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Post Info TOPIC: California


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RE: California


A bit more info Ollie via my US pal.

The Monterey Peninsula (south of San Francisco) is a must. In the Monterey area, have a look at Moss Landing, Elkhorn Slough, Moonglow Dairy Ponds and the ponds at Zmudlowski Beach.

Carmel Valley is only a few miles south of Monterey itself. The best bits here are from Carmel Rivermouth right up to Chew's Ridge. I have done a bit of research into Carmel (the town) and it looks a really nice place to stay and where you could certainly make your base for a few days.

Down the coast from Carmel is Big Sur State Park and also Pfeiffer State Park, both worth a look. However, I am told there has been a landslide on this section of the Pacific Highway. Hopefully, any road problems will have been rectified by the time you travel.

Regarding the Pelagics from Fisherman's Wharf in Monterey, the seabirds are just about the best anywhere in the US. They should also be good for several species of Whale and Dolphin. If you have a look at my Alaska trip report within this section, the second part of that trip (a cruise) was from Vancouver down to San Diego. We were around 25-50 miles off the California coast and we saw stuff like South Polar Skua, Phalaropes, Black-footed Albatross, Buller's Shearwater, Black-vented Shearwater, Sooty Shearwater, Fork-tailed Storm Petrel and a good variety of Gulls. Bearing in mind we were on a cruise liner steaming through at 22 knots or whatever, the mind boggles at the birds a pelagic would turn up.

Cheers

Mark

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That's really useful - Cheers Mark!



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Hi Ollie

Regarding field guides, the Sibley ones are just about the best for the US. A mate of mine who has recently moved to Colombia from Florida, after living in the US for around 25 years, recommended them. Essentially, there are three. One for the west, one for the east and one for the whole of a North America. A word of warning, the latter is quite heavy, although it's the one I bought for a birding trip to Texas in 2015, partly because there was some range overlap in western Texas, where we were.

I am hoping to go on a family road trip type holiday to California next spring, with a bit of birding here and there. Not sure if you go on the website ebird.org but it's quite useful for current/past sightings and hotspot areas, with hundreds of trip lists for hundreds of birding sites. I am planning on doing some birding in the Monterey area (Big Sur and Carmel Valley) and there are also one or two pelagics that run out of Monterey. In that regard, September should be ideal. I also plan to visit Yosemite and have been using ebird to see what is generally seen within the park. Other than that, I'll be asking my mate for ideas nearer the time and meanwhile looking at trip reports from the birding tour companies that are easy enough to peruse on the net.

Regards

Mark

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Hi all,

I'm heading to California for a fortnight in September and wondering if anybody can recommend me a decent field guide to buy? And if anyone has been themselves, tips on must-visit locations would be greatly appreciated.  

Cheers!



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