Field Trip: east ridged Hike of Sutter Buttes & Wine Tasting
This is a rare opportunity to gain access to the Sutter Buttes, the smallest mountain range in the world! The Shaeffer Family will host hikers to explore this ranch, on the north side of the Buttes, that has been in the same family since the 1860’s. Depending on visibility, the hike will include views of North Butte, Peace Valley, and an old Titan Missile site. In this beautiful oak grassland habitat, possible bird sightings include Golden Eagle, Phainopepla, Rufous-crowned Sparrow, Mountain Bluebird, Varied Thrush, and many other winter visitors. The rock formations and the geology of this part of the Buttes is amazing. No early departures on this trip. After the hike, the leaders will provide an optional visit to the nearby Cordi Winery for a free wine tasting!
Field Trip Leaders
Laura Lush, affiliated with Middle Mountain Interpretive Hikes
Laura Lush has been leading hikes in the Sutter Buttes for nearly 20 years and has been following birds around even longer. Born and raised in Yuba-Sutter, she looked at the Sutter Buttes her whole life and always wondered what they were like from the inside. The wonder of Nature and being in the Sutter Buttes never ceases! She is a long-time member of the board of directors for Middle Mountain Interpretive Hikes, a self-taught naturalist (with lots of wonderful mentors) and a certified California Naturalist. Laura teaches Art at River Valley High School in Yuba City, but finds a way to hang out with birds, bats, bugs, and flowers whenever she can.
Special note about the field trip
A special note about Field Trips Please arrive at the location indicated 30 minutes prior to your scheduled event. This will allow us time to check you in and ensure the trip leaves promptly. We ask that you follow your field trip leader from the meeting location to the final destination. Anyone arriving after the field trip leader has left may not be able to join the group. Most field trips will be limited to the first 20 reservations. Walk-in registration may be available for some events during the weekend of the Festival. Weather may change a trip's itinerary, but most trips will be conducted rain or shine. The weather in the valley during January is variable. It is generally cold and sometimes rainy, with daytime highs ranging from 50F to 65F. Be sure to bring the following on your field trips: rain gear, waterproof footwear, layered clothing, binoculars, camera, water and sack lunch. A sack lunch can be ordered when registering online. Please also check out the Tips & Etiquette below to help you enjoy your day to the fullest.
Tips & Etiquette for bird watchers
To make your trip more enjoyable for yourself and others, we ask you to please use these following etiquette tips:
- Wear clothing suitable for the weather and area you'll be hiking in. It's practical to layer clothing to accommodate fluctuations in temperature. Wear comfortable shoes that have a good grip and are waterproof when necessary. You may want to take sunscreen, a hat or rain gear.
- Bring binoculars or a scope for a better viewing experience.
- Bring water on long outings to stay hydrated.
- Bring a Field Guide if you are interested in learning more about the birds you see. If you are a beginning birder, look for a guide that specializes in birds of northern California.
- Be courteous to other explorers. Stay with your group and pay attention to your trip leader. Walk quietly and slowly. Do not disrupt animals or damage their habitats (breaking branches, trampling vegetation). Turn off cell phones or other electronic devices. If you are taking children with you, explain to them proper etiquette before the trip. Always behave in a manner that will enhance the image of the birding communities in the eyes of the public.
- Tune up your senses and listen carefully. Scan the horizon and tree canopies. Look to the ground for prints, feathers and other traces of wildlife. Please remove litter and leave natural items where they belong. This will keep it enjoyable for others when they visit.
- No dogs or pets allowed on any California Swan Festival event, workshop, or program. Please leave Fido with friends or family and not in the car during a field trip.