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Birding Tips for the Alcan Trip

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  • Linda Encelewski Henrikson
    My family & I are getting ready to drive the Alcan highway to go to California. I would appreciate any birding hot spots or tips for along the route. We are
    Message 1 of 3 , Jul 28, 2006
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      My family & I are getting ready to drive the Alcan highway to go to California. I would appreciate any birding hot spots or tips for along the route. We are moving to the Napa Valley to attend The Culinary Institute of America.


      The AKBirding Group has been such a wealth of information for me. Someone posts a picture and a sighting and directions and you can go there and experience the same glorious birds. Then you might run into some other crazed birders that you "met" on line! More inspiring than a revival! I intend to stay connected and will report on the big adventure, and birdlife along the way.

      Thanks for the site and all the contributions and I look forward to any tips and referrals you can pass along for the Alaska Highway.

      best regards,
      linda
      lindajencelewskihenrikson@...

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Antep9@aol.com
      Linda: I cannot offer tips for the Alcan, except to say that the birders in Vancouver and the Okanogan are very helpful. I can put you in touch with some of
      Message 2 of 3 , Jul 29, 2006
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        Linda:

        I cannot offer tips for the Alcan, except to say that the birders in Vancouver and the Okanogan are very helpful. I can put you in touch with some of them if you want - email me separately if you want to pursue this. If you plan to bird in Washington, you'll find Hal Opperman's "A Birder's Guide to Washington" an exceptional resource. I can put you in touch with birders in Washington if there are specific birds you'd like to see.

        When you get to CA, you'll find a very active and very inclusive birding community with many listservs, where-to-bird guides, informative programs at monthly audubon society meetings, and great bird festivals.

        I birded Northern California last year and highly recommend a trip north of Napa when you have a break from the Institute. Godwit Days at Arcata in April is a great bird festival, especially if you read "Kingbird Highway" in advance. There are regular before-hours walks at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Garden (south of Ft. Bragg), led by one of the area's best birders, Dorothy "Toby" Tobkins. The Hopland Research and Extension Center is just south of Ukiah is staffed by at least two exceptional birders (Bob Kieffer and Chuck Vaughn) who know every inch of the site and know where all the birds are. This site is not open to the public, so you have to make arrangements with them to bird the area. I had a long list of birds I wanted to see and they helped me find all of them, including CA thrashers. The sewage ponds in Ukiah often have rarities.

        Your trip south will be timed for migrating raptors on the Marin headlands (on the north side of the Golden Gate Bridge). At noon on Saturday and Sunday, they bring a raptor that has just been banded to Hawk Hill so visitors can have a close look at the bird before it's released. They also use mechanical birds to lure the raptors to the net areas, which I found to be very interesting.

        These are just some ideas to get you revved up for this next chapter of your life. Have fun.

        Georgia Conti
        Anchorage




        -----Original Message-----
        From: lindajencelewskihenrikson@...
        To: AKBirding@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Fri, 28 Jul 2006 6:38 PM
        Subject: [AK Birding] Birding Tips for the Alcan Trip


        My family & I are getting ready to drive the Alcan highway to go to California. I would appreciate any birding hot spots or tips for along the route. We are moving to the Napa Valley to attend The Culinary Institute of America.

        The AKBirding Group has been such a wealth of information for me. Someone posts a picture and a sighting and directions and you can go there and experience the same glorious birds. Then you might run into some other crazed birders that you "met" on line! More inspiring than a revival! I intend to stay connected and will report on the big adventure, and birdlife along the way.

        Thanks for the site and all the contributions and I look forward to any tips and referrals you can pass along for the Alaska Highway.

        best regards,
        linda
        lindajencelewskihenrikson@...

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



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        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Julie Coghill
        ... California. I would appreciate any birding hot spots or tips for along the route. We are moving to the Napa Valley to attend The Culinary Institute of
        Message 3 of 3 , Aug 4, 2006
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          > My family & I are getting ready to drive the Alcan highway to go to
          California. I would appreciate any birding hot spots or tips for
          along the route. We are moving to the Napa Valley to attend The
          Culinary Institute of America.

          Driving late is good to see owls. Just north of Watson Lake they do
          bird banding and people are welcome to join in. Lake Williams has a
          great birding spot right in the middle of town; would suggest
          overnighting there and spending an evening and the next morning
          wandering those trails. Malheur, in Oregon, is an awesome place if you
          can steer yourselves that way. And there's a place on the
          California-Oregon border, just south of Klamath Falls, that is great:
          two refuges side by side. If you go into Vancouver, any of the city
          parks there are good birding places, pileated woodpeckers and just
          everything. There is a bog out at UBC (University of British Columbia)
          that is good. Reifel Refuge is good, too, but mostly we saw birds
          there that we'd seen in Alaska. Not sure how much time you'll have
          away from driving, but if you can get in the habit of stopping at all
          the rest stops and places like that and just getting away a bit from
          the restrooms and from where most people hang out, you'll probably
          find a good selection of birds. Eating in local places while looking
          through our bird guides has frequently brought locals over to tell us
          about locations of birds, too. Our son just graduated from UBC, so we
          made a few trips that way. If you have time, and aren't too familiar
          with the prairie provinces, you might want to consider planning a trip
          that takes you to Drumheller (between Edmonton and Calgary, sort of)
          and then down on through Montana and some of those states. Depends on
          what you might be looking for. Have a great trip; it's a drive I love.
          Absolutely soak at Liard, unless you're doing the Cassiar. CIA, huh?
          Let us know when you're back in Alaska so we can all get together for
          a potluck!
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