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San Francisco Bay Flyway Festival 2013

Birders at Skaggs Island

For a complete schedule of the San Francisco Bay Flyway Festival, go to the Flyway Festival web site.

  • Friday, February 8

    Skaggs Island Raptor Tours with Murray Berner
    9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
    1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. 
    This year we return to our beloved Skaggs Island to visit one of the North Bay's premiere locations for wintering and resident raptors. The former naval facility is now a unit of the San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge, and has been cleared of 140 buildings and most of its trees, leaving a vast grassland to concentrate foraging hawks, eagles, kites, falcons and owls. It is the most reliable area location to find Rough-legged Hawk, Prairie Falcon, and Short-eared Owl concentrated here this winter. It is not unusual to record combined counts of 30-40 Northern Harriers, White-tailed Kites and Red-tailed Hawks aloft, simultaneously. Among these will be such scarce birds as Ferruginous Hawk and Merlin. Grassland and wetland habitats host a variety of wintering marsh and songbirds. Likely hear a few rails and see the locally declining Loggerhead Shrike. Gate will be locked. No early departures. Bring water and sunscreen. No restrooms. All ages and levels of birding experience welcomed. Only heavy rain cancels. Carpool information:Carpools are required! From Vallejo, Napa and East Bay: gather at the Wildlife Expo entrance to Building 223 on Mare Island one-half hour before outing time to form carpools. From Marin and Sonoma: meet at the Skaggs Island gate to consolidate into carpools.Directions: From Marin and Sonoma Counties: travel eastbound on Highway 37 five miles beyond the light at Sears Point/Infineon Raceway. Turn left onto Skaggs Island Road. Continue on road and over bridge to gate.  

  • Saturday, February 9

    Cullinan Ranch Levee Eco-Walk with Wetland Biologist Francesca Demgen
    12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
    2:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
    Join wetland biologist Francesca Demgen, Friends of San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge for a levee walk between two important north bay habitats: shallow, managed pond and seasonal wetlands. Potential to see hundreds of shorebirds and ducks foraging and resting in Pond 1 and song birds and raptors over the seasonal wetland. Learn how pickleweed and ducks can both “drink” salt water and about the thousands of acres of wetland restoration between the Napa and Petaluma Rivers. Meet at the entrance to Building 223 to form carpools for 5 minute drive.  

    Skaggs Island Raptor Tours
    9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. with Murray Berner
    12:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. with Murray Berner
    3:30 p.m. - Dusk with Brian Collett 
    See Description for February 8 

    Take Pictures with Puddles, the National Wildlife Refuge System Mascot
    1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
    At the Wildlife Expo at Building 223, 500 Connolly St., Mare Island 

  • Sunday, February 10

    Guadalcanal Village Wetland Restoration Shorebird Observation
    9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
    Join Refuge Staff Member Louis Terrazas to view the Caltrans Guadalcanal Village wetland restoration. Restoration information and telescopes for shorebird viewing provided. Driving Directions from Festival Wildlife Expo: Travel north on Railroad Ave. to flashing stoplight at G St. Continue through the North Gate. Turn left onto overpass, then left into parking lot. 

    Sears Point Cougar Mountain Raptor Hike
    10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. 
    Join Sonoma Land Trust for a hike in the hilly grasslands of Sears Point with long-time raptor enthusiast Larry Broderick as you search for resident and overwintering raptors and learn how to identify the different raptor species. On a clear day take in the panoramic views of San Pablo Bay to San Francisco, Mt. Diablo, and Mt. Tamalpais on a clear day. Bring binoculars! Hike is over steep and uneven terrain. Wear sturdy shoes. Register online at http://www.sonomalandtrust.org/join_in/public_outings.html. Meet at the San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters, located at 2100 Highway 37, part of an old dairy farm. Directions: From Napa/Sonoma: travel from Hwy 12/121 through light at Sears Point to light at Lakeville Hwy. Make U-turn at light. Refuge is .25 miles on right. From Vallejo: travel west on Hwy 37 to Lakeville Hwy light. Follow directions above. From Marin: travel eastbound on Hwy 37, Refuge is .25 miles on right after Lakeville Hwy light. Turn right into the driveway of an old dairy farm–no refuge signs.   

    Skaggs Island Raptor Tours
    9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. with Murray Berner
    12:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. 
    See Description for February 8 

Last Updated: Feb 03, 2013
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