Jump to content
Whatbird Community

Marin Camping Trip


MichaelLong

Recommended Posts

2 minutes ago, DLecy said:

Correct. In the most basic terms,  in the spring there are usually persistent NW winds, hindering bird movement (they are heading NNW after all). When the winds shift to coming out of the south, it creates a little bit of a window where birds can ride the proverbial escalator to the breeding grounds. This is when you get huge days of migrants at the Outer Point. Sometimes low winds days can produce this as phenomena as well.

The reverse tends to hold true in the fall. The strong NW winds create a great and easy train for the birds to ride heading southbound. Strong south winds hold all of that up, and birds stop over to rest and refuel, creating great conditions.

This is how it was explained to me out here, but I have no experience as to whether or not this holds up true and down the coast of CA, OR, and Wa, for example. And, there is always exceptions to the rule or great birds that show up out of nowhere...but this is the general rule of thumb.

Thanks! What about for vagrants from the east?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

31 minutes ago, MichaelLong said:

also how do you bird New Willows and Mendoza Ranch?

For New Willows you walk to the end of the elephant seal overlook, go past it following the little trail (which looks like a deer trail) that runs west, than duck under a barbed wire fence. From there you have reached New Willows, which are all the willows in the ravine to the right.

For Mendoza you park somewhere near the ranch (can't remember where right now), than bird the two patches of cypress trees on the west side of the road. The pond across the road from the smaller group of cypress is also worth a check sometimes. 

Edited by Aidan B
  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, MichaelLong said:

What the best winds are in the east, also how do you bird New Willows and Mendoza Ranch?

Birding Mendoza is pretty straightforward. You park on the east side of the road, careful to stay out of the way of the ranchers and their parking, and you walk across the road and into and underneath the cypress trees. Most people end up in the other side of the electric fence in the west side of the trees, looking back up and into the cypress for flycatchers, vireos and warblers.

New Willows is a different story. You have to walk on a fairly steep and treacherous hillside and look down into the willow patch. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it unless you are with someone who knows what they are doing. Fish Docks is right nearby and you could easily spend hours searching that spot. I don’t want to dissuade you from New Willows, but it’s not necessarily an easy and accessible place to bird.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

32 minutes ago, IKLland said:

I meant what are the best winds for having eastern vagrants show up? I’m assuming it would be winds out of the E?

Check out the Bay Nature article I linked. It gives a brief explanation of a concept called “mirror-image misorientation.” You can also Google it and find a number of scholarly articles. 
 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

37 minutes ago, MichaelLong said:

Leaving tomorrow, even if I don't get any rarities I'll still be happy to increase my Marin Life list.

Trip Report : https://ebird.org/tripreport/123561

Winds don't look horrible for the weekend. I recommend you do the 'basic' outer point loop when you're out there. Hit Fish Docks, the Lighthouse, Nunez, Mendoza and Drake's. All of these spots are pretty easy to access and shouldn't be too difficult to figure out how to bird. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, Connor Cochrane said:

Hermit Warbler's should be easy at Samuel P. Taylor. They're all over the park, but the best spot is up Shafter Grade around here: 38.00277,-123.439477. There should still be singing males there. I had two in the parking lot last weekend. 

Thanks but I think you put in the wrong coordinates, the ones you gave put me in the North Pacific directly west of Point Reyes. That would be an interesting place to see breeding hermit warblers though....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

AHHHH there were so many vagrants that I missed today  :((((( oh well, yet another excuse to come back sometime soon. 
 

Today started out at dawn where I heard the classic assortment of Redwood Forest birds, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Dark-eyes Junco, Swainson’s Thrush, Wilson’s Warbler, Allen’s Hummingbird, Song Sparrow and Seller's Jay, also heard was an Owl sp that I’ll have to identify later, a quick walk around the campground also produced Spotted Towhee, Band-tailed, and a squabbling pair of Woodpeckers (that I’ll identify later, heard only) as well as the mysterious creeper/kinglet I posted earlier this day. After breakfast we headed over to Point Reyes, the highlights will be listed below.

Fish Docks : A very cooperative Wilson’s Warbler, unfortunately missed some excellent photo opportunities because my af jammed up, also had some loons in the bay.

Lighthouse : Rose-breasted Grosbeak! Enough said, lifer as well.

Nunes : Couldn’t figure out how to bird and park at this place so we skipped it, judging by todays rare bird summery that was a mistake.

Mendoza : Pretty dead, nothing of particular note.

Drakes Beach : Also pretty dead, highlight was a lone Marsh Wren (ho) no audio though so I’ll need to get media for this species another time.

Five Brooks Pond : Somehow didn’t see Wood Duck, highlight was a cute little Downy Woodpecker female.

After lunch I went exploring in the vicinity of Samuel P Taylor campground, this outing was mainly insect focused, highlights include another good look at a Wilson’s Warbler and Mallard in the creek. 
My dad said we can’t go to Point Reyes tomorrow so I’ll be on the hunt for Hermit Warbler instead. 
 

Happy Birding (Owling I guess?) everyone!

Michael

Edited by MichaelLong
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 hours ago, MichaelLong said:

AHHHH there were so many vagrants that I missed today  :((((( oh well, yet another excuse to come back sometime soon. 
 

Today started out at dawn where I heard the classic assortment of Redwood Forest birds, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Dark-eyes Junco, Swainson’s Thrush, Wilson’s Warbler, Allen’s Hummingbird, Song Sparrow and Seller's Jay, also heard was an Owl sp that I’ll have to identify later, a quick walk around the campground also produced Spotted Towhee, Band-tailed, and a squabbling pair of Woodpeckers (that I’ll identify later, heard only) as well as the mysterious creeper/kinglet I posted earlier this day. After breakfast we headed over to Point Reyes, the highlights will be listed below.

Fish Docks : A very cooperative Wilson’s Warbler, unfortunately missed some excellent photo opportunities because my af jammed up, also had some loons in the bay.

Lighthouse : Rose-breasted Grosbeak! Enough said, lifer as well.

Nunes : Couldn’t figure out how to bird and park at this place so we skipped it, judging by todays rare bird summery that was a mistake.

Mendoza : Pretty dead, nothing of particular note.

Drakes Beach : Also pretty dead, highlight was a lone Marsh Wren (ho) no audio though so I’ll need to get media for this species another time.

Five Brooks Pond : Somehow didn’t see Wood Duck, highlight was a cute little Downy Woodpecker female.

After lunch I went exploring in the vicinity of Samuel P Taylor campground, this outing was mainly insect focused, highlights include another good look at a Wilson’s Warbler and Mallard in the creek. 
My dad said we can’t go to Point Reyes tomorrow so I’ll be on the hunt for Hermit Warbler instead. 
 

Happy Birding (Owling I guess?) everyone!

Michael

There's really only two parking spots at Nunes. You kind of have to make your own spot in the grass on the right side of the road before the residence, just in line with the line of trees. After parking you can bird the line of trees, and the field of wild radish below. Sometimes the whole canyon can be productive, and a walk down to the pond can provide sone good birds.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I hope there weren’t too many rarities I missed on the point. 😬

Today started out with another morning walk listening to the Golden-crowned Kinglets and what I now realize is a Brown Creeper. After breakfast we headed over to Shafter Grade on the hunt for Hermit Warblers, on the trail we heard an untold number of Wilson’s Warbler, they were all over the place and were by far the most abundant bird around. I also got my first Banana Slug of the trip here! About a third up the trail at 37.99783° N, 122.70997° W I saw the highlight of the trip, a wonderful male Black-thoated Grey Warbler X Hermit Warbler hybrid, a few hundred feet forward and I saw my first Brown Creeper of the trip. Further along the trail almost exactly where @Connor Cochrane said they were did I see my first Hermit Warbler, I heard at least three in total and there were likely more around and singing. As we got higher up, closer to the top of Bolinas Ridge the environment got cooler and the forest went from being dominated by Coast Redwood to being dominated by Douglas Fir, it was also getting cooler up there. Close to where the Shafter Grade meets the Bolinas Ridge trail I heard what I thought might have been a Cassin’s Vireo however it did not sing again and I was unable to locate the bird, I also saw a mystery flycatcher that I believe is a Western-wood Pewee. As we neared the parking lot I took a detour to the Peters Dam on Kent Lake to scan for any ducks or herons, I found none but did spot two Double-crested Cormorants loafing on the buoys. Back at Samuel P Taylor a short hike along the creek produced my first actual good looks at Chestnut-backed Chickadees this trip as well as a lone Mallard. I also saw several interesting bugs and spiders along the creek.

That’s all for today! Happy birding everyone!

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

57 minutes ago, MichaelLong said:

I hope there weren’t too many rarities I missed on the point. 😬

Today started out with another morning walk listening to the Golden-crowned Kinglets and what I now realize is a Brown Creeper. After breakfast we headed over to Shafter Grade on the hunt for Hermit Warblers, on the trail we heard an untold number of Wilson’s Warbler, they were all over the place and were by far the most abundant bird around. I also got my first Banana Slug of the trip here! About a third up the trail at 37.99783° N, 122.70997° W I saw the highlight of the trip, a wonderful male Black-thoated Grey Warbler X Hermit Warbler hybrid, a few hundred feet forward and I saw my first Brown Creeper of the trip. Further along the trail almost exactly where @Connor Cochrane said they were did I see my first Hermit Warbler, I heard at least three in total and there were likely more around and singing. As we got higher up, closer to the top of Bolinas Ridge the environment got cooler and the forest went from being dominated by Coast Redwood to being dominated by Douglas Fir, it was also getting cooler up there. Close to where the Shafter Grade meets the Bolinas Ridge trail I heard what I thought might have been a Cassin’s Vireo however it did not sing again and I was unable to locate the bird, I also saw a mystery flycatcher that I believe is a Western-wood Pewee. As we neared the parking lot I took a detour to the Peters Dam on Kent Lake to scan for any ducks or herons, I found none but did spot two Double-crested Cormorants loafing on the buoys. Back at Samuel P Taylor a short hike along the creek produced my first actual good looks at Chestnut-backed Chickadees this trip as well as a lone Mallard. I also saw several interesting bugs and spiders along the creek.

That’s all for today! Happy birding everyone!

Are you gonna head back to the point tomorrow? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...