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Monterey County is one of the most beautiful places in the world. Dramatic coastline, towering forests, tranquil meadows and an abundance of wildlife make it a premier destination for nature lovers. Some come for the scenic views; some for the boating, hiking, bird or whale watching; others come to get away from it all. Whatever the reason, Monterey is a treasure that you just have to experience firsthand.

Beach News
Pfeiffer Beach in Big Sur, a scenic and popular spot for local residents and travelers lucky enough to find their way, is undergoing a major make-over. The day use area, beach and Sycamore Canyon Road will be closed to the public until Easter, 2002, in order to make significant improvements to the access road, parking lot and restroom facilities.

News and Events
Doing the Monterey Birdwalk
Monterey's Wild Bird Center shop has begun a series of walks for birdwatchers, and visitors to the area are welcome to join in. Walks take place the first three Saturdays of each month, led by local birding specialist Rob C. Fowler, and explore parks, wildlife refuges and nature preserves throughout the county.

For more information, call 831-373-1000.
Peregrine falcons move into local hotel
The Embassy Suites Hotel in Seaside has a couple of unusual residents: a pair of peregrine falcons. The falcons find the 12-story building an excellent replacement for their traditional steep cliff-face habitat. Ducks in the nearby Roberts Lake and pigeons hanging around the shopping center across the street have taken to looking over their shoulders: falcons have a stoop (dive) speed clocked at 300 mph.

The Embassy Suites has invited two instructors at Monterey Peninsula College to study the birds through the year; next year, they plan to set up a nesting box as further encouragement to settle in. For now, glance up at the large 'E' on the east and west sides of the building, and you may see a falcon contemplating its next meal!

Attractions: Nature Pages
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