A practical guide to bird watching in Sonoma County, California

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


North-end Bodega Harbor

Location aliases: The naming of the birding spots at the north end of Bodega Harbor could be better. "The north end of Bodega Harbor" should and does mean just that, but most people use the more general "Bodega Bay" to refer to the harbor area and the entire region. See the map this page and the general map of the Bodega Bay area on the Bodega Bay Overview page for geographical relationships.

©2011 Google – Imagery ©2011 DigitalGlobe, USDA Farm Service Agency, GeoEye, Data CSUMB SFML CA OPC Map data ©2011 Google

Location: North-end Bodega Harbor, Bodega Bay, CA 94923

GPS address: 1730 Westshore Rd., Bodega Bay should be close, but I have yet to confirm this one.

GPS Coordinates: 38 20 09N, 123 03 23W will take you to the Horse Trailer Pull-out

38 20 10N, 123 03 32W will take you approximately to the roadway (Westshore Rd.) in front of the West Rail Pond.

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

Access: Easy parking at the north end of the Horse Trailer Pull-out. You can also park on the main road further along Westshore Rd. (the road along the bay), toward the western end of the West Rail Pond. For more on the rail ponds, see the relevant page. The North end of the harbor (photo below) is easily viewed from anywhere along this section of Westshore Rd. 

Habitats: Ocean inlet, tidal mudflats, rocky beach

Typical Species: The north end of the harbor is an excellent spot to find various ocean-going ducks in the winter, and sometimes in the summer as well (Scoters, Bufflehead, Scaup, etc.), but this area is a particular favorite of Western Grebe and Clark's Grebe--often together, allowing for comparisons. Loons are common in the winter months. Brown Pelicans fish here at times. Double-crested cormorant is also common. Look for Osprey overhead. Terns and gulls fish and forage here. Any of the common shorebirds may be present on the east side of this area at low tide, at the places marked "mud flats" on the map at the top of this page, but especially Black Turnstone and Ruddy Turnstone and sometimes Spotted Sandpiper.

Unusual birds, sightings: Yellow-billed Loon (11/23/13, Gene Hunn); Redhead (10/28/13, Gene Hunn); Ruff (4/28/12, Lisa Hug); Brants (usually not present in the county in the summer) were frequently spotted here during the summer of 2011 (a group of about six birds that never left in the spring).

Restroom facilities: No facilities in the immediate area. Nearest are at Porto Bodega and across the road from  Spud Point Crab Co. Also at Bodega Head if you’re heading up that way.

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

Nearby attractions: See the Bodega Bay Overview page.

Related bird watching spots: This area is adjacent to the Rail Ponds and between Porto Bodega and Spud Point Crab Co.  

All photos by the author, unless otherwise indicated

Maps by Google Maps




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

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.