16891
California

Birding and Ecology in the California Delta by Boat

Explore the California Delta alongside naturalists and learn about this protected region’s myriad birds, diverse ecology, unique museums and complex system of levees.
Rating (5)
Program No. 16891RJ
Length
4 days
Starts at
999
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4 days
3 nights
8 meals
3 B 2 L 3 D
DAY
1
Check-In, Registration, Welcome Dinner, Orientation
Oakley, CA
D
Best Western Plus Delta Inn & Suites

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 3:00 p.m. If you plan to arrive after 5:00 p.m., call the hotel at 925-755-1222 so they know not to release your room. Please note: be sure to bring a refillable water bottle on each field trip.

Afternoon: Program Registration. After you have your room assignment, join us at the Road Scholar table in the lobby to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing the up-to-date schedule that reflects any changes, other important information, and to confirm the time and location of the Orientation session. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in. Remember to bring your name-tag (sent previously).

Dinner: In the hotel meeting room, we will have a catered buffet, which includes an entrée, salad, side dish, bread and butter, dessert, soda, coffee, hot tea, water.

Evening: Orientation. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. On our two field trips, we will learn about the ecology of the California Delta from our boat captain and local expert and about the many different species of birds in the area from our birding expert. Transportation for program-related activities will be via a shuttle bus and boat unless otherwise specified. Please be sure to bring a refillable water bottle for the field trips. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

DAY
2
Birding & Ecology by Boat, Rio Vista Museum, Lecture
Oakley, CA
B,L,D
Best Western Plus Delta Inn & Suites

Activity note: Getting on/off shuttle bus; traveling 15 miles to/from marina. Traveling by boat 8 hours. Upon entering the dock gate, there is a declined ramp to the dock followed by a short walk to the twin-engine 57 foot catamaran. The dock does not have handrails. There is one step to board the boat followed by two steps to enter the lower level. There is a steep set of stairs to get to the upper level. In Rio Vista, we will walk approximately six blocks on level terrain. Bring a refillable water bottle.

Breakfast: In the hotel restaurant, the breakfast buffet offers choices such as eggs, bacon, potatoes, oatmeal, toast, juice, milk, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: After breakfast, we’ll board our shuttle bus for a short drive to the Antioch Marina where we will transfer to our classroom on the water. As we cruise the California Delta and the Sacramento River, our captain and a local expert will discuss the ecology and history of the Delta. We will sail under one of the many drawbridges that link the delta together. The captain will also point out and discuss the levies as we see the effects of subsidence on the delta islands. We will be on the lookout for the many birds, both resident and winter migrants, that depend on the islands and waterways.

Lunch: We’ll dock at Rio Vista and walk two blocks to a popular café where we’ll have lunch, which includes a pre-selected sandwich, side salad, and bread and butter, with a beverage choice of lemonade, soda, or iced tea. Water is included.

Afternoon: After lunch, we’ll walk across the street to explore the Rio Vista Museum. Originally a blacksmith shop, the building was converted into a museum in 1975. The museum provides a look into Rio Vista's past with exhibits on community history, period dress, and antique farm equipment. Docents will point out the museum's highlights and answer questions. After a short walk back to the dock, we’ll board our boat and continue to explore the waters of the Sacramento River and the California Delta. The captain and local expert will discuss the habitats favored by migratory birds, their habits, the delta ecosystems, and the industrial usage of the Sacramento River, as we scan the banks for birds and the waters for ducks and the occasional seal.

Dinner: Catered buffet.

Evening: A biology professor will introduce us to a stealthy and beneficial aviator of the delta that most people do not normally see or notice: bats. Bats are the only mammal capable of true and sustained flight. We will learn why bats are an important part of the delta ecosystem and the ecological threats the species faces.

DAY
3
Birding Delta Backwaters by Boat, Documentary, Wrap-up
Oakley, CA
B,L,D
Best Western Plus Delta Inn & Suites

Activity note: Getting on/off shuttle bus; traveling 15 miles to/from marina. Traveling by boat 8 hours. Upon entering the dock gate, there is a declined ramp to the dock followed by a short walk to the twin-engine 57 foot catamaran. The dock does not have handrails. There is one step to board the boat followed by two steps to enter the lower level. There is a steep set of stairs to get to the upper level. Bring a refillable water bottle.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Today, we explore the smaller waterways of the delta with a birding expert. We will see and learn about multiple species of birds such as the red-tailed and red-shouldered hawks, peregrine falcons, kestrels, tundra swans, snow geese, white-fronted geese, and sandhill cranes. The large flocks of overwintering birds, whether foraging in the farm fields or flying overhead, is always impressive.

Lunch: On the boat, we will have a boxed lunch with a pre-selected sandwich or grain bowl, chips, coffee, hot tea, soda. Water is available for refilling our water bottles.

Afternoon: We continue our journey on the delta with our birding expert as we navigate the smaller waterways looking for and learning about the large flocks of migrating birds as well as ducks in the bays and shallows. We will also check out the trees to see the status of nest building in the trees that normally host a heron rockery.

Dinner: Catered buffet.

Evening: We’ll watch a delightful and informative PBS video on the life of a wood duck family migrating thousands of miles together. After the video, we’ll have a wrap-up session to review program highlights and share our favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends.

DAY
4
Wrap Up Session, Program Concludes
Oakley, CA
B

Activity note: Hotel check out by 11:00 a.m.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We’ll have a wrap-up session with our instructor to review program highlights and share our favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends. This concludes our program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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