Sky Trail and Limantour Beach – Birding in Marin Banner

Sky Trail and Limantour Beach – Birding in Marin

Saturday, August 03, 2024

08:30 AM - 03:00 PM

Birding in Marin, Season 9 – Trip 8                          

Saturday, August 3, 2024        

8:30 AM – 3:00 PM

Birding with Jim White and Bob Battagin

Registration required for this trip. Registration opens on July 24 at 8 AM. 

The Sky Trail, called “the misty spine of Bear Valley”, takes us through a maturing Douglas Fir/ Bishop Pine forest. Forest birds are more active early and moving birds often follow ridges so I would like to look and listen on our walk through this habitat. We may see or hear a Pileated Woodpecker, Band Tailed Pigeons, Stellar’s Jays, Swainson’s Thrush, Osprey, nuthatches and surely Acorn Woodpeckers and Chestnut-backed Chickadees. Northern Spotted Owls, Western Screech and Saw-whet Owls live here but we would need to be here at dusk or dawn to hear them.

After we leave, we drive down to the great beach of Limantour with its tidal estuary, the open expanse of Drakes Bay and the Pacific Ocean beyond. We will gather at 9:30 in the ample parking lot with restrooms nearby. We’ll pack our lunches, shoulder our scopes and head out and up the beach. We can hike far enough to find Snowy Plovers to get our exercise and to cross over to the estuary side for our walk back. Gulls, terns, cormorants, loons, grebes, pelicans, murres, and guillemots will garner our attention. Shorebirds too, some already back from their breeding excursion to the Arctic, may gather along the estuary shores and shallows. Some ducks, hawks, and herons will show up too.

Directions to Sky Trail: From CA 1 South, right (left from CA 1 North) onto Sir Francis Drake Blvd for 0.7 miles, left onto Bear Valley Road for 0.5, then right onto Limantour Road for 3.4 miles to the Sky Trailhead. Meet at Sky Trailhead, near the crest of Limantour Rd. Roadside parking is available near the trailhead. From Sky Trailhead, the drive to the Limantour beach parking lot is 4.3 miles. 

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