Enjoy the appetizers and the unique Clear Lake Pear Champagne as you get acquainted with your fellow birders and the hotel staff as well as Bernie Butcher, your host for the week and owner of the Tallman Hotel, and your lead faculty member, Brad Barnwell.
Dinner: Lovely dinner in the Tallman Hotel dining room.Evening: Welcome to Lake County, located along the Pacific Flyway, and host to more than 300 species of birds, varying according to the season. With diverse landscapes sprawled around Clear Lake - the largest natural freshwater lake in California and possibly the oldest in North America - birds and other wildlife make Lake County their home throughout the seasons.
In the hotel Meeting House after dinner, a fascinating presentation of nature and bird photography is in store for you tonight presented by our resident birder, Brad Barnwell, and local nature photographers Lyle and Deanna Madeson. In addition, Bernie Butcher will present a short slide presentation on the history of the town and of the hotel.
Madeson Photography website: www.madesonphotography.com
Tallman Hotel website: www.tallmanhotel.com
Lodging: Tallman HotelMeals Included: Dinner
Then the Executive Director of the Land Trust will introduce you to the area with a short presentation.
Lake County Land Trust website: www.lakecountylandtrust.org
Lunch: Enjoy a picnic lunch at the Interpretive Center.Afternoon: Proceed to the base of the Rodman Slough where the main feeder streams enter the Lake. In this secluded area, set out by kayak to explore the upper reaches of the Slough, home to nesting colonies of Western and Clark’s Grebes, Great Blue Herons, Double-crested Cormorants and Great Egrets, a variety of waterfowl, hawks and an occasional eagle.
No skills needed in advance to join in the kayaking. The kayak outfitter and Brad Barnwell are expert kayakers and will provide the basic instruction needed. Those not wishing to kayak can explore the county park at the base of the slough and return early to the hotel.Dinner: Enjoy dinner outdoors in the Tallman gardens.Evening: Each Monday, the restaurant adjacent to the gardens hosts live bands for its Blue Wing Monday Blues from 6:30 to 9:00. Join in for a delightful evening with the Fargo Brothers Band!
Blue Wing Saloon website: www.BlueWingSaloon.com
Lodging: Tallman HotelMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
At mid-morning, board one of two pontoon boats for an excursion out into the lake and along the shoreline. A large Great Blue Heron rookery should be visible at Corinthian Bay inlet.
Clear Lake State Park website: www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=473
Lunch: Picnic lunch at the pavilion by the marina.Afternoon: Pacific Union College Biology Professor Floyd Hayes has done extensive studies of the Clear Lake Grebe population, and he will share his interesting findings with us this afternoon.
Attorney Peter Windrem, head of the association dedicated to the preservation of the Clear Lake Hitch, will also be our speaker this afternoon, talking about the spring migration of this native specie.
Time to explore on your own or relax after an early morning departure.
Peter Windrem on Clear Lake Hitch: see lakelive.info/chicouncil
Dinner: Dinner on the veranda of the Blue Wing, the Tallman's saloon style restaurant, and time to talk over your day's tales with your new friends.Evening: An entertaining presentation awaits you tonight on the biology of Clear Lake by Yuba College Professor Harry Lyons. But more awaits! Tom Nixon and Dr. Harry Lyons cap off the night with a guitar duo!Lodging: Tallman HotelMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Joining Brad as a guide on the Cobb expedition will be local expert Darlene Hecomovich, who also organizes the annual Lake County Audubon Christmas Bird Count. Residents here include Pileated Woodpeckers, Pygmy, White-breasted, and Red-breasted Nuthatches, Chestnut-backed Chickadees, and Hutton's Vireos. In spring and summer, Orange-crowned, Nashville, Yellow, and Black-throated Gray Warblers, Cassin's and Warbling Vireos are also present.
On the way back from Cobb Mountain, stop in Lower Lake to meet Lake County winemaker Gregory Graham, and taste some of his wines.
Info on Boggs Mountain State Forest: www.boggsmountain.org/ and en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boggs_Lake_Ecological_Reserve
Lunch: Then take a short drive to beautiful Vigilance Vineyards, where we will enjoy a picnic lunch, overlooking the lower part of the lake (where you will be birding tomorrow).
During lunch learn about the annual Heron Festival and other activities of the local Redbud Audubon Society from its president, Marilyn Waits.
Gregory Graham website: www.ggwines.com
Vigilance Winery website: www.vigilancewinery.com/about
Redbud Audubon Society website: www.redbudaudubon.org
Afternoon: Afternoon and evening are free for your own exploration of the area.Dinner: Dinner on your own to explore local fare.Evening: Evening free to explore or relax.Lodging: Tallman HotelMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Whether by foot or boat, view grebes, herons, Marsh Wrens, American Coots, Mallards, Great Egrets and other water birds. 151 species have been identified in this area throughout the year.
Anderson Marsh State Historic Park website: www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=483 and www.andersonmarsh.org
Lunch: Picnic Lunch at the Interpretive Center.Afternoon: Roberta Lyons, head of the Anderson Marsh Interpretive Association, and member Gaye Henry will discuss the social and natural history of the area and the efforts to keep the parks open during difficult budget times.
On the way back to the Hotel, stop for a tour and tasting at the showcase lakeside Ceago Vinegarden in Nice. Owned and developed by Jim Fetzer, this facility not only practices organic, but fully bio-dynamic farming techniques.
Ceago Vinegarden website: www.ceago.com
Dinner: Enjoy a farewell dinner at the Tallman Hotel and a relaxing evening with your new friends. Share your favorite experiences and your group leader will help you project any photos you may have taken as well!Lodging: Tallman HotelMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Hotel check-out by 11:00 AM.Meals Included: Breakfast