All field trips will take place in the proximity of Cambria. Each attendee may choose one option from the list, most included in the cost of registration, exceptions are noted. Field trips & workshops are scheduled after breakfast Saturday. Most will run 9-4 (includes travel time) unless noted otherwise in the description. Box lunch provided. We'll all come together again at the end of the day for happy hour, dinner, a resource exchange, and campfire. Check out what Camp Ocean Pines Naturalists have been seeing on their iNaturalist project!
Steps: 1- register for the rendezvous. 2- registrants will hear back from us about field trip sign-ups AFTER registration in a separate survey, approximately 6-week prior to the Rendezvous, after all leaders & logistics are confirmed. Please contact us in advance if you need field trip accommodations.
1. Kayaking Morro Bay State Marine Reserve
- Join local natural history experts, John & Virginia Flaherty, owners of of Central Coast Outdoors, for a paddle in the back bay. Learn the birds, see marine mammals, and visit a working oyster farm. (Extra fee for kayak rental/guide). John and Virginia are accomplished world travelers, guides, avid naturalists, and are involved in local wildlife rehabilitation and public education.
2. Fiscalini Ranch Preserve and Piedras Blancas Light Station tour. In the morning, take a walk through the rare Monterey pine forest and scenic coastal bluffs, led by retired professor and Cal Nat instructor, John Menke, a local resident and daily user of the reserve. From its pine and oak forest, to its marine terrace and coastal bluffs, the Ranch is a vast outdoor classroom. In 2000,
Fiscalini Ranch Preserve was saved from development by active citizen involvement. In the afternoon, Jodie Nelson of BLM will lead you on an exclusive tour of the Piedras Blancas Light Station, with access unavailable to the general public. Jodie has a strong background in conservation and her Lighthouse
duties include just about everything imaginable from invasive plant management and environmental compliance documentation, to volunteer and intern coordination and giving tours. Learn about the amazing native plant and elephant seal recovery. This trip also includes time at the San Simeon elephant seal rookery. Carpooling.
3. Birding BIG DAY and Big Sur California Condors with Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival leader Ella Pennington and Alena Porte of Ventana Wildlife Society. An exploration van trip up the Big Sur coast for an insider’s search for all sorts of birds including condors, who are making a historic recovery, their roosts, and possibly nesting sites. How many species of birds can you find in multiple habitats near this site? Great fun for a novice birdwatcher, and many potential “life birds” for the expert.
4. Traditional skills & tools workshop and Falconry/raptor experience.
Watch and participate in the respectful processing of a coastal blacktail deer (road killed, CDFW approved) alongside Salinan
elder Donny Pierce. Born and raised in the mountains above Morro Bay, Don Pierce, Jr. comes from a long line of ancestors traditionally located north of the Chumash. Don grew up in the modern world, but learned native ways from his parents and extended family. Among many positions he holds, Don is presently the Salinan Chairman, Public Relations lead, Education lead, MBMM Board of trustee's, Native American liaison for the Maritime museum and Navigators circle. In the afternoon, learn the history and present status of human interaction with raptors. Meet several raptors in person, watching them fly, and possibly land on your gloved hand! Led by Cal Nat instructor and master falconer, Chris Cameron.
5. Montaña de Oro State Park naturalist-led hike up the coastal bluffs, Coralina Cove, and possibly Los Osos Oaks or Elfin Forest. This will be a physically active field trip, details to emerge. The park features rugged cliffs, secluded sandy beaches, coastal plains, streams, canyons, and hills, including 1,347-foot Valencia Peak. The name "Mountain of Gold" comes from the golden wildflowers found in the park. Trip leader Dean Thompson is a lead Naturalist at Kern Environmental Education Program (KEEP). He was trained as a wildlife biologist and a classroom teacher and has years of field work experience with raptors in California, Arizona and Wyoming. Dean is a recipient of the Howard Bell Award, recognizing outstanding achievements and contributions in outdoor education. Dean's skill as a professional storyteller make his tours both entertaining and educational.
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