The fresh-out-of-the-water oysters and salt air of Tomales Bay are rarely enough to lure me an hour’s drive north, since our own bay is just a stone’s throw from my city apartment. But this year’s word that wildlife was flocking back to Tomales’s southernmost tip did the trick. More than 500 acres of wetlands were restored in 2008, but only recently have bald eagles, ospreys, and blue herons shown up in droves. Early one morning, my boyfriend and I followed the windy Tomales Point trail past a secluded marsh, where blue herons jetted out of the bushes as we padded by. John Granatir, owner of Blue Water Kayaking, was so inspired by the wildlife’s return that he rerouted his bird-watching tour through the restored wetlands (March to August). After our hike, we gave it a try, putting in at the popular launching site, the White House Pool parking lot, and paddling into an area that was a cow pasture only a few years ago. As we crept up the shallow channel, Tomales Bay stretched out in front of us. Osprey hovered above, scouting for prey, and when we passed a partly submerged gate, a relic of the old dairy farm that used to operate there, egrets swooped by.