A practical guide to bird watching in Sonoma County, California

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


Roberts Lake Park, Rohnert Park, 94928

Location aliases: Apparently none. Most locals probably don't know the proper name of the lake and park (Roberts Lake or Roberts Lake Park). People usually refer to this spot by saying things like "that lake next to Highway 101, where Santa Rosa Ave. ends."

©2011 Google – Imagery ©2011 DigitalGlobe, USDA Farm Service Agency, GeoEye, Map data ©2011 Google

Location: Technically in Rohnert Park, but many people will likely think of this as part of Santa Rosa. Roberts Lake and the park around it are at the south end of Santa Rosa Ave. Here the street name changes to Roberts Lake Rd. The lake is easily accessed from the Golf Course Dr. exit off Highway 101 (also shown as Redwood Highway on the map).

GPS address: 5000 Roberts Lake Dr., Rohnert Park, CA should take you to the little shopping center immediately south of the park and lake, but some GPS units may show this address as in Santa Rosa. Google maps puts it in Petaluma, so you might have to try Petaluma, if Rohnert Park doesn't work.

GPS Coordinates: 38.3660N, 122.7114W (or 38 21 58N, 122 42 41W)

Access: Ample on-street parking all along the lake on Roberts Lake Rd.

Habitats: Suburban park, lake 

Typical Species: Canada Goose, Mallard, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, California Gull, Ring-billed Gull, Double-crested Cormorant, Turkey Vulture, Mourning Dove, Anna's Hummingbird, Western Scrub-jay, American Crow, Oak Titmouse, Bushtit, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Western Bluebird, American Robin, European Starling, Orange-crowned Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Spotted Towhee, California Towhee, Song Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Golden-crowned Sparrow, Brewer's Blackbird, House Finch, Lesser Goldfinch, American Goldfinch. A good place to look for gulls in the winter. Ducks overwinter here as well. There is also a resident population of ducks and geese, including some odd hybrids.

Unusual birds, sightings: Ross's Goose (December 16, 2011); Cackling Goose (December 16, 2011); Glaucous-winged Gull (December 12, 2011)

Restroom facilities: None in the park, but there are many restaurants nearby (see below) and the Doubletree Hotel is around the corner, on Doubletree Dr. 

Restaurants nearby:  Hana Japanese Restaurant is at 101 Golf Course Dr., Rohnert Park, CA 94928 (586-0270). Latitude Restaurant, which shows on the Google map, closed at the end of 2010, although it seems to be operating as something else (not a restaurant--more a club). With the exception of Hana and the Bacchus Restaurant & Wine Bar at the Doubletree Hotel (1 Doubletree Dr., Rohnert Park, CA 584-5466), it's mostly fast food in the immediate area. On the opposite side of Highway 101 you'll find a Taco Bell, Mary's Pizza Shack, a Fresh Choice, an Outback Steakhouse, a McDonald's, and a Chili's Grill & Bar. See location pages for Santa Rosa and Petaluma for more ideas.

Nearby attractions: There are two golf courses next door. Otherwise, see location pages for Santa Rosa and Petaluma for more ideas. 

Related bird watching spots: Close to Crane Creek Regional Park and Sonoma State University Campus. Petaluma area birding locations are to the south (see Shollenberger Park, Lucchesi Park, and Ellis Creek Water Recycling Facility). Annadel State Park, Channel Dr., Spring Lake Park, and Lake Ralphine, among others, are to the north, in the Santa Rosa area.

The bird in the photo: Glaucous-winged Gull, Roberts Lake Park, December 12, 2011

All photos by the author, unless otherwise indicated

Maps by Google Maps



© Colin Talcroft, 2009, 2010, 2011.

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.