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SLICE OF CALIFORNIA: Seabirds to Sierra

At top, the enigmatic Wrentit, and below it, Chestnut-backed Chickadee--both are western specialties. (Photos by guide Chris Benesh)
A diverse mix of West Coast specialties, montane species, and pelagics in rugged and scenic sites.

When it comes to habitat diversity, California has few rivals. Every few miles, things change, which makes for superb birding--from Marbled Murrelets, Sooty Shearwaters, and Black-footed Albatrosses, to enigmatic Wrentits, Nuttall's and White-headed woodpeckers, Williamson's Sapsucker, California Thrashers, Bell's Sparrow, Lawrence's Goldfinch, and Oak Titmouse. And some species widespread elsewhere have California twists, such as "California Raven" and "Thick-billed" Fox Sparrow; even the White-breasted Nuthatches are different!

Our tour begins in the San Francisco Bay area; coastal California in fall is a vagrant magnet, so you never know what may turn up. A highlight will be a pelagic to the rich waters of the Pacific where our main quest will be seabirds--including Pink-footed, Sooty, Buller's, and maybe Flesh-footed shearwaters. Of course we also hope to run into Black-footed Albatross, storm-petrels, Cassin's and Rhinoceros auklets, whales, and who knows what else--the ocean always holds surprises.

We'll cross the agricultural Central Valley and head to the Sierra Mountains, where we'll spend a few days in the conifer forests (for such rewards as Hermit Warbler, Clark's Nutcracker, Red-breasted Sapsucker, and possibly Mountain Quail), then we'll visit the sage desert where we'll seek Pinyon Jay, Sage Thrasher, and Greater Sage-Grouse. Come join us on this cross section of northern California, a region both birdy and beautiful.

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2017 Departures
Sep 7-16 ($3725)
Sep 12-21 ($3725)

2018 Departures
Sep 6-15
Sep 8-17

2019 Departures
Sep 5-14
Sep 7-16


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Guides for our tours
Chris Benesh
Tom Johnson

What to Expect
Good accommodations, easy terrain, cool to hot yet dry climate.

Our staff travel agents can assist you with tour information, flight reservations and tour bookings. Contact us at (800) 728-4953
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