Tours & Destinations California
PRIVATE & CUSTOM TOURS -- We can conduct any of our tours privately, and at almost any time of the year. We can also prepare custom itineraries. Simply send us your wish list of birds, other animals, and destinations or habitats. We will gladly construct an itinerary just for you! Please click here to contact us.
. . . . . 2017 TOUR SCHEDULE . . . . .
From the Mountains to the Ocean to the Desert8 September 2017 - 21 September 2017, 14 days & 13 nights
California conjures up visions of sun-drenched landscapes, scenic mountain vistas, the blue Pacific, and expansive deserts. The birds are no less spectacular, with everything from Black-footed Albatross to Lawrence's Goldfinch. We'll start in the San Francisco Bay area and journey to Bodega Bay for a day of shorebirds and migrants. Some of the specialties of this rich area include Surfbird, Black Turnstone, Wandering Tattler, and Black Oystercatcher. Our song bird searches may yield views of Townsend's Warbler, California Towhee, Wrentit, and Cassin's Vireo. Our first pelagic destination is the Cordell Bank, where we will search for Black-footed Albatross, Buller's and Pink-footed Shearwaters, Cassin's Auklet, Long-tailed, Pomarine, and Parasitic Jaegers, South Polar Skua, Sabine's Gull, and Arctic Tern. Blue and Humpback Whales are a distinct possibility. Next on our route are the Sierras to look for Swainson's Hawk, Acorn Woodpecker, and the endemic Yellow-billed Magpie. Sooty Grouse, Mountain Quail, Great Gray Owl, Black-backed and White-headed Woodpeckers, Williamson's and Red-breasted Sapsuckers, Pine Grosbeak, and Hermit Warbler are just a few of the species that we will seek in Yosemite National Park. The Mono Lake region may yield Greater Sage-Grouse, Sage Thrasher, Gray Flycatcher, American Dipper, Pinyon Jay, Lewis's Woodpecker, and Mountain Bluebird. We will look for Greater Roadrunner, Lawrence's Goldfinch, and California Thrasher in the arid lands near Monterey. Our next adventure will be the SECOND pelagic trip of the tour, a trip into world-famous Monterey Bay that is bisected by a huge submarine canyon twice the size of the Grand Canyon. We will cruise the bay and the adjacent offshore waters in search of shearwaters and Ashy and Black Storm-Petrels. We will hope for a rarity such as Tufted Puffin or Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel, then scan the coastline for Marbled Murrelet. Our continued journey south will put us in California Condor country, and we will spend time looking for this spectacular species brought back from the brink of extinction. Our targets near Los Angeles will be California Gnatcatcher, Allen's Hummingbird, and Black-vented Shearwater. We'll take a boat trip to Santa Cruz Island for the endemic Island Scrub-Jay and the Santa Cruz Island races of Bewick's Wren, Allen's Hummingbird, and Rufous-crowned Sparrow. Black-vented Shearwater is again possible on the boat trip to the island. Turning our sights inland, we'll search the deserts for Le Conte's Thrasher and other residents. The tour begins in San Jose and concludes in Los Angeles. The leader has yet to be selected. We will take a maximum of seven participants. On rare occasion we may extend the maximum to ten participants. See the separate itinerary for full details about the Salton Sea Extension. If you care to go on to the Salton Sea, there is a $150 discount for continuing your tour.
Bolsa Chica & the Salton Sea21 September 2017 - 25 September 2017, 5 days & 4 nights
After searching the Los Angeles and San Diego areas for some coastal specialties, we'll head inland to the Salton Sea to look for Yellow-footed Gull, along with Wilson's Phalarope, thousands of Red-necked Phalaropes, and a multitude of other migrating shorebirds. Black-chinned Hummingbird, Verdin, Black-tailed Gnatcatcher, Black-throated Sparrow, and Abert's Towhee frequent the brush around the southern edge of the Salton Sea. We will make early morning efforts to see these species. Blue-footed Booby is found here occasionally. There is a $150 discount if you combine this Extension with the preceding Complete California Tour. The tour leader will be selected at a later date. We will take a maximum of seven participants. On rare occasion we may extend the maximum to ten participants.
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA SPECIALTIES
California Gnatcatcher & Le Conte’s Thrasher2 December 2017 - 10 December 2017, 9 days & 8 nights
From the coast to the mountains and desert, the habitats of southern California are home to many of the Pacific Coast specialties. We'll begin in San Diego in search of species such as Heerman's Gull, Wandering Tattler, and Black Turnstone. Then, moving inland to the foothills and mountains, our targets will be species with California in their name: California Quail, California Gnatcatcher, California Thrasher, and California Towhee. We'll also be on the lookout for Nuttall's Woodpecker, Wrentit, Oak Titmouse, Bell's Sparrow, Lawrence's Goldfinch, and Tricolored Blackbird. Continuing on to the desert and the Salton Sea, other birds that we'll be searching for include the elusive Le Conte's Thrasher, Ruddy Ground-Dove, Burrowing Owl, Costa's Hummingbird, Abert's Towhee, and hopefully, Yellow-footed Gull. We will take a maximum of seven participants. On rare occasion we may extend the maximum to ten participants. The tour will be announced at a future date.