A practical guide to bird watching in Sonoma County, California

(Unless otherwise indicated, all phone numbers are in the 707 area code)


Diekmann's Bay Store, Bodega Bay, CA 94923

Location aliases: Usually referred to as Diekmann's Store or just Diekmann’s, but the store is actually called Diekmann's Bay Store. The area of coast visible from the store parking lot (over the edge of the parking lot perimeter fence, visible at left in the photo above), is a continuation of the habitat that extends from the Smith Brothers Rd. area north, including Lucas Wharf, Tides Wharf, and surrounding areas. Just beyond is Porto Bodega (which, by car, must be entered by continuing a good distance further on the main road (Hwy. 1) and taking a left at Eastshore Rd., off the map below). The area accessed from below the store’s parking lot deck via Porto Bodega (see below) is sometimes referred to as “Diekmann’s basement.” From the deck, you’re looking into “the basement” from above.
©2011 Google – Imagery ©2011 DigitalGlobe, USDA Farm Service Agency, GeoEye, Data CSUMB SFML CA OPC Map data ©2011 Google

Location: 1275 Highway 1, Bodega Bay, CA, 94923

GPS address: 1275 Highway 1, Bodega Bay, CA 94923

GPS Coordinates: 38 20 1N, 123 02 54W 

Tide information: See the NOAA Tides & Currents page for Bodega Harbor

Access: Note that Google Maps refers to this stretch of Highway 1 as "Bay Highway." They are one and the same. I've never heard locals use that name. 

Habitats: Bodega Bay, coastal scrub (although most of what is visible from the parking lot is essentially an overgrown garden full of echiums, nasturtiums, abutilon, and other flowers), tidal mud flats

Typical Species: Near the water's edge: All the common shorebirds and coastal species may be present, including Willet, Whimbrel, Black-bellied Plover, Greater Yellowlegs, Black Turnstone, and Ruddy Turnstone. Double-crested Cormorant, Pelagic Cormorant, Black-crowned Night Heron, Great Blue Heron, Western Gull, Ring-billed Gull, California Gull, Heermann’s Gull, Pied-billed Grebe, Brown Pelican, Western Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper are all common. Further out, loons, Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, and Surf Scoters are frequently present. Brant in the winter.

In the parking lot area: House Sparrow, Brewer's Blackbird, American Crow, European  Collared Dove, and European Starling are common. Gulls like to hang out on the roof of the main building and other buildings in the area.

The trees below the parking deck: Usually humming with Anna’s Hummingbirds going for nectar in the Abutilon, but also known as a vagrant trap. Frequently a good place to see many warbler varieties at once, and whatever stray birds may be around. Affords easy views of birds from above, which can be different and instructive. It’s possible to walk down along the shore to view this area from below (known colloquially as Diekmann’s basement). Access is to “the basement” is from Porto Bodega. Also, keep an eye on the big eucalyptus tree to your right as you look out over the parking deck.

More unusual birds, sightings (usually in the trees below the balcony): Orchard Oriole (10/27-29/15, Peter Colasanti); Nashville Warbler (10/26/15, Colin Talcroft); Magnolia Warbler (10/17/15-10/26/15, Stephanie Sorby); Lucy’s Warbler (1/15/-3/10/15, Dea Freid); Bullock’s Oriole (1/15/-1/17/15, Dea Freid); Nashville Warbler (1/16/15, Colin Talcroft); Orchard Oriole (12/26/13, Dea Freid); Swamp Sparrow (11/21/13, Ruth Rudesill); Northern Waterthrush (11/21/13, Ruth Rudesill); Palm Warbler (10/11/13, Mike Heffernon); Northern Waterthrush (10/10-10/19/13, Brook O’Conner); Nashville Warbler (9/17/13, Dan Nelson); Orchard Oriole (9/8/13, Scott Carey); Bullock’s Oriole (1/11/13, Dea Freid); Nashville Warbler (1/1-1/11/13, Bill Doyle); Peregrine Falcon (11/11, 2012, Alan Wight); Palm Warbler (10/12/12, Dea Freid), Baltimore Oriole (9/30-10/5/12, Scott Carey); Yellow Warbler (unusual at this time of year 2/21/12, Colin Talcroft); Nashville Warbler (2/21/12, Colin Talcroft); Yellow Warbler, (2/13/12, Dominik Mosur); Nashville Warbler, (2/13/12, Dominik Mosur); Black-headed Grosbeak (1/28/12); Nashville Warbler (1/1/12) ; Willow Flycatcher (8/31/11, Scott Carey)

Restroom facilities: Portable toilet at Porto Bodega, restrooms in Tides Wharf building.

Restaurants Nearby: See the Bodega Bay Overview page for restaurant recommendations.

Nearby attractions: See the Bodega Bay Overview page for details.

Related bird watching spots: To the south is the Tides Wharf area offering very similar habitat. The turn-off to the left (when heading north, with the sea on your left) at Eastshore Rd. beyond Diekmann's Store leads down to Porto Bodega and other areas. See the Bodega Bay overview page for geographical context.  

Notes: The opposite side of this same area is visible from the parking lot at Porto Bodega Marina. There are various other spots along this stretch of Highway 1, but often parking is unavailable. The Tides and Porto Bodega are convenient because parking is available. 

The birds in the photo: Anna’s Hummingbird, October 22, 2012 (above), Magnolia Warbler, October 21, 2015 (middle), Townsend’s Warbler, January 17, 2015 (below)

All photos by the author, unless otherwise indicated

Maps by Google Maps




© Colin Talcroft, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015

Unless noted, all photos by the author. If you would like to use one of my images, please ask for permission for non-commercial use with proper credit or commercial use with proper compensation.