A practical guide to bird watching in Sonoma County, California

(Unless otherwise indicated, all phone numbers are in the 707 area code)


Carmody Rd. Pond, Two Rock, CA 94952

Location aliases: None. Generally known among local birders as "Carmody Rd. Pond." Note, however, that there are actually two farm ponds on this stretch of road, both on the right side of the road coming from the north (that is, from the direction of Valley Ford Rd.). The north pond is occasionally referred to as the "North Carmody Pond," but it really doesn't have a name among birders. It has a high berm around it which makes it hard to see from the road--in fact, it's easy to miss altogether. "Carmody Rd. Pond" usually refers to the larger, southernmost of the two ponds marked on the map here. It's very easy to see from the road. Scope for best results.

©2011 Google – Imagery ©2011 DigitalGlobe, GeoEye, USDA Farm Service Agency, Map data ©2011 Google

Location: Carmody Rd. runs north-south between Valley Ford Rd. and Fallon-Two Rock Rd., slightly south and west of Petaluma. The pond lies about two-thirds of the way south between the two east-west roads. The main Carmody Rd. Pond is just north of the Sonoma-Marin County border.   

GPS address: Oddly, online maps show Carmody Rd. also as Smith Rd. Some online maps show an address of around 50 Smith Rd., Two Rock, CA as near the pond. Both that address and 50 Carmody Rd., Petaluma, CA work on Google Maps to get close to the location. The relevant zip code appears to be 94952, which is mostly for Petaluma. In a GPS unit, you may have to try both Two Rock and Petaluma, both Smith Rd. and Carmody Rd. to find an address your unit recognizes. 

GPS Coordinates: The main pond is at 38.2787N, 122.8407W or 38 16 43N, 122 50 26W.

Access: Park as convenient on the side of the road.

Habitats: Agricultural land, freshwater pond, seasonal (winter) pools. Also see notes below.

Typical Species: Mallard, American Coot, Great Egret, Great Blue Heron, Greater Yellowlegs, Turkey Vulture, Red-tailed Hawk, Brewer's Blackbird, Red-winged Blackbird, Tri-colored Blackbird, European Starling.

Unusual species, sightings: Ferruginous Hawk (November 17, 2011, Kathleen Mugele); Lesser Yellowlegs (September 1, 2011); Greater White-fronted Goose (January 8, 2011, Ken Wilson); Tundra Swan (January 8, 2011, Ken Wilson); Snow Goose on "North" pond (October 14, 2010, Rich Stallcup); Pectoral Sandpiper (September 29, 2010, Lisa Hug); Semipalmated Sandpiper (September 21, 2010, Rich Stallcup); Greater White-fronted Goose (October 2, 2009, Alan Wight); Loggerhead Shrike (September 24, 2009, Ken Wilson); Wilson's Snipe (September 24, 2009, Ken Wilson); Pectoral Sandpiper (September 24, 2009, Ken Wilson); Pectoral Sandpiper (September 7, 2009, Ruth Rudesill); Baird's Sandpiper (September 7, 2009, Ruth Rudesill)

Restroom facilities: None.

Restaurants nearby:  Nothing in the immediate vicinity, but picnic supplies and deli sandwiches are available in the town of Two Rock. Otherwise, head for Petaluma or Bodega Bay. See relevant pages for restaurant recommendations. Or, head south to eat if you're moving in the direction of birding spots in Marin County, such as Point Reyes. There are good places to eat in the town of Point Reyes Station.

Nearby attractions: None in the immediate area, although the countryside is very pretty here. Marin County destinations are to the south. The town of Two Rock is quaint, with a couple of restaurants, a deli, a post office, and a shop or two. The historic downtown area of Petaluma has restaurants, galleries, antique and other shops, mainly on Kentucky St. and the surrounding areas. Good for a stroll and shopping. This area has some good Victorian architecture.  If you’re in the mood for bargain hunting, the Petaluma Village Factory Outlets outside of town may be of interest, at 2200 Petaluma Blvd. North (778-9300). Petaluma has a nice Carnegie Library still in operation that houses a small museum of local interest. (built in 1904; 20 Fourth St., Petaluma, CA 94952). For the gardener, Cottage Gardens is an excellent nursery, at 3995 Emerald Dr., Petaluma, CA 94952 (778-8025).

Related bird watching spots: The Bodega Farm Pond and Ragle Ranch Park are convenient if you're headed in the direction of Sebastopol or Santa Rosa. All Bodega Bay locations are nearby.

Notes: In winter, seasonal ponds form in much of the surrounding low-lying areas, especially during wet years. These may attract many more birds than usual. Generally speaking, the pond is likely to be more interesting during the winter months than in the summer.   

All photos by the author, unless otherwise indicated

Maps by Google Maps



© Colin Talcroft, 2009, 2010, 2011.

Unless noted, all photos by the author. If you would like to use one of my images, please ask for permission for non-commercial use with proper credit or commercial use with proper compensation.