Presidio, San Francisco
The bayside of the Golden Gate Bridge is a great spot for landbirds, and Crissy Field’s restored wetlands have enticed marshland birds back to the area. The Palace of Fine Arts has nesting herons and waterfowl. Birding is best fall through spring.
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Colma Creek Public Shore, South San Francisco
This marsh at the end of Colma Creek is a busy feeding zone for shorebirds and ducks, despite its proximity to Highway 101 and San Francisco International Airport. Look for activity along the marsh islands at low tide.
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Palo Alto Baylands Preserve
This well-established preserve is one of the best bird-watching destinations in the Bay Area. The marshlands are host to a sizable local population of shorebirds and a migratory stopover on the Pacific Flyway.
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Visit the southernmost reaches of the Bay to see what a transformation from salt ponds to tidal wetlands has done for shorebird habitats. A 4.5-mile loop trail will take you to one of the most remote sections of the Bay. End your tour with some time at the Alivso Environmental Education Center.
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Grab your binoculars and explore a shorebird paradise at the restored wetlands of Inner Bair Island, part of the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay Wildlife Refuge. The Bay Trail leads to raised observation platforms with views out over 1,400 acres of new vegetated marsh.
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Hayward Regional Shoreline
This 1,811-acre shoreline park is a haven for over 200 bird species including egrets, herons, shorebirds, and other water fowl. Bring your binoculars and scopes out on the trail and enjoy the birds in these valuable wetlands during migration season.
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Hoffman Marsh, Richmond
Between Point Isabel Regional Shoreline and Meeker Slough, walk the approximately one-mile stretch of Bay Trail next to Hoffman Marsh and look for egrets, herons, shorebirds, ducks, and other waterfowl. If you’re lucky, you might also catch a glimpse of a Ridgway’s Rail.
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White Slough, Vallejo
Mudflats reclaimed by nature now host hundreds of waterfowl, raptors, shorebirds, and gulls. Black Rail are known to breed here, and likely Ridgway’s Rail too. The Saltmarsh Common Yellowthroat also breeds here, as do Least Terns. All seasons have good birding potential.
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John F. Kennedy Park, Napa
The marshland habitat along the river at this well-developed park provides many birding opportunities, and a boat ramp and dock allow access to the water to bird from kayaks, canoes, and other water craft.
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Las Gallinas Sanitary District Wildlife Area, San Rafael
Waste water treatment plants often provide birders excellent opportunities to see marshland species from levee trails encircling ponds, and Las Gallinas includes wildlife viewing as part of its mission. Numerous waterfowl including Cackling Goose, Erurasion Wigeon, Osprey, Golden Eagle, Ferruginous Hawk, four species of falcon and the Great Horned Owl have been spotted here. Birding is best fall through spring.
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