Members of the public are invited to join docents from Yolo Basin Foundation on Saturday on a free, guided tour of the city of Davis wetlands.
Recent visitors report seeing impressive numbers of mixed gaggles of geese and several smaller flocks of American avocets and black-necked stilts. In contrast to large congregations of circling waterfowl and shorebirds on the wing, great blue herons stand solitary and still.
The great blue heron is the largest heron in North America. It has a blue-gray body, rusty neck and thighs, and a black-and-white striped crown. Unmistakable in flight with slow, majestic wing beats, its long neck is tucked into an “S” shape and long legs trail behind a short tail.
Great blue herons hunt alone in ponds, rivers and agricultural fields. Prey, including aquatic animals, small mammals and insects, is caught with a lightning-quick thrust of its large yellow-and-gray bill and swallowed whole.
All those wishing to join the tour should meet a few minutes before 3 p.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 bring 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. Tours run rain or shine.
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. For more information, call Heidi Satter at 530-757-4828 before the day of the tour, 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.