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Gray Lodge Wildlife Area (Gridley)

Sunday, December 12, 2021 @ 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Here’s another chance to experience the incredible spectacle of millions of waterfowl convening every winter to turn the Central Valley into a veritable avian Serengeti.  Join GGAS on a day trip to Gray Lodge, a California State Wildlife Area on the north side of the Sutter Buttes, “the world’s smallest mountain range”, in the center of the Sacramento Valley.

Each winter, hundreds of thousands of Snow Geese and Ross’s Geese turn the ponds and fields in and around Gray Lodge white, earning their moniker.  And that’s just two of the many species of waterbirds that fill the waters and air with vibrant color and raucous sound.  An abundance of raptors follow the flocks as well.  Here’s one representative list from last December:  https://ebird.org/checklist/S77937680

It’s a short walk out to an observation platform, and then a mile-long hiking loop (flat with loose gravel) with several birding blinds along the way, and then we’ll caravan in our individual cars through a 3-mile auto loop.  See map:  https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentID=87802

We’ll cap it off with a sunset fly-in that can include an astonishing swirling storm of ducks and geese, with a decent chance of good views Great Horned Owls.

Unfortunately, all participants will need to drive themselves there, as we cannot carpool or travel together in a van or bus at this time. It’s ~ a 2.5 hour drive from The Bay Area.  Leave home early to allow extra time to stop along the way for other birds, especially Sandhill Cranes (which aren’t usually in nearly the numbers at Gray Lodge as elsewhere in the Central Valley).

If you’d rather not drive home after dark, or if you want to stay overnight for a second day of birding in the area, there are a few motels 15 minutes away in Gridley and many more options ~30 minutes away in Yuba City and Marysville.

The Cal Dept of Fish & Wildlife (CDFW) charges a $5 fee for a “lands pass”.  Feel free to bring lunch for a picnic before we start.

Looking forward to witnessing this awe-inspiring annual wildlife extravaganza with you!


Leader: Fred Werner, sustainablefred@gmail.com

This trip is free but advance registration is required. Registration will open two weeks before the trip and close at 4 p.m. on Thursday, December 9.  Directions for registered participants are below.

Please note the public health guidelines for this trip, as we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic:

  • Walk is limited to 25 participants plus the leaders. There will not be a waiting list.

  • Participants must register online and acknowledge acceptance of our liability waiver. Each person must register separately. No “drop ins,” please.

Thank you for your flexibility in helping us ensure that everyone remains healthy! Because we have to limit the size of trips, please do not sign up unless you are committed to attending.

Directions: 3207 Rutherford Rd, Gridley, CA 95948

Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/2j1LkNSmhrsmdeGp7


Sunday, December 12, 2021
1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Category:

Registrations are closed due to registration deadline or maximum capacity