A practical guide to bird watching in Sonoma County, California

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


Bodega Bay, CA 94923: Tides Wharf

Location aliases: Variously referred to as The Tides, Tides Wharf, and The Tides parking lot

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

Location: 835 Highway 1, Bodega Bay, California, 94923

GPS address: 835 Highway 1, Bodega Bay, 94923

GPS Coordinates: 38 19 45N, 123 02 41W

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

Access: "The Tides" can refer to any area around the Tides Wharf. Birds may be anywhere in the vicinity, but bird watchers usually mean the pocket of shallow shore area on the right side of the parking lot that is easily visible from there--the right side if you're facing the water. 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 "Bay Highway."

Habitats: Pacific Ocean coast, tidal mud flats

Typical Species: Near the water's edge: Willet, Whimbrel, Western Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Marbled Godwit, Black Turnstone, Ruddy Turnstone, Great Blue Heron, Snowy Egret, Double-crested Cormorant, Western Gull, Ring-billed Gull, California Gull, Pied-billed Grebe, Western Grebe, Brown Pelican. Further out, loons, scoters, and other ocean-going ducks are frequently present, Pelagic Cormorant, Bufflehead, Greater Scaup, American Coot. Brant in the winter. In the parking lot area, House Sparrow, Brewer's blackbird, American Crow, and European Starling are common. Gulls like to hang out on the roof of the main building and other buildings in the area. Large flocks of the smaller sandpiper species often collect along the rocks that project out into the water here (see photo). 

Unusual birds, sightings: Long-tailed Duck just north of this location (November 19, 2011). This spot has been known to occasionally harbor  a variety of occasional rarities. 

Restroom facilities: Restrooms in the Tides 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: Between the Smith Brothers Rd. area and Diekmann's Bay Store. See the Bodega Bay Overview page for geographical context.  

Notes: The opposite side of this same area is visible from the window seats at Gourmet Au Bay, just up the road. There are various other spots along this stretch of Highway 1, but The Tides is convenient because parking is available.

The bird in the Photo: Willet, from the Tides parking lot.

All photos by the author, unless otherwise indicated

Maps by Google Maps




© Colin Talcroft, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012

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.