Good Morning, Barbara


Ahh! What an elating sight that was yesterday: my favorite gull species was perched on the river, keeping a dignified distance from the rest of the gull flock since they don’t like to mix with their “rough” cousins. The 3 migratory BONAPARTE’s gulls were garbed in various plumage stages, showing off their black ear mark. Their final breeding outfit calls for a dramatic black head :

ready for breeding

Did you know that the BONAPARTE’s is the smallest gull flying over the North America? Because of the elegant and delicate 11”/15” body shade, fancy diving, demure demeanor and distaste for garbage/carion food, this dainty charmer is number one on my gull list. To-day the 3 gulls were still present. Here is a pic of the BONAPARTE’s trying to ditch the much bigger cousin. Soon the dainty guests will continue their journey to the Canada boreal forests, where the trees house the BONAPARTE’s nests.

ditching bigger cousin

Many people have commented about this year’s high Estuary sediment build up. Maybe I haven’t seen the OSPREY, CASPIAN TERNS fishing lately, because the shallow water level doesn’t allow for their required diving depth? The sandbanks extend far into the river and the water isn’t reaching the Tule area, which looks dried out. Is the GREEN HERON missing its hiding place in the Tule? On the other hand, there are more shorebird species in the Estuary Stretch taking advantage of the condition. A WILLET has kept its beak extra ordinary busy while foraging for morsels. It is fascinating to observe how the changes effect the wildlife.

Sediment build up in Estuary 

Seems like MALLARD Mamas are our narrative theme lately and I have a little episode to add to that topic: a young woman asked me what bird I was watching as I was attempting to decipher who was drifting on the water in deep sleep. We quickly delved into a lively exchange about our river experiences. Your varied sized duckling family came up, which prompted us to trash the rude male MALLARD mating behavior. When I mentioned that I harbored an impulse to deter the males from such disturbing conduct, she was thrilled to discover a ”sister”, who shared her secret sentiments. This encouraged us to stand in solidarity with the female MALLARDS while our “sisterhood” feathers flickered in the wind. When we parted, we both hoped to meet again and continue our river schmooze. I just adore this unexpected, enriching encounters! Oops! I almost forgot to tell you: the sleeping bird was female COMMON GOLDENYE, who obviously is resisting the obligatory migratory journey.

Yep! You are right! On 5/11/16 I was surprised that the Calif. Coastal Commission granted the Seaside Co.‘s application, which offered to contribute $ 50,000 to the City’s San Lorenzo River Interim Management Plan in lieu for a retro permit for their unauthorized river mouth breach. The case was on the consent agenda and so no additional, further conditions were addressed. Considering the various aspects of this case, I am baffled by this decision. See what you think and check out the Hearing(SLR is at 3:13:00 on slider).


Off to the river to check if the GREATER SCAUP is still there, jane

One thought on “CHARMED AND BAFFLED…

  1. Hi Jane,

    As always, a very interesting post! I am extremely impressed that you just buckled down and learned the gulls!!!! I knew there was occasionally a sweet mew gull hiding in the throng, but haven’t been introduced to the Bonaparte’s before your post. Loved getting your slant on them! Who knows, maybe one of these days I’ll try my hand at gulls. I gave up after I learned that other gills besides Western Gulls had pink legs! :o)

    Found your comments on the increased sandbar activity of shorebirds interesting, making up for the decrease of other birds. I guess that is how nature works. It’s hard, though, on the birds, when so much human bustle creates all these adaptive challenges for birds.

    Was David Kossack the guy at the fundraiser? I was very interested in his letter to CCC. But that is as far as I got with all the breach documentation. Did poured through it all? That was my first look at a CCC agenda. Amazing. Thanks for passing it on.

    Our blog is good! The Brooklyn blog is so much less ‘peppery’ as you said. I liked that word! The photos are very professional but I really like to see birds in their environment most of the time and she specializes in blurring out the background, highlighting the beauty of the birds.

    Carry on!



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