The public is invited to a free, guided tour of the city of Davis Wetlands — a 400-acre wetland and grassland waste water treatment complex — from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, May 4.
A team of trained docents from the Yolo Basin Foundation will lead the tour.
At this time of the year, wetlands become one of nature’s nurseries. As the high water has receded, more birds have found nest sites in the wetlands, including Canada geese, northern shovelers, gadwalls, green-winged and cinnamon teals, marsh wrens, western kingbirds, and various species of blackbirds.
A permanent resident of local wetlands, the gadwall is a dabbling duck, a bird that feeds by tipping down into the water, that is frequently overlooked due to its subtle coloring. Hens resemble female mallards but have thinner, darker bills. Drakes are intricately patterned with soft pastel grays and tans and have a black rump. Both male and female have a black-bordered, white wing patch.
All those wanting 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 Road 28H. Participants should bring their binoculars, water (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 waste water treatment station heading north from Davis on Poleline Road (going toward Woodland), turn right on Road 28H and go three miles east, just past County Road 105.
No reservations are required. For more information, call Michael Herrera at 530-758-1018 or visit the Yolo Basin Foundation website at www.yolobasin.org.
The Yolo Basin 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.