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The 2014 California Swan Festival (2)

•November 9th & 10th, 2013 •

Expo Open 9:00am - 5:00pm

Swan Central Venue & Expo • 720 Yuba Street, Marysville, CA 

(530) 743-6501 • (530) 741-8645

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2013 Swan Festival Field Trips & Workshops
(sunrise about 6:40am/sunset about 5:00pm)

 

The Swan Central Festival location, is open 9:00am-5:00pm Saturday & Sunday located at:

720 Yuba Street, Marysville, CA

Click the above address to see the location map


 

Saturday, November 9th, 2013 - Field Trips


Swan Sightseeing in District 10
Saturday, 11/9



Times:
8:00am-10:30am Leaders: Dale Whitmore
*SOLD OUT
11:00pm-1:30pm Leaders: Dale Whitmore
*SOLD OUT
2:00pm-4:30pm Leaders: Dan Stewart
*SOLD OUT

Meet: Swan Central Festival Venue
Difficulty: 2
Limit: 25
Cost: $10/adult $5/youth

Description: Reclamation District 10 is the official name for a 40-square-mile land reclamation project established in 1914 in the flood basin of the Feather and Yuba rivers just north of Marysville. The flooded post-harvest rice fields of District 10 provide ideal temporary wetland habitat for thousands of Tundra Swans, huge flocks of White-faced Ibis, abundant geese and ducks of many species, various shorebirds, lots of hawks, and even bald eagles. Expert birders and biologists from the CA Department of Fish and Wildlife (formerly CA Dept. of Fish and Game) will lead us on a carpool/caravan tour along the back roads in District 10 to see the birds and learn about the compatibility of rice growing and waterfowl conservation!

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Colusa & Sutter National Wildlife Refuges
Saturday, 11/9

Time: 8:00am-2:00pm*
*Note time extended, the trip originally was planned until Noon

Meet: Swan Central Festival Venue
Difficulty: 2
Limit: 15
Cost: $15/adult $10/youth

Description: Colusa and Sutter National Wildlife Refuges are part of the Sacramento Refuge Complex, located in the Sacramento Valley. The refuges primarily consist of intensively managed wetlands, with some grassland and riparian habitat. The Sacramento Valley is one of the most important wintering areas for waterfowl in North America and the Colusa Refuge typically supports wintering populations of more than 200,000 ducks and 50,000 geese.  Rarities often show up at Colusa Refuge, including Eurasion Wigeon, blue morph Ross’s Geese, and even a Falcated Duck the past two winters! About 80 percent of the Sutter Refuge is located in the Sutter Bypass, a floodwater bypass from the Sacramento River that floods at least once a year and may cover portions of the refuge with up to 12 feet of water. The mixed riparian forest on the refuge is important habitat for passerine birds and it supports a large heron/egret rookery.

Leader: Ed Harper

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Gray Lodge Wildlife Area

 

Registation still avaiable for Sunday
Saturday, 11/9
Time: 12:30pm-5:00pm
Meet: Swan Central Festival Venue
Difficulty: 2
Limit: 15
Cost: $20/adult $10/youth

Description: More than a million waterfowl can’t be wrong! Gray Lodge's diversity and location along the Pacific Flyway make it a heaven for wildlife. Surrounded by miles of rich agricultural lands, this 9,100-acre area is intensively managed primarily for wintering waterfowl. The Sutter Buttes make a perfect backdrop for the flooded fields in which the birds congregate.This is a great trip to see four or more species of geese, nearly a dozen species of ducks, several raptor species, lots of wading birds, and songbirds in the riparian vegetation. The group will meet with Gray Lodge staff to learn about the unique history and management of the area. Then we’ll travel around the one-way auto loop, which has great views from both sides of your vehicle, as well as several parking lots along the way where you can get out of your car and walk.

Leader: Shelly Kirn

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Sutter National Wildlife Refuge

Saturday, 11/9
Time: 1:00pm-5:00pm
Meet: Swan Central Festival Venue
Difficulty: 2
Limit:10
Cost: $15/adult $10/youth

Description: Sutter National Wildlife Refuge, located near Yuba City, is the southern-most refuge in the Sacramento Refuge Complex. The refuge is about 2,600 acres, consisting primarily of wetland impoundments with some riparian and grassland habitat. About 80 percent of the refuge is located in the Sutter Bypass, a floodwater bypass from the Sacramento River that floods at least once a year and may cover portions of the refuge with up to 12 feet of water. The mixed riparian forest on the refuge is important habitat for passerine birds and it supports a large heron/egret rookery. On this trip, we hope to see lots of raptors, swans, geese, ducks, White-faced Ibis, shorebirds, sparrows, herons and egrets, and maybe even Sandhill Cranes.

Leader: Jim Groeser

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Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge
Saturday, 11/9
Time: noon-5:30pm
Meet: Swan Central Festival Venue
Difficulty: 2
Limit: 25
Cost: $20/adult $10/youth

Description: This is one of California's premier waterfowl refuges, consisting of nearly 11,000 acres of seasonal marsh, permanent ponds, and uplands in the heart of the Sacramento Valley! Managed mainly for migratory waterfowl, the refuge is also attractive to other wildlife. The marshes, with fish, frogs, and invertebrates, are attractive to grebes, white pelicans, egrets, herons, and bitterns. Shorebirds probe the mud flats for seeds, snails, and worms. Raptors find an abundance of waterfowl, rodents, or small birds on which to feed. Woodpeckers, warblers, and other songbirds seek food and shelter in the cottonwoods and willows bordering the waterways and creeks. Deer, jackrabbits, and pheasants feed in the grasslands and on edges of wetlands. We’ll begin at the Refuge Visitor Center, where we can enjoy the wildlife exhibit, bookstore, and Discovery Room. Lora Haller, Education Specialist for the Refuge, will meet with us and tell us about the history and management of the Refuge. Then we’ll explore the six-mile auto tour, viewing platform, and short walking trail.

Leader: Roger Lederer

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Spenceville Wildlife Area Hike to Fairy Falls

Saturday, 11/9
Time: 7:30am-2:00pm
Meet: Swan Central Festival Venue
Difficulty: 3
Limit: 12
Cost: $20/adult $10/youth

Description: This is the perfect trip if you want to be out of your car and out hiking! The 5.5-mile round trip hike, along relatively flat terrain, will take us to spectacular Fairy Falls, with its commanding 60-foot drop with a mid-plunge bump. Spenceville Wildlife Area, managed by the CA Department of Fish and Wildlife is comprised of nearly 12,000 acres of blue oak and gray pine woodland, characteristic of the Sierra Foothills. There also are numerous ponds, creeks, and riparian zones in the area. The area was originally home to the Maidu and Nisenan Native Americans and evidence of their grinding holes and lodge pits still exist. Some of the birds we may see include Wood Duck, Wild Turkey, California Quail, Red-breasted Sapsucker, Acorn Woodpecker, Lewis' Woodpecker, Rufous-crowned Sparrow, Lark Sparrow, and lots of raptors. If we’re really lucky, maybe we’ll catch a glimpse of a Coyote, Bobcat, or Gray Fox! Bring your lunch and water and we’ll picnic overlooking the falls! Be sure to dress in layers.

Leader: Richard Barbieri

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Birding at Beale Air Force Base

Saturday, 11/9
Time: 7:30am-noon
Meet: Swan Central Festival Venue
Difficulty: 2
Limit: 12
Cost: $20/adult $10/youth

Description: This is rare opportunity to look for birds on Beale Air Force Base. Department of Defense facilities preserve some of best remaining habitats in the U.S. and Beale is a great example. The base includes one of largest and best-preserved areas of Central Valley grassland, a habitat under severe threat from urban development and conversion to agriculture. A base biologist will accompany us as we search the grasslands for Ferruginous and Rough-legged Hawks, and several other raptor species, maybe even a Bald or Golden Eagle. Falcons may include American Kestrel, Merlin, and Prairie Falcon. Horned Larks and Western Meadowlarks should be abundant. Surprises like Mountain Bluebirds are also possible this time of year. We will also visit some large ponds that can harbor several species of waterfowl and an oak riparian zone with its own suite of typical species. The trip will be by carpool with a number of short stops and one short walk on flat ground. If there’s enough time, we may drive by to see the Global Hawk, an unmanned aerial vehicle surveillance aircraft, and some other points of interest on the base.

Important Note: To gain access to the base, each adult participant must provide their full name and driver’s license number. Participants over age 16 must have a current photo ID to show base security personnel. The driver of each vehicle entering the base must provide current vehicle registration and proof of insurance.

Leader: Ed Pandolfino

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Nature/Wildlife Photography Field Trip

Saturday, 11/9
Time: 2:00pm-5:30pm
Meet: Swan Central Festival Venue
Difficulty: 2
Limit: 11
Cost: $20/adult $10/youth

Description: Join professional nature photographer Dan Brown as he leads us to some good spots to practice our nature and wildlife photography techniques, many of which he discussed earlier in the day at his indoor presentation and slide show. Dan will share some “tricks-of-the-trade” with you regarding equipment and techniques, from macro to telephoto.  Much emphasis will be placed on the “ethical” considerations of wildlife photography, as well as “getting to know” your subjects and their behavior.  On this trip, we may get some good photos of Tundra Swans, geese, ducks, raptors, and some wonderful landscape images with flooded rice fields in the foreground and the beautiful Sutter Buttes in the background. Dan will help you “see” differently when photographing to get creative compositions in your nature and wildlife images.

Leader: Dan Brown

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Raptor Ramble

Saturday, 11/9
Time: 8:00am-noon
Meet: Swan Central Festival Venue
Difficulty: 2
Limit: 10
Cost: $20/adult $10/youth

Description: On this half-day trip, we’re going to search for as many raptor species as possible. This is a great time of year to see wintering raptors in the Sacramento Valley and we’ll see a lot of them and learn about their amazing adaptations that help them be such successful predators! Likely species include Red-tailed Hawk, Red-shouldered Hawk, Coopers Hawk, American Kestrel, Bald Eagle, and Northern Harrier. If we’re lucky, we may see a Peregrine Falcon, Ferruginous Hawk, and Sharp-shinned Hawk. Along the route we’ll be traveling, there are often over four raptors per mile! Habitats searched will include flooded rice fields, oak/grassland savannah, and some riparian corridors. We’ll certainly see a lot of other bird species as well, including swans, geese, ducks, White-faced Ibis, various species of sparrows and other songbirds, and maybe some Sandhill Cranes.

Leader: Jim Groeser

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Birding at Bobelaine Sanctuary
Saturday, 11/9
Time: 8:00am-noon
Meet: Swan Central Festival Venue
Difficulty: 3
Limit: 12
Cost: $20/adult $10/youth

Description: Bobelaine is a 430-acre National Audubon Sanctuary on the Feather River, managed by Sacramento Audubon Society. It’s is a rare remnant of the riparian forests that once projected two to five miles on either side of the rivers in the Central Valley. Bobelaine is listed as an "Important Bird Area" by the National Audubon Society and the forest of cottonwoods, sycamores and willows is home to a wide variety of birds and wildlife throughout the seasons. We’ll explore the trails and search for the resident and wintering birds. Woodpeckers of various species should be abundant. Black-crowned Night Herons, Wood Ducks, egrets, grebes, and cormorants may be on the water.  Cedar Waxwings, Yellow-rumped Warblers, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, and a variety of sparrows will be settling in for the winter. If we’re lucky, we may even see deer or a family of river otters frolicking along the river. Expect to walk about 2 miles on mostly level ground. 

Leader: Linda Pittman

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Owl Prowl

Saturday, 11/9
Time: 4:30pm-9:30pm
Meet: Swan Central Festival Venue
Difficulty: 2
Limit: 10
Cost: $20/adult $10/youth

Description: This is a rare opportunity to join an expert “owler” to try to see and/or hear six or seven different species of owls and learn about their amazing adaptations as nocturnal predators! The trip will start by heading up into the higher foothills to search for Northern Pygmy Owls, Northern Saw-whet Owls, and Northern Spotted Owls. Then we’ll drop down in elevation to explore some oak woodland habitat and try to find a Western Screech Owl. As we get back to the Marysville area, we’ll check out the roadsides and rice fields for Barn Owls and Great Horned Owls. Bring a traveling dinner with you so your growling stomach doesn’t scare away the owls. You may want to bring a small flashlight to gently illuminate the path when walking (the leader will have a large spotlight to view the owls). Quiet children age 10 and older are welcome.

Leader: Rudy Darling

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Birding Basics
Saturday, 11/9
Time: 9:00am-noon
Meet: Swan Central Festival Venue
Difficulty: 2
Limit: 15
Cost: $15/adult $8/youth

Description: If you’ve recently been bitten by the birding bug and want to learn more about birding basics, this is the trip for you! We’ll explore some local habitats, where you’ll get great looks at various species through your binoculars and a spotting scope. We’ll discuss what to look for to identify a bird, such as shape, size, color, beak, feet, habitat, behavior, flight patterns, calls and more. We’ll use different field guides and discuss which ones are better for identifying the birds of our region. Learn about the different binocular and spotting scope options that are available to birders too. We’ll have a few binoculars to share if you don’t have any yet.

Leader: Dan Stewart

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Hwy. 20 to the Sierra
Saturday, 11/9
Time: 7:00am-3:00
Meet: Swan Central Festival Venue
Difficulty: 3
Limit: 12
Cost: $25/adult $10/youth

Description: Join author, biologist, and ornithologist Ted Beedy for a trip up Highway 20 from Marysville, through the foothills, and into the Sierra Nevada range. Ted coauthored the recently published “Birds of the Sierra Nevada: Their Natural History, Status, and Distribution.” Ted will lead this field trip during the day and then Saturday evening, he and coauthor Ed Pandolfino will do a presentation about their newly released book. Make it a birding day with Ted! There will be numerous stops along the route to walk and search for birds in various habitats as you gain elevation into the Sierra. Just a few birds you may see on this trip include, Mountain Chickadee, Red-breasted Nuthatch, American Dipper, Common Raven, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Brown Creeper, Pileated Woodpecker, Pine Siskin, Purple Finch, Cassin’s Finch, and Evening Grosbeak. Bring a lunch, snacks, water, warm clothes, and good hiking shoes! Be prepared to carpool.

Leader: Ted Beedy

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Foothills to Foothills Birding Big Day
Saturday, 11/9
Time: 7:00am-6:00pm
Meet: Swan Central Festival Venue
Difficulty: 3
Limit: 15
Cost: $25/adult $10/youth

Description: Here’s an incredible trip for intermediate and serious birders! Chris Conard and Dan Kopp, birders extraordinaire, will lead this fast-paced adventure across the Sacramento Valley to see and/or hear as many different species of birds as possible! We may identify over 100 species on this trip! Starting either in the foothills of the Coast Range or the Sierra Nevada, we’ll work our way across the Valley to the other foothills. As we travel across the Valley, we’ll stop at some of the major wildlife refuges on the way. The trip will end after sunset, when we’ll try to call in some owls. There will be several bathroom opportunities along the way and we’ll stop mid-day at a location where we can buy some lunch. Be sure to pack plenty of water, snacks, and warm clothes. Be prepared to carpool.

Leader: Chris Conard and Dan Kopp

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Marysville Wastewater Treatment Plant
Saturday, 11/9
Time: 8:00am-noon
Meet: Swan Central Festival Venue
Difficulty: 2
Limit: 20
Cost: $15/adult $10/youth

Description: Birders are a strange lot! Who else would get excited about hanging out at a sewage treatment facility? Birders, however, know that these facilities can be bird magnets for unusual species of gulls, shorebirds, waterfowl, and wading birds. The Marysville Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) is a great place to go birding and very close to the main festival venue. We’ll be getting special access to the facility since it’s normally not open on weekends. The trip will consist of an easy one-mile round trip walk on the levees that surround the settling ponds. In addition to being an expert birder, trip leader Rudy Darling works as a Laboratory Director for the Nevada County Sanitation District so he’ll share some insight into the wastewater treatment process. After birding the ponds, Randy Kerzic, Chief Plant Operator at the WWTP, will take us on a tour of the facility where we’ll learn about the technologically intricate processes that clean the water when we flush our toilets!

Leader: Rudy Darling

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New Bullards Bar Dam and Colgate Powerhouse
Saturday, 11/9
Time: 8:30am-2:30pm
Meet: Swan Central Festival Venue
Difficulty: 2
Limit: 25
Cost: $20/adult $10/youth

Description: Almost a million acre feet of water from the North and Middle Yuba River and Oregon Creek are stored behind the 645-foot high, 2,400-foot-long New Bullards Bar Dam, which is located at the south end of 16-mile long New Bullards Bar Reservoir. In addition to providing flood control, the reservoir is a popular recreation area and stores water for crop irrigation and energy generation. Much of the water released from the dam travels down a 4.7-mile-long tunnel that carries it to the mammoth turbines that generate electricity at the New Colgate Powerhouse. The Colgate turbines are the largest of their kind ever built and can generate over 300 megawatts of power, more than any other hydroelectric facility supplying power directly to PG&E. The Yuba County Water Agency (YCWA) will be our host for this special tour of the New Bullards Bar Dam and Colgate Powerhouse. We’ll learn about the origins of hydroelectric generation in California and its role in the expansion of the state’s early economy. The YCWA will provide a shuttle bus to take us from the main festival venue to the dam and back. They will also treat us to a wonderful lunch onsite at the dam! Yum!

Note:  This trip requires clearance information, please provide the required information during registratin on-line.

Leader: John Nicoletti

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Sutter Buttes Hike to Dean Ranch
Saturday, 11/9
Time: 8:00am-4:00pm
Meet: Swan Central Festival Venue
Difficulty: 4
Limit: 30
Cost: $45.00/person

Description: Enjoy a three mile walk to visit the 100 year old Dean Place Cattle Ranch. This trip will focus primarily on birding. Hopefully, we will see such gems as the Golden Eagles, Phainopeplas, and Rufous-crowned Sparrows, Mountain Bluebird, Varied Thrush, Golden Eagle, and Ferruginous Hawk, along with the usual winter sparrows, and with luck, geese and swans flying high over the Buttes. Be sure to bring binoculars, lunch, water, and sturdy boots/shoes and hiking sticks, if you have them. No early departures on this trip. Be aware that you will be driving another 12-15 miles to the hike's starting point from the meeting place in Live Oak.

Leader: Peter Sands and Laura Lush

 

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Marysville Chinatown Tour
Saturday, 11/9
Time: 1:00pm-3:30pm
Meet: Swan Central Festival Venue
Difficulty: 2
Limit: 25
Cost: $15/adult $10/youth

Description: The Marysville Chinatown is the last Chinatown of the gold rush era still in existence. It still has an active temple, an old Chinese school building, three Chinese associations, and a traditional Chinese festival. The Chinese built over thirty Chinatowns in California during the gold rush. Almost all have been destroyed or abandoned, so little exists to remind us of their importance in the early settlement of this state. Join Gordon “GT” Tom and others for a guided tour of Marysville Chinatown. The tour will include the Bok Kai Temple, built in 1880, which is an active temple with visitors coming from around California and the world to worship. The temple is a one-of-a-kind example of Chinese sacred architecture. We will walk a few blocks around Chinatown to see the various highlights, including the old Chinese school building. Then we’ll visit the Chinese American Museum of Northern California, housed in an original gold rush era building built in 1858! The museum focuses on the forgotten history of the Chinese in America. A portion of the proceeds from this tour will go to support the Chinese American Museum of Northern CA.

Leader: Gordon “GT” Tom 

 

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Marysville Historical Tour
Saturday, 11/9
Time: 10:00am-11:30am
Meet: Swan Central Festival Venue
Difficulty: 1
Limit: 12
Cost: $15/adult $10/youth

Description: Discover the rich history of Marysville on this level, handicapped accessible, 1-1.5 mile stroll along city sidewalks. Marysville was the “Gateway to the Goldfields” during the Gold Rush era and once one of the largest cities in California. This walk will include an overview of the city’s colorful history from the 1840s to today. On the walk, we’ll learn about the various architectural styles of the historic churches and homes, including great examples of Victorian and Gothic architecture. One of the highlights will be a brief history of the fires and floods that occurred during the early history of Marysville. Some of the levees established to combat these early floods still play an important role in today’s flood protection and agriculture. A portion of the proceeds from this walk will go to support the Mary Aaron Museum’s efforts to preserve and share the rich history of Marysville, CA.

Leader: Lily Noonan

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Carpooling For Cranes
Saturday, 11/9
Time:  1:30pm - 4:00pm
Meet:  Swan Central Festival Venue
Difficulty: 2
Limit:  20
Cost:  $15/adult  $10/youth

Description:  Description: Join the caravan and cruise the backroads of Yuba and Sutter Counties in search of Sandhill Cranes! Winter in the Sacramento Valley may seem cold, damp, and foggy to you, but thousands of Sandhill Cranes feel right at home in the Valley's grasslands, marshes, and agricultural fields. This magnificent bird stands nearly 5 feet tall, with a wingspan of nearly 6 feet! The harvested rice fields and grasslands surrounding the Sutter Buttes provide excellent foraging habitat for these living dinosaurs. The sight and sound of a flock of cranes descending into a field makes for a lifetime memory. You will also likely see many species of ducks, egrets, herons, White-faced Ibis, geese, Tundra Swans, and other waterfowl and shorebirds on this trip.

Leader:  Gary Ivey

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olive oil image

Olive Oil Production in Yuba County
Saturday, 11/9
Time: 3:00pm-5:00pm
Meet: Apollo Olive Oil, Oregon House
Limit: 20
Cost: $30/adult $20/youth

Description: The Yuba-Sutter area is the home of some of the most highly acclaimed olive oils in the Western Hemisphere. A number of these oils will be available for tasting at Swan Central on Saturday and Sunday. A special opportunity will be offered on Saturday afternoon to visit a mill in action during harvest: and not just any mill, but the most technologically advanced mill in America, and operated by an internationally recognized miller. Gianni Stefanini will take visitors through the process of milling, offer tastes of freshly milled oil, and guide a tasting of a variety of olive oil types. This will be followed by a pairing of specially prepared dishes with olive oils, as well as with wines provided by Renaissance Vineyard and Winery.

Leader: Gianni Stefanini

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Sunday, November 10th, 2013 - Field Trips

Swan Sightseeing in District 10
Sunday, 11/10:
Times:
8:00am-10:30am Leaders: Dale Whitmore, Brian Gilmore
11:00pm-1:30pm Leaders: Genelle Treaster, Dale Whitmore
2:00pm-4:30pm* still spots available!
Leaders: Genelle Treaster, Dan Stewart


Meet: Swan Central Festival Venue
Difficulty: 2
Limit: 25
Cost: $10/adult $5/youth

Description: Reclamation District 10 is the official name for a 40-square-mile land reclamation project established in 1914 in the flood basin of the Feather and Yuba rivers just north of Marysville. The flooded post-harvest rice fields of District 10 provide ideal temporary wetland habitat for thousands of Tundra Swans, huge flocks of White-faced Ibis, abundant geese and ducks of many species, various shorebirds, lots of hawks, and even bald eagles. Join expert birders and biologists from the CA Department of Fish and Wildlife (formerly CA Dept. of Fish and Game), as they lead you on a carpool/caravan tour along the back roads in District 10 to see the birds and learn about the compatibility of rice growing and waterfowl conservation!

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Colusa and Sacramento National Wildlife Refuges
Sunday, 11/10
Time: 7:30am-5:30pm
Meet: Swan Central Festival Venue
Difficulty: 3
Limit: 15
Cost: $25/adult $10/youth

Description: Colusa and Sacramento National Wildlife Refuges are two of the best birding hot spots in the Sacramento Valley! On this all-day trip, we’ll get to explore both locations, see incredible spectacles of massive flocks of wintering waterfowl, and learn about how the US Fish and Wildlife Service intensely manages these refuges to provide the habitat for wintering waterfowl and a myriad of other bird and wildlife species. This will also be a wonderful trip for seeing a variety of raptors, shorebirds, and waders. We may chalk up nearly 100 different species of birds on this trip! Rarities often show up at these refuges, including Eurasion Wigeon, blue morph Ross’s Geese, and even a Falcated Duck the past two winters at Colusa! The trip will include a mid-day stop at the famous Granzella’s Restaurant in Williams for a no-host lunch break. The trip fee does include entrance fees into the wildlife refuges. Bring plenty of snacks and water for the day.

Leader: Jay Bogiatto

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Gray Lodge Wildlife Area
Sunday, 11/10
Time: 8:00am-12:30pm
Meet: Swan Central Festival Venue
Difficulty: 2
Limit: 15
Cost: $20/adult $10/youth

Description: More than a million waterfowl can’t be wrong! Gray Lodge's diversity and location along the Pacific Flyway make it a heaven for wildlife. Surrounded by miles of rich agricultural lands, this 9,100-acre area is intensively managed primarily for wintering waterfowl. The Sutter Buttes make a perfect backdrop for the flooded fields in which the birds congregate.This is a great trip to see four or more species of geese, nearly a dozen species of ducks, several raptor species, lots of wading birds, and songbirds in the riparian vegetation. The group will meet with Gray Lodge staff to learn about the unique history and management of the area. Then we’ll travel around the one-way auto loop, which has great views from both sides of your vehicle, as well as several parking lots along the way where you can get out of your car and walk.

Leader: Roger Lederer

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Birding Beale Air Force Base
Sunday, 11/10
Time: 7:30am-noon
Meet: Swan Central Festival Venue
Difficulty: 2
Limit: 12
Cost: $20/adult $10/youth

Description: This is rare opportunity to look for birds on Beale Air Force Base. Department of Defense facilities preserve some of best remaining habitats in the U.S. and Beale is a great example. The base includes one of largest and best-preserved areas of Central Valley grassland, a habitat under severe threat from urban development and conversion to agriculture. A base biologist will accompany us as we search the grasslands for Ferruginous and Rough-legged Hawks, and several other raptor species, maybe even a Bald or Golden Eagle. Falcons may include American Kestrel, Merlin, and Prairie Falcon. Horned Larks and Western Meadowlarks should be abundant. Surprises like Mountain Bluebirds are also possible this time of year. We will also visit some large ponds that can harbor several species of waterfowl and an oak riparian zone with its own suite of typical species. The trip will be by carpool with a number of short stops and one short walk on flat ground. If there’s enough time, we may drive by to see the Global Hawk, an unmanned aerial vehicle surveillance aircraft, and some other points of interest on the base.

Important Note: To gain access to the base, each adult participant must provide their full name and driver’s license number. Participants over age 16 must have a current photo ID to show base security personnel. The driver of each vehicle entering the base must provide current vehicle registration and proof of insurance.

Leader: Steve and Diane Rose

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Birding at Bobelaine Sanctuary
Sunday, 11/10
Time: 8:00am-noon
Meet: Swan Central Festival Venue
Difficulty: 3
Limit: 12
Cost: $20/adult $10/youth

Description: Bobelaine is a 430-acre National Audubon Sanctuary on the Feather River, managed by Sacramento Audubon Society. It’s is a rare remnant of the riparian forests that once projected two to five miles on either side of the rivers in the Central Valley. Bobelaine is listed as an "Important Bird Area" by the National Audubon Society and the forest of cottonwoods, sycamores and willows is home to a wide variety of birds and wildlife throughout the seasons. We’ll explore the trails and search for the resident and wintering birds. Woodpeckers of various species should be abundant. Black-crowned Night Herons, Wood Ducks, egrets, grebes, and cormorants may be on the water.  Cedar Waxwings, Yellow-rumped Warblers, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, and a variety of sparrows will be settling in for the winter. If we’re lucky, we may even see deer or a family of river otters frolicking along the river. Expect to walk about 2 miles on mostly level ground.

Leader: Linda Pittman

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Budding Birders (Birdwatching for Kids)
Sunday, 11/10
Time: 9:30am-noon
Meet: Swan Central Festival Venue
Difficulty: 2
Limit: 15
Cost: $5/adult $5/youth

Description: Kids love getting out and exploring but these days children don’t get as much “outdoor nature time” as they did in previous generations. Birdwatching is a wonderful way for your kids to explore and learn about nature. Anyone can enjoy birdwatching just about anywhere and anytime, making it a great activity kids. This trip will focus on the basics of birdwatching with some fun activities. They’ll learn what to look for on a bird that can be used as field marks and learn a bit about bird behavior. Your kids will get a chance to look through spotting scopes, binoculars (we’ll have a few to loan out), and field guides so they can practice identifying some of the common species we’ll see. They’ll also learn some fun facts about these birds and be challenged to see how many species they can identify. We’ve never met a kid who doesn’t like a new and exciting challenge!

Leader: Dan Stewart

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Sutter Buttes Ridge Hike to West Shaeffer Ranch

Sunday, 11/10
Time: 7:30am-4:00pm
Meet: Live Oak
Difficulty: 4
Limit: 20
Cost: $45.00/person

Description: The Shaeffer Family will host hikers on their ranch on the north side of the Buttes. Hikers will explore this ranch that has been in the same family since the 1860’s. Hike will include possible views of North Butte, Peace Valley, and the old Titan Missile site. Be sure to bring binoculars, lunch, water, and sturdy boots/shoes and hiking sticks, if you have them. No early departures on this trip. Be aware that you will be driving another 12-15 miles to the hike's starting point from the meeting place in Live Oak.

Leader: Ty Shaeffer

 

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Marysville Historical Tour

Sunday, 11/9
Time: 10:00am-11:30am
Meet: Swan Central Festival Venue
Difficulty: 1
Limit: 12
Cost: $15/adult $10/youth

Description: Discover the rich history of Marysville on this level, handicapped accessible, 1-1.5 mile stroll along city sidewalks. Marysville was the “Gateway to the Goldfields” during the Gold Rush era and once one of the largest cities in California. This walk will include an overview of the city’s colorful history from the 1840s to today. On the walk, we’ll learn about the various architectural styles of the historic churches and homes, including great examples of Victorian and Gothic architecture. One of the highlights will be a brief history of the fires and floods that occurred during the early history of Marysville. Some of the levees established to combat these early floods still play an important role in today’s flood protection and agriculture. A portion of the proceeds from this walk will go to support the Mary Aaron Museum’s efforts to preserve and share the rich history of Marysville, CA.

Leader: Lily Noonan

 

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Oroville Dam and Feather River Fish Hatchery

Sunday, 11/10
Time: 9:30am-noon
Meet: Oroville Dam Visitor Center
Difficulty: 2
Limit: 30
Cost: $10/adult $5/youth

Description: Oroville Dam is THE tallest dam in the United States! At 770 feet tall and nearly 7,000 feet long, it’s also one of the largest earthen dams in the world! Over 80 million cubic yards of material were needed to build the Oroville Dam, enough material to build a two-lane highway around the earth! Behind the dam is Lake Oroville, the second largest man-made lake in California. In the bedrock below Lake Oroville, a cavern the size of two football fields was excavated to house the Hyatt Hydroelectric Plant, which generates nearly three billion kilowatt-hours of power! Department of Water Resources staff will provide us with a special presentation about the dam, a tour and drive across the top of the dam, an explanation of the power plant, and a tour of the adjacent Feather River Fish Hatchery. A record run of salmon is predicted this fall and we’ll have a chance to watch the salmon jumping up the fish ladder adjacent to the dam and hatchery. Don’t miss this great opportunity!

Leader: Jana Frazier

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Oroville Dam and Feather River Fish Hatchery

Sunday, 11/10
Time: 12:30pm-3:00pm
Meet: Oroville Dam Visitor Center
Difficulty: 2
Limit: 30
Cost: $10/adult $5/youth

Description: Oroville Dam is THE tallest dam in the United States! At 770 feet tall and nearly 7,000 feet long, it’s also one of the largest earthen dams in the world! Over 80 million cubic yards of material were needed to build the Oroville Dam, enough material to build a two-lane highway around the earth! Behind the dam is Lake Oroville, the second largest man-made lake in California. In the bedrock below Lake Oroville, a cavern the size of two football fields was excavated to house the Hyatt Hydroelectric Plant, which generates nearly three billion kilowatt-hours of power! Department of Water Resources staff will provide us with a special presentation about the dam, a tour and drive across the top of the dam, an explanation of the power plant, and a tour of the adjacent Feather River Fish Hatchery. A record run of salmon is predicted this fall and we’ll have a chance to watch the salmon jumping up the fish ladder adjacent to the dam and hatchery. Don’t miss this great opportunity!

Leader: Jana Frazier

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Carpooling For Cranes
Sunday, 11/10
Time:  8:00am - 10:30am
Meet:  Swan Central Festival Venue
Difficulty: 2
Limit:  20
Cost:  $15/adult  $10/youth

Description:  Description: Join the caravan and cruise the backroads of Yuba and Sutter Counties in search of Sandhill Cranes! Winter in the Sacramento Valley may seem cold, damp, and foggy to you, but thousands of Sandhill Cranes feel right at home in the Valley's grasslands, marshes, and agricultural fields. This magnificent bird stands nearly 5 feet tall, with a wingspan of nearly 6 feet! The harvested rice fields and grasslands surrounding the Sutter Buttes provide excellent foraging habitat for these living dinosaurs. The sight and sound of a flock of cranes descending into a field makes for a lifetime memory. You will also likely see many species of ducks, egrets, herons, White-faced Ibis, geese, Tundra Swans, and other waterfowl and shorebirds on this trip.

Leader:  Gary Ivey

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Marysville Chinatown Tour
Sunday, 11/10
Time: 1:00pm-3:30pm
Meet: Swan Central Festival Venue
Difficulty: 2
Limit: 25
Cost: $15/adult $10/youth

Description: The Marysville Chinatown is the last Chinatown of the gold rush era still in existence. It still has an active temple, an old Chinese school building, three Chinese associations, and a traditional Chinese festival. The Chinese built over thirty Chinatowns in California during the gold rush. Almost all have been destroyed or abandoned, so little exists to remind us of their importance in the early settlement of this state. Join Gordon “GT” Tom and others for a guided tour of Marysville Chinatown. The tour will include the Bok Kai Temple, built in 1880, which is an active temple with visitors coming from around California and the world to worship. The temple is a one-of-a-kind example of Chinese sacred architecture. We will walk a few blocks around Chinatown to see the various highlights, including the old Chinese school building. Then we’ll visit the Chinese American Museum of Northern California, housed in an original gold rush era building built in 1858! The museum focuses on the forgotten history of the Chinese in America. A portion of the proceeds from this tour will go to support the Chinese American Museum of Northern CA.

Leader: Gordon “GT” Tom

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Want to experience the Sutter Buttes with-out the hike??? 

Let us bring the beauty of the Sutter Buttes to you through this fantastic seated tour...

sutter buttes hiking image

"Secrets of the Sutter Buttes"

and experience the Sutter Buttes right from your seat at Swan Central!
Sunday, 11/10

Time: 9:00am-10:30am

Meet: Swan Central Festival Venue

Difficulty: 1

Limit: 50

Cost: *Free to attend!

Description: Here's an opportunity for glimpses into the mysterious Sutter Buttes. Travel through the Buttes without ever leaving your chair as you enjoy this fascinating slide presentation on the many facets and wonders of the remarkable landscape that makes up the Sutter Buttes.

Leader
: Mike Hubbartt

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Field Trip Difficulty Ratings The following rating system for field trips will give you an idea of the difficulty level involved.
  1. Wheelchair accessible
  2. Birding by car and/or easy walking
  3. Lots of driving and walking could involve distance but largely flat
  4. More vigorous hiking, with some elevation gain/loss
A true adventure trip with strenuous hiking
Age Definitions Adult = 18 years old and older Youth = 17 years old and younger