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Oceanside Birdwatching

Oceanside, California is a beautiful beach city known and loved for its spectacular coastline. While it makes for amazing time on the sand, this same landscape also draws in bird species of all kinds. Those who are looking forward to birdwatching while they’re in town will want to be sure to add the following stops to their itinerary to make the most of the view, and don’t forget to check out our Oceanside waterfront rentals so you can stay close to all of the fun!

Visit the Buena Vista Audubon Nature Center & Museum

Located at 2202 So. Coast Highway in Oceanside, the Buena Vista Audubon Nature Center and Museum is a prime place for birdwatching enthusiasts to get their fill of great sights! This destination is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm and Sundays from 1:00 pm until 4:00 pm. A visit here provides access to great birdwatching areas and trails as well as exhibits and displays that feature local and migratory bird information. Some of the species of birds that make their way in this direction include red-shouldered hawks, northern flickers, barn owls, and white pelicans just to name a few. Those looking for guided birding experiences will find the center typically hosts three birdwatching trips each month that are listed on their community calendar.

The Buena Vista Audubon Nature Center opens up to the Buena Vista Lagoon which is the only freshwater lagoon of its kind in all of California! Oceanside trails leading around the lagoon provide birdwatchers with incredible opportunities to observe a variety of waterfowl that call this destination home. Additionally, the lagoon attracts geese and ducks as well as cormorants, gulls, and terns.

Explore Guajome Regional Park

Those who enjoy pairing hiking and birding will find Guajome Regional Park to be an idyllic place for both. Located at 3000 Guajome Lake Road, Guajome Regional Park is a bird watcher’s dream, with upward of 144 species documented within its boundaries. The park is filled with trails and ponds that draw in local and migratory species alike. The Upper Pond Loop is a particularly lucrative birding area complete with dry grasslands and reed-rich areas alike. Spottings can include lesser goldfinches, California towhees, and Cassin’s kingbirds too. Red-shouldered hawks, American kestrels, and house wrens can also be spotted regularly in this area.

Check Out the Whelan Lake Bird Sanctuary

This protected oasis for migratory and resident waterfowl is a wonderful place to get your eyes on some amazing winged species while you’re visiting Oceanside. In total, the sanctuary covers 73 acres of land which hosts a man-made lake once owned by the Whelan family. The sanctuary is rich in grasses, scrub, and chaparral habitats that appeal to waterfowl of all kinds. Over 170 species have been documented on-site including white pelicans, ducks, willow flycatchers, and Canadian geese. Visits to the sanctuary must be arranged with a reservation in advance of arrival.

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