By CLARK TATE
Break out your binocs— the birds are back in town. The seasons are shifting, migrations have begun and, from August to October, a spectacularly diverse assemblage of bird species will be passing through. Trailing on their tailfeathers will be an equally colorful flock of birders flying in from around the globe to participate in the Monterey Bay Birding
Festival Sept. 12-15.
Monterey Bay is dreamy for many reasons — flourishing marine life, worldclass surf breaks, miles upon miles of hiking and biking trails, etc. — and its truly spectacular birding prospects stack up with the best of them. They inspired Hitchcock. The area’s extreme range and diversity of habitat types (Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Big Sur, Elkhorn Slough National Marine Estuary, Pinnacles National
Monument) make it an ideal avian stopover. Smack in the middle of the autumn
flocking frenzy, the Birding Festival takes full advantage of the splendor nature so nicely delivers to our front door.
Offering field trips to local birding hotspots, water adventures to view seabirds, birding workshops, social events and speaker presentations, the festival is a varied affair. Expert guides will show you the ropes and point out the feathery eye candy.
Once you register for the festival, event prices range from $0 to $154, with most falling
between $10 and $25.