I accidentally flushed a long-eared owl yesterday in Bonnie Doon
Natural Reserve, Sta Cruz Co, in the forest directly accross the fire
If you try for this bird and don't find it, the place is worth visit
anyway. The reserve protects an unusual area of sandstone outcrops,
surrounded by sandy flats with tall forest of ponderosa pine
(the best one anywhere on Calif. coast), and the last remaining
forest of Sta Cruz Cypress. It has two endemic plant species.
Overall, the place looks like a piece of Eastern Sierra transported
to the coast.
Directions: From Sta Cruz, Take Hwy 1 north for a few miles. Before
reaching Davenport, turn right on Boony Doon Rd. Follow it for about
5 miles. Soon after it becomes Pine Flat Rd., turn right on Martin Rd
and drive another mile or two. Park near volunteer fire station on
the left, cross the road and follow the trail for about 100'.
The cypress forest behind the fire station has a lot of birds, too.
Sta Cruz Mts
P.S. We are driving to Cabo San Lucas tomorrow. One of our goals is
to search for road access to pine-oak forests of Sierra de La Laguna.
There are some roads shown on some maps, we'll check them all. If we
find such access, it would make it possible to see all Baja endemics
without a multi-day hike. Sorry if this is off-topic... This MB is
not called Alta California Birding, is it? :-)