21st ANNUAL
CVBC SYMPOSIUM

November 16-19, 2017

Stockton Hilton Hotel Stockton, CA

21st ANNUAL
CVBC SYMPOSIUM

November 16-19, 2017

Stockton Hilton Hotel Stockton, CA

21st ANNUAL
CVBC SYMPOSIUM

November 16-19, 2017

Stockton Hilton Hotel Stockton, CA

Arrow
Arrow
Slider

Program

PROGRAM, WORKSHOP,

AND SPEAKER PROFILES

All workshops and programs held at the Stockton Hilton Hotel
It is highly recommended that you bring your binoculars to all programs and workshops
 

Thursday, November 16th

5:30 AM—5:00 PM

Birding with Jon Dunn Field Trip (Youth Scholarship and Publication Fund Raiser)

3:00 PM—9:00 PM

Registration at the Stockton Hilton Hotel

Please come and help us kick off this year’s CVBS! Come meet the CVBS board & staff members! Reconnect with old friends! Meet new ones! Take advantage of the scrumptious Hors D’oeuvres buffet & No Host Bar!​

6:00 PM—7:00 PM

Social Hour—Hors D’oeuvres/No Host Bar

7:00 PM—7:30 PM 

Introduction—David Yee

During this time we will cover Friday’s field trips and make any special announcements and additions/or changes to the Symposium schedule.​

7:30 PM—9:00 PM

Keynote SpeakerEd Harper

Wings over the Central Valley

Ed will be presenting a visual display of birds in flight seen in the Central Valley, focusing on their natural history. Status, distribution, seasonality, and identification aids will be discussed as we view Ed’s photos. We’ll get a chance to see raptors soaring above as well as one-time specialties in the CV that include Marsh Sandpiper, Vermillion Flycatcher, Fulvous Whistling Duck, and Long-tailed Jaeger.

An esteemed photographer and presenter, Ed Harper was a long-time educator before taking up bird photography. He and his wife split their time between Sacramento and Montana. Ed has long directed the Bird ID workshops at the Symposium and at WFO meetings.

Friday, November  17th

5:30 AM—2:30 PM

Field Trips: Colusa NWR, Cosumnes River Preserve, Eastern Stanislaus Co., Merced Refuge, Micke Grove Regional Park, Pardee Reservoir Eagle Boat trip, Ripon Oak Park and WWTP, Sacramento Co. Bufferlands, Salt Springs Valley, San Joaquin NWR, Staten Island & Delta Meadows State Park, Sutter Buttes, W. Amador Co. and Yolo Co.​

5:30 AM—2:30 PM Birding with Jon Dunn Field Trip (Youth Scholarship Fund Raiser)
7:00 AM—2:30 PM Nature/Wildlife Photography in the Field with Bob Steele
3:30 PM— 5:30 PM

Bird Identification Panel—Moderated by Ed Harper

This program has become an annual favorite. What better way to learn about the finer points of bird identification than by listening to the experts go through the process! Our illustrious panel will include Steve Howell, Jon Dunn, Keith Hansen and others. They will be presented with photos of difficult-to-identify bird groups (such as golden-plovers, winter plumage ducks, female goldeneyes, etc.), then each will mention what features they use to aid in clinching an ID.

6:00 PM—7:30 PM Dinner at the Stockton Hilton Hotel
7:30 PM—9:00 PM

Keynote Speaker—Dawn Garcia

Bank Swallow Colonies on the Upper Sacramento River-Their Biology and Conservation

The Bank Swallow is primarily a riparian species throughout its North American and Eurasian breeding range. Once locally abundant in suitable habitats, numbers have declined statewide in recent years. It is now absent as a breeding bird in southern California. A Department of Fish and Wildlife study of the statewide population of Bank Swallows in 1987 found that the current population center for the species is along the Sacramento and Feather Rivers in the Sacramento Valley. Other concentration areas include the Klamath Basin and Modoc County areas in northeastern California. Most historical records of Bank Swallow nesting colonies were from central and southern California, where populations no longer exist. During 1987, only four colonies were found south of San Francisco Bay. The Sacramento River and Feather River populations comprise about 64 percent of the colonies and 70-90% of the California population.

The Bank Swallow Technical Advisory Committee, a group of State, Federal, and local private interests, is leading the effort to coordinate research and monitoring, habitat restoration and management, and outreach and education. Dawn will discuss the ecology and monitoring of Bank Swallows in the Upper Sacramento watershed, as well as local efforts in restoration and management.

Dawn is an avid birder and professional avian ecologist. She acquired her MS at Chico State conducting quality assurance of 22 years of Bank Swallow (BANS, Riparia riparia) survey data on the Sacramento River from 1986 through 2008. She represents Altacal Audubon Society as a member of the Bank Swallow Bank Swallow Technical Advisory Committee, whose goal is to recover the Sacramento River population of BANS. Dawn has co-authored a BANS publication in the CVBC journal (2008) and has contributed to a second manuscript currently in review.

Saturday, November 18th

6:30 AM—10:30 AM Local Field Trips: Bufferlands, Caswell Memorial State Park, Cosumnes River Preserve, Flood and Waverly Rds., Lodi Lake, White Slough Water Pollution Plant, Mokelumne Day Use Area, Ripon WTP, Stockton Rural Cemetery, Woodbridge Rd., & Woodbridge Wilderness Area.
7:00 AM—12:00 PM

Introduction to Image Editing Workshop—Bob Steele

Join professional bird photographer Bob Steele as we explore digital photo editing in Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, and Lightroom. Topics discussed and demonstrated will include: image storage and backup strategies, converting RAW images using Adobe Camera RAW (PS and PSE plug-in), basic image editing for JPEG and TIFF images, sizing and sharpening images for different outputs—email, internet, printing—and a group discussion with questions and answers. 

Bob Steele has been involved in birding and bird photography for over 20 years. He lives in the bird-rich California Kern Co, which is centrally located at the convergence of multiple bio-regions, giving him the opportunity to photograph many avian subjects. To preview some of his photography, check out his website at: www.bobsteelephoto.com. Material fees $25.

8:00 AM—10:00 AM

Bird Sketching Workshop—Keith Hansen

Have you ever observed a bird and just wished you could sit down and begin to draw it on paper, but didn’t know where to start? Well, here’s a chance to learn how so ​join Keith Hansen in this Bird Sketching Workshop.

Keith Hansen is a professional bird artist who illustrated Discovering Sierra Birds, Distributional Checklist of North American Birds, Birds of Yosemite and the East Slope, California Wild Lands: A Guide to the Nature Conservancy Preserves, and The Natural History of the Point Reyes Peninsula, among many other books. Birds of the Sierra Nevada: Their Natural History, Status, and Distribution, authored by Edward Beedy & Edward Pandolfino was illustrated by Keith and published by U.C. Press.

11:00 AM—12:15 PM

Update on Central Valley Bird Conservation and Research Programs with Presenters: Dan Airola, Andy Engilis, Chris Conard, and Melanie Truan

– Tricolored Blackbird Update (Statewide survey results, 2017 ag colony protection results, 2017 foothill survey) – Airola possibly Bob Meese, Samantha Arthur

– Wintering Birds of Putah Creek Riparian Habitat – Andy Engilis

– Burrowing Owl Breeding Status Update – Chris Conard

– Putah Creek Bluebird Nest Box Program – Melanie Truan

– CV Swainson’s Hawk Migration Patterns and Wintering Areas Revealed – Dan Airola, Jim Estep

Dan Airola is the Editor and frequent contributor to the Central Valley Bird Club Bulletin. In 2014 and 2015 he coordinated a volunteer based study to understand the Tricolored Blackbird’s breeding population status, ecology, and conservation status in the grassland region of the lower Sierra Nevada foothills.

11:00 AM—12:15 PM

Beginning Birding—Salvatore Salerno

This workshop will cover the basics: how to choose and use optics and field guides, when and where to bird, and the first steps toward identifying a bird. Sal is president of Stanislaus Audubon Society and editor of “The Birding Sites of Stanislaus and Merced Counties.”  Sal has been teaching an Early Birders class at Modesto Junior College since 2008, and he writes a monthly column on birds and birders for Valley Habitat.

12:30 PM—2:15 PM

Lunch/ CVBC Meeting

The CVBS serves as the annual meeting of the Central Valley Bird Club. We will conduct a brief meeting to give members (if you attend the Symposium, you are an automatic member) an update on the club, and to take care of any business that requires the approval by the membership. This is also when we will conduct the ever-popular raffle where many of the vendors and artists donate wonderful items and works to support the Club.

2:15 PM— 4:30 PM

Beginning Birding Field Trip—Salvatore Salerno

This field trip will employ many of the principles that Salvatore covered in the morning workshop. He will visit Oak Grove Regional Park in north Stockton, where wintering birds abound. Bring binoculars, a field guide and notebook.

2:30 PM— 3:45 PM

Wintering Burrowing Owls in California — Lynne Trulio

Dr. Trulio will discuss the ecology and distribution of burrowing owls in California, a species of Special Concern in the state. Although the species is not listed as State or Federally threatened or endangered, studies by the Institute for Bird Populations showed that their numbers have declined significantly in parts of California in the last 35 years. Dr. Trulio will also present her ongoing work on the ecology and migratory behavior of wintering burrowing owls Santa Clara Valley, where she does much of her research, and will consider what these finding might mean for birds statewide.

Lynne Trulio joined the Department of San Jose State University in 1991.  She is currently the Department Chair.  Dr. Trulio conducts research investigating human impacts to species and habitats and seeks effective methods to mitigate or eliminate those impacts.  Specific research with colleagues and graduate students includes studies of the ecology and recovery of the western burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia) in California, the effects of recreation on wildlife, and tidal salt marsh restoration in the San Francisco Bay. 

4:00 PM- 5:00 PM

The Surprising Benefits of Beetles and Fire – Wildlife Nurseries — Christy Sherr

Mixed intensity fires and native beetles create some of the most productive and critical habitats for California birds and wildlife, comparable or better than even late-succession or “old growth” forest. Large, dense patches of standing dead trees are preferred by a host of plants, insects, mammals, and birds, including even many of our most threatened and endangered species such as spotted owls and pacific fishers. Come explore the unique beauty of this extremely important habitat and find out why so many wildlife species benefit from conditions created by beetles and fire.

Christy Sherr is a retired National and State Park Ranger, currently working as a field biologist and Education Coordinator for the John Muir Project of the Earth Island Institute. She is a past president of the Sierra Foothills Audubon Chapter, and watched her eleven year old daughter became a birder in a burned forest!

5:00 PM— 6:00 PM

​Wine & Cheese Reception/Book Signing

​This is a time to visit and have fun with one another. Many of our speakers have authored books that may be in your library, so remember to bring yours if you want it signed. Some books will be available for purchase.

6:00 PM— 7:30 PM ​Dinner at the Stockton Hilton Hotel
7:45 PM— 9:00 PM

​Keynote SpeakerNoah Strycker

Birding without Borders: An Epic World Big Year 

In 2015, bird nerd Noah Strycker of Oregon became the first human to see more than half of the planet’s bird species in a single, year-long, round-the-world birding trip. Anything could have happened, and a lot did. He was scourged by blood-sucking leeches, suffered fevers and sleep deprivation, survived airline snafus and car breakdowns and mudslides and torrential floods, skirted war zones, and had the time of his life. Birding on seven continents and carrying only a pack on his back, Strycker enlisted the enthusiastic support of local birders to tick more than 6,000 species, including Adelie Penguins in Antarctica, a Harpy Eagle in Brazil, a Spoon-billed Sandpiper in Thailand, and a Green-breasted Pitta in Uganda. He shared the adventure in real time on his daily blog, and now he reveals the inside story. This humorous and inspiring presentation about Strycker’s epic World Big Year will give you a real appreciation for the birds and birders of the world.

Noah Strycker is a 31-year-old writer, photographer, and bird man based near Eugene, Oregon. In 2015, during a quest spanning 41 countries and all seven continents, he set a world record by seeing 6,042 species of birds (more than half the birds on Earth) in one calendar year.

He has written two well-received books: The Thing with Feathers (2014), about the relationships between bird and human behavior, and Among Penguins (2011), describing a summer in an Antarctic field camp. His book Birding Without Borders, about his around-the-world Big Year, is due out in fall 2017.Noah is Associate Editor of Birding magazine and regularly writes for Audubon and other publications. He is a popular commentator on birds, having given hundreds of presentations for natural history groups, festivals, universities, and conventions.

As an on-board ornithologist for expeditions to Antarctica and the high Arctic, Noah has traveled to Earth’s polar regions more than 20 times and is an expert on the birds of high latitudes. He has also worked on field research projects in Amazonian Ecuador, Costa Rica, Panama, the Australian Kimberley, the Farallon Islands, Hawaii, Michigan, Florida, and Maine.

Noah graduated on academic scholarship from Oregon State University in 2008 with a degree in Fisheries and Wildlife, minoring in Fine Arts. He was named the American Birding Association’s “Young Birder of the Year” in 2004.

He is also a competitive tennis player and captained the Oregon State team at #1 singles. In the summer of 2011, Noah hiked the entire 2,665-mile Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada, averaging about 22 miles per day for four months straight.

Sunday, November 19th

8:00 AM—12:00 PM

​Carving Seminar (Beginners)—Jim Burcio & Bob Solari

Join master carvers from the Pacific Flyway Decoy Association for a four hour carving seminar. All of the necessary materials, including a study guide and the best knives on the market, will be provided for this seminar. Short lectures with lots of hands-on carving will enable you to complete a feeding Dunlin. Topics include where to get your supplies, how to use reference material, wood selection, and how to use hand tools and power tools. There is a $25 fee for materials. The price includes a one-year membership in the Pacific Flyway Decoy Association, and a club directory, so you’ll know who is carving in your area. Must be fifteen years old or older. Pre-registration necessary.

8:00 AM— 9:30  AM

​Neotropical Migrants—Joe Morlan

This presentation will focus primarily on species that breed in California but migrate long distances to Mexico, Central America and South America for the winter.  The costs and benefits of migration will be discussed as well as theories about the evolution of migration and various migration strategies.  We will speculate on the role of climate change in the behavior of these migratory species, many of which are declining because of loss of habitat on their wintering grounds. Please join us for what promises to be an entertaining and informative presentation.

Joe Morlan has taught Ornithology at City College of San Francisco for many years, and is coauthor of “Birds of San Francisco and the Bay Area” and “Birds of Northern California.” He is also coordinator of the recorded “Northern California Birdbox,” past chair of the California Bird Records Committee, and winner of the 2010 Ludlow Griscom Award for contributions to regional ornithology. He lives in Pacifica.

9:45 AM—11:15 AM

​Winter Waterfowl in the Central Valley—Jon Dunn

Jon will discuss the status and identification of the abundant waterfowl wintering in the Central Valley.

Jon Dunn has lived much of his life in California, where he became a birder at age eight, an event triggered, he says, by the life-altering appearance of a bright male Hooded Oriole in his garden. Jon has extensive knowledge of the identification and distribution of North American birds, and has published numerous papers in a wide variety of journals. He has also long been interested in Asian avifaunas. Jon has been Chief Consultant/Editor for all six editions of the National Geographic Society’s Field Guide to the Birds of North America, the most recent published in 2011. He is the co-writer and host of the two-video set Large and Small Gulls of North America, as well as co-author (with Kimball Garrett) of Birds of Southern California: Status and Distribution and the Peterson Field Guide to Warblers. Jon is a member of the Committee on Classification and Nomenclature of the American Ornithologists’ Union and the ABA Checklist Committee, and has served more than 20 years on the California Bird Records Committee. In 2012, Jon was the recipient of the ABA’s Roger Tory Peterson Award, given for a lifetime of achievements in promoting the cause of birding. Beyond birds, Jon has a keen interest in politics, history, and the cinema.

11:45 AM—3:45 PM ​Local Field Trips: Bufferlands, Caswell Memorial State Park, Cosumnes River Preserve, Flood and Waverly Rds., Heritage Oak Winery, Lodi Lake, Lodi WTP, Ripon WTP, Stockton Rural Cemetery, Woodbridge Wilderness Area, and Woodbridge Rd.​

Field Trips

Field Trips

Carpooling is encouraged, so be sure to start the day with a full tank of gas. Friday will be a long field day, so bring plenty of water, snacks and pack a lunch for the day. Due to the variation in weather condition participants should be well prepared. Dress in layers; bring an outer rainproof/windproof shell, wool gloves and caps, and perhaps a hat to shade the eyes. Good sturdy shoes are a must, and perhaps rubber knee boots will be useful for some areas.

Binoculars are essential, with spotting scopes useful to help optimize looks at distant waterfowl, raptors, shorebirds, or gulls. Please don’t forget your optic cleaning equipment. A daypack is desirable to carry your personal gear. Don’t forget a thermos of your favorite hot beverage!

​​Please judge your own limits for walking. For those birders that have limited mobility, the field trips have been rated.

Field Trip Ratings for Limited Mobility Birders

Time in Car vs. Out

  • (1) Most birding can be done in and around car
  • (2) Mixed
  • (3) Most or all birding requires being out of car
  • Codes (if applicable) for out-of-car segments:
  • (WM) Most areas suitable for wheelchairs and scooters
  • (WS) Some areas suitable for wheelchairs and scooters
  • (SM) Most areas have places to sit
  • (SS) Some areas have places to sit
  • (R) Rough and/or muddy terrain
  • (C) Contact leader, multiple routes of various accessibility possible

 

For further information, please contact Dale Smith at dale.smith2@comcast.net

 

Thursday Field Trip

 

Birding with Jon Dunn: WAIT LISTED While the location is yet to be determined, spending a day in the field with Jon, while having Ed Pandolfino as a co-leader, is an unforgettable learning experience! This trip is a teaching event as well as general bird watching with lots of emphasis about becoming a better birder. Donations are $50. Field trip information will be emailed to confirmed participants. All funds raised on this trip will benefit the Youth Scholarship and Publications Funds. As this trip will not return to the hotel until late afternoon, bring a lunch, snacks, and water. Meet in the hotel lobby at 5:15AM for a 5:30AM departure. (3/R)

 

Friday Field Trips

 

Directions and maps for all Friday trips will be provided Friday morning prior to departure time at the field trip meeting location on the first floor of the Stockton Hilton. Don’t forget to pick up your boxed lunch if you preordered one.

5:30 AM departures

A) Birding with Jon Dunn

B) Colusa NWR

C) Eastern Stanislaus County

D) Merced Refuges

E) Salt Spring Valley & Vicinity

F) Sutter Buttes

6:00 AM departures                

G) Cosumnes River Preserve

H) Pardee Reservoir Eagle Boat Trip

I) Sacramento County Bufferlands

J) San Joaquin River NWR

K) Staten Island/Delta Meadows SP

L) Southeastern Solano County

M) Western Amador County

N) Yolo County

6:30 AM departures      

O) Micke Grove Regional Park

7:00 AM departures                

P) Nature/Wildlife Photography                                 

Q) Ripon Oak Grove Park and WTP

 

Birding with Jon Dunn: WAIT LISTED Join Jon Dunn and co-leader Ed Pandolfino as they explore Eastern Stanislaus County. This trip is a teaching event as well as general bird watching with lots of emphasis about becoming a better birder. All funds raised on this trip benefit the Youth Scholarship and Publications Funds. Donations are $50. Please meet in hotel lobby at 5:15AM for a 5:30AM departure. (3/R) 

 

Colusa National Wildlife Refuge, Sutter Buttes, & District 10: The focus will be Colusa NWR, one of the best places in the Central Valley to view large waterfowl concentrations. There will be myriad ducks on the tour and skeins of Snow, Ross’s and White-fronted geese, and many raptors overhead—possibly including Bald Eagle and/or Peregrine Falcon. Eurasian Wigeon is almost a cinch. There will be some easy walking on a level trail through a riparian forest next to the main viewing pond. If time allows on the return trip, we will drive around the Sutter Buttes to look for Rough-legged Hawk, Sandhill Cranes, and diving ducks. Then we will proceed to District 10, northeast of Marysville, a winter haven for thousands of easily viewed geese and swans, including occasional Trumpeter & Bewick’s swans, and White-faced Ibis. Driving time from Stockton to Colusa NWR is about 2 hours. (2) 5:30AM Departure

 

Cosumnes River Preserve: Cosumnes River Preserve has the finest valley oak riparian forest in California. The preserve also has extensive wetlands, fallow fields, oak savannahs, and fresh water tidal marshes and swamps. Because this is one of the best locations to observe the overwintering Valley birds, we are offering two, simultaneous field trips, starting at different points. The trips will include visits to the River Walk trail, Lost Slough Boardwalk, along Desmond Road, and wetlands around “The Barn,” (~ 4-5 miles). Participants can expect to see many cranes and waterfowl, a diverse variety of raptors and many songbirds. (3/C) 6AM Departure

 

Eastern Stanislaus Co.: WAIT LISTED This field trip will focus on the grasslands, oak savannah, and foothill reservoirs of Eastern Stanislaus County. From Oakdale, we will make a brief visit to Oakdale Recreation Area, and then go to Woodward Reservoir, where a day use fee will be required for every vehicle entering the facility–$10 for general, $5 for seniors. From there, we will go to Willms Road, looking for such wintering raptors as Ferruginous and Rough-legged hawks, Bald and Golden eagles, Merlin and Prairie Falcon. We will go north on Cooperstown Road to La Grange, where we should see Lewis’s Woodpeckers. Mountain Bluebirds, Vesper Sparrows, Burrowing Owl are possible there, too. We will visit Basso Bridge and go down Lake Road, where Phainopeplas are likely. We will visit the Turlock Lake Campground if permission is obtained and time permits, where we may get Red-breasted Sapsucker, Brown Creeper, Pacific Wren, or a rare wintering passerine. Our last stop will be Modesto Reservoir, if there is enough time. Otherwise, we will return to Oakdale by early afternoon. (2) Depart from the Stockton Hilton at 5:30 AM. Plan to meet with the local field trip leader and other participants at the Starbucks in Oakdale at 325 F Street at 7:00 AM. Restrooms and picnic tables for lunch are available at Knights Ferry and La Grange.

 

Merced Refuges: WAIT LISTED East of the O’Neill Forebay in central Merced County, the wildlife refuges attract an abundance of cranes, waterfowl, waders, and shorebirds. Ibis, pelicans, and eagles are also a possibility. In the past, we have seen rare species such as Swamp Sparrow, Eastern Phoebe, Vermilion Flycatcher, Stilt Sandpiper, and Ruff, so although we cannot predict seeing a rare bird, this area provides a great opportunity to discover an unexpected species. We will visit the Merced NWR and the San Luis NWR and if time permits, the Los Banos Wildlife Area & Gun Club Road marshes. Driving time is about 100 minutes each way. (2/SS) 5:30AM Departure

 

New – Micke Grove Regional ParkJoin leader Rich Cimino for a walk through this 132-acre property, near Lodi, which features several small to large groupings of native and introduced tree species, a Japanese garden, forest with watered lawns, wet lands and ponds. All are attractive for bird life. It is also home to the San Joaquin County Historical Museum.

Micke Grove is an eBird Hot Spot for the county with 112 species recorded.  By introducing the park and museum grounds to CVBS birders, we can begin to add species to the eBird Hot Spot list.

Birds which may be seen are wintering ducks, mergansers, herons, egrets, raptors, Barn Owl, possible rail species, Yellow-billed Magpie, Hutton’s Vireo, woodpeckers, thrushes, Common Yellowthroat and possible wintering warblers and sparrows. Wear water repellant shoes, layer clothing, bring liquids and a lunch. Rest rooms are on site. Drive time is only 20 minutes.

As there is a $5 per car admission fee, carpooling is recommended. (If you wish, after birding, you can visit the museum that reveals the rich heritage of this region.) (3/WS) 6:30AM Departure

 

Nature/Wildlife Photography in the Field with Bob Steele: ­ Join professional bird photographer Bob Steele, as we explore digital bird photography in the field. We’ll look for easy-to-photograph subjects to allow for the primary focus to be on technique and fundamentals. Topics discussed and explained will include camera setup, equipment, exposure techniques, composition, flash use, digital field evaluation of images, and approaching subjects. Minimum equipment requirements for the workshop are: Digital SLR body; 300mm lens; teleconverters, tripod, and flash (if available). Geared toward beginner photo-graphers, but intermediate and advanced photographers are sure to learn something as well. (3/WM, SM) Limited to 8 participants. 7AM Departure

 

 

Pardee Reservoir Eagle Boat Tour: This scenic foothill reservoir is normally closed to the public during the winter months. This field trip features a four-hour boat tour led by East Bay MUD Fisheries and Wildlife Biologist James Jones. Eagles, Ospreys, and winter waterfowl are expected. Limited to 20. (C) 6AM Departure

 

Ripon Oak Grove Park & Waste Water Treatment Plant: Oak Grove Park in Ripon is a 55 acre undeveloped remnant of riparian forest and riparian oak woodland on the north bank of the Stanislaus River at the southern edge of San Joaquin County, 25 miles south of Stockton.  The park contains some excellent habitat, and the black currant, raspberries, elderberries, wild grape, and naturalized black mulberries provide an abundant food source for both resident and migratory species alike.  Lawrence’s Goldfinches are believed to have nested there this year, and a Rose-breasted Grosbeak was found in July.  Although the trails are level, they are not all well-maintained, so there may be a bit of bush-whacking, stepping over logs, ducking under branches, etc.  If it has rained, the trails may be muddy.  The adjacent Ripon Waste Water Treatment Plant consists of 15 acres of treatment ponds and 40 acres of accessible (on foot) disposal ponds .A Pacific Golden-Plover has been found here in past winters, and a variety of waterfowl, shorebirds, waders, and gulls is expected. (3/R) 7AM Departure

 

Sacramento County Bufferlands: The Bufferlands of the Sacramento Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant: This tour provides an opportunity to visit sites with limited public access and to see the fruits of local conservation and restoration efforts. The 2500-acre Bufferlands surrounding the Sacramento Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant provide an open space buffer between the treatment plant and the community. Large-scale habitat restoration has been underway since 1992. We will visit restored and remnant habitats, including tule and cattail marsh, managed seasonal wetlands, riparian forest, and grasslands to find a high diversity of species. In addition, the wastewater ponds can harbor a good diversity of shorebirds. This tour provides an excellent chance to look for rails, raptors, winter songbirds, shorebirds, and waterfowl. We will visit several sites, with short to moderate walks at each. (2/R) 6AM Departure

 

San Joaquin River NWR:  WAIT LISTED The San Joaquin River National Wildlife Refuge is located west of Modesto, California, within the historic floodplain of the confluences of the San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Tuolumne rivers. Refuge lands consist of oak-cottonwood-willow riparian forest, pastures, agricultural fields, and wetlands. The refuge has an approved refuge boundary of 12,877 acres with over 1,900 acres of pristine riparian woodlands and 800 acres of newly restored riparian woodland. It is the primary wintering site of 98% of the Aleutian Canada Geese that winter in the Valley (October—April), plus it is a major wintering/ migration area for Lesser & Greater Sandhill Cranes, Cackling Geese, and White-fronted Geese. The refuge’s riparian forest provides important migration and breeding habitat for Neotropical migratory land birds with the most recent celebrity, Least Bell’s Vireo. We should expect to get close to 100 species on this trip. (3/C) 6AM Departure 

 

Salt Springs Valley & Vicinity: WAIT LISTED East of Stockton, in the low foothills of Calaveras County lies the Salt Springs Valley. Due to the variety of habitats visited, a nice selection of birds will be viewed. Expected birds will include good numbers and variety of raptors and waterfowl. These usually include Bald & Golden eagles, Ferruginous &  Rough-legged hawks, & Prairie Falcon. Waterfowl will include a mix of geese, dabbling and bay ducks, mergansers, grebes, shorebirds, herons, moorhens, and coots. The ranch is also good for Lewis’s Woodpecker & Phainopepla. Driving time is 60-90 min. over a narrow country road. Restroom opportunities are limited. (3/R) 5:30AM Departure 

 

Southeastern Solano County: The grasslands and farmlands between Dixon & Rio Vista provide some of the best open country birding in the Central Valley. Target species include Mountain Plover and numerous raptors: Ferruginous & Rough-legged hawks, Prairie Falcon, Merlin, and both eagles are possible. This is one of the best areas for the regionally declining Long-billed Curlew & Loggerhead Shrike. Scattered wetlands harbor waterfowl and forested patches shelter songbirds. Much of the birding will be along lightly-traveled roads (1) 6AM Departure

 

Staten Island & Delta Meadows State Park: WAIT LISTED Delta Meadows State Park is about  25 miles northwest of Stockton. This will be our first and longest stop as we walk the trails of this undeveloped, seldom-visited, and relatively unknown state park. The park consists of a remnant of valley oak riparian woodland, with sloughs, ponds, seasonal wetlands, and meadows at the confluence of the Cosumnes and Sacramento Rivers. Afterward, we will head to the nearby 9,200-acre Staten Ranch on Staten Island, a Nature Conservancy property that is still actively farmed, but also managed for wildlife. The farm’s corn and wheat fields are flooded in winter to provide critical habitat for Sandhill Cranes and other waterfowl. (3) 6AM Departure

 

Sutter Buttes: The trip will be an opportunity for birders to get a close up look at the only mountains in the Central Valley. The time of year will limit the diversity of birds but it will be a good opportunity for those working on their Sutter County bird lists. ($15 donation for the Middle Mountain Foundation to be collected with your registration) (3/R) 5:30AM Depature 

 

Western Amador County: East of Sacramento in the foothills of Amador County, numerous ponds, a large reservoir, fields, riparian woodlands, and oak savannah harbor a high diversity of birds. We will visit all of the hotspots to see waterfowl, grebes, pelicans, and eagles. In the past, rare wintering species have included Red-naped Sapsucker, Pacific Loon, Thayer’s Gull, Tundra Swan, Burrowing Owl, Eurasian Wigeon, Eurasian Green-winged Teal, and Black-and-white Warbler. This area provides a great opportunity to see many birds for your Amador County list. We will visit Camanche Reservoir, the Ione area and numerous ponds in between. Driving time is about 60 minutes each way. (1)6 AM Departure

 

Yolo CountyWAIT LISTED Some of Yolo’s premier birders will guide participants to sites offering the county’s largest variety of wintering birds. This trip goes to wetlands, sewage ponds, lake, and riparian habitats. Some possible stops are: Putah Creek riparian for passerines (Rufous-crowned Sparrow), and waterfowl along the creek (Hooded Mergansers, Barrow’s Goldeneye); Lake Solano (Osprey); Davis landfill and waste water treatment plant for gulls (Glaucous-winged, Thayer’s) and shorebirds; Yolo Bypass marshes for waterfowl (Blue-winged Teal, mixed geese) and shorebirds (Ruff). This outing consistently produces the highest species total among symposium field trips. This field trip has easy to moderate walking, but it’s mostly driving. (2) 6AM Departure from the Stockton Hilton. Plan to meet leaders in Davis by 7AM at the Park & Ride on the NE corner of the intersection of I-80 & Mace Blvd. 

Saturday Field Trips

SATURDAY’S FIELD TRIPS DEPARTURE TIMES VARY.
PLEASE CHECK EACH TRIP FOR TIMES.

 

Caswell Memorial State Park: WAIT LISTED Caswell Memorial State Park, located along the San Joaquin River between San Joaquin & Stanislaus counties, includes one of the finest examples of closed-canopy Valley Oak riparian forest in the Central Valley, a habitat type that has been nearly extirpated by agricultural and urban development. Lawrence’s Goldfinches nested here this year, one of few known nesting locations on the valley floor. Caswell is an excellent spot for both resident and wintering woodland birds of the Central Valley including Pacific Wren, Varied Thrush, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Brown Creeper, warblers, sparrows, and finches. There is a $10 per-vehicle day-use fee at this state park, so carpooling is strongly recommended. (3/R) 7:30AM departure 

 

Cosumnes River Preserve: WAIT LISTED We will visit the River Walk Trail. Please see Friday’s description for more details. (3/C) 6:30AM departure

 

Flood/Waverly Roads:  WAIT LISTED The Flood/Waverly rangelands in eastern San Joaquin County are a “Raptor Wonderland” in winter. Birds likely to be seen include Ferruginous and Rough-legged hawks, perhaps a Prairie Falcon or Merlin. Eagles, owls, and numerous other raptors are possible. Other birds to be looked for include Mountain Bluebirds and perhaps rare gulls at the landfill. (1) 6:30AM departure

 

Lodi Lake: A 40-acre oak riparian jewel along the Mokelumne River near downtown Lodi. Maintained trails make for very easy walking. It is a great spot for wintering passerines such as Varied Thrush, Pacific Wren, and Golden-crowned Kinglet. A good vagrant trap, with some of the rarest birds in the county historically found here. (3/WM, SM) 7AM departure

 

Lodi WTP: These small settling ponds are near the intersection of I-5 and Hwy 12. Highly productive over the years, they are one of the spots to see Pacific Golden-Plover locally if they are around. When the conditions are right, they can attract good numbers of other shorebirds as well as gulls, terns and ducks. (1) 7AM departure

 

Mokelumne Day Use Area: WAIT LISTED This is small, delightful riparian oak woodland along the banks of the Mokelumne River northeast of Lodi. Expect mergansers, sparrows, warblers, and an occasional Osprey or eagle. There are maintained trails in this area leading from the parking lot to the river and riparian forest. (3/WS/SS) 6:30AM departure

 

Ripon Waste Water Treatment Plant: WAIT LISTED This consists of 15 acres of treatment ponds and 40 acres of accessible (on foot) disposal ponds. A Pacific Golden-Plover was found there last spring, and a variety of waterfowl, shorebirds, waders, and gulls is expected. (1) 7AM departure

 

State Island: The 9,200-acre Staten Ranch on Staten Island, a Nature Conservancy property that is still actively farmed, but also managed for wildlife. The farm’s corn and wheat fields are flooded in winter to provide critical habitat for Sandhill Cranes and other waterfowl.  (1)  7AM departure (3/R)

 

Stockton Rural Cemetery: The large oaks, elms, and other trees in this historic cemetery host an interesting variety of wintering and migrating thrushes, warblers, sparrows, and woodpeckers, among others. Even when the birding is slow, visitors can enjoy a relaxing stroll through California history. (1) 7:45AM departure

 

Woodbridge Rd: This road is just north of Hwy 12 off I-5. This is one of the most accessible areas in the state to see Greater Sandhill Cranes. Raptors, waterfowl, and shorebirds are also present, especially at the Isenberg crane preserve. (1) 7AM departure

Sunday Field Trips

SUNDAY’S FIELD TRIPS DEPARTURE TIME: 11:45 AM
SUNDAY BOX LUNCHES will be available for purchase.

 

Caswell Memorial State Park: WAIT LISTED Caswell Memorial State Park, located along the San Joaquin River between San Joaquin & Stanislaus counties, includes one of the finest examples of closed-canopy Valley Oak riparian forest in the Central Valley, a habitat type that has been nearly extirpated by agricultural and urban development. Lawrence’s Goldfinches nested here this year, one of few known nesting locations on the valley floor. Caswell is an excellent spot for both resident and wintering woodland birds of the Central Valley including Pacific Wren, Varied Thrush, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Brown Creeper, warblers, sparrows, and finches. There is a $10 per-vehicle day-use fee at this state park, so carpooling is strongly recommended. (3/R) 

 

Clifton Court Forebay:WAIT LISTED Led by Rich Cimino, this field trip will cover three counties: San Joaquin, Contra Costa and Alameda. Starting out in northeastern Alameda at the junction of Mountain House Rd and J4/Byron Rd., we will bird the agricultural fields along Herdlyn Rd., looking for raptors, Long-billed Curlews and possible shorebirds. Then continue to the Mountain House—Kelso Rd. area for hawks, eagles, possible Prairie Falcon, and Burrowing Owl. We will move on to Clifton Court Forebay in Contra Costa County (outdoor restrooms available). At Clifton Forebay we’ll need scopes to scan for ducks, gulls and cormorants, possible Peregrine Falcon and Merlin. Our last stop is Bethany Reservoir (fee area) to use the restrooms as we enter this BLM area we’ll search for sparrows, warblers, and possibly wintering Swainson’s Hawk. From the parking lot, we’ll scan the reservoir for ducks, gull species, Golden Eagle and possible Ferruginous Hawk. Note: The field trip finishes at Bethany Reservoir, field trip leader will get the group back to Hwy 580/205. Sunday Only (1/WS)

 

Cosumnes River Preserve: WAIT LISTED We will visit the River Walk Trail. Please see Friday’s description for more details. (3/C)

 

Flood/Waverly Roads:  The Flood/Waverly rangelands in eastern San Joaquin County are a “Raptor Wonderland” in winter. Birds likely to be seen include Ferruginous and Rough-legged hawks, perhaps a Prairie Falcon or Merlin. Eagles, owls, and numerous other raptors are possible. Other birds to be looked for include Mountain Bluebirds and perhaps rare gulls at the landfill. (1)

 

Heritage Oak Winery: If you want a bird trip combined with a little wine tasting at the end of day this is the trip for you! This winery is located on a seldom traveled section of E. Woodbridge Road six miles east of Lodi. It was built in 2007 on a beautiful piece of property bordered by the Mokelumne River on the south. Twenty acres of untouched woodlands bisect the property, separating the upland vineyards from those in the bottomland. 

Two trails are available to choose from. These trails pass through a variety of habitats: vineyards, a nature area, dense patch of cottonwood and willows, the Mokelumne River, and two meadows. Along the way you will notice numerous nesting boxes that the owner, Tom Hoffman, has built. Over the last 5-6 years, David Yee has regularly led monthly field trips to this area and has steadily built up a checklist of birds. (3/WM, SM) 

 

Lodi Lake:  WAIT LISTED A 40-acre oak riparian jewel along the Mokelumne River near downtown Lodi. Maintained trails make for very easy walking. It is a great spot for wintering passerines such as Varied Thrush, Pacific Wren, and Golden-crowned Kinglet. A good vagrant trap, with some of the rarest birds in the county historically found here. (3/WM, SM)

 

Lodi WTP: These small settling ponds are near the intersection of I-5 and Hwy 12. Highly productive over the years, they are one of the spots to see Pacific Golden-Plover locally if they are around. When the conditions are right, they can attract good numbers of other shorebirds as well as gulls, terns and ducks. (1)

 

Mokelumne Day Use Area: This is small, delightful riparian oak woodland along the banks of the Mokelumne River northeast of Lodi. Expect mergansers, sparrows, warblers, and an occasional Osprey or eagle. There are maintained trails in this area leading from the parking lot to the river and riparian forest. (3/WS/SS)

 

Ripon Waste Water Treatment Plant: This consists of 15 acres of treatment ponds and 40 acres of accessible (on foot) disposal ponds. A Pacific Golden-Plover was found there last spring, and a variety of waterfowl, shorebirds, waders, and gulls is expected. (1)

 

Sacramento County Bufferlands: WAIT LISTED This will be an abbreviated version of Friday’s tour, visiting a few of the most productive sites. Note: The Sunday tour will end in the field (near Elk Grove, not back at the Hilton). Limit 20. (2/R)

 

Stockton Rural Cemetery: The large oaks, elms, and other trees in this historic cemetery host an interesting variety of wintering and migrating thrushes, warblers, sparrows, and woodpeckers, among others. Even when the birding is slow, visitors can enjoy a relaxing stroll through California history. (1)

 

Woodbridge Rd: This road is just north of Hwy 12 off I-5. This is one of the most accessible areas in the state to see Greater Sandhill Cranes. Raptors, waterfowl, and shorebirds are also present, especially at the Isenberg crane preserve. (1)

 

Woodbridge Wilderness Area: This wilderness area (open on selected weekends only) consists of lush riparian woodlands nestled along the south bank of the Mokelumne River in the town of Woodbridge. Dirt trails meander throughout the park. It is a great spot for wintering passerines such as Varied Thrush, Pacific Wren, and residents like Wrentit. This is a good vagrant trap, very similar to Lodi Lake, only wilder. (3/R)

 

 

 

Merchandise

CVBS Merchandise

 

Ladies T-Shirt (color: Chill)

LADIES MERCHANDISE:

  • Ladies scoop neckline T-shirts with short sleeves in Chill (turquoise-like) only

  • Sizes Sm-2XL

  • {PRE-ORDER ONLY; ORDERS END 10/28}

Unisex T-Shirt (color: Yellow Haze)
Unisex Sweatshirt (color: Sand)
Unisex Long Sleeve T-Shirt (color: Natural)

UNISEX ITEMS:

  • Short-sleeved T-shirts: Yellow Haze and Natural

  • Long-sleeved T-shirts: Natural

  • Sweatshirts: Sand

  • Sizes Sm-XL

  • Sizes 2X-3X {PRE-ORDER ONLY; ORDERS END 10/28}

CVBS LOGO ITEMS:

  • Cap

  • Beanies (Olive green & Olive brown)

  • Apron (Sand, Green, & Maroon)

  • Vests (Green & Chocolate Brown)

  • Sweatshirts (Multiple Colors available)

  • Sizes Sm-XL

  • Sizes 2X-3X {PRE-ORDER ONLY; ORDERS END 10/28}

Hotel & Registration Info

Registration PDF

Central Valley Birding Symposium

Held at the:
  • ​​STOCKTON HILTON HOTEL
  • Grand Canal Blvd
  • ​​​2323 Grand Canal Blvd
  • ​Stockton, CA
  • 209-957-9090
  • Discount code: CVB17

HILTON HOTEL

Additional Information

 

Fees/Registration

Registration fee ($125) includes Programs & Field Trips for Thursday-Sunday and membership/renewal fees for the Central Valley Bird Club. If you are unable to attend the full Symposium, but wish to attend one day there is a $60 Single-day fee available. College age students (ID required) will only pay $60 for the entire event, or $30 Single-day. All other students through high school age are $10

NOTE: Registration is available online by clicking on the Regonline link on the Registration Info page. Both credit cards and checks are acceptable on Regonline. If paying by check, make it payable to: CVBS. A printable registration form (PDF) is available for those who prefer to send it through the mail. Please send in your registration by November 9th to ensure a space.

Upon receiving your registration, an email confirmation notice will be sent. Registration packets, which contain your name badge and meal tickets, may be picked up beginning at 3:00 PM on Thursday, November 16 at the Stockton Hilton Hotel. Registration packets are also available on Friday morning (prior to field trip departures), Friday afternoon and evening, and again on both Saturday and Sunday mornings. Email Susie Nishio at CVBSreg@gmail.com  if other arrangements need to be made.

 

Cancellations & Refunds

If you cancel your registration, either by telephone or by email before November 1, you will receive 80% of your registration and meals. After November 1, you will receive 50% of the total fees. 

 

Lodging

Lodging is not included in the registration fee. Our venue, the Stockton Hilton Hotel, is providing a limited number of rooms at the discounted rate of $114 night, so register early! Make reservations directly with the hotel by calling (209) 957-9090 and ask for the Central Valley Birding group rate (group code CVB17).  You may also book at their website www.stockton.hilton.com and use the CVB17 code on the booking page under add special code (group) and tell them you are attending the CVBS. Or you can click on the link on the Hotel and Registration Info page.

 

Meals

Daily hot breakfasts are again available this year. In addition, box lunches, with a vegetarian option, are available for both Friday’s and Sunday’s field trip. Saturday buffet lunch will include soup, salad, sandwiches and drinks. Friday & Saturday dinners will be served at the Stockton Hilton Hotel prior to the keynote speaker. They will be served buffet style, and will include meat, chicken and vegetarian entrees. We try our best to accommodate special needs, but bringing your own food is the only way to be certain that your dietary requirements are not compromised. Please indicate on the registration form which meal you are interested in attending/purchasing. Meal prices are indicated on the registration form.

 

For those of you not choosing to participate in the meals, there are a number of restaurants surrounding the Stockton Hilton Hotel to choose from.

 

T-shirts and Sweatshirts

T-shirts and sweatshirts have been a big hit for the last 19 years. This year’s artist is Dan Brown.


Weather

In November, in the Central Valley, rain and fog are to be expected. In fact, anything except snow and high temperatures are possible. Participants should plan accordingly. Since conditions commonly change during the course of a day, it is usually best to be dressed in layers that can be shed or added as necessary.


Field trips

Carpooling is encouraged, so be sure to start the day with a full tank of gas. Friday will be a long field day, so bring plenty of water, snacks and pack a lunch for the day. Due to the variation in weather conditions, participants should be well prepared. Dress in layers; bring an outer rainproof/windproof shell, wool gloves and caps, and perhaps a hat to shade the eyes. Good sturdy shoes are a must, and perhaps rubber knee boots will be useful for some areas.

Binoculars are essential, with spotting scopes useful to help optimize looks at distant waterfowl, raptors, shorebirds, or gulls. Please don’t forget your optic cleaning equipment. A daypack is desirable to carry your personal gear. Don’t forget a thermos of your favorite hot beverage!

​​
Please judge your own limits for walking. For those birders that have limited mobility, the field trips have been rated. For further information, please contact
 Dale Smith at dale.smith2@comcast.net


Birding Nature Fair & Art Show

​No matter what you are looking for, you are sure to find it at the Birding Nature Fair and Art Show located in the Stockton Hilton Hotel. We will have many vendors and artists from across the state selling their goods. The items will range from books & software, clothing, optics to fine arts and collectibles. Vendors are available to help you find that perfect birding gear, gift or equipment.​

Sponsors

SPONSORS

 

The continued success of the CVBS is strongly dependent upon its Sponsors.

We are deeply indebted to them.

 

Louise McCoullough

Patricia Bacchetti

Gloriann Farms

John Harris

Dan & Jan Tankersley

Wandering Tattler

Bob & Cindy Austin

Altacal Audubon

Sacramento Audubon

San Joaquin Audubon

Stanislaus Audubon

Yolo Audubon

California Department of Fish and Wildlife

City of Lodi

Cosumnes River Preserve

East Bay MUD

Heritage Oak Winery

Kowa

Noah’s Bagels

Out of This World

Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District

San Joaquin Regional Parks

Swarovski Optik