Reservations are open for a day trip to the Salton Sea led by San Bernardino County Museum Director Robert McKernan on Saturday Jan. 26, a museum representative announced Thursday.
The cost is $60 per person for Museum Association members, and $70 per person for non-members, which includes transportation, lunch, snacks, and beverages.
Space is limited and pre-paid registration is required by Jan. 21, museum spokeswoman Jennifer Reynolds said.
The Salton Sea, a former dry lake bed that filled again during an engineering accident in the early 1900s, is the largest inland surface water body in California, according to historians and scientists.
Generations of migrating birds have grown accustomed to the sea, and a National Wildlife Refuge at its south end is a major stop on the Pacific Flyway, Reynolds said.
"The Salton Sea supports one of the most diverse bird populations in the United States, with more than 375 species," McKernan said. "It is one of the most impressive areas in the nation for observing wintering bird life. This day trip will provide us an opportunity to learn about the natural history of the Salton Basin."
McKernan is an ornithologist, he has studied birds at the Salton Sea for more than 30 years, and he's led hundreds of field trips to the area, Reynolds said.
Participants in the field trip will be asked to meet at the museum at 6 a.m. Jan. 26 for a 6:30 a.m. departure. Return at the end of the day is scheduled around 6 p.m.
"McKernan recommends bringing along a field guide to birds and a pair of binoculars," Reynolds said. "Wear sturdy, comfortable shoes, a hat, and a jacket. There will not be strenuous hiking, but be prepared for walking short distances on dirt and on loose sand and gravel."
To make reservations call the Museum Association at (909) 307-2669 ext. 250 or visit the museum's website, www.sbcounty.gov/museum, for a registration form.
The San Bernardino County Museum is at 2024 Orange Tree Lane, near the California Street exit from Interstate 10 in Redlands.