Lake Solano and Putah Creek

Vacaville, California

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This section of Putah Creek is not what you would expect in the inner coastal ranges of California. It is a clear, rushing stream that flows at about the same rate all year long because of the releases from Monticello Dam. Just downstream from Lake Solano County Park is a diversion dam, which creates Lake Solano. Putah Creek and environs have been classified as a Nationally Important Bird Area because of Yellow-billed Magpie, a species endemic to California. Specialty birds: Resident—Wood Duck; Golden Eagle; Mountain Quail; Western Screech-Owl; Northern Pygmy-Owl; White-throated Swift; Blackchinned Hummingbird; Nuttall’s Woodpecker; Western Scrub-Jay; Yellowbilled Magpie; Oak Titmouse; Bushtit; Rock and Canyon Wrens; Western Bluebird; Wrentit; California Thrasher; Phainopepla; Spotted Towhee; Rufous-crowned and Sage Sparrows; Lesser Goldfinch. Summer—Common Poorwill; Pacific-slope and Ash-throated Flycatchers; Blackheaded Grosbeak; Bullock’s Oriole; Lawrence’s Goldfinch. Winter—Hooded Merganser, Osprey, Red-breasted Sapsucker, Varied Thrush. 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.

Lake Solano and Putah Creek Professional Review and Guide

"This section of Putah Creek is not what you would expect in the inner coastal ranges of California. It is a clear, rushing stream that flows at about the same rate all year long because of the releases from Monticello Dam. Just downstream from Lake Solano County Park is a diversion dam, which creates Lake Solano. Putah Creek and environs have been classified as a Nationally Important Bird Area because of Yellow-billed Magpie, a species endemic to California. Specialty birds: Resident—Wood Duck; Golden Eagle; Mountain Quail; Western Screech-Owl; Northern Pygmy-Owl; White-throated Swift; Blackchinned Hummingbird; Nuttall’s Woodpecker; Western Scrub-Jay; Yellowbilled Magpie; Oak Titmouse; Bushtit; Rock and Canyon Wrens; Western Bluebird; Wrentit; California Thrasher; Phainopepla; Spotted Towhee; Rufous-crowned and Sage Sparrows; Lesser Goldfinch. Summer—Common Poorwill; Pacific-slope and Ash-throated Flycatchers; Blackheaded Grosbeak; Bullock’s Oriole; Lawrence’s Goldfinch. Winter—Hooded Merganser, Osprey, Red-breasted Sapsucker, Varied Thrush. 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."

Activity Type: Birding
Nearby City: Vacaville
Trail Type: Several options
Best Times: Best April to July best for breeding species; November to March best for waterfowl.
Local Contacts: Lake Solano County Park.
Local Maps: DeLorme Northern California Atlas & Gazetteer.
Driving Directions: Directions to Lake Solano and Putah Creek

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May 2018