How to find Oka Ponds (aka Oka Lane aka Los Gatos Creek County Park)

by Feb 20, 2020

I’ve been getting questions about specific places about where to bird in Santa Clara County. For the most popular locations, I’ve created this Santa Clara County Google Map for the South Bay Birds Mailing List I run in cooperation with Santa Clara Valley Audubon.

That list is far from complete, so while I’m figuring out how to properly get this material online, I’m answering these questions privately, and I’ll put the info on these secondary locations here for safe keeping…

First, don’t confuse these with Ogier ponds, which are in Coyote Valley near Morgan Hill.

The Oka ponds are attached to Los Gatos Creek County Park in Campbell.

The eBird hotspot.

There are three entrances to access this area:

Main entrance is off of Dell Avenue near Hacienda Avenue, which you can reach on Winchester Blvd. The main parking lot is a pay lot ($6) with an automated ticket issuer.

There is a small entrance with some street parking up Dell near Vandell Way that leads you to a couple of small ponds with paths to the main area.

There is a third entrance coming in from the other direction, which some of us have been calling “Oka Lane” in recent months. This is accessible from the south on Lark Avenue, and you take Oka Road to Mozart to Oka lane. Street parking here in a residential area, and an access gate to the ponds.

Here is a google maps for the location

There is a nice walk along Los Gatos creek here. Bike/e-bike access via the main entrance, the other two are walk in and not really accessible.

This is generally a strong place for gulls and ducks, I had ten species of ducks in 20 minutes in the Oka Lane ponds earlier this winter. It’s one of the places in the county where Osprey can be seen. It is fairly urban (with a large flock of feral Canada geese), but seems to have a propensity for fun unusual birds.