Good Morning Barbara and Fellow Naturaphiles,
That’s chirpy news that one of our 4 river SPOTTED SANDPIPERS introduced its dipping self to you. I think you are right that it was so far up river since the lagoon condition down here has left the little shore bird with limited foraging opportunity. But a week ago on Sunday morning the drained river presented its breach look: low water level exposing the banks and the river shores. The dark, water-soaked rocks and muddy brown river bed were the perfect backdrop for the sparkling white SNOWY EGRETS, who preferred teetering on the rocks. Obviously they were reluctant to get their bright yellow feet mucky. The USGS water graph showed that the river mouth opened early Sunday morning between 2-3 am at a 3.6’ high tide. It’s interesting that this low wave tide achieved to open the river berm, which had looked fairly high and wide the previous day. On my walk several of my river compadres voiced their disappointment about the underachieving plastic pipe. It was supposed to regulate the water level, thus evade the quick, uncontrolled river drains, which cause the slower fish to strand on the rocks and the bigger fish to wash out to the ocean before they are ready. This week the river mouth closed again and the lagoon water is rising. I wonder if these fluctuations of the water temperature and heights are affecting the fish and the feathered water dwellers. For the City the repeated, drastic river drains are gentle on their purse strings, because they eliminate the expensive, wildlife expert controlled breaches.
Do keep us informed about your stunning 6000 truck loads news. The fact is that our river is facing quite a few upcoming projects: the Trestle bridge path widening, the installation of the river mouth culvert, the bankfull project, the Front St. development on the river side and the Hyw.1 bridge widening.
On early Friday my friend and I started our river walk at the San Lorenzo Park pedestrian bridge, which offers a rich river visual with its willows and big trees along the shore. The birds were lazy that morning and showed up in the middle of our walk. They hijacked my conversation skills in the middle of our talking, because I got sidetracked with pointing out the bird activities all around us: the 2 KINGFISHERS were having a their usual heated discussion about their ongoing territory issues, the GREEN HERON was flushed upriver, voicing loudly its displeasure about being displacement, the WHITE-crowned SPARROWS silently watched us walk by, the WESTERN KINGBIRD was chasing the KINGFISHER away from its beloved dead tree, the AMERICAN COOTS were munching on their favorite algae, the mystical red dragonflies hovering over the water and a PIED-billed GREBE forced down its breakfast fish. I invited my friend to join our ongoing Estuary Restoration Project on Oct. 20th from 9-11am at Mike Fox Skateboard Park and of course you all are invited as well.
This Sunday morning I got misty walking down the Trestle path under the Eucalyptus trees, because the recently removed undergrowth has robbed the familiar local and migratory land birds of their relished food source. Gone are their conversational chirps, their little dashing bodies through the foliage, the cheery colored bodies of the WILSON and TOWNSEND’S migratory WARBLERS. Now silence reigns there, which turned me inward until one falling ‘leaf’ snapped me out of my reverie: it was oddly shaped and descended slowly, floatingly. A second look unveiled the ‘leaf’ to be a small feather. Feathers flow off the tress here and there from the preening CORMORANTS, but this feather snow was coming from a localized spot, indicating that a HAWK was having breakfast. It took some time to spot the juv. COOPER HAWK, sitting high up on a bare branch, watching me while feasting as my “Bon appetite” stoke in my throat.
River moments greeting to you all, jane