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Eagle Spotting Cruise
updated: Dec 21, 2013, 3:30 PM

By Edhat Subscriber

I spent a gorgeous Friday morning aboard the Lake Cachuma's eagle-spotting cruise boat in the company of two other passengers and Ranger Liz, who piloted the large pontoon boat across the lake and into quiet coves to view many different types of water and soaring birds. We saw Peregrines, Double-crested cormorants, Canada Geese, Coots, White Pelicans,a Merlin, Say's and Black Phobes, Western Meadowlarks, Juncos, a Rock Wren, a Bald Eagle, Spotted Sandpipers, hundreds of Grebes, including a pair doing their balletic mating dance across the surface of the water. We also observed the official survey vessel taking water depth measurements.

Liz gave us many tips about looking for birds in their habitat, was wonderfully enthusiastic and personable. What a great trip for any nature lover@ $15 a head, plus $10 auto entrance fee to the park. Open trips run Fri and Sat for two hours, at 10 and 2. Groups of 15 or more can reserve a private tour during weekdays. Note: anyone who can get a confirmed sighting of a cougar gets two free passes to the tour!

Lake Cachuma campground on a winter Friday morning was almost empty except for many songbirds and some motorhomes, but campers were due to roll in throughout the pre-holiday weekend as campsites are reservable. There are 'cabins' (trailers) and yurts to rent as well, all perche d on the bluffs above the lake. Early morning was quite chilly with a breeze on the water, but by 12 the temperature had climbed to shorts weather. Strikes me as a great mid-week getaway through the drier weeks in winter. Just you and the water and the birds.

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