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My family and I are going to SoCal this March and I’m looking for good birding locations. We will be in Oceanside for about four days and Indio (south of Joshua Tree NP) for three days. Any good locations I should check out in the area? No particular targets. Just looking for good spots with good birds. Thanks!!

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Hi Trevor,

Near Oceanside there are a few lagoons (Aqua Hedionda and Buena Visa Lagoons) that provide good birding.  I think you can rent kayaks at one of them.  Further south in Encinitas is the San Diego Botanical Gardens that is excellent.  A little pricy but I think is free on the first Tuesday of the month if that applies.  I've had excellent days at the botanical gardens and is one of my favorite places in the area.  Also, the beaches there are great plus you have Oceanside Harbor.  

The Salton Sea is also great in the winter South of Indio and the Southern Section of the sea, Sonny Bono National Wildlife Reserve I've hears is great, I've only been to the northern part.  It is Huge!!!! so plan enough time.  I've been to J-Tree but didn't have quality birding.  It wasn't the objective of the trip so I hope you have better luck if you go there.  

B

 

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If you are close to Joshua Tree NP you should go and hike around Jumbo Rocks Campground in the early morning or evening, good for Le Conte's Thrashers and Great Horned Owls, Ravens. Le Conte's Thrasher breeding season peaks in March and April so they should be active around then.

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