Thursday, September 25, 2008

Monterey Bay Birding Festival

Friday, September 26, begins the Monterey Bay Birding Festival. I've been looking forward to this weekend since last year. The photo above is from last year's trip.

This year Red will be attending along with my husband and me. I've considered Red to be my professional (or at least semi-professional) photographer. Tomorrow's event is called California Specialties. It begins at 7 a.m. and we have about an hour's drive to get to the check-in place in Watsonville. This is a full-day's trip focusing on birds like yellow-billed magpie, Calif Thrasher, snowy plover, Lawrence's goldfinch, etc. We will be traveling from the Pacific beaches to the foothills of the Salinas Valley (think John Steinbeck's "Grapes of Wrath").

Saturday's trip starts even earlier, 6:30 a.m., which means we will have to leave home around 5:30 a.m. Ugh! Oh well, it's for a good reason. The morning event is called Rancho Del Oso which will give us the opportunity to bird in riparian areas around Monterey pines and mixed evergreens and the coastal redwoods. We should hopefully see wrentit, pygmy nuthatch, hermit warbler, northern pygmy-owl, marbled murrelet and various woodpeckers. We may even see raptors. Since this is a half-day event we also signed up to attend a couple of afternoon lectures given by Jon Dunn. Each lecture is 90 minutes long focusing on honing one's birding skills. The first one is on identifying large shorebirds, and the second lecture will be on identifying small shorebirds. I'm sure glad the lectures are split up regarding small and large shorebirds.

Then on Sunday we will be attending another full-day trip to Pinnacles National Monument. This will be a super exciting trip for me because I am hoping to get a look at some of our California Condors that have been residing there. We should also hopefully see other birds like canyon wrens, greater roadrunners, prairie falcons and loggerhead shrikes.

Hopefully I will have lots of photos to post. I'm also expecting Red to post to her blog, too. I hope everyone else will have a great birdy weekend. I know I'm planning on it.

14 comments:

Leedra said...

We will be waiting on photos and stories of a great trip.

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Wren said...

Oh, wow - that sounds like great fun!

Lynne said...

Good luck Mary and Red!
Bring back a condor picture. That's a big wish bird for me.

jan m said...

Have a great weekend! It sounds like a lot of birds, and a lot of fun.

Linda in Erie said...

It sounds like it will be really fun. I hope you see lots of great birds.

Shellmo said...

What a fun weekend you have planned! Looking forward to the photos!

Mike said...

Have fun, Mary!

Birdfreak said...

Can't wait to hear all about it! Have a super time.

Ruth said...

Here it is...Sunday evening...hope you had a great time.

Mary C said...

Hi everyone. Yes, we had a great time. We just got home and are extremely tired since today we hiked about 4 miles and it was HOT trudging up the trail. We think it was around 90 degrees or more while we were hiking. Finally, a breeze helped while we trudged back downhill. I think Friday was the birdiest day of all; not so many birds yesterday morning, and today, well, I would think you want to know if we saw condors. Stay tuned everyone and Red and I will let you know!

Red said...

what a tease! lol!

i'm still sorting through my pics and haven't even edited one yet, but it was mostly fun... and a definite experience... i found out about a few birds i've never heard of before... that was cool.

Mary said...

Mary,

I'll bet it was a grand trip! Let's see what you and Red found. I can't get enough shore birds. Love 'em.

Mary C said...

Red - and to think you were never interested in birds - now you seem to be surpassing me!

Mary - we had a really good time and I hope we'll get to show you a few photos of *many* shorebirds.

 

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