The Big Sur Coast virtually stands on end, and the highway is precariously hacked into the cliffs. The road is narrow and winding in places, permitting an average speed of only 25 miles per hour or so. However, it is one of the outstanding scenic locations in the United States, and there are many viewpoints where you can stop. California gray whales can often be seen heading south in December and January, and back north in March and April. Andrew Molera State Park has been classified as a Globally Important Bird Area because of its numbers of seabirds, and also because released California Condors sometimes forage over the area. Specialty birds: Resident—Peregrine Falcon, Band-tailed Pigeon, Northern Pygmy-Owl, Spotted Owl, White-throated Swift, Nuttall’s Woodpecker, Hutton’s Vireo, Steller’s Jay, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, American Dipper, Wrentit, California Thrasher. Summer—Black and Vaux’s Swifts; Allen’s Hummingbird; Pacific-slope and Ash-throated Flycatchers; Cassin’s Vireo; Violet-green Swallow; Black-throated Gray Warbler; Black-chinned Sparrow; Black-headed Grosbeak. Winter— Townsend’s Warbler; Golden-crowned Sparrow. This eTrail provides detailed information on birding strategies for this specific location, the specialty birds and other key birds you might see, directions to each birding spot, a detailed map, and helpful general information.
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