The Carrizo Plain is about 100 air miles north of Los Angeles near the communities of Taft and Maricopa. The area is officially known as the Carrizo Plain National Monument. It is home to Pronghorn Antelope, Tule Elk and, of great interest to us, many species of birds. Past trips have found Sandhill Cranes, Golden Eagles, Prairie Falcons, Long-billed Curlew, Short-eared Owl, Mountain Bluebirds, Loggerhead Shrikes and many others. The Carrizo Plain is also the best area in the State to view the effects of the San Andreas Fault.
This trip is very dependent upon the amount of rainfall that occurs. The past years of drought had dried out the vegetation in the Carrizo Plain to the point that the bird and animal life was heavily impacted. This year, we scheduled this trip thinking that all of last year’s winter rains would re-invigorate the Carrizo Plain. I will make a scouting run the weekend before to see the condition of the Plain. Depending on that result, we may re-direct our plans. Watch the website. Be sure to let me know that you are coming, preferably by email. That way I can be sure of letting you know of any changes.
We will be going up on Friday night (March 16) and spending Friday and Saturday nights in Taft. Saturday will be spent on the Plain. There will be a wine and cheese party Saturday night. We will check out Sunday morning and depart eastward to either the Windwolves Preserve, the Tule Elk Reserve State Park or the Buena Vista Aquatic Recreation Area and head home on Interstate 5. Of course, you are free to depart whenever you need to. Be sure to bring your lunches for Saturday and Sunday and lots of water, a hat and sunscreen. Please arrange to car pool. The fewer cars the better while birding on the Plain.
On Saturday we will likely be driving on a fair amount of dirt roads. Four wheel drive will not be necessary, but decent ground clearance will make the trip easier. Leave the Ferrari at home. I will up-date this after I make my scouting run.
I have made arrangements to stay at the Holland Inn and Suites, 531 Warren Street, Taft. 661.763.5211. They probably will not have room for all of us, so you may have to stay at one of the other motels in town. We will meet at the parking lot of Holland Inn and Suites on Saturday morning, March 17, 2018 and leave at 7:00 a.m. If you are joining us, please let me know.
Jay Oberholtzer 562-945-2838 (office) or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.