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ENVIRONMENT

Notes about your surroundings

August 28, 1994

Wetlands Tours--Guided public tours of the Bolsa Chica wetlands will be held Saturday morning.

The tours, sponsored by Amigos de Bolsa Chica, will depart from the wetlands' ecological reserve every 20 minutes beginning at 9 a.m. The last tour will depart at 10:30 a.m.

Bolsa Chica is one of the best bird-watching sites in the county. Birds likely to be seen on the tours include great blue herons, avocets, egrets and sandpipers.

Those who would like to take the tour are asked to meet at the ecological reserve on Pacific Coast Highway about one-half of a mile south of Warner Avenue, across from Bolsa Chica State Beach.

Bird House--The Audubon House in Irvine is a great place to observe a variety of birds in their natural habitat. The house is located at a trail head leading to five ponds of varying depths. The ponds attract a variety of local shorebirds. Red-tailed hawks are also often spotted in the vicinity. The ponds also provide one of the last breeding grounds in Orange County of the white-tailed kite. September also marks the beginning of the migration season for shorebirds migrating from Canada, including western sandpipers, long-billed dowitchers and cinnamon teals.

The Audubon House also serves as a educational outlet, featuring programs and exhibits, and houses a small in-house library.

Open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, the Audubon House is at 3512 Michelson Drive on property owned by the Irvine Ranch Water District offices.

To get to the Audubon House, take the San Diego Freeway to Jamboree Road and head south. Turn left on Michelson Drive, then go to the second signal and turn right. The street is unnamed, but the Irvine Ranch Water District offices should be on your right. Follow the signs leading to the Duck Club. The Audubon House is next to the Duck Club. For more information, call (714) 261-7963.

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