Leader: Biologist Tom Edell has tracked San Luis Obispo County birds for over 40 years. He is an eBird reviewer for the county, serves on the Board of the Bay Foundation of Morro Bay, and leads offshore boat trips for the Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival.
Description: Villa Creek is a prime location for bird watching with its proximity to a wide variety of different natural habitats to support them. We will identify different species and learn more about their behaviors and how to identify them. Our walk will take us through the coastal bluff to the beach and then along the beach to the Villa Creek lagoon. On our way back we will check the rocky shoreline if time permits. We will observe a wide variety of birds including waterfowl, ocean birds ( grebes and cormorants), gulls, shorebirds (Snowy Plover), sparrows and finches. Learn about their behaviors - feeding, vocalizations, nesting and more. Trip distance will be about 1.5 miles.
Goal: To identify coastal birds while observing their behaviors in their native habitats from the bay, rocky shores and sandy beaches to the grasslands nearer the highway.
Logistics: Bring binoculars and wear sturdy shoes. Meet in the Villa Creek dirt parking lot north of Cayucos at Villa Creek Road and Hwy 1. Moderate two hour hike. RSVP required.
Leaders: Barb Renshaw is an Elfin Forest volunteer and walk leader who specializes in plant walks and sketch walks. Jeff Reifel is a Friends of El Moro Elfin Forest Director and retired science teacher.
Description: Capture early spring flowers with your camera or sketch pad as we walk through the dune scrub and maritime chaparral of the El Moro Elfin Forest. Fuchsia-flowered gooseberries, California peonies, and manzanita bloom among the coast live oaks. The boardwalk offers excellent views of the estuary, Hollister Peak, and the morros.
Goal: To identify and learn about some of our local native plants with stops to sketch and take photos along the way.
Logistics: Meet at the north end of 11th St. in Los Osos (cross street Santa Ysabel). Bring water, sketching materials or camera. Easy walk on a short sand trail and then a boardwalk. 1 mile, 2 hours. Rain cancels. RSVP required. Limit of 10. Latter half of January to latter half of February to have gooseberries, peonies, and manzanitas in bloom.
Leader: Dr. Joel Germond is neither a biologist nor an expert, but has been an avid lover and observer of nature since childhood. Since moving to the area in 2007 he has focused on learning to identify and photograph all the interesting biodiversity of the amazing California central coast. Dr. Germond is a ceramicist and licensed clinical psychologist and is semi-retired. He hikes daily with Paolina Aligero, his wife, a retired Social Worker and avid nature lover as well.
Description: Hollywood Hill - sometimes called Hang Glider Hill by the locals is host to an amazing biodiversity that is mostly unsuspected by those driving past on Hwy 1. Badgers, Mountain Lions and over 75 species of birds have been seen in these environs. Our hike will take us through coastal chaparral, grassy hillsides and along a thicket of willows and honeysuckle. Perhaps we'll see one of the many species of reptiles and amphibians that are to be found up there.
Goal: To observe, enjoy and record the animal and plant species found on Hollywood Hill.
Logistics: Bring binoculars (cameras optional) and wear sturdy shoes. Meet at the water towers adjacent to Hacienda Drive (south of Old Creek Rd.). This rigorous walk will proceed up the backside of Hollywood hill to the top and loop back. Two hours or longer.
Leader: Tom Seville is a life long observer of the natural world and very interested in the Biology of Estero Bluffs State Park. Tom has found iNaturalist to be a fun and efficient program enabling non-specialists to add to the scientific community data set, explore our own Estero Bluffs State Park, learn a little Biology, and view the natural world surrounding Cayucos from a Citizen/Scientist perspective.
Description: Have fun while contributing to our community’s understanding of the organisms found at the Estero Bluffs State Park. Participants will use cell phones to photograph observed species within the Park boundaries. Photos collected are downloaded in to the iNaturalist App for Species Identification with location coordinates. Data collected is used to determine species present, distribution, and population.
Goal: To observe, identify and record the species found at Estero Bluffs State Park on the iNaturalist App.
Logistics: It is recommended that you download the iNaturalist App onto your smart phone before the walk from . Be sure to “Create an Account” on iNaturalist to enjoy the fun! Data collected is best viewed from a Desktop or LapTop Computer when you return home. Wear sturdy shoes and bring a water bottle.