Killdeer courtship can be seen at the Davis wetlands on the March 5 tour. Bruce Patton/Courtesy photo

Killdeer courtship can be seen at the Davis wetlands on the March 5 tour. Bruce Patton/Courtesy photo

Agriculture + Environment

Birds are the stars at Davis wetlands

By February 24, 2011

The city of Davis wetlands will be open to the public for a  guided tour from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, March 5. These specially created wetlands northeast of Davis use treated waste and storm water to create habitat for year-round residents and migrating birds wintering in the Davis area.

Killdeer abound at the entrance to the Davis wetlands, running in spurts under the solar panels. Their distinct call, KILL-DEER, can be heard repeatedly as they circle above on slender, rapidly beating wings. These tawny shorebirds, slender members of the plover family, have two distinct, black breast bands and a red eye ring.

Although many species of waterfowl are starting to return to their nesting areas in the north, a wide variety of ducks can still be seen at the wetlands. Ruddy ducks, Northern shovelers, canvasbacks, American widgeons, Northern pintails and buffleheads were sighted recently.

All those wishing to join the tour should meet a few minutes before 9 a.m. at the gate in front of the city’s wastewater treatment plant, east of the Yolo County Landfill on County Road 28H. Participants should take their own binoculars, water (there is no potable water on site), and field guide. Docents will have spotting scopes to enhance wildlife viewing. Most of the tour is by car on firm gravel roads, with a couple of optional short walks in the wetlands. A portable toilet is available on the route.

To reach the wastewater treatment station, head north on Pole Line Road, turn right on Road 28H and go 3 miles east, just past County Road 105. The group meets at the gate east of the intersection.

This is a free tour.  No reservations are required, and the tours run rain or shine. For more information, call Heidi Satter at (530) 757-4828 or visit the Yolo Basin Foundation website at www.yolobasin.org.

The foundation works in cooperation with the city of Davis to offer the Davis wetlands tours. Yolo Basin is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the appreciation and stewardship of wetlands and wildlife through education and innovative partnerships.

Special to The Enterprise

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