Adventures in nature and the outdoors can happen right in the Marina del Rey area, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors. The third year of the county-sponsored Outdoor Adventures series of birdwatching and kayaking events is set to get under way.
The first adventure in the series is a “Birdwatching Experience,” set to begin at 9 a.m. Thursday, February 24th, at Burton Chace Park, 13650 Mindanao Way, Marina del Rey. Participation is free.
Additional Outdoor Adventures birdwatching trips are planned for 9 a.m. Thursdays, March 24th, and May 26th; and 4 p.m. Thursdays, April 28th, and June 23rd.
The second Outdoor Adventure, harbor kayaking, will launch from Mothers Beach, 4135 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey, at 11:30 a.m. Saturdays, March 12th, April 9th, May 14th, June 11th, September 10th and October 1st, with recreational trips throughout the Marina’s basins.
Also, advanced kayaking sessions, for those confident in their kayaking experience, are scheduled for 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturdays, March 12th, April 9th, May 14th, June 11th, September 10th and October 1st, at Mothers Beach.
The experienced kayaking sessions head out from Marina Beach toward the north jetty to surf the waves aboard sit-on-top kayaks. The outings are instructed by Los Angeles County Ocean Lifeguards.
Both harbor and advanced kayaking sessions are $25 for ages ten through 18, and $30 for ages 19 and older. Prices include use of a kayak and equipment.
The birdwatching activities are led by Burton Chace Park Superintendent Jose Mata, who has studied ornithology and has led birdwatching tours for the Children’s Nature Institute and the Ballona Freshwater Marsh Docent.
The two-hour walks explore fresh and salt water marshes and view nesting sites of the Great Blue and Black Crowned Night Herons.
The most commonly seen birds on the tour include heron varieties, cinammon teals, ruddy ducks, whimbrels, double-crested cormorants and snowy egrets.
One of the birds that is less commonly seen on the tour is the belted kingfisher.
“It’s considered common, but we don’t always get to see it because their numbers aren’t as high,” says Mata. “We might get to see one per trip.”
The tour starts at Burton Chace Park, where bird nesting is less common than in past years, due to the trimming back of the trees, says Mata.
The tour continues to the Oxford Flood Basin, where there are eucalyptus trees with about 30 nests, says Mata. The tour eventually winds up at the Ballona Freshwater Marsh, the optimum site for birdwatching, due to its isolation.
Mata suggests that birdwatchers bring binoculars, sunblock, water, a hat and comfortable hiking shoes on the tour.
Information, (310) 305-9595.