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Winter Birding | Oso Flaco Lake, Guadalupe, CA

Distance: 3 miles | Duration: 210 minutes

Habitats: woodland, riparian scrub, lake, pond, shoreline, sand, dunes, estuary.

Note: Oso Flaco Lake Natural Area is a part of Oceano Dunes SVRA, a California State Park. Access is permitted sunrise to sunset throughout the year. Parking is $5 per vehicle.

We paid our fee, parked our car and walked on the paved road for a little while. Song Sparrows were very active in the wooded area.

A funny looking Chestnut-backed Chickadee perched by a limb covered with Spanish moss.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet.

We followed the path to the bridge and walked out over the lake.

Not very many birds on the lake although Ruddy ducks were diving by the bridge.

A Great Blue Heron was sunbathing.

A Northern Harrier on the lookout.

The end of the bridge was close.

A male California Thrasher was singing to a female nearby.

From the boardwalk we could admire a hardy coast scrub plant community growing on the stabilized dunes landscape.

This male Northern Flicker (Red-shafted) observed us for a while then started foraging the ground.

At the end of the boardwalk, a viewing platform was available to enjoy the San Luis Bay scenic views.

At the beach, we were greeted by Sanderlings and a couple of Western Snowy Plovers.

To our left, a few people were fishing in the distance.

We reached the Oso Flaco creek outflow,

Several House Finches were hiding in the reeds nearby.

We turned around and while on the bridge, we caught a glimpse of a Marsh Wren.

Male Cinnamon Teal.

Eared Grebe.

Northern Shovelers.

Male Common Yellowthroat.


Near the parking lot, a female Bushit was building a nest building with spider webs and plant materials.

We tallied 36 bird species including a Hutton's Vireo, Allen's Hummingbird, Black-crowned Night-heron, Turkey Vulture, Red-tailed Hawk, Nuttall's Woodpecker as well as Black Phoebes, White-crowned Sparrows, Spotted Towhees, Brewer's Blackbirds, Yellow-rumped Warblers, Bewick's Wrens, Downy Woodpeckers, Anna's Hummingbirds, American Coots, Mallards, and Double-crested Cormorants.


Credits and Additional Information


Oso Flaco Lake, a natural reserve with a variety of habitats ideal for birding.



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