Bird Watching in California

Great Blue Herons like this one nest in nearby Audubon Canyon Ranch, and fly back and forth from their massive nests atop redwood trees, to the lagoon to feed.

In a new travel article on GoNOMAD, writer Claire Hutkins Seda writes about her experiences while bird watching in West Marin, California. The lagoon there has lots of creatures, and it’s a great place to bird watch, as Seda writes. Here’s a sample from the article.

West Marin has a series of protected waterways, including Bolinas Lagoon, Tomales Bay, networks of ponds and lakes in the Point Reyes National Seashore, and, of course, the vast Pacific Ocean. Together, these waters host over 490 species of birds – which makes beginning birdwatching easy and satisfying.

Inspired by my initial forays into the world of birds, I headed out to Audubon Canyon Ranch, just opposite the lagoon, to witness the nesting of Great Blue Herons and Great Egrets.

At a viewing platform above the redwood trees in which the birds nest, I could see the tiny fuzzy grey heron chicks, helpless and fragile under their massive parents, whose wingspan can be up to six feet long.

With trained ranch guides to answer your questions and binoculars and spotting scopes at your service, it’s the ideal spot to birdwatch and get some great hiking in. From the viewing platform, I gazed at the whole silent lagoon and its outlet to the Pacific Ocean just beyond the forests below.

Colorful kayaks, available for rent in nearby Stinson Beach, dotted the otherwise placid grey surface of the lagoon.

And this is when I realized it: I’m a birder.

You can read the rest of Seda’s article at