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A Backcountry Birding Adventure: By Foot, Kayak and Pontoon Boat

Program Number: 20378RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/20/2015 - 9/25/2015;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Upper Lake, California
Price starting at: $1,099.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Birding; Water Sports
Meals: 13; 5 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Nestled in the scenic wine country north of the Napa Valley lies Clear Lake, one of the oldest natural lakes in North America. Boasting more than 100 miles of shoreline, its diverse habitat makes it an ideal home to more than 300 species of birds throughout the year. Explore the shore, hills, valleys and coves of this designated Important Bird Area with expert birders as you search for herons, egrets, cormorants, flycatchers, grebes, woodpeckers, swallows, nuthatches and more. Program is co-sponsored by the Redbud Audubon Society.




Highlights

• Set out on birding field trips on foot, by kayak and by pontoon boat to hidden marshes and the lake’s many shoreline and cove nesting sites.
• Meet experts from the Audubon Society, the Christmas bird count and the Land Trust to learn of their special expertise.
• Visit a local winery for a talk with a winemaker and a tasting overlooking beautiful Clear Lake.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to three miles on gravel paths, hiking trails, some rocky paths, sloped terrain.



So you can get the most out of your experience, all of our Birding programs have a maximum participant-to-instructor ratio of 14:1.




Date Specific Information

9-20-2015

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



Coordinated by Road Scholar.




Upper Lake

Born as Upper Clear Lake in 1856, Upper Lake is a town of 1,000 or so residents within Lake County, a longtime farming community that had grown into a wine-producing region of some renown when Prohibition arrived and most of the vineyards were uprooted. The industry has since reemerged, with some 8,800 acres of vineyards across the county today.



Accommodations
Beautifully restored 1890s hotel on California Register of Historic Places. All rooms with one king-size bed. No roommate matching.
Meals and Lodgings
   Tallman Hotel
  Upper Lake, CA 5 nights
 Tallman Hotel
Type: Boutique Hotel
  Description: The Tallman Hotel in Upper Lake, California is a return to a simpler time. This handsome country hotel, built in the 1890's, was completely restored and expanded to a 17-room luxury facility between 2004 and 2006. The historic hotel received one of seven statewide historic preservation awards in 2007 from the California Heritage Council and, in July 2008, it was officially listed on the California Register of Historic Resources as a Point of Historical Interest. The interiors of the hotel are inspired by the natural setting of Lake County. Antique and custom crafted furniture, hand painted murals and artwork depicting flora and fauna create simple yet sophisticated surroundings. Eastlake style furniture decorates the guestrooms. The authentic look and feel of the hotel transports patrons back in time -- but geo-exchange heating and cooling systems, solar panels on the roof and modern facilities all produce a comfortable, state-of-the-art, eco-friendly environment. The hotel is the first location in its county to feature an electric vehicle charging station.
  Contact info: 9550 Main Street
Upper Lake, CA 95485 USA
phone: 707-275-2245
web: www.tallmanhotel.com
  Room amenities: Program accommodations in this restored historic country hotel feature one bed per room. If you register double occupancy, you will be sharing one bed with your traveling companion. For this reason we will not be able to pair unacquainted roommates. Each room has a refrigerator.
  Facility amenities: Guests are invited to relax in the parlor or dining room of the historic hotel, to wander about the gardens, and to enjoy the pool and spa facilities. Complimentary hi-speed wireless internet is available throughout the property and wired internet connections are included in all guestrooms. Features include: Spacious guestrooms, high speed Internet, swimming pool & hot tub, and Blue Wing Saloon & Café. The central feature of the property is the historic hotel. Downstairs is the parlor and reception area along with a beautifully decorated dining room. Upstairs are four guest rooms featuring fully restored period bathroom fixtures and private verandas. Facing a shady garden is the Blue Wing Saloon Restaurant and a complex of eight Garden Rooms, all with verandas facing the garden. The four lower Garden rooms each feature a private back deck with outdoor shower and a teak Japanese "Ofuro" soaking tub. The complex also features the Caretakers unit consisting of three spacious suites and the Farmhouse building with an ADA accessible suite topped by a unique single garret room with private balcony. The Tallman Hotel does not have an elevator. A limited number of downstairs rooms are available. PLEASE REQUEST A DOWNSTAIRS ROOM ON YOUR PARTICIPANT INFORMATION FORM IF YOU HAVE TROUBLE WITH STAIRS.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Additional nights prior: Call hotel directly for rates Additional nights must be booked directly with the hotel. Be sure to mention you are an Road Scholar participant.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Call hotel directly for rates Additional nights must be booked directly with the hotel. Be sure to mention you are an Road Scholar participant.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Hotel check-in begins at 3:00 PM. Program registration begins at 4:00 PM followed by the program orientation at 4:30 PM. You will be staying at Tallman Hotel that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends at 9:00 AM after breakfast. Hotel check-out by 11:00 AM. You will be staying at Tallman Hotel the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required. Please bring your drivers license as the kayaking outfitter will need to make a copy of it before checking out equipment to you. We’ve included a copy of the "Hold harmless agreement / waiver of liability" for you to review in advance of the program. You will be required to sign this agreement onsite before participating in the kayaking activity.
  Parking availability:
Parking is complimentary at the Tallman Hotel.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Upper Lake, CA
  Nearest highway: 20 and 29
  Nearest airport:  Sacramento, San Francisco or Oakland
  From End of Program
  Location: Upper Lake, CA
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Tallman Hotel (Upper Lake, CA) from San Francisco

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

None - Car Required

 

Tallman Hotel (Upper Lake, CA) from Sacramento Airport

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Enterprise Shuttle - by Tallman Hotel
phone: 707-245-0041
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$75.00 per person
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

2 hrs 10 min 

 

Distance:

 

111 miles

   

A shuttle can be arranged to pick up/drop you off at Sacramento Airport. We are limited to one pickup window (Sunday, program start date from 11:00am to 2:00pm) and one drop off window (Friday, program end date from 11:00am to 2:00pm). Please arrange your flights accordingly if you would like to use this service. Reservations MUST be made at least one week in advance. For reservations please contact Tallman owner Bernie Butcher at bb@tallmanhotel.com or by phone at 707-245-0041.

 
Driving Directions
  Tallman Hotel (Upper Lake, CA) from Oakland Take Highway 80 to Highway 580 and across the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge to Highway 101 north. Just past Ukiah, turn right on Highway 20 to Upper Lake. Just past the Highway 29 turnoff for Lakeport, turn left onto Main St. Upper Lake. The hotel is on the right. Time: approximately 2 1/2 hours Note: the Hwy. 175 cut-off from Hopland on Hwy 101 to Hwy. 29 at Lakeport and on to Upper Lake often recommended by online services is a pretty but very curvy road not preferable to the route described above. As an alternative, head north on Highway 80, over the Carquinez Bridge and through Vallejo. Go left on the Marine World Parkway (Highway 37). Then turn right on Highway 29 through Napa, St. Helena and Calistoga in the Napa Valley. Turn right through Calistoga (still on Highway 29), over Mt. St. Helena, through Middletown to the Junction at Lower Lake. Continue straight at this junction (the road becomes Highway 53) until it intersects with Highway 20 to Ukiah. Turn left on Highway 20 along the east side of Clear Lake until you turn right onto Main St. Upper Lake. The hotel is on the right. Time: about 2 3/4 hours.
  Tallman Hotel (Upper Lake, CA) from Sacramento Proceed north on Interstate 5 to Williams Turn left on Highway 20 to Lakeport and Ukiah Proceed along the east side of Clear Lake to Upper Lake (just before Highway 20 intersects with Highway 29 to Lakeport) Turn right on Main St. in Upper Lake Proceed through town The hotel is on your right Time: approximately 2 1/2 hours
  Tallman Hotel (Upper Lake, CA) from San Francisco Go north over the Golden Gate Bridge on Highway 101 Just past Ukiah, turn right on Highway 20 to Upper Lake Just past the Highway 29 turnoff for Lakeport, turn left onto Main St. Upper Lake The hotel is on the right Time: approximately 2 1/2 hours Note: the Hwy. 175 cut-off from Hopland on Hwy 101 to Hwy. 29 at Lakeport and on to Upper Lake often recommended by online services is a pretty but very curvy road not preferable to the route described above.
Equipment Requirements: No specific equipment required but recommend binoculars and/or scopes and any other birding equipment you prefer. Also bring light weight waterproof rain gear and water shoes or flip flops. Kayaks are the sit-on-top type and some water can be expected on the legs and feet. The water temperature will be fine though in May.
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, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner, Class
(Sunday, September 20)
   
 Afternoon: Hotel check-in begins at 3:00 PM. Program registration begins at 4:00 PM, followed by an orientation at 4:30 PM and a wine reception at 5:30 PM.

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, Jerry White.

 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 wonderful introductory presentation of local birding is in store for you tonight presented by our resident birding expert. In addition, Bernie Butcher will present a short slide presentation on the history of the town and of the Tallman hotel.

Tallman Hotel website: www.tallmanhotel.com

   
Accommodations: Tallman Hotel
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Rodman Slough Preserve, Kayak Explorations of Clear Lake
(Monday, September 21)
   
 Breakfast: Buffet-style breakfast in the lovely Tallman Hotel Parlor.
 Morning: Head out on a morning field trip to the Lake County Land Trust Interpretive Center at the Rodman Slough Preserve. Get a feel for this marvelous birding terrain as our lead birder and faculty member, guides you on a walking exploration of the Preserve.

Lake County Land Trust website: www.lakecountylandtrust.org

 Lunch: Enjoy a picnic lunch at the Preserve Ranch House. Then the Executive Director of the Land Trust will introduce you to the area with a short presentation.
 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 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 a BBQ buffet style dinner on the veranda of the Blue Wing, the Tallman Hotel's saloon style restaurant.
 Evening: In the hotel meeting house after dinner join together with resident birder Brad Barnwell and local nature photographers Lyle and Deanna Madeson for a fascinating presentation of nature and bird photography.

Blue Wing Saloon website: www.BlueWingSaloon.com

Madeson Photography website: www.madesonphotography.com

   
Accommodations: Tallman Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Boat Expl., Grebe Proj. & Hitch Present., Biology Clear Lake
(Tuesday, September 22)
   
 Breakfast: Continental breakfast in the lovely Parlor of the Tallman Hotel.
 Morning: An early morning (6:45 departure) birding field trip starts you off at Clear Lake State Park with guide Jerry White. Clark's and Western Grebes are prevalent here, plus Green Herons, Black-crowned Night Herons, and along the bed of Cole Creek, Killdeer. Land birds include Red-shouldered Hawks, California Quail, California Towhees, Spotted Towhees, Scrub Jays, Oak Titmice, Northern Flickers, White-breasted Nuthatches, Acorn, Downy, Hairy Woodpeckers and sometimes the Pileated Woodpecker.

Enjoy birding by foot and by pontoon boat this morning! At mid-morning board one of two pontoon boats for an excursion out into the lake and along the shoreline then go on a hiking exploration of some of the many park trails. 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 migration of this native fish 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, and time to talk over your day's tales with your new friends.
 Evening: An entertaining presentation awaits you tonight on the geology and 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!
   
Accommodations: Tallman Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Boggs Lake Birding Field Trip, Picnic at Winery, Free Time
(Wednesday, September 23)
   
 Breakfast: Continental breakfast in the lovely Parlor of the Tallman Hotel.
 Morning: Travel 45 minutes from the hotel up Cobb Mountain, with lovely views of the scenic wine country. Depending on weather and ground conditions, visit either the Boggs Lake Nature Preserve, administered by the Nature Conservancy, which includes a vernal pool with a one mile walk through oak woodlands, or head to the more forested 1.3 mile Boggs Mountain State Forest Interpretive Trail. Ample time for birding throughout the morning.

Joining us 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.

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 Laujor Estate, a boutique winery where we will enjoy a picnic lunch, overlooking miles of vineyards.

Laujor Estate website: www.laujorestate.com/

 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.
   
Accommodations: Tallman Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: Anderson Marsh Birding, Ranch House Talk, Wine Tasting
(Thursday, September 24)
   
 Breakfast: Continental breakfast in the lovely Parlor of the Tallman.
 Morning: Head out to Anderson Marsh State Historic Park at the Lake's outlet into Cache Creek. Depending on the weather, our birding field trip may involve an extensive, though level hike, of up to three miles. Docent Henry Bornstein of Anderson Marsh Interpretive Association will lead a pontoon boat exploration for those who prefer this option. (You will select which option at check in.)

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: Gae Henry, member of the Anderson Marsh Interpretive Association, 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!
   
Accommodations: Tallman Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Program Concludes
(Friday, September 25)
   
 Breakfast: Continental breakfast in the lovely Parlor of the Tallman Hotel.
 Morning: Independent Departures and Safe Travels!

Hotel check-out by 11:00 AM.

   
Meals Included: Breakfast
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.

Suggested Reading List


Birding Northern California


Author: John Kemper


Birds of California Field Guide (Our Nature Field Guides)


Author: Stan Tekiela


Birds of Northern California (Lone Pine Field Guide)


Author: David Fix and Andy Bezener




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