storm-Petrel, a handful of alcids including
Cassin’s Auklet and Marbled Murrelet, Arctic Tern, Sabine’
s Gull and all three jaegers.  With luck at least one South
Polar Skua as well.  Nearly all of these trips come up with
some ultra fantastic bird, and you will see more marine
mammals than on any whale watching trip.

Further extension possible for those wishing to make the
trip south to Ventura and a short boat ride out to see the
Island Scrub-Jay on the only island it inhabits, Santa Cruz
Island.  We will figure out interest and then schedule as a
pretrip and/or after everyone has had their fill of pelagic
birding.  We will likely take 2 or 3 day for this trip.  We will
also add some additional Southern California birding to
these additional two days.  Participants could fly out of LAX
(as in Los Angeles).  

We can work out the extension details, once we have six
participants on the trip.  Please sign up early so we can
get you on the Shearwater Journey trips on Saturday.