Bradford Is. Bell's Vireo and access

Dave Weber

After some early morning birding in Amador County, I planned to make the 10 am ferry crossing to Bradford Island, but construction on Cypress Rd prevented that. While waiting for the 11 am ferry two vehicles with Bradford residents got in line. I asked one gentleman about the island. He gave a lot of info, including that the residents on Webb Island are not so tolerant of strangers. He was intrigued by the vireo and apparently was unaware that birders had been visiting. No one said anything about Bradford being non-accessible, not even the Sherriff who was also there or the ferry deck hand or the guy at the Valero who sold me the ticket. At noon I found the Bell’s Vireo. It was almost exactly 8/10s of a mile from the ferry. A barbed-wire fence pointing downhill and a black pipe parallel to it point almost exactly to the vireo spot. I got in line for the 1 pm ferry back. One of the vehicles from earlier pulled up and a woman who was friendly wanted to know if I was DFW. Just birding I told her and said that birders had been informed that being on the island was OK. She said it was not, and that they pay a huge assessment to the county for their privacy. I totally agreed with her and said I would pass it on. Me… I won’t go back.  Thanks to those who found the bird… but just wondering who besides residents are actually allowed on the island? I could ask a lot more questions but won’t.


Dave Weber,


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