Get ready for some special events starting this month, offered through the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. These weekend activities are open to all interested.
Sandhill Crane Wetland Tours. Docent-led public tours are offered at Woodbridge Ecological Reserve the first three Saturdays and Sundays of each month from October through February. Tours begin two hours before sundown. The tours correspond to the migratory birds’ fall/winter home in the Central Valley. This reserve is just west of Lodi and offers managed wetland habitat that draws the cranes each year. Visitors can register for tours up to eight weeks in advance online at www.wildlife.ca.gov/regions/3/crane-tour. Self-guided tours, highlighted by a set of interpretive panels, also are available at Woodbridge Ecological Reserve South Unit, 11154 W. Woodbridge Road, Lodi.
Gray Lodge Wildlife Area Tours. 12:30 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays from Oct. 22 through Feb. 5. This 90-minute walking tour covers slightly more than a half mile through this premier birding spot that highlights migratory waterfowl and other wetland wildlife. No reservations are necessary for groups of less than 20 people. A $4.32 Daily Use Fee is required for visitors without a valid annual CDFW pass, or California sport fishing, hunting or trapping license. There is no additional cost for the tour. Tours are canceled in heavy rain. Gray Lodge is located at 3207 Rutherford Road, Gridley. For more information, call (530) 846-7505 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Elkhorn Slough Ecological Reserve Tours. Volunteers lead walks every Saturday and Sunday, at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Binoculars and bird books are available for the public to borrow at no cost. The visitor center and main overlook are fully accessible. The day use fee is $4.12 per person, ages 16 and older. Groups of five or more need to notify staff that they are coming and groups of 10 or more can request a separate tour. For more information, visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/lands/places-to-visit/elkhorn-slough-er.