(Photo credit by local photographer-artist Phil Wendt)

Bird Watching in The Sea Ranch, CA

The Sea Ranch Quail

Birds are amazing creatures. Whether they’re soaring in flight or engaging in courtship rituals, birds have long fascinated people all over the world. People just love watching birds. Bird watching makes a wonderful hobby that can be done just about anywhere. People can bring along a pair of binoculars and get a chance to sigh with delight as they watch birds dancing in front of them. It’s also an easy hobby that requires only a single piece of equipment and a bit of patience. People who want to go bird watching will find many opportunities to do so along the northern California coast. This is one part of California that makes an ideal place to stop and see birds in their native habitat. Those who are making plans to head off to the Sea Ranch for a vacation rental should know as much as possible about the kind of bird watching they can expect to experience here.

Keep in Mind:

  • What to see;
  • Where to go;
  • When to visit.

Careful attention to such details will ensure a great time when you’re here.

Commonly Seen Birds

One of the many great things about setting out for this part of the country is there’s an endless variety of birds to be seen. Swans, geese and ducks can be seen in flight and along the coast. Canada Geese and Cackling Geese are noteworthy for being ungainly creatures on land and yet incredibly majestic when they take off. Wood ducks and Mallards are also seen in this part of the United States. They come in many different colors making them easy to spot. Canvasbacks and Harlequin ducks are too more noteworthy ducks that allow people to see some of the most interesting wildfowl in action. Mergansers are another kind of ducks that people can spot. The Mergansers migrate through this part of the world. They come in several varieties that can be easily distinguished. The Red-Breasted Merganser has lovely feathers that stand out against the shore or when the bird is in flight.

Other kinds of birds are also seen in Sea Ranch. Turkey and quails make an amusing spectacle. The same is true of the many breeds of loons that are often seen along the shore. The Red-Throated Loon is easy to spot as is the Yellow-Billed Loon. Such vivid colors easily stand out against the blues and browns of the area. This is also a good place to see some of the region’s much larger birds. Pelicans and albatrosses are large and easily spotted from a distance. Bitterns and herons are much prized by bird watchers in search of something special that they can add to their personal list. People can also spot birds that tend to keep to the short like oystercatchers, sandpipers and plovers. These are birds that often dart quickly so people have to move fast to spot them.

When to Go

For those who wish to engage in successful bird watching, it helps to think about timing it well. Keep in mind that certain birds are active at certain times of the day. Many birds tend to be most active during the morning hours. This is often when they are looking for food. An early riser can hit the beaches before breakfast and find many birds right there getting their own breakfast. Other birds are typically active later in the day. The right timing can help anyone fill up pages in their own personal bird watching book. Another time of the day that often works for people looking for birds is near dusk. Some birds wait for the air to cool down before beginning to be more active.

Where to Watch

One of the many joys of bird watching along Northern California is that there are lots of places to sit back and let the birds fly in front of you. Many people find that a walk along the sands of the Gualala Point Regional Park is a good choice. This large park makes and easy walk and a chance to spot lots of types of birds. The Bluff Top Trail offers miles of territory and trails with plenty of places to sit down. Fort Ross State Historic Park is along a bluff next to the Pacific Ocean. It’s a nice play to explore the area’s history. It’s also a good place to bring the binoculars and have a look at the region’s birds.