What you'll do
On our all-day adventure, we'll explore one of the great winter wetland areas in Northern California, Gray Lodge Wildlife Area. First, we'll explore the check-in location, bird there and view the wildlife exhibit. Next, we'll walk several of the paths through the wetlands and riparian areas and take some time at the boardwalk viewing platform, where there are thousands of birds to see. We'll take a break for some delicious food for lunch and then, we'll meander our way through the auto-loop, taking our time to stop and see all the birds and other wildlife that may reveal themselves. It's wonderful to see the afternoon sunlight on the water and the birds. There will be skeins of waterfowl in the sky at times, and plenty of them swimming or walking around and they are easy to see. We'll see many species of ducks (wigeon, shovelers, teal, pintail), grebes, geese, swans, herons, egrets, kingfishers, and hawks. I've lucked out with American Bittern, Green Heron, Red-shouldered Hawk, Eared Grebe, and Sandhill Cranes. Lots of winter passerines with Yellow-rumped Warblers, woodpeckers, possible Golden Eagles, and much more! Cost covers lunch and entry fee to the wildlife area.
I've been a bird guide and biologist in many places: Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, etc. I've helped citizen science programs, like Breeding Bird Surveys and Christmas Bird Counts, done wildlife population studies and nest monitoring. I’ve traveled around the world for birdwatching (Tanzania, Uganda, Borneo, Belize, Costa Rica, China, Spain, Australia, Bonaire, not to mention most of the U.S. and offshore pelagics). I'm very passionate about conservation and ecology, which includes my profession, and love sharing my specialized knowledge with adults and youths. Other birdwatching experiences I host are: Cosumnes River Preserve (http://bit.ly/2KFgVq2) and Putah Creek/Yolo Bypass (http://bit.ly/2Zg3chu)
Lunch will consist of sandwiches or a mix of cheese, salami, crackers, fruit and yogurt. Water will also be provided.
Where you'll be
The Gray Lodge Wildlife Area is managed by the California Department of Wildlife. You can find a link to it here: https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/lands/places-to-visit/gray-lodge-wa. It's a wonderful spot where waterfowl and grassland birds from the Pacific Flyway congregate in huge numbers each winter. Peak viewing times are December and January, before the birds start to fly north again.
Things to keep in mind
Any experience can be cancelled and fully refunded within 24 hours of purchase.
Always communicate through Airbnb. To protect your payment, never transfer money or communicate outside the Airbnb website or app.
Up to 3 guests aged 12 and up can attend.
You’ll need to take a picture of yourself that matches the photo on your ID. This is so Airbnb can confirm who’s actually going on the experience. You’ll only have to do this once.
This will not be strenuous, but come prepared to walk on dirt trails. I will have bird ID books. Don't forget binoculars! If much rain is predicted, we may have to reschedule. Light rain, we go!
Winter Wetland Birdwatching, Gray Lodge
From £61/personNew experience