By Daryl Anne Goldman
Thanks to hard work and generous donations, 2019 Birdathon raised $65,000 for GGAS’s conservation, restoration, and education programs. We were fortunate to have help from local businesses in our Birdathon fundraising efforts and I’d like to share a few of them with you.
I got involved with the Birdathon Committee 4 years ago and my role has been to solicit prizes for the highest fundraisers, and this year, to help arrange a couple of the prizes for the auction. I’m someone who absolutely hates to ask for free things or favors, so there must be a big reason that I endure this minor form of torture. One reason is that I really appreciate all the hard work of the GGAS members who raise money for Birdathon, and another is that I really appreciate the wonderful programs of GGAS. It is also a great feeling when another nonprofit or business appreciates the work of our organization and wants to support us by donating two nights at their Inn or a pair of binoculars.
I want to share more about those that have been so generous in donating prizes for Birdathon because I think it is important that we, as birders and GGAS members, support the businesses that support us. Please mention GGAS if you do.
Out of this World Binoculars, Scopes and Cameras
The first time I sent a solicitation letter to Out of this World Optics in Mendocino they called me back one day later and offered us a pair of binoculars worth $800. They have been donating a pair of binoculars every year since. I have bought binoculars at their store and each time they were so helpful and never pushed a sale; once they even suggested that I wait 2 months until Zeiss came out with their new model because the price was going down. For those of you who can’t make it to Mendocino they have a wonderful website and can answer your questions by phone. For me it was worth it to visit the store and try and compare all their makes and models of binoculars and scopes. Click here for more info: http://www.outofthisworldshop.com/
Point Cabrillo Light Station Cottages – Mendocino
For several years now the nonprofit, Point Cabrillo Light Station Foundation, has donated a two night stay in one of their cottages which is just a two minute walk from the lighthouse. The cottage was originally used for storage by the light keepers and was restored in 2006 as a comfy one bedroom vacation rental with magnificent views of the Pacific Ocean. I always visit the lighthouse when I go to Mendocino because Cormorants and Black Oystercatchers nest on the cliffs there and the headlands is a great place to watch for whales and migrating birds. They have a very active birding community in Mendocino County and there are always posts about usual and unusual sightings at the many State Parks, beaches and the harbors. In fact, the day I wrote this blog (6/26) they reported a Summer Tanager and a Semipalmated Sandpiper on Dungeness Beach. It is a 5 minute drive to the village of Mendocino and a 10 minute drive to the many trails outside of Fort Bragg. Most years this prize includes two free tickets to the Mendocino Coast Botanical Garden, which is a birding and gardener’s paradise.
Click here for more info: http://pointcabrillo.org/
Jenner Inn – Sonoma County
Owner Charlie Coyne, who is dedicated to providing a good habitat for birds and birders, has generously donated two nights at his inn for a few years now. His inn sits across the estuary from Jenner Beach, at the mouth of the Russian River, and you can watch for birds from the balconies and the decks of the inn. The four acres of land and year-round creek behind the inn are augmented with bird feeders, native berry-producing plants and other natural vegetation to encourage bird populations. On one trip to Jenner Beach, I was surrounded by numerous species of shorebirds, sleeping sea lions and over 200 Brown Pelicans in full breeding plumage. It’s close to Russian River swimming beaches, numerous ocean beaches and hiking trails, as well as wonderful wineries and restaurants. Click here for more info: https://www.jennerinn.com/en-us
Howard Creek Ranch Inn Mendocino County
Howard Creek Ranch Inn is a registered historic 60 acre ocean front farm bordered by miles of beach and mountains on the Mendocino Coast. For a few years Sally and Charles Grigg have generously donated a night at their award-winning inn with its gardens, fireplaces and wood-burning stoves, hot tubs and saunas and a 75-foot swinging bridge over Howard Creek. It’s 40 minutes north of the village of Mendocino and is near the Lost Coast, which is a 60 mile long wilderness. You can stay in rooms or suites in the 1871 historic farmhouse or in cabins on the property. I always enjoy my communications with Sally, who is so kind and enjoys people discovering the birds of that area. Click here for more info: http://www.howardcreekranch.com/
Sierra Hot Springs – Sierraville CA
What could be better than birding all day and then soaking in pools of hot mineral water in the evening? Sierra Hot Springs is the perfect place to stay when you go on any trip to see the birds of the Sierra. This land has hosted hot springs resorts for the past 150 years and recently two of the springs have been beautifully redeveloped; the pools are open 24 hours a day. The Sierra Valley is an amazing place to go birding and this place offers a unique experience. I especially like the nearby Farmer’s Market on Fridays, the great café in Sierraville, and the cold, but swimmable lakes of the region. Click here for more info: http://www.sierrahotsprings.org/
Daryl Anne Goldman is a clinical psychologist and Master Birder who believes that anyone can find happiness and meaning by becoming a birder.