American Birding Podcast

Categories

Archives

The ABA Will Be At Point Reyes Birding & Nature Festival—Will You?

 

ACR group at CG

Pt. Reyes Festival group by Jane Hart

 

The Point Reyes Birding & Nature Festival is a wonderful new addition to the roster of spring birding festivals. This will be the Festival’s third year and it is well worth attending, as ABA Board Member Robin Leong can attest. He’ll be representing us there this year, as he did last year.

What makes this Festival special? It’s the unbeatable combination of spring at the Point Reyes National Seashore and surrounding region plus the outstanding birders who give their time and expertise to guide the field outings and present workshops and lectures.

 

ACR group at CG

Chocolate lily by John Longstreth

 

If you’re not familiar with Point Reyes, you won’t regret taking the opportunity to explore and bird this outstanding place. The 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.

In the same weekend, you can see migrating shorebirds, lingering wintering waterfowl, resident and migrant landbirds, raptors, alcids, albatrosses 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.

 

ACR group at CG

Red-shouldered Hawk by John Longstreth

 

ACR group at CG

Horned Grebe by John Longstreth

 

This year’s Festival lineup  includes over 70 field trips and indoor presentations guided by such top birders as Rich Stallcup, Lisa Hug, David Wimpfheimer, Alvaro Jaramillo, Peter Pyle, Joe Morlan, Sarah Allen,  Keith Hansen, Allen Fish and John Muir Laws, who will give the keynote address. The Festival also has events for beginners and kids.

 

ACR group at CG

Weasel by John Longstreth

 

The locals enjoy this festival because it offers a chance to bird with so many outstanding leaders as well as to celebrate the exuberant convergence of returning migrants, breeding season, migrating shorebirds, courting raptors, wildflowers and marine mammals. But 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.

 

_WEst Marin hike

West Marin hike by Jane Hart

 

One outing that will venture into Sonoma County can be expected to yield American dipper, sooty grouse, and mountain quail. Monday’s pelagic trip to Cordell Bank, a nearby seamount, is likely to encounter black-footed albatross, Sabine’s gull, thousands of migrating pacific loons, tufted puffin, Cassin’s and rhinoceros auklet as well as humpback and gray whales, some accompanied by young calves.

 

ACR group at CG

Black-footed Albatross by John Longstreth

 

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 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 and http://www.savepointreyeswilderness.org

Visit http://www.pointreyesbirdingfestival.org to see the full listings and register. The field outings fill fast, so don’t delay! Inquiries can be sent to prbnfestival@gmail.com.

And be sure and stop by the ABA table and say hello to Robin while you’re there!