Please join us for a full set of engaging programs and bird-filled field trips at this year's Central Valley Birding Symposium. The Stockton Hilton Hotel is in tip-top shape, and we look forward to returning to our "home" for the Symposium. Among the wide range of vendors are the top optical manufacturers in the world alongside magnificent art displays of birds. Come and enjoy the camaraderie of birding friends, both old and new, all under one roof.
See you soon,
Printing and Mailing Registration Form
Thursday, November 15th
3:00 PM—9:00 PM Registration at the Stockton Hilton Hotel
6:00 PM—7:00 PM Social Hour—Hors D’oeuvres/No Host Bar
7:00 PM—7:30 PM Introduction by David Yee
7:30 PM—9:00 PM Keynote Speaker—Ed Harper--"Appreciating the Birds of the CV"
Friday, November 16th
5:30 AM—2:30 PM Field Trips: American River Parkway, Bufferlands & Stone Lakes NWR, Clifton Ct. Forebay, Colusa NWR, Cosumnes River Preserve, Eastern Stanislaus Co, Merced Refuge, O’Neill Forebay & San Luis Reservoir, Pardee Reservoir Eagle Boat trip, Salt Springs Valley, San Joaquin NWR, Southeastern Solano Co., Staten Island & Delta Meadows SP, Sutter Buttes, & Yolo Co.
6:30 AM—2:30 PM"Birding with Jon Dunn" Field Trip
3:30 PM—5:30 PM Bird Identification Panel--Moderated by Ed Harper
6:00 PM—7:30 PM Dinner at the Stockton Hilton Hotel
7:45 PM—9:00 PM Keynote Speaker—Sophie Webb--"Seabirds and Marine Mammals of the Tropical Eastern Pacific"
Saturday, November 17th
6:30 AM—10:00 AM Local Field Trips: Bufferlands/Stone Lakes NWR, Cosumnes River Preserve, Flood & Waverly Rd, Lodi Lake, Lodi WTP, Mokelumne Day Use Area, Stockton Rural Cemetery, Stockton WTP Wetlands, Turner Rd Vintners, Woodbridge Rd, Woodbridge Wilderness Area.
8:00 AM—12:00 PM "Introduction to Image Editing Workshop" --Bob Steele
10:30 AM—11:30 AM "Beginning Birding"—Jim Gain
10:30 AM—11:30 AM "Access Matters: Why Birders Should Care"—Paul J. Baicich
12:00 PM—2:00 PM Lunch/ CVBC Meeting
2:30 PM—4:30 PM Bird Sketching Workshop—Sophie Webb
2:30 PM—4:30 PM"Photo File Management Workshop: Lightroom and other options"—Ron LeValley
2:30 PM—4:30 PM"Birding for Everyone: The Top 10 Ways to Successfully Connect Our Youth to Nature"–John Robinson
2:00 PM—4:30 PM Beginning Birding Field Trip—Jim Gain
4:30 PM—5:30 PM Wine & Cheese Reception/Book Signing
6:00 PM—7:30 PM Dinner at the Stockton Hilton Hotel
7:45 PM—9:00 PM Keynote Speaker—Carlos Bettancourt--"The Natural Splendor of Panamá!"
Sunday, November 18th
8:00 AM—11:00 AM Carving Seminar (Beginners)—Jim Burcio
8:00 AM—9:30 AM "Century of Field Identification"--Joe Morlan
9:45 AM—11:15 AM Bird ID Workshop—Jon Dunn
11:30 AM—3:00 PM Local Field Trips: Bufferlands/Stone Lakes NWR, Cosumnes River Preserve, Flood / Waverly Rd, Lodi Lake Wilderness Area, Lodi WTP, Mokelumne Day Use Area, Stockton Rural Cemetery, Stockton WTP Wetlands, Turner Rd. Vintners, Woodbridge Rd.
PROGRAM, WORKSHOP, AND SPEAKER PROFILES
All workshops and programs held at the Stockton Hilton Hotel. It is highly recommended that you bring your binoculars to all programs and workshops.
Thursday, November 15th
6:00 PM Social Hour--Hors D'oeuvres and no host bar
Please come and help us kick off this year's CVBS! Come meet the CVBS board. Reconnect with old friends! Meet new ones! Take advantage of the scrumptious Hors D'oeuvres buffet and no host bar!
7:00 PM Introduction David Yee
During this time we will cover Friday's field trips and make any special announcements and changes to the Symposium schedule.
7:30 PM Keynote Program Appreciating the Birds of the Central Valley Ed Harper
Sit back and watch as Ed take us on a photographic journey to catch a glimpse of the avian world of the Central Valley. Ed Harper is one of the finest birders and bird photographers in the country. His programs are always highly informative and full of humor. An educator at heart, though retired as a math teacher from American River College in Sacramento, he still teaches his birding classes. He now spends almost every free moment in the field and leads wildlife tours all over of the world with his wife Susan.
Friday, November 16th
3:30 PM Bird Identification Panel Ed Harper moderator
This program has become an annual favorite. What better way to learn about the finer points of bird identification than by listening to the experts go through the process? Our illustrious panel will include Joe Morlan, Jon Dunn, and others. They will be presented with slides of difficult-to-identify bird groups (such as golden-plovers, winter plumage ducks, female goldeneyes, etc.) then each will mention what features they use to aid in clinching an ID.
7:45 PM Keynote Program "Seabirds and Marine Mammals of the Tropical Eastern Pacific" Sophie Webb
Sophie has spent countless hours on research vessels over the deep seas all over world, including the chartered waters off the west coast of North America. She will give us a wonderful glimpse into the natural history of the fascinating birds and mammals she has encountered in this Region, emphasizing those that venture close to the California coast, especially during migration. Sophie is an ornithologist and field biologist and has become a renowned wildlife artist and author. She illustrated and co-authored the highly acclaimed "A Guide the Birds of Mexico and Northern Central America", and has authored/illustrated many children books using seabirds and marine mammals as the main theme. She is a director of Oikonos: Ecosystem Knowledge and a research associate of PRBO Conservation Science. She is a long-time resident of Northern CA.
Saturday, November 17th
8:00 AM Introduction to Image Editing Workshop Bob Steele
Join professional bird photographer Bob Steele as we explore digital photo editing in Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, and Lightroom. Topics discussed and demonstrated will include: image storage and backup strategies, converting RAW images using Adobe Camera RAW (PS and PSE plug-in), basic image editing for JPEG and TIFF images, sizing and sharpening images for different outputs: email, internet, printing--and a group discussion with questions and answers. Bob Steele has been involved in birding and bird photography for over 20 years. He lives in bird-rich Kern County, California, which is centrally located at the convergence of multiple bio-regions, giving him the opportunity to photograph many avian subjects. To preview some of his photography, check out his website at: www.bobsteelephoto.com.
10:30 AM "Access Matters: Why Birders Should Care" Paul Baicich
Is access to birding locations important? Well, only if you want to see birds! Increasingly, we birders are finding ourselves shut out of locations or restricted from locations where we once had open access. Many of these are semi-public or private places where we once could bird without interruption-wastewater treatment plants, landfills/dumps, dams, power plants, sod farms, golf courses, and cemeteries, for starters. If anything, things have gotten more difficult since 9/11. Much of this is understandable, but much of this can also be counteracted.
In this talk, Paul Baicich will review some access we birders have had, some accommodation, when it comes to private property and what we might call semi-public property when we pursue birds. This also covers some access issues on public property such as National Wildlife Refuges, BLM land, and Bureau of Reclamation property.
In fact, Paul will describe four different categories of birding locations that may need to be addressed when it comes to our real access. He will also outline some basic ways to resolve some of our access problems, proposed solutions that should probably be discussed among birders. And we hope to start that discussion at this Symposium.
There are direct connections, of course, with photographers, especially those within our birding community. And there are implications for and lessons from other passive recreational users (hikers/walkers, bicyclists, etc.). The problems and resolutions over access concerns among those in the hunting and fishing communities will also be examined, compared, and contrasted. In sum, multiple experiences-positive and negative-from coast to coast will serve as lessons on how to address our growing problem and how to try to make birding more accessible for everyone.
10:30 AM Beginning Birding Class Jim Gain
This workshop will cover the basics. How to choose and use optics and field guides, when and where to bird, and the first steps toward identifying a bird. Jim is a high school teacher from Modesto who has a contagious love for birds and education. He is one of the top birders in Stanislaus County.
12:00 PM Lunch/CVBC meeting
The CVBS serves as the annual meeting of the Central Valley Bird Club. We will conduct a brief meeting to give members (if you attend the Symposium, you're automatically a member) an update on the Club, and to take care of any business that requires approval by the membership. This is also when we'll conduct the ever popular raffle where many of the vendors and artists donate wonderful items and works to support the Club.
2:00 PM Beginning Birding Field Trip Jim Gain
This field trip will put into action many of the topics Jim covered in class. He will visit Oak Grove Regional Park in north Stockton where wintering birds abound. Bring binoculars, field guides and note book.
2:30 PM Birding for Everyone--The Top 10 Ways to Successfully Connect Our Youth to Nature John Robinson
What happens when it is no longer just species or unique habitats, but environmental conservation itself that is endangered? This is the concern raised by award-winning ornithologist and author, John C. Robinson. In this presentation based on his latest book and years of interactions with environmental educators from around the world, Robinson explains why minority involvement in environmental issues will become ever more vital to long-term conservation efforts and the preservation of our natural resources. In particular, he will identify the top barriers environmental educators and ambassadors of nature face when attempting to connect inner city and minority youth or young adults to bird watching or the exploration of nature.
A world-renowned speaker and author, John C. Robinson has worked as a wildlife biologist and professional ornithologist for over 30 years, including stints with the USDA and US Fish & Wildlife Service. He is the author of numerous books, including Common Birds of Mount Diablo, Secret of the Snow Leopard, and the comprehensive North American Bird Reference Book CD-ROM. In 2011, Robinson was nominated as a Together Green Fellow and currently is working with Toyota and the National Audubon Society to introduce 1000's of young children to nature.
2:30 PM Bird Sketching Sophie Webb
Have you ever observed a bird and just wished you could sit down and begin to draw it on paper, but didn't know where to start? Well, here's a chance to learn how. Join Sophie Webb, a renowned wildlife artist and author. She illustrated and co-authored the highly acclaimed "A Guide the Birds of Mexico and Northern Central America", and has authored/ illustrated many children books using seabirds and marine mammals as the main theme.
2:30 PM "Photo File Management: Lightroom and other options" Ron LeValley
What do you do after your image card is full? How do you back up all your important photos? How do you find that one important photo among the thousands on your computer? How do you prepare your photos for fine printing? for slide shows? For the web? for e-mail? The answer is Lightroom! Ron has been using Lightroom since version 1.0 and has really decided that it is the answer to the above questions. These two hours will give you an important introduction to the program and the concepts behind photo file management. Even photographers that are not using Lightroom can benefit from this session. Ron is a founding member of the Mendocino Coast Photographer Gallery in Fort Bragg where his works are currently on display. Ron is also the founder and Senior Biologist of Mad River Biologists, a biological consulting firm in Eureka, CA. Though best known for the identification and distribution of birds along the Pacific Coast, he has an extensive understanding of natural history subjects.
4:30 PM Wine and Cheese Reception, Book Signing
This is a time to visit and have fun with one another. Many of our speakers have authored books that may be in your library, so remember to bring yours if you want it signed. Some books will be available for purchase.
7:45 PMKeynote Program "The Natural Splendor of Panama" Carlos Bethancourt
Panama, though scarcely the size of South Carolina, but perfectly positioned as a narrow land bridge between North and South America, is blessed with an incredible natural beauty and biodiversity second to none. Over 975 birds species, hundreds of mammals, reptiles & amphibians, and a staggering 10,000 plants species have been recorded here. Join the knowledgeable and entertaining head guide of the Canopy Tower, Carlos Bethancourt, on a photographic journey across Central Panama, where myriad tropical birds, bizarre mammals and unusual reptiles and amphibians are seen in their natural setting! From toucans to hummingbirds, Mouse Opossums to tongue-wielding Orange Nectar Bats, Carlos will keep you spellbound with his stories of discovery and vivid images. Come experience why Panama is indeed the country of Natural Splendor!
Carlos was born in Panama City in 1978 and raised in the small rural village of Huile, next to the Canal Zone. It was here where he learned many lessons of nature from his mother and grandmother, both of whom were deeply connected to nature and involved with conservation.
After high school Carlos was awarded a scholarship to Mt. Hood Community College in Oregon, where he studiednatural resources and received his first formal training in ornithology. Carlos began his career at the Canopy Tower in October of 2000 and has since attended numerous birding conferences and conventions in the US and Great Britain, where he led tours, workshops and presented programs on Panama birds. Carlos is a very popular and a much-requested guide, a testament not only to his birding ability, but also to his sincere friendly demeanor. When not guiding, Carlos is busy at the office working on marketing and other projects for the Canopy Tower & Canopy Lodge.
Sunday, November 18th
8:00 AM Bird Carving Jim Burcio
Join master carvers from the Pacific Flyway Decoy Association for a three hour carving seminar. All of the necessary materials, including a study guide and the best knives on the market, will be provided for this seminar. Short lectures with lots of hands-on carving will enable you to complete a life size Lewis's Woodpecker decoy. Topics include where to get your supplies, how to use reference material, wood selection, and how to use hand tools and power tools. There is a $25 fee for materials. The price includes a one-year membership in the Pacific Flyway Decoy Association, and a club directory, so you'll know who is carving in our area. Must be fifteen years old or older. Pre-registration necessary.
8:00 AM "A Century of Field Identification" Joe Morlan
Joe Morlan will present a history of bird identification starting with early pioneers in sight identification, and a personal look back at how birding and bird identification has changed over the decades. Sight identifications considered by Ludlow Griscom to be impossible in 1922 are routine today. Likewise our knowledge of bird distribution has grown dramatically since the days of Griscom and other pioneers. But what will future generations think of our own conventional wisdom when it comes to bird identification and distribution? Technology continues to advance in the fields of optics and photography. These advances have been an integral part of the rapid evolutionary changes in the way we see birds and the way future generations will see them. Join us for this entertaining and thought provoking presentation. Joe has been a fixture at this event for many years. He is one of the nation's leading birders and has served on the CA Bird Records Committee for many years. Joe teaches very popular birding classes at the College of San Francisco.
9:45 AM Bird ID Workshop Jon Dunn
Jon will cover those bird groups that are particularly difficult for many of us such as flycatchers, sparrows, hummingbirds and shorebirds. He will pay particular attention to those species encountered in the Central Valley and surrounding areas. Jon is one of the world's leading field ornithologists and has few peers when it comes to explaining the finer identifcation points within challenging bird groups. Jon has authored many books/articles on bird ID, status and distribution and his most recent book is the "Gulls of the Americas" co-authored with Steve Howell. He also leads birding tours for Wings.
Please note the codes in parentheses after the descriptions are ratings provided as a service to our participants with limited mobility. Explanations are given after the Specialized Field Trips section.
Directions and maps for all Friday trips will be provided Friday morning prior to departure time. Please be considerate of the leaders and fellow birders by arriving in plenty of time, prior to the departure, to receive any last minute instructions and to arrange the carpools. Due to the rising cost of fuel, please remember to offer the driver gas money. Contact Kurt Mize (firstname.lastname@example.org), field trip coordinator, if other arrangements need to be made. A boxed lunch will be available from the Stockton Hilton. Please designate on the registration form if you desire to purchase one.
5:30 AM departures A) Colusa NWR
B) Eastern Stanislaus Co.
C) Merced Refuges
D) O'Neill Forebay and San Luis Reservoir
E) Salt Springs Valley & Vicinity
F) Sutter Buttes
6:00 AM departures G) American River Parkway
H) Clifton Court Forebay
I) Cosumnes River Preserve
J) Pardee Reservoir Eagle Boat Trip
K) Bufferlands & Stone Lakes NWR
L) San Joaquin River NWR
M) Staten Island/Delta Meadows SP
N) Southeastern Solano Co.
O) Western Amador Co.
P) Yolo County
6:30 AM departures Q) Birding with Jon Dunn
American River Parkway: Approximately 5,000 acres of open space & wildlife habitat have been preserved along 23 miles of the American River from its confluence with the Sacramento River to Lake Natomas. Setting aside valuable land in the middle of a heavily urbanized area was model civic planning on a national scale--it is five times larger than New York's Central Park! Habitat gradations over its length, from giant cottonwoods festooned with grape vines on the valley floor to live oaks & steep bluffs at its upper end, make for a diverse birding experience. Expect a mix of riparian & oak woodland birds, good numbers of Common Mergansers & Common Goldeneyes, with a good chance for Barrow's, and a selection of gulls (the latter somewhat dependent on conditions and the extent of the salmon run). Multiple access points will be visited, with short to moderate walks at each. (SS/2) Limited to 20 participants.
Birding with Jon Dunn: Jon will lead this special field trip dedicated to the study & identification of wintering birds, including gulls, in the Central Valley. The day will start off at the Nimbus Fish Hatchery, which is one of the premier spots to view rare pink-legged gulls in the Central Valley (Note: the variety of gulls will depend on the conditions and the extent of the salmon run). For the remainder of the field trip a mix of riparian, oak woodland, and grassland habitats will be visited. Fundraisers for the Youth Scholarship Fund, donations are $25. (3/R) Limited to 15 participants.
Clifton Court Forebay: Led by Rich Cimino, this field trip will cover three counties: San Joaquin, Contra Costa and Alameda. Starting out in northeastern Alameda at the junction of Mountain House Rd and J4/Byron Rd., we'll proceed to bird the agricultural fields along Herdlyn Road, looking for curlews and other shorebirds. We'll continue to Mountain House and Kelso Road area for raptors and blackbirds. We'll move on to Bethany Reservoir (Fee Area) to use restrooms and search for sparrows, merganser and possibly Swainson's Hawk. From here we'll move to the Clifton Court Forebay and use scopes to observe waterfowl, gulls and falcons. We will return to Stockton via Hwy 4. (2)
Colusa National Wildlife Refuge, Sutter Buttes, & District 10: The focus will be Colusa NWR, one of the best places in the Central Valley to view large waterfowl concentrations. There will be myriad ducks on the tour and skeins of Snow, Ross's and White-fronted geese, and many raptors overhead--possibly including Bald Eagle and Peregrine Falcon. Eurasian Wigeon is likely. There will be some easy walking on a level trail through a riparian forest next to the main viewing pond. If time allows on the return trip, we will drive around the Sutter Buttes to look for raptors, cranes and diving ducks. Then we will proceed to District 10 northeast of Marysville, a winter haven for thousands of geese and swans, including the occasional Trumpeter and Bewick's swans and many White-faced Ibis. Driving time to Colusa NWR is about 120 minutes. (2)
Cosumnes River Preserve: Cosumnes River Preserve has the finest valley oak riparian forest in California. The preserve also has extensive wetlands, fallow fields, oak savannas, and fresh water tidal marshes and swamps. There are two possible routes: 1) River Walk trail, Lost Slough Boardwalk, along Desmond Road, and wetlands around "The Barn", (~4-5 miles), or the "Tall Forest", "Accidental Forest", along Desmond Road and wetlands around "The Barn" (~4-5 miles). The River Walk and Lost Slough Boardwalk trails are flatter, unobstructed and a better sampler of all of the habitats of the lower preserve. Birding the Tall Forest requires following narrow trails through what is perhaps the best remaining example of the Central Valley's riparian forest. Rubber boots are encouraged due to standing water and low spots. Participants on both tours can expect to see many cranes and waterfowl, a diverse variety of raptors and many songbirds. Most specialty birds are found on the River Walk, but Pacific Wren, Varied Thrush, Hutton's Vireo, and Wrentit are more likely in the "Tall Forest". Driving time about 30 minutes. (3/C)
Eastern Stanislaus Co: The focus of this field trip is the rolling grasslands, Oak Savannah and foothill reservoirs of Eastern Stanislaus Co. We will travel first to Turlock Lake State Park to look for early Mountain Plovers and then work our way east to Joe Domecq/Basso Bridge (sneak peeks at the salmon) and north along Cooperstown Rd., Wilms Rd., Knight's Ferry, and Sonora Rd. In the event that roads are wet, we will travel north on Crabtree Rd. instead of Willms Rd. Expect to see Lewis' Woodpeckers, many raptors (including both eagles and 3 falcon species), Vesper Sparrows, Mountain Bluebirds, wintering songbirds and more. Restrooms available at three stops, but no food or gas services available after the meeting spot. Meet at the Fruit Yard Restaurant (the corner of Hwy 132 & Albers Rd) East of Modesto at 7AM or at the Stockton Hilton at 5:30 AM. (2)
Merced Refuges: East of the O'Neill Forebay in central Merced County, the wildlife refuges attract an abundance of cranes, waterfowl, waders, and shorebirds. Ibis, pelicans, and eagles are also likely. In the past, we have seen rare birds such as Swamp Sparrow, Eastern Phoebe, Vermilion Flycatcher, Stilt Sandpiper and Ruff, so although we cannot predict seeing a rare bird, this area provides a great opportunity to discover an unexpected species. We will visit Merced NWR and San Luis NWR and if time permits, the Los Banos Wildlife Area and Gun Club Road marshes. Driving time is about 100 minutes each way. (2/SS)
O'Neill Forebay and San Luis Reservoir: This area lies 90 miles south of Stockton, on the west side of Hwy 33 & I-5, and north of Hwy 152, off Hwy 5 and 152. This area attracts large numbers of divers, including loons, grebes, scaups, Redhead, Canvasback, and an occasional scoter or Long-tailed Duck. Also regularly attracts rare inland gulls such as Western, Glaucous-winged, and Thayer's. Campground and boat launch areas attract a variety of land bird in the pine and eucalyptus trees. If time permits, we will check the Gustine sewage ponds for gulls, waterfowl and the rare Pacific Golden-Plover. Driving time is about 90 minutes each way. (1)
Pardee Reservoir Eagle Boat Tour: This scenic foothill reservoir is normally closed to the public during the winter months. This field trip features a four-hour boat tour led by East Bay MUD Fisheries and Wildlife Biologist James Jones. Eagles, Ospreys, and winter waterfowl are expected. (C) Limited to 20 participants.
Sacramento Co. Bufferlands & Stone Lakes NWR: This tour provides an opportunity to visit sites with limited public access and to see the fruits of local conservation and restoration efforts. The 2500-acre Bufferlands surrounding the Sacramento Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant provide an open space buffer between the treatment plant and the community. Large-scale habitat restoration has been underway since 1992. We will visit restored and remnant habitats, including wetlands, riparian forest, and grasslands to find a high diversity of bird species. This is an excellent chance to look for rails, raptors, winter songbirds, shorebirds, and waterfowl. Adjacent to the Bufferlands, the Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge is a fairly new refuge, having been established in 1994. There we can expect to see numerous waterfowl as well as Sandhill Cranes and grassland species. We will visit several sites, with short to moderate walks at each. (2/R) Limited to 20 participants.
San Joaquin River NWR:The San Joaquin River National Wildlife Refuge is located west of Modesto, California, within the historic floodplain of the confluences of the San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Tuolumne Rivers. Refuge lands consist of oak-cottonwood-willow riparian forest, pastures, agricultural fields, and wetlands. The refuge has an approved refuge boundary of 12,877 acres with over 1,900 acres of pristine riparian woodlands and 800 acres of newly restored riparian woodland. It is the primary wintering site of 98 percent of the Aleutian Canada Geese that winter in the Valley and an important area for cranes and other geese. The riparian forest provides important wintering habitat for many landbirds. Least Bell's Vireos have even bred at this site in recent years. We should get close to 100 species on this trip. (3/C)
Salt Springs Valley & Vicinity: East of Stockton, in the low foothills of Calaveras County lies the Salt Springs Valley. Due to the variety of habitats visited, a nice selection of birds will be viewed. Expected birds will include good numbers and variety of raptors and waterfowl. These usually include Bald & Golden eagles, Ferruginous Hawk, Rough-legged Hawk, & Prairie Falcon. Waterfowl will include a mix of geese, dabbling and bay ducks, mergansers, grebes, shorebirds, herons, moorhens, and coots. The ranch is also good for Lewis Woodpecker and Phainopepla. Driving time is 60-90 minutes over narrow country roads. Restroom opportunities are limited. (3/R) Limited to 20 participants.
Southeastern Solano County: The grasslands and farmlands between Dixon & Rio Vista provide some of the best open country birding in the Central Valley. Target species include Mountain Plover and numerous raptors: Ferruginous & Rough-legged Hawks, Prairie Falcon, Merlin, and both eagles are possible. This is one of the best areas for the regionally-declining Long-billed Curlew & Loggerhead Shrike. Scattered wetlands harbor waterfowl and forested patches shelter songbirds. Much of the birding will be along lightly-traveled roads (1)
Staten Island & Delta Meadows State Park: From Stockton we will drive about 25 miles north on Interstate 5 and west on Walnut Grove Road to Delta Meadows State Park. This will be our first and longest stop as we walk the trails of this undeveloped, seldom-visited, and relatively unknown state park. The park consists of a remnant of valley oak riparian woodland, with sloughs, ponds, seasonal wetlands, and meadows at the confluence of the Cosumnes and Sacramento Rivers. Afterward, we will head to the nearby 9,200-acre Staten Ranch on Staten Island, a Nature Conservancy property that is still actively farmed, but also managed for wildlife. The farm's corn and wheat fields are flooded annually in winter to provide critical habitat for Sandhill Cranes as well as waterfowl, shorebirds and raptors. (3)
Sutter Buttes: The trip will be an opportunity for birders to get a close up look at the only mountains in the Central Valley. The time of year will limit the diversity of birds but it will be a good opportunity for those working on their Sutter County bird lists. (3/R) (no cost this year; free event) Limited to 18 participants; Carpooling mandatory.
Western Amador County: East of Sacramento in the foothills of Amador County, numerous ponds, a large reservoir, fields, riparian woodlands, and oak savanna harbor a high diversity of birds. We will visit all of the hotspots to see waterfowl, grebes, pelicans, and eagles. In the past, rare wintering species have included Red-naped Sapsucker, Pacific Loon, Thayer's Gull, Tundra Swan, Eurasian Wigeon and Eurasian Green-winged Teal, and Black-and-white Warbler. This area provides a great opportunity to see many birds for your Amador County list. We will visit Comanche Reservoir, the Ione area and numerous ponds in between. Driving time is about 60 minutes each way. (1)
Yolo County: Some of Yolo's premier birders will guide participants to sites offering the county's largest variety of wintering birds. This trip goes to wetlands, sewage ponds, lake and riparian habitats. Some possible stops are Putah Creek riparian for passerines and waterfowl (Barrow's Goldeneye, Hooded Merganser), the Davis landfill and waste water treatment plant for gulls and shorebirds, and the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area for waterfowl and shorebirds. This outing consistently produces the highest species total among Symposium field trips. This field trip has easy to moderate walking, but its mostly driving. Plan to meet leaders in Davis by 7 AM at the Park and Ride on the northeastern corner of Interstate 80 and Mace Blvd. (2)
Local Field Trips: (Sat/Sun)
SATURDAY FIELD TRIPS DEPARTURE TIMES VARY. PLEASE CHECK EACH TRIP FOR TIMES.
ALL SUNDAY FIELD TRIPS DEPARTURE TIME: 11:30 AM
SUNDAY BOX LUNCHES will be available for purchase.
Cosumnes River Preserve: We will visit the River Walk Trail. 6:30AM departure time/Sat. (3/C)
Flood/Waverly Roads: The Flood/Waverly rangelands in eastern San Joaquin County are a "Raptor Wonderland" in winter. Birds likely to be seen include Ferruginous and Rough-legged hawks perhaps a Prairie Falcon and Merlin. Eagles, owls and other numerous raptor species are possible. Other birds to look for include Mountain Bluebirds and perhaps rare gulls at the landfill. 6:30AM departure time/Sat. (1)
Lodi Lake: A 40-acre oak riparian jewel along the Mokelumne River near downtown Lodi. Maintained trails make for very easy walking. It is a great spot for wintering passerines such as Varied Thrush, Pacific Wren, and Golden-crowned Kinglet. A good vagrant trap, with some of the rarest birds in the county historically found here.7AM departure time/Sat. (3/WM, SM)
Lodi WTP: These small settling ponds are near the intersection of I-5 and Hwy 12. Highly productive over the years, they are the spot to see Pacific Golden-Plover locally if they are around. When the conditions are right, they can attract good numbers of other shorebirds as well as gulls, terns and ducks. 7AM departure time/Sat. (1)
Mokelumne Day Use Area: This is small, delightful riparian oak woodland along the banks of the Mokelumne River northeast of Lodi. Expect mergansers, sparrows, warblers, and an occasional Osprey or eagle. There are maintained trails in this area leading from the parking lot to the river and riparian forest. 6:30AM departure time/Sat. (3/WS/SS)
Sacramento Co. Bufferlands and Stone Lakes NWR:
Saturday: Due to time constraints, we will only have time to visit Stone Lakes NWR. 6:30AM departure time/Sat. (2/R)
Sunday: Due to time constraints, we will only have time to visit the Bufferlands.
Stockton Rural Cemetery: The large oaks, elms, and other trees in this historic cemetery host an interesting variety of wintering and migrating thrushes, warblers, sparrows, and woodpeckers, among others. Even when the birding is slow, visitors can enjoy a relaxing stroll through California history.7:30AM departure/Sat. (1)
Stockton WTP Wetlands:Thank you for your interest in this field trip, unfortunately the Stockton WTP is undergoing construction at this time and will be closed to a visit during the CVBS.
Turner Rd. Vintners: This wildlife-friendly winery features sewage ponds and a 40 acre wetlands created with wastewater from winery operations. Winter visitors in 2003 included Common Loon, Ross's Goose, and a second county record of Vermilion Flycatcher 7AM departure time/Sat. (1)
Woodbridge Wilderness Area: (AKA Woodbridge Regional Park) This park consists of lush riparian woodlands nestled along the south bank of the Mokelumne River in the town of Woodbridge. Dirt trails meander throughout the park. It is a great spot for wintering passerines such as Varied Thrush, Pacific Wren, and residents like Wrentit. This is a good vagrant trap, very similar to Lodi Lake, only wilder. 7AM departure time (SAT ONLY) (3/R)
Woodbridge Rd: This road is just north of Hwy 12 off I-5. This is one of the most accessible areas in the state to see Greater Sandhill Cranes. Raptors, waterfowl, and shorebirds are also present, especially at the Isenberg crane preserve 7AM departure time/Sat. (1)
Field Trip Ratings for Limited Mobility Birders
Time in Car vs. Out
(1) Most birding can be done in and around car
(3) Most or all birding requires being out of car
Codes (if applicable) for out-of-car segments:
(WM) Most areas suitable for wheelchairs and scooters
(WS) Some areas suitable for w/s
(SM) Most areas have places to sit
(SS) Some areas have places to sit
(R) Rough and/or muddy terrain
(C) Contact leader, multiple routes of various accessibility possible
Registration fee ($95) includes Programs and Field trips for Thursday--Sunday, and membership fees for the Central Valley Bird Club. If you are unable to attend the full Symposium, but wish to attend one day, there is a $45 single day fee available. College age students (ID required) will only pay $50 for the entire event, or $25 for a single day. All other students through High School age are free! Spaces at the CVBS are limited.
NOTE: Registration is now available online by going to the CVBS websitehttp://www.cvbs.org and click on the Regonline link. Both credit cards and checks acceptable at this site or fill out the registration form enclosed. Make checks payable to: Central Valley Birding Symposium. Please send in your registration by November 10th to ensure a space.
Upon receiving your registration, an email confirmation notice will be sent. Registration packets, which contain your name badge & meal tickets, may be picked up beginning at 3:00 PM on Thursday November 15th at the Stockton Hilton Hotel. Registration packets will also be available on Friday morning (prior to field trip departures), Friday afternoon and evening, and again on Saturday morning. Email Frances Oliver atCVBSreg@gmail.com if other arrangements need to be made.
Cancellations & Refunds
If you cancel your registration, either by telephone or in writing, you will receive a full refund, minus a processing fee (credit card processing fees). Notification must be received by November 10. Beginning November 11, cancellations or "no shows" will not be refunded.
Lodging is not included in the registration fee. Our headquarters, the Stockton Hilton Hotel, is providing a limited number of rooms at the discounted rate of$99 night, so register early! Make reservations directly with the hotel by calling (209) 957-9090 and tell them you are attending the CVBS.
A "Hot Breakfast" will be available Friday through Sunday mornings at the Stockton Hilton Hotel. Box lunches, with a vegetarian option, are available for both Friday's and Sunday's field trips. Saturday buffet lunch will include soup, salad, sandwiches and drinks. Friday and Saturday dinners will be served at the Stockton Hilton Hotel prior to the keynote speaches. They will be served buffet style, and will include meat, chicken and vegetarian entrees. We try our best to accommodate special needs, but bringing your own food is the only way to be certain that your dietary requirements are not compromised. Please indicate on the registration form which meal you are interested in attending/purchasing. Meal prices are indicated on the registration form.
For those of you not choosing to participate in the meals, there are a few fast food places surrounding the Stockton Hilton Hotel to choose from. Unfortunately, there are very few early breakfast places available.
T-shirts and Sweatshirts
T-shirts and sweatshirts have been a big hit for the last 15 years. This year's artist will be Sophie Webb.
In November, in the Central Valley, rain and fog are to be expected. In fact anything except snow and high temperatures are possible. Participants should plan accordingly. Since conditions commonly change during the course of a day, it is usually best to be dressed in layers that can be shed or added as necessary. Please don't forget your optic cleaning equipment. A daypack is desirable to carry your personal gear. Don't forget a thermos of your favorite hot beverage!
Car-pooling is encouraged, so be sure to start the day with a full tank of gas. Friday will be a long field day, so bring plenty of water, snacks and pack a lunch for the day. Due to the variation in weather condition participants should be well prepared. Dress in layers; bring an outer rainproof/windproof shell, wool gloves and caps, and perhaps a hat to shade the eyes. Good sturdy shoes are a must, and perhaps rubber knee boots will be useful for some areas.
Binoculars are essential, with spotting scopes useful to help optimize looks at distant waterfowl, raptors, shorebirds, or gulls. Please don
Please judge your own limits for walking. For those birders that have limited mobility, the field trips have been rated. For further information please contact Kurt Mize: email@example.com
BIRDING NATURE FAIR AND ART SHOW
No matter what you are looking for, you are sure to find it at the Birding Nature Fair and Art Show located in the Stockton Hilton Hotel. We will have many vendors and artists from across the state selling their goods. The items will range from books & software, clothing, optics to fine arts and collectibles. Vendors are available to help you find that perfect birding gear, gift or equipment.
Additional Lodging in Stockton
Hotel & Motels within 5 –10 miles of the Stockton Hilton Hotel
Comfort Inn & Suites Courtyard by Marriott
2654 W. March Ln 3252 W. March Ln
La Quinta Inn Motel 6, Stockton North
2710 W. March Ln 6717 Plymouth Rd
Residence Inn Super 8 Motel
3240 W. March Ln 2717 W. March Ln
Best Western, Stockton Inn Econo Lodge
4219 E. Waterloo 2210 S. Manthey Rd
The continued success of the CVBS is strongly dependent upon its Sponsors. We are deeply indebted to them.
ALTACAL AUDUBON SACRAMENTO AUDUBON
SAN JOAQUIN AUDUBONSTANISLAUS AUDUBON
YOLO AUDUBON JOHN BLADES, DDS
CITY OF LODICITY OF STOCKTON
COSUMNES RIVER PRESERVE
EAST BAY MUD
OAK GROVE REGIONAL PARK
SACRAMENTO REGIONAL COUNTY SANITATION DISTRICT
STONE LAKES NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
TURNER RD VITNERS
OUT OF THIS WORLD
Page revised 8-23-2012
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