Point Reyes Professional Review and Guide
"Point Reyes is legendary with birders, both for its many breeding species and for its lengthy list of fall vagrants. Virtually the entire peninsula is part of the Point Reyes National Seashore, operated by the National Park Service. Much of the seashore consists of treeless coastal prairie, with herds of dairy cattle. The dairy ranches are owned by the National Park Service but are operated as private enterprises. Birders may go through farm gates and cross the fields, but should avoid the immediate vicinity of the farm residences. In all cases, gates must be left as you found them, and you should not park so as to block any gates. In many places, special pedestrian passages have been provided next to the farm gates. Birders should avoid interfering with the cattle, or with any of the other farming operations. The rangers warn that cattle are unpredictable and could charge a person on foot. The high “spine” of the peninsula is typical Douglas-fir forest, but toward the northern end the forest becomes dominated by Bishop pines. There are no redwoods on Point Reyes, even though there are many of them just over the ridge at Samuel P. Taylor State Park. Specialty birds: Resident—Brandt’s and Pelagic Cormorants; Wood Duck; Snowy Plover; Black Oystercatcher; Western Gull; Rhinoceros Auklet; Band-tailed Pigeon; Spotted Owl; Hutton’s Vireo; Steller’s Jay; Chestnut-backed Chickadee; Bushtit; Pygmy Nuthatch; Western Bluebird; Wrentit; Tricolored Blackbird; Western Meadowlark. Summer—Brown Pelican, Cinnamon Teal, Osprey, Heermann’s Gull, Elegant Tern, Pigeon Guillemot, Allen’s Hummingbird, Western Wood-Pewee, Pacific-slope Flycatcher, Violet-green Swallow, Black-headed Grosbeak, Bullock’s Oriole. Winter—Pacific Loon; Western and Clark’s Grebes; Eurasian Wigeon; Peregrine Falcon; Pacific Golden-Plover; Wandering Tattler; Longbilled Curlew; Black Turnstone; Mew, Thayer’s, and Glaucous-winged Gulls; Red-breasted Sapsucker; Varied Thrush; 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."