A Tiger Swallowtail near the Carmel River

A Tiger Swallowtail near the Carmel River

Calendar of Events

TUES., MARCH 13 Chasing Butterflies with Chris Tenney. Birders' deep devotion to their craft can sometimes lead them so intensely into the feathered world that they forget or ignore the Earth's other winged creatures. For years local author and former hardcore birder Chris Tenney has undertaken a sprawling worldwide adventure into understanding, celebrating and "listing" the world's butterflies. Please join us for this fun presentation that can help guide you into a whole new realm of understanding and beauty beyond your garden door...

Monterey Audubon's monthly programs are held the second Tuesday of each month at the PACIFIC GROVE MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY, on Forest Avenue in Pacific Grove, California. Programs begin at 7:30 pm. Doors open to the public at 7 with refreshments and socializing. Our monthly board meetings are held from 6-7 pm before the general meeting. 

SAT-SUN., MARCH 3-4 LeConte’s Thrasher and Carrizo Plain National Monument: Monterey Audubon and the Ventana Wildlife Society are teaming up to lead an overnight trip searching for LeConte’s thrasher and other specialties at Carrizo Plain National Monument. We’ll carpool early on Saturday, March 3, starting in Salinas and stopping at Kern National Wildlife Refuge, where we’ll enjoy a variety of ducks and other waterbirds. After lunch we’ll get our first shot at LeConte’s thrasher near Taft, where we’ll stay overnight in a hotel. The next morning, we’ll head to Carrizo Plain National Monument, where we’ll explore Soda Lake and various spots in its rich environment searching for LeConte’s thrashers and other local specialties, including Bell’s sparrows, prairie falcons, ferruginous hawks, and short-eared owls. If we’re lucky, we might also find wintering mountain plovers. We’ll bird our way back along Hwy 58 and return to Salinas in the late afternoon or early evening. Participants are limited to 8. RSVP is required. Once your spot is reserved you’ll receive detailed trip information. Contact Shawn Wagoner at swagoner@csumb.eduRecommended Equipment: Water, sunscreen, binoculars, camera, and snacks and lunch for both days. Since this is an overnight trip, be sure to pack accordingly. Cost: Participants will be responsible for their own food and lodging. There are a few hotels to choose from in Taft, but please wait until you are confirmed and have received detailed trip information before booking one.

  A golden eagle, a scarce but regular visitor to the oak grasslands around Elkhorn Slough

A golden eagle, a scarce but regular visitor to the oak grasslands around Elkhorn Slough

First SATURDAY of each month (March 3, April 7, May 5, and June 2) – Elkhorn Slough Reserve: Start out the first weekend of every month with a bird walk around the Elkhorn Slough watershed. Depending on timing and conditions, we'll explore one or several areas within the watershed, such as the Reserve proper, Kirby Park, Moonglow Dairy, Moss Landing State Beach and Harbor, and Zmudowski State Beach. We’ll traverse these areas looking for resident and migrant birds that utilize this dynamic ecosystem. Meet at the Elkhorn Slough Visitors Center, 1700 Elkhorn Road, Castroville, CA 95076. The walk starts at 8:30 a.m. sharp. No RSVP needed. Contact Rick Fournier, 831-633-0572, or the reserve office (831-728-2822) for questions.

SAT., MARCH 17 – Carmel River State Beach: Many local birders consider this area one of the premier birding spots on the entire west coast. Plan to see a variety of shorebirds, passerines, raptors, and assorted waterfowl and marsh dwellers. Meet at 8 a.m. at the Crossroads Starbucks for carpooling. Leader: Robert Horn, 831-372-4608rhorn@montereybay.com

SAT., MARCH 24 – The Pajaro DunesThe Pajaro Dunes Resort, situated just inland from the seashore, offers a wide variety of birding experiences. We'll be visiting the Shorebirds condominium complex first, where we should find wintering waterfowl and shorebirds, as well as species such as a Say's phoebe, a variety of sparrows, winter warblers, and other passerines in the trees surrounding the pond. If time permits, we'll move on to the Pajaro Dunes South. The convergence of Watsonville Slough and Pajaro River at its mouth generally provides rich birding. The walking is easy. No pets allowed. Rain cancels. Meet at 8:30 a.m. just beyond the Chevron station on Lee Rd. Take the Riverside exit in Watsonville and turn right at the Chevron by the freeway. Park just beyond that station. Coming from the south, you'll need to cross back over the freeway to reach the Chevron. Leader: Nanci Adams. Reservations are appreciated: nanciconchita@aol.com, or 831-728-5803. All are welcome.

SAT., APRIL 14 Moonglow DairyMid-April is an interesting time at Elkhorn Slough'Moonglow Dairy, as migrant shorebirds and waterfowl stage and push north to their breeding grounds. Early migrant passerines like Wilson’s warbler and Pacific-slope flycatchers can also liven up a stroll through Moonglow’s famous eucalyptus grove. Meet at Surf City Coffee in Moss Landing at 8 a.m. RSVP: Blake Matheson, gypaetusbarbatus1@gmail.com

SAT., APRIL 21 – East Struve Slough: East Struve Slough in Watsonville is a birding favorite. We'll catch some of the late winter waterfowl as well as nesting resident birds. A variety of swallows will have returned, and surrounding trees and bushes could have anything from bushtits to red-shouldered hawks. Meet at 8:30 a.m. in the far back parking lot of West Marine on Westridge Dive. in Watsonville. If coming from the south, take the Green Valley exit, turn right on Harkins Slough Road, and make an immediate right on Westridge Drive. Go straight to West Marine's back lot and meet at the trailhead. Easy walking. Rain cancels. No pets, please. Leader: Nanci Adams. Reservations are appreciated: nanciconchita@aol.com, or 831-728-5803.

  Wrentits,   the only babbler in the New World, are fairly common residents of Toro Creek.

Wrentits, the only babbler in the New World, are fairly common residents of Toro Creek.

SAT., MAY 5 – Fort Ord National MonumentFort Ord is a local treasure, with a rich natural and cultural history. Expert birder and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) volunteer David Styer will lead this driving/light hiking tour exploring BLM's portion of the Monument, searching for birds in habitats such as oak woodland, native grassland, and the rare maritime chaparral. BLM botanist (and Marina’s mayor) Bruce Delgado will help host the trip. Meet at 7:30 a.m. at the corner of 8th Avenue and Giggling Road in Seaside, then carpool to locations. Late arrivals and early departures are not possible due to locked gates. The trip ends at noon. RSVP Required: Contact Shawn Wagoner: email (preferred) swagoner@csumb.edu, or 925-487-7335. Group size is limited to 15.