I’m honored and excited to be the keynote speaker at the 2013 Point Reyes Birding Festival, April 26 – 28.
Point Reyes is hallowed ground for birders. So many great people and so many great birds have come together there that the place has an undeniable magic. I haven’t spent nearly as much time there as I’d like, so I’m greatly looking forward to soaking up more of its ambience this April.
Here’s a quick review of some of what awaits at the festival from the good folks who host it. Hope to see you there!
The 2013 Point Reyes Birding & Nature Festival is shaping up to be as great as ever and is not to be missed! This will be the Festival’s fourth year and it is well worth the trip to rural West Marin, just north of San Francisco.
What makes this Festival special? It’s the magical combination of the height of spring migration at the Point Reyes National Seashore and surrounding region plus the outstanding naturalists who give their time and expertise to guide the field outings and present workshops and lectures.
The Point Reyes and West Marin county region is endowed with unique geography and extensive wildlands and ranches. Its pristine coastline, beaches, dunes, mudflats, bays, estuaries, freshwater wetlands, forests, grasslands, coastal bluffs and chaparral together support one of the highest levels of bird diversity in the country. Added with the high point of spring migration, it’s a mix too good to pass up!
During the Festival weekend, you can easily see migrating shorebirds, lingering wintering waterfowl, resident and migrant landbirds,
raptors, alcids, and other seabirds. Add to that the stunning wildflower displays and migrating whales, and you’ve got an unmatched birding and nature experience! Point Reyes also happens to be home base for some of the nation’s top birders and naturalists, offering an ideal setting for a spring festival for bird and nature enthusiasts of all levels.
West Marin hike by Jane Hart
This year’s Festival lineup includes over 70 field trips and indoor presentations guided by such top birders as Jules Evens, Lisa Hug, Keith Hansen, David Wimpfheimer, Peter Pyle, , Sarah Allen, Dave Shuford, Bob Power, Terry Colburn, and John Muir Laws. American Birding Association president Jeff Gordon is making the trip to Point Reyes to give the keynote address at the Saturday evening banquet. The Festival also has events for beginners and kids.
Those coming from out of state can expect to see west coast specialties such as black oystercatcher, pigeon guillemot, surfbird, wandering tattler, Brandt’s and pelagic cormorant, snowy plover, red-necked and red phalarope, lazuli bunting, white-throated swift, hermit and black-throated grey warblers, rufous-crowned and grasshopper sparrows, rock wren, bushtit and wrentit. One outing that will venture into Sonoma County can be expected to yield American dipper, sooty grouse, and mountain quail.
Point Reyes Station, where the Festival is based, is located in the heart of West Marin, a charming and scenic area loaded with attractive lodgings and good restaurants, all within about 60 minutes northwest of San Francisco and near the wine-growing regions of Napa and Sonoma counties.
Not only is this Festival a fantastic birding opportunity, the funds generated support a great cause: the habitat conservation work of the Environmental Action Committee of West Marin (EAC). You can read about some of EAC’s conservation work at www.eacmarin.org
Visit http://www.pointreyesbirdingfestival.org to see the full listings and register. The field outings fill fast, and tickets go on sale in late February so don’t delay! Inquiries can be sent to prbnfestival AT gmail.com.
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