All birding experience levels are welcome in joining SVC for a hike at Deer Creek Hills Preserve, learning about the birds that call this place home and the way they interact with nature!
Meet at the historic Eagle Camp Corral at 6:45am to enjoy a stroll through the preserve looking for resident and over-wintering birds. This area traverses both open grassland on the Ione Geologic Formation and the blue oak woodland atop the Salt Spring Slate Formation. Loggerhead Shrike are known to nest in this area.
In the large expanse of open grasslands Red-tailed Hawks and American Kestrels are almost a given along with Horned Larks, Savannah Sparrows, Western Meadow Larks; with the occasional Say’s Phoebe hawking from the orange and green lichen encrusted rock outcrops. Areas of heavier foliage and downed branches offer up sparrows, towhees and scrub-jays.
Although Lewis’s Woodpecker numbers vary from winter to winter this is a good route on which to observe them perched in the valley oaks. A stop at the Boiler/Furnace Pond makes for a nice snack spot and can yield a few surprises and a few stories about the local history that created the landscape you see here. Docents also have a fair knowledge of the wildflowers that may be on display along the route and are always happy to share. Sallying Western Bluebirds and Black Phoebes are a common site at this location as well.
Our route leaves the Boiler pond following a mining sculpted valley of open grass into the blue oaks for viewing of a small pond, then continues through the blue oaks to a large pond at the edge of more open grasslands where we will look for American Widgeon and other waterfowl. From here we take a different route back to the corral.
Our exact route and distance will depend on the results of scouting activities by docents the preceding week, but usually covers about 3 miles. Please wear clothing in muted earth-tones, wear layers as temperature may start cold and end warm and footwear suitable for uneven terrain and wet grass in the morning. Birding scopes, binoculars and/or cameras, are highly recommended for all our birding trips, as well as water and a snack. All levels and ages of birding enthusiasts welcome.
We finish up back at Eagle Camp Corral. Optionally you can bring lunch and join us in the creation of the day’s e-bird list.
Wear warm clothing in muted earth-tone colors, to blend with the terrain, and sturdy boots for uneven surfaces. Birding scopes, binoculars and/or cameras, are highly recommended for any birding outing, as well as water and a snack. All levels and ages of birding enthusiasts welcome.
Meet at Eagle Camp Corral at 6:45am and hike out at 7am. (FYI sunrise is at 7:05am)
Attendees must pre-register online. Space is limited.