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Point Reyes Birding

Program Number: 12634RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/22/2013 - 9/27/2013;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Point Reyes, California
Price starting at: $955.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Birding; Natural History
Meals: 14; 4 Breakfasts, 1 Brunch, 4 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Low Fat; Low Salt    

Experience Point Reyes National Seashore — one of the premier birding locals in the country with more than 85,000 acres of protected coastal land. More than 45 percent of all the birds known to inhabit North America have been spotted at this Pacific flyway hotspot’s freshwater marshes, salt marshes, riparian woodlands, grasslands and scrub. Expert local instructors lead daily field classes and help you identify raptors, water birds, shorebirds and land birds by their markings, behavior and songs.




Highlights

• Enjoy some of the best birding on the national seashore at Abbott’s Lagoon, a haven for coots, grebes, terns, gulls, pelicans and songbirds.
• Explore the Audubon Canyon Ranch, an exceptional rookery for egrets and herons, and learn about bird banding at the Point Reyes Bird Observatory.
• Visit the studio of acclaimed bird artist Keith Hansen, who has created more than 200 illustrations for major ornithological publications.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles a day; some uneven ground. Standing up to 45 minutes.



Coordinated by Road Scholar.




Point Reyes

Point Reyes National Seashore, established by President John F. Kennedy in 1962, encompasses ocean breakers, grasslands, hillsides and ridges. This biologically diverse landscape hosts more than 45 percent of North America's bird species.



Accommodations
Comfortable inn on shore of Tomales Bay, minutes from Point Reyes National Seashore.
Meals and Lodgings
   Tomales Bay Resort
  Inverness 5 nights
 Tomales Bay Resort
Type: Inn
  Description: Located on the shore of Tomales Bay just outside the Point Reyes National Seashore.
  Contact info: 12938 Sir Francis Drake Blvd.
Inverness, CA 94937 USA
phone: 415-669-1389
web: www.tomalesbayresort.com
  Room amenities: Coffee makers, TV, no phones
  Facility amenities: Pool, restaurant adjacent
  Smoking allowed: No
  Additional nights prior: Please call for prices. Inn usually fully booked on weekends.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Please call for prices. Inn usually fully booked on weekends.
  Check out time: 12:00 PM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
3:30 p.m. hotel check in time. 4:00-5:00 p.m. meet in hotel lobby for Road Scholar registration. You will be staying at Tomales Bay Resort that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends at 11:00 a.m. Room check out time is 12:00 p.m. You will be staying at Tomales Bay Resort the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Parking is free at Inn.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Inverness
  Nearest city or town:  San Francisco
  Nearest highway: Hwy. 101
  Nearest airport:  San Francisco International
  From End of Program
  Location: Inverness
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Oakland

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Airport Express
phone: 707-837-8700

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$22 from Oakland to Central San Rafael Transit Center, taxi from there to Inverness
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

50 minutes to San Rafael, 56 minutes from San Rafael to Inverness 

   

Taxi Service in San Rafael- North Bay cooperative Taxi-415-258-2800 Marin Happy Cab-415-258-8294 Please call for fare information

 

San Francisco

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Marin Airporter
phone: 415-461-4222

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$20 to Central San Rafael Transit Center, taxi from there to Inverness
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

50 minutes to San Rafael, 56 minutes from San Rafael to Inverness 

   

Taxi Service in San Rafael- North Bay Cooperative Taxi-415-258-2800 Marin Happy Cab-415-457-8294 Please call for fares

 
Driving Directions
  From San Francisco and points south Take Hwy. 101 north to San Rafael exit. Go west on Sir Francis Drake Blvd. to Hwy. 1. North on Hwy. 1 to Inverness.
  From the north Go south on Hwy. 101 to San Rafael exit. Go west on Sir Francis Drake Blvd. to Hwy 1.. North on Hwy. 1 to Inveness.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Check in, register for program, wine social , dinner, get-acquainted and orientation
(Sunday, September 22)
   
 Arrive To: Check in to Inn after 4 p.m. and register for program.
 Dinner: Wine social & dinner in restaurant on site.
 Evening: Orientation /get-acquainted meeting. Participants will learn that schedule for the week will be flexible depending on weather and where birds can best be observed.
   
Accommodations: Tomales Bay Resort
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Point Reyes National Seashore Visitor's Center, Audubon Canyon Ranch, bird count and slide show
(Monday, September 23)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at restaurant on site.
 Morning: Orientation with birding instructor and explanation of day's schedule which will be flexible and based on weather and availability of birds. Van transportation to Point Reyes National Seashore Visitor Center at Bear Valley for film and exhibits. Birding walk.
 Lunch: Picnic lunch on the trail.
 Afternoon: Van transportation to Audubon Canyon Ranch to observe nesting egrets and herons. This activity is seasonal and will be replaced with a trip to marshes and lagoons to view water birds when appropriate. Audubon Canyon Ranch protects the natural resources of its sanctuaries while fostering an understanding and appreciation of these environments. We educate children and adults, promote ecological literacy that is grounded in direct experience, and conduct research and restoration that advances conservation science. Another option for the field trip is Fairfield Lake SP.This area, including the 1,460-acre state park, the 2,400-acre lake, and surrounding fields and pastures, is one of the state’s least-known birding sites. Yet, because of the constant warm water produced by Texas Utilities Big Brown Steam Electric Power Plant on the north shore, the area has considerable potential. Besides the numerous Bald Eagle tours, the park also sponsors an annual Bird House.
 Dinner: Dinner at restaurant on site.
 Evening: Our instructor presents a slide show with birds of the area.
   
Accommodations: Tomales Bay Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Abbott's Lagoon, Point Reyes Lighthouse, evening bird count
(Tuesday, September 24)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at restaurant on site. Schedule for the day will be flexible and based on weather and availability of birds.
 Morning: Van transportation to Abbott's Lagoon for birding hike and observation.The birdwatching along twin arms of Abbotts Lagoon is among the best in the national seashore. Abbotts Lagoon is a haven for birds. They sing in the scrub, waddle on the sand, race and peck along the tide line, and skydive into the surf. For any number of coots, grebes, terns, gulls, pelicans, and songbirds.
 Lunch: Picnic lunch on the trail.
 Afternoon: Van to Pt. Reyes Lighthouse for visit and bird observation. Spring and winter offer opportunities to view elephant seals and gray whales in addition to abundant bird life. Point Reyes is the windiest place on the Pacific Coast and the second foggiest place on the North American continent. Weeks of fog, especially during the summer months, frequently reduce visibility to hundreds of feet. The Point Reyes Headlands, which jut 10 miles out to sea, pose a threat to each ship entering or leaving San Francisco Bay. The historic Point Reyes Lighthouse warned mariners of danger for more than a hundred years.
 Dinner: Dinner at restaurant on site.
 Evening: Our instructor reviews the bird list for the day, including observations on habitat and behavior.
   
Accommodations: Tomales Bay Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Pt. Reyes Bird Observatory, Bolinas Lagoon, Hansen Art Studio, bird list review
(Wednesday, September 25)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at restaurant on site. Schedule will be flexible based on weather and availability of birds.
 Morning: Vans to Pt. Reyes Bird Observatory to learn about bird banding. We learn about the observatory and its mission and walk the trail to observe bird netting, then watch banding in progress.Founded as Point Reyes Bird Observatory in 1965, the award-winning bird ecology research, management tools and field training programs are advancing biodiversity conservation on land and at sea. Birds are excellent indicators of environmental health. Relatively inexpensive to monitor and widely distributed, birds serve as ideal proxies for the ecosystems they inhabit. PRBO has doubled in size over the past 5 years in response to the ever–increasing demand for sound science to guide and evaluate conservation investments. The PRBO's 2006 budget was $5.5 million, supporting 65 staff scientists, 55 seasonal biologists and another 85 conservation biology interns in United States and Latin America.
 Lunch: We enjoy our picnic lunch in Bolinas overlooking the Bolinas Lagoon. We visit the studio of well-known bird artist Keith Hansen. Bolinas Lagoon is a small, shallow estuary located directly along the San Andreas Fault, 15 miles northwest of the Golden Gate Bridge. Covering less than 1500 acres, the triangular lagoon is 3.5 miles long and a mile across at its widest. It is protected from the Pacific Ocean by a long spit which terminates at the lagoon's mouth, its lifeline to the sea. Like an enormous aquatic lung, the lagoon breathes in sea water on rising tides, and exhales a mixture of fresh and sea water at low tides. An average of three million cubic yards of water are exchanged between the lagoon and the ocean with each tide. Keith Hansen’s work has formed the major artistic contribution to over a dozen books. Over two hundred of his illustrations have appeared in various ornithological journals, magazines, and environmental newsletters including American Birds, Continental Birdlife, and Western Birds. Keith is now the artist for a monumental five year project. He is creating sixty–seven color plates portraying 320 species of birds for a book on the birds of the Sierra Nevada and Mono Lake being written by Ted Beedy, David Lukas, and Steve Granholm. This landmark book is scheduled to be published in the early years of the new millennium.
 Afternoon: This afternoon we continue to observe shorebirds along the Bolinas Lagoon.
 Dinner: Dinner at restaurant on site.
 Evening: Our instructor reviews the bird list for the day.
   
Accommodations: Tomales Bay Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Marin Headlands, Golden Gate Recreation Area, bird lists, farewell evening
(Thursday, September 26)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at restaurant on site. Schedule will be flexible based on weather and availability of birds.
 Morning: Vans to Marin Headlands and Golden Gate National Recreation Area for hawks and raptors observation. This activity is seasonal and may be replaced by an appropriate trip to a different area for birding. Welcome to the Marin Headlands! One of the most unique parks in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, the Marin Headlands covers various types of histories from the Miwok Indians to the Military, including historic Fort Barry and Fort Cronkhite, the NIKE Missile site and the 150 year-old Point Bonita lighthouse. Other attractions include vast hiking trails, dog friendly Rodeo Beach, and astonishing views of the coast and the city. The explosion of wildflowers in the spring and raptor migration in the fall fill the headlands with year round excitement.
 Lunch: Picnic lunch on the trail.
 Afternoon: We continue our birding adventure at Golden Gate National Recreation Area or at another excellent bird watching location.
 Dinner: Dinner at restaurant on site.
 Evening: Farewell event.
   
Accommodations: Tomales Bay Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Tule Elk Preserve, final birding walk, farewell brunch
(Friday, September 27)
   
 Depart From: Program ends. Check out by noon.
 Morning: Morning field trip to Tule Elk Reserve to observe the elk as well as continue to observe the area's bird life. The tule elk herds had virtually disappeared by 1860, 13 years before the state awarded them complete protection. In the spring of 1978, two bulls and eight cows were brought in from the San Luis Island Wildlife Refuge near Los Banos. The elk were contained within a temporary, three acre enclosure to allow for adjustment to their new surroundings. That summer, 6 of the cows bore calves.In the fall, 17 elk were released from the enclosure on Tomales Point to 2,600 acres of open grassland and coastal scrub. By the summer of 1988, the population was at 93 animals. The population census taken in 2000 counted over 400 elk.The tule elk can be found in several locations within the park but the best chance of seeing them is in the Tule Elk Preserve at Tomales Point. They graze freely and are often seen near the road as you drive into the preserve.
 Brunch: Farewell brunch at restaurant on site. Program ends.
   
Meals Included: Brunch
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

What’s included in this Road Scholar program?



Except for the occasional meal on some programs, Road Scholar programs are all-inclusive. That means there are no extra “options,” no passing the hat for tips and no surprises. From lectures and field trips to gratuities and accommodations – the price you pay up front is the price you pay.

Specifically, this program includes:


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