After the driving rain came the warm California sun and the promise of expanding Big Year list. The eleven hours of driving down Interstate 5 and then west on the 505 to San Francisco brought me to the KOA kabin in Petaluma. I didn’t have any trouble falling asleep, except for the swans and wigeon dancing in my head.
The first stop was the famed hot spot of Shollenberger Park from 8am till 10am. The walk around the lake and marshes was slow and thorough. I expected to see more people toting around tripods, spotting scopes, backpacks and cameras but instead there were nice joggers, moms with strollers, an occasional man with lifted eyebrows, and solitary quiet walkers enjoying (perhaps) the surroundings as much as I.