View Full Version : Heading to California mid-January

James Parker
12-28-2009, 10:03 PM
I'm going from Crescent City in the northwest to San Diego. Never been there this time of year what shouldn't I miss photography wise? Thanks in Advance. Jim

William Malacarne
12-29-2009, 10:44 AM
The Pelicans in La Jolla.


Chris Hansen
01-02-2010, 11:43 PM
That is a long way to travel in a huge state. Are you planning on coming down the coast or heading inland down the central valley. Going down the central valley you could hit the refuges at Klamath for Eagles and waterfowl, Sacramento and Grey Lodge for large numbers of snow geese and sandhills. Further south below Sacramento is the Consumness river Preserve for cranes and waterfowl. Elk in the San Luis Refuge. Further south is the Carrizo plains and Joshua tree. That is just a sampling as I probably missed some pretty good spots. Hopefully some other Californians will chime in here.

Coast wise first stop a good morning shoot is the Arcata Marsh near Eureka .Great shorebird photography on Humboldt Bay. Going down 101 you could hit the Avenue of the Giants to see the Redwoods. Heading further south there is San Francisco where you can shoot for days. Below SF I would hit Ano Neuvo Reserve. Be sure to sign up for a tour to get some Elephant seal shots. Elkhorn Slough for the otters,seals and bird life.If you can't get on the water of Elkhorn slough be sure to drive Jetty road just north of the town of Moss landing on highway 1. It is really good for evening shots of Sea Otters. In Monterey I wouldn't miss the aquarium. I'm limited in my knowledge of the coast below there. You are surely going to have a wonderful trip if you can manage to time it between storms.

Good luck and God bless,


Dan Brown
01-03-2010, 12:12 AM
I can add that the Cresent City Harbor can be good for all of the Scoters, Harlequin Duck, Long-tailed Duck, Black-legged Kittiwake, several gull species and Rock Sandpiper. The North Jetty in the Eureka area is also good of the above mentioned species along with Red-necked Grebe (this jetty can be very dangerous in rough seas though). I would also recommend Bodega Bay, north of SF for many species of shorebirds, gulls and ducks. Good luck!

Jeff Barton
01-03-2010, 08:32 PM
In addition to that already mentioned I'd recommend the following: Highway 1 south from Monterey through Big Sur. Stop at Andrew Molera State Parka and hike redwood forests right out of the parking lot. The sea lions will be active at Ano Nuevo State Park. Good opportunity to photograph fighting bulls.

In La Jolla it is a great time to visit. Try the walk from Torrey Pines State Park upper parking lot down to the beach. For a look at the real LJ go south from the Village on LJ boulevard to Nautilus and go west till you hit the water. That is Windansea beach. Go south on LJ BLvd 2 or 3 miles to Bird Rock Avenue and go west again. You will see Bird Rock an aptly named landmark. Bring a big lens or go at low tide. Cormorants, gulls and pelicans.http://i267.photobucket.com/albums/ii282/windanman/P2060009.jpg
Standard winter sunset through the telephone lines.

James Parker
01-03-2010, 10:01 PM
Thanks Jeff, Dan, Chris and William I'm going to get out the map and find those locations and try to squeeze them all in this trip. Jim

Kerry Perkins
01-04-2010, 10:42 AM
James, if you are coming down the coast there is a wealth of birding spots along the central coast. Rather than try to mention them all, I'll suggest that you check out the Central Coast Birding Trail web site here - http://ca-ccbt.info/ . Some hightlights would be Morro Bay, Cachuma Lake, and the Santa Barbara area. If you get close to my area (in Ventura County) drop me a line. Would love to meet up and chat if you have time!

Have a great trip!