Big Sur

Big Sur Big Sur

Andrew Molera State Park

California's Big Sur region is characterized by rugged coastline, chaparral, and thick evergreen forests. Traveling south from Monterey Bay on Highway 1 gives a person access to several good parks in the region. Birding here can be quite excellent though the area can be hot and crowded as I found on a recent trip.

Point Lobos: This small state park gives access to trails through coastal evergreen forests, rugged coastline and excellent views of offshore rocks. Species such as Brant's and Pelagic Cormorant, Brown Pelican and various gull species are common here and glancing upwards might provide a view of species such as White-throated Swift flying by. This is also a good location to view seals and Sea Otters.

Andrew Molera: This park is known to be a good place to view the region's reintroduced California Condors, though I have yet to see them there myself. It supports a good amount of riparian habitat and is also known for its rare migrants.

Peiffer: Another park known for its Condors. While Molera tends to be more open and riparian habitats, Peiffer consists mostly of dense evergreens. On a recent visit, I saw the usual mix of species for this region including Stellar's Jay and Acorn Woodpecker. This park also tends to be a very group camping oriented location.

Directions: Travel south on Highway 1 from the Monterey Bay area and you will pass all 3 of these parks with Point Lobos just south of the Carmel area. Its about an hour drive from Carmel to Peiffer. A $10 entrance fee is required for these State Parks but the fee grants access to all three.


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