May 13 – San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory’s Photo Big Day!

Join me for a “birding big day” in honor of the event. We’ll be visiting some of my favorite watery spots around the Napa Valley’s “south county.” Event details in the second half of this post!

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with SFBBO other than being a supporter and Big Day participant.

What is SFBBO?

The San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory is a non-profit, research and outreach program based out of Milpitas, California. For over 40 years, the SFBBO has supported the Bay Area’s avian population through banding endeavors, nest monitoring, and habitat restoration projects. As a nonprofit, SFBBO is largely sustained by donations and volunteers. Click here for upcoming volunteer events.

What is the Photo Big Day?

Twice per year, the SFBBO invites birders around the Bay Area to take as many bird photos as possible in 24 hours and upload them to the Facebook event page. This Spring, the theme is Water: Sustaining Bird Life. This year, the Big Day happens to coincide with World Migratory Bird Day!

A photo is worth a thousand words, so the goal is to captures birds and water, which could be at a birdbath, creek, pond, overflowing drainage ditch or anywhere else a bird might interact with water. Photos of all quality are encouraged and accepted. You do not need to have any photography experience or fancy equipment to participate!

The Photo Big Day is also a major fundraising event for SFBBO. Visit the event page for details about photo submissions or to make a donation.

Birding with Sara event details:

Saturday, May 13

Cost: Free, but you can tip your guide if you feel inclined!

RSVP: Attend all three sessions or pick your favorite. Please RSVP to or text me at 707-299-9980 so I know how many people to expect for each session. These are outdoor excursions and, while I don’t expect anything crazy to happen, I will ask you to sign a liability waiver on the day of the event.

What to bring: BYOG (bring your own gear: cameras, binoculars, hat, sunscreen)

Session 1: 9:30 – 11:30am at Sheehy Creek

Follow directions to Child Start, Inc on Devlin Road and park in the office park lot. We will meet at parking lot edge and walk the trail, approximately 1 mile out and back on flat terrain.

Possible birds include: nesting red-winged blackbird, at least two species of woodpeckers, Anna’s and Allen’s hummingbirds, nesting bushtit, orange-crowned warbler, Bullock’s and hooded oriole, Swainson’s and red-tailed hawk, white-tailed kite, scrub jay, raven, house finch, Bewick’s wren, common yellowthroat, song sparrow, cedar waxwing, green and black-crowned night herons, Eurasian collared dove, ring-necked pheasant (usually heard more than seen), cliff and tree swallow.

Session 2: 1:00 – 4:00pm at Kennedy Park

Park at the boat launch parking on Streblow Drive. We will meet at the boat launch and continue north up the Napa Valley Vine Trail to the estuary right before the Imola Bridge, about 2 miles roundtrip on flat terrain.

Possible birds include: Northern harrier, turkey vulture, Canada goose, Western and least sandpiper, killdeer, long-billed curlew, greater yellowlegs, at least three species of gull, osprey, cliff swallow, American robin, song sparrow, red-winged and Brewer’s blackbird, lesser and American goldfinch, American white pelican

Session 3: 5:30 – 7:00pm at Salt Point on Milton Road

Follow directions to 1569 Milton Road (old abandoned house at the end of the road). Street parking only. Meet at the trailhead and we’ll walk around the pond until the turnaround point (about 2 miles roundtrip). We’ll see if I even make it to the end of this day!

Possible birds include: Gadwall, Anna’s hummingbird, barn swallow, house finch, song sparrow, lesser and American goldfinch, mute swan, canvasback duck, ruddy duck, double-crested cormorant, bald eagle, great blue heron, snowy and great egret, marsh wren, greater scaup, black phoebe, pied billed grebe, American coot, American white pelican, Western and least sandpiper.

Fun fact: this is where my website cover photo was taken!

Join me after the last walk (approximately 7:30pm) at Be Bubbly in downtown Napa to toast to the day’s accomplishments and World Migratory Bird Day!

Theme examples, copyright Sara Curtis, Birds and Wine:

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