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The List: Ten hot spots for birdwatching

Thursday, February 21st, 2013 | Posted by

Every once in a while, it’s time to smell the roses and watch the birds. Step into nature right here in Sonoma Valley. Each “hot spot” is within a 30-minute drive of Sonoma Plaza.

Bartholomew Memorial Park, 30 acres, 5 miles of trails. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily (main gate closes at 4:30 p.m. to incoming traffic), free. 1000 Vineyard Lane, 935-9511.

Gen. Vallejo’s Home, Sonoma State Historic Park, 50 acres, grasslands, mixed woodlands, ridges. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. $3 adults, $2 children. 298 W. Spain St., 938-9559.

Hood Mountain Regional Park, 1,750-acre wilderness. 8 a.m.-sunset daily, $7 per vehicle. 1450 Pythian Road, Kenwood, 565-2041.

Jack London State Historic Park, 2-mile lake trail loop, Sonoma Mountain trail, 8 1/4 miles round trip. 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday-Monday, $10 per vehicle. 2400 London Ranch Road, Glen Ellen, 938-5216.

Ledson Marsh – Lawndale Trail, Annadel State Park, 5-mile trail. 8 a.m.-sunset daily. $7 per vehicle. Trail starts at eastern end of park off Lawndale Road, Kenwood, 539-3911.

Sonoma Overlook Trail, 2-mile loop trail, kiosk with bird and wildflower checklist. Sunrise-sunset. Free. 18300 Norrbom Road at Mountain Cemetery, 996-0712.

Sonoma Plaza, 8-acre arboretum, tree and bird self-guided map available at the Sonoma Valley Visitors’ Bureau on the plaza. Sixty species of mature trees, lots of urban birds and farm ducks. Free. Downtown Sonoma, 938-3681.

Sonoma Valley Regional Park, 162-acre preserve, 3-mile loop hike (Suttonfield Reservoir). Sunrise-sunset. $7 per vehicle. 13630 Hwy. 12, Glen Ellen, 565-2041.

Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, 21 miles of trails, 2,700-acre park, Meadow Trail is a favorite of birders. Day use, camping. $8 per vehicle. 2605 Adobe Canyon Road, Kenwood, 833-5712.

Viansa Wetlands Overlook, 90-acre seasonal wetlands overlook. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. Free. 25200 Arnold Drive, 935-4700.

Source: Sonoma Birding

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Dianne Reber Hart is our Sonoma correspondent.

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