Monterey Bay Birding Festival and Family Day Activities September 27th and 28th

Monterey-Bay-Birding-Festival

Monterey Bay is a popular destination for tourists…but did you know it is also home to one of the most spectacular birding and wildlife sites in North America?

September is the best time to see wintering shorebirds and is the peak of fall migration for many bird species…which is why the Monterey Bay Birding Festival is held during the month of September.

The 10th annual Monterey Bay Birding Festival is happening now through Sunday, September 28th. For more about the birding festival, visit the festival’s website, here. Excerpt:

Word Class Birding

From soaring golden eagles, effortlessly gliding California condors, cheeky bushtits, gorgeous Townsend’s warblers, scampering snowy plovers, to thousands of sooty shearwaters streaming along the ocean’s surface, few places can match the diversity of species as the Monterey Bay region.

September marks the peak of fall migration, with wintering shorebirds arriving en masse. Warblers and other passerines are doing the same, and we even start seeing the first appearances of wintering ducks and other waterfowl. Meanwhile, just a few miles offshore, jaegers, shearwaters, and alcid are present in good numbers. There’s no better time to visit the Monterey Bay area to see the greatest number of species or to find a rarity.

Extraordinary Presenters 

This year’s lineup of nightly speakers, headed by author, artist, naturalist and conservationist Kenn Kaufman, simply soars.  Continue reading…

Photo gallery above, my amateur, first attempts at taking photos of shore birds taken at Moss Landing, with my NOT fancy camera.

So far, and as of today, September 26th, 2014, birding festival attendees have spotted most of the birds on this year’s festival checklist.  Wow, and there are still 2 more days to go!.

Birding Festival 2014 bird sightings web

In conjunction with the festival, there are also terrific (and free) family community events happening this weekend including a Habitat Festival and Native Plant Sale organized by the Watsonville Wetlands Watch.

Watsonville Wetlands Watch poster link

For more information on the native plant sale, click on the flyer above, and for more on the nature activities, bird watching and exploration walks for Family Days at the Watsonville’s Nature Center, see / click on the Family Days flyer below or call 831.768-1622.

Family Days poster

Native Leaf will exhibit at the Birder’s marketplace on Friday and Saturday. Visit Native Leaf’s website (news and blog page) for more details on hours and marketplace location.

Spectacular nature photographers (like Ooh Look Photography) as well as authors and artists specializing in exquisite bird, nature and wildlife art are also exhibiting at this year’s marketplace.

Monterey Bay Birding Festival – September 13th to 16th

From the Elkhorn Slough Foundation’s latest newsletter, Slough Buzz…

The eighth annual Monterey Birding Festival is fast approaching! This year the festival will be held September 13-16th at the Watsonville Civic Plaza. September marks the peak of fall migration, with wintering shorebirds arriving en masse.

Greg Miller, one of the three key characters in Mark Obmascik’s book “The Big Year” (now a major motion picture) will be the keynote speaker on Saturday, Sept. 15.

When Elkhorn Slough Foundation (ESF) started this festival years ago we had hoped to share the joy of birding with a few local enthusiasts. After all, Elkhorn Slough is a mecca for birders looking to check off their ‘life bird’ list with our more than 340 species of bird species.

The Elkhorn Slough Birding Festival quickly grew into a giant celebration of all things bird, and became an entity all its own: today’s Monterey Birding Festival. You can join other birding enthusiasts on hikes, tours, in classes and more at this years’ festival, so we hope you’ll come enjoy the company of your fellow fans of our feathered friends!

For more information on the festival or to register visit http://montereybaybirding.org/

And for more on Elkhorn Slough (pronounced “slew”)  — an ecological treasure in Monterey Bay and the largest tract of tidal salt marsh in California outside San Francisco Bay — please visit www.elkhornslough.org.