San Lorenzo River’s many joys & a few ‘yikes!’

Good Morning to all you fellow Nature adorers,

I want my PEREGRINE back!

Ever since the Trestle bridge construction I haven’t seen the PEREGRINE perch on its favorite, high perch in the Eucalyptus tree. I keep looking up in the hope to see the sight of that beautiful Falcon. This shows optimism, because during the bridge building the CROWS moved into the lower branches, from where they could easily harvest the workers left overs. Then a RAVEN couple build their nest a few trees over, much to the chagrin of the CROWS, who have been endlessly complaining about the RAVENS’ nest location. Yet both black, loud vocalizers would unit in a second to mob the PEREGRINE, should it attempt to return. Their attacks are scary as the juvenile RED-shouldered HAWK found out, who had been chased out of its safe Jessie St. Marsh nursery perch when the huge soil drilling equipment moved in. The young Raptor kept ducking lower and lower on the branch, trying to keep its balance. If this was its first encounter with ceaseless dive bombing then it got a royally baptism to the bane of its future life.

fairytale GREY HAIRSTREAK…

Right now the seed eaters are feasting on a wide variety of seeds. The BUSHTITS, HOUSE and a few LESSER GOLD FINCHES favor the seeds of the native Mugwort. Did you know that the oil of its crumbled leaves relieve the poison oak itch? A dainty, lite-blue Butterfly rested on the Mugwort, long time enough for me to fall in love with its fairytale physique. Thanks to Santa Cruz Critters, Ken and Andy identified it as a GREY HAIRSTREAK. The ground squirrels are eagerly munching on the grass seed pods, which makes me wonder if they could be enticed to mow the levee, thus eliminate the heavy equipment.

ground squirrels eating weed seeds…

Remember the observation that we had more Ladybugs this year? Well, I am glad about that, but they are clearly overwhelmed by the aphid infestation on our Lupines, who had been doing magnificently well until the aphids literally sucked the life out of them. So now I am on a rescue mission: every second day I remove the aphids from the surviving Lupines. And yes, I leave the areas alone that have Ladybugs or their larvae on them. I caught 2 Ladybugs taking a break for some important leisure time.

Ladybugs enjoying leisure time…

Jeb Bishop from Groundswell Coastal Ecology and I enjoy swapping our Project observations. Recently he reported a wasp at his Seabright beach site that I had just seen in my Estuary area. Obviously our efforts are making a difference since we both noticed an increase of critters species.
Quoting Jeb: A cliff buckwheat (a native, Eriogonum parvifolium) near our work site was alive with quite a few insects.  We spotted a new species on it, the striking wasp in the photo.  Tiffany identified it for us as a Great Golden Digger Wasp (Sphex ichneumons), and posted it on iNaturalist where you can get more info. Thanks, Tiffany!

Great Golden Digger Wasp…

Last Saturday morning I was down by the Riverside Ave. bridge, planning to get ready for the Estuary Project work day when I heard the familiar CANADA GOOSE honk. And of course my curiosity won out over my prep-task. It turned out that an adult didn’t like a good looking, slender one that was trying to approach the group. Wayne, our City tool delivery man, joined me. Together we watched how the heavier set C. GOOSE extended its neck low above the ground and charged at the resisting intruder, who waited to the last moment to execute a nonchalant retreat. Satisfied the winner webbed footed back to the group, not realizing it was being followed. The honk from an other C. GOOSE gave the friendly invader away and the same scene repeated itself 4 times until the group took to the water and swam away, leaving a lonely GOOSE behind. After giving it some thought, it opted for waddling down the sandbank in the same direction, then decided swimming was more efficient for catching up with the others. Wayne and I regretted to see a re-run of the same scenario. The next day I was greeted at the Trestle bridge by the honks of a lonely C. GOOSE. Then it spotted a MALLARD couple and decided to try its ‘Let’s be friends’ move with them. Feeling overwhelmed by this overture they escaped to the cliff rocks. After several attempts the GOOSE clambered onto the slippery surface and stood next to the couple. Together they watched me, watching them until I felt like an intruder, so I left…wishing them and all of you magical encounters, jane

CANADA GOOSE exploring friendship…

 

get ready…

Good Morning to you all, who enjoy the wonder of Nature,

SNOWY EGRET having breakfast

I was standing stock-still on the bank in the early morning, because a fly was busy entertaining me with cleaning its 2 front limbs. This required rigorously scrubbing them back and forth, short pause, tongue action on each limb, then rubbing them again thoroughly. The SWALLOWS kept zooming really close to me and I knew I was serving as their welcomed breakfast warmer, because my body heat and breath was supplying the close by insects with the warmth they need for flying. SWALLOWS only eat insects, consuming an amazing amount of them, so I served as their food provider. In the cool evenings bats harvest insects that surround people, because the human body heat keeps the insects flying. People freaked out when the bats dive at them, thinking they are being attacked, not realizing that actually they are being saved from insect attacks.

it’s not cool to breach the river mouth…

Going to the river is a surrender to surprises. Not only was I surprised, but stunned by the man, who brazenly was breaching the river mouth that morning. He was trench digging while his dog raced excitedly around him. The river water was slowly slithering towards its mighty friend, the ocean. Unfortunately I was standing on the top of the river point and my only option was to yell down to him to close up the channel. He looked up, waved, kept digging. I screamed some more and he gestured he couldn’t hear me-yeah, right! I knew, he could! Since I don’t own a cellphone, I raced home and made my tattle calls. When I went back an other man was filling in the trench and a Police Officer arrived to help him. Of course the digger and his dog were gone. I have an aversion to breaches, because the river water literally gets sucked out and the fish suffer from that sudden water level drop.

man & Police Officer closing up the river mouth…

I was checking on the newly housed native plants when I heard CANADA GEESE honks in the air. Looking up, I saw 10 heading towards me at the Riverside Ave. bridge. They landed across the river, organized themselves into a single file, facing upriver, obviously watching something I couldn’t see. Then I heard a CANADA GOOSE honk upriver. The flotilla started a long, eager honk conversation with the other invisible honker. Finally I saw a group of 9 CANADA GEESE swim around the river bend, heading towards their waiting friends. This caused a loud salutation exchange and the arrivers accelerated their speed. I realized that the younger geese were being escorted downstream from the San Lorenzo Park, because they couldn’t fly yet. Both groups mingled together, then assembled into an orderly V formation, younger ones tucked in the middle, and swam to a spot, where they all could line up and mow the grass.

CANADA GEESE forming greeting line…

It’s always excruciating hard for me to look at the Front St. proposed development along the river and hear that this immense 75’-85’ high project is looming over our City future. It’s triggers severe wiggles of all my river protective antennas, because the buildings will change the river visuals. The fauna and flora habitats will be impacted by the building mass. Extensive time, money and planning went into the project and I bemoan that environmental protection planning ranked low in that process. Russell Brutsche’s new, great-as-always painting gives you a vivid taste of our future. Be sure to check out his art work that will make you smile and cry.
www.russellbrutsche.com

Russell Brutsche: art of a “developed” car-centric downtown

Lately the RED-shoulder HAWK call has become a familiar river back drop. Usually I hear this vociferation in the late winter, early spring, when HAWKS stake out their breeding territory and advertise for a mate. So I couldn’t figure out why that call was echoing now across the river. It wasn’t our river RED-shoulder HAWK, because our beauty would be people watching at the river as the sound would reach us from a safe distance. One day the call visited my neighborhood, a few streets away from the river. Then last week I was standing with a birding friend outside my house, when we heard that call. Both of our heads turned to the sky, scanning for the RED-shoulder HAWK. My friend calmly announced: “ Oh..there it is!” “Where?” “Right behind your house on the pole”. And sure enough there was a juvenile RED-shoulder HAWK, looking straight at us. The mystery of the unabating calling was solved: it’s the young raptor begging for food. In my excitement of finding out that we have this teenager by the river, I squeezed my friend’s arm, apologizing instantly. We both stared at it until it got tired of that and flew off. I love to know if our river RED-shoulder HAWK is the parent.
Sending you all sunny river greetings and inviting you to join us this Sat.,the 20th from 9am-11am for the Estuary Project. Click here for more details:
jane

juvenile RED-Shouldered HAWK-image from All About Birds

migratory shift is here?

Dear Nature Compadres,

2 migratory CANADA GEESE enjoying the river point…

Well, here we are! Waltzing through the rest of the summer without our Barbara, who is taking a posting sabbatical. We’ll dearly miss her river stories, insights & information tidbits. Upon her return, she’ll will delight us with her posts again. In the meantime my bi-monthly river observations will float your way.

female COMMON GOLDENEYE is here?

I was watching three shapes moseying along the tule edge. I had no problem identifying 2 of the trio as a MALLARD couple, but the third one had different shape and movement. When I tried to get better view of it through my monocular, I couldn’t find it: the rascal had disappeared! Assuming that it must be hiding in the tule, I kept scanning the vegetation. Finally I decided to write the bird off as a mystery appearance, walked on and found myself starring at a migratory COMMON GOLDENEYE, preening herself on a log. Her sight surprised me, because this duck diver was out of sync with her river timing. She is supposed to arrive in the fall and leave in the spring. True, 3 summers ago we had an injured female COMMON GOLDENEYE, who spent the summer with us. I figured that she had been well enough to migrate up north with the others since I hadn’t seen her in a year. It’s so frustrating to not be inter-species lingual! I wanted to ask her, if she was our river COMMON GOLDENEYE or a very early fall arrival. And if she was our river Mam’selle, where had she been hanging out?

RED-throated LOON makes CROW nervous…

I was walking towards the migratory RED-throated LOON, who was dragging itself ashore while keeping a watchful eye on me. I stopped to let it find its comfy spot, because the migratory bird was ready for its usual early morning siesta on the sand. The foraging CROW didn’t appreciate being so close to a long, pointed beak and flew off. I was honored to be regarded as non threatening, because after settling into the perfect position, the eyelids slowly closed, the body melted into relaxation as the dawning sun spread her magic. The RED-throated LOONS are a common sight during the winter and this spring/summer they have become an unusual regular appearance on our river. And yes, a peaceful joy descended on me as the 2 of us rested in each other presence.

CLIFF SWALLOWS are gathering nest mud now?

When I saw all the SWALLOW activity by Laure St. bridge, I gathered that the fledglings were practicing flying, landing and screeching for the parents to feed them. This is the normal behavior for this time of year. But then I noticed that the flight pattern was really close over a mud patch at the lower bank. Taking a closer look, I was dumbfounded to see that adult CLIFF SWALLOWS were picking up mud and dashing off towards the Riverside Ave. bridge. What were they doing, racing around with nesting material in their beaks? Did somebody forget to tell them that this not the time for nest building, but getting ready for their migratory departure? After-all the bridge ledges and phone wires are occupied with SWALLOW offsprings, preparing for their first long migratory journey.

resting CASPIAN TERNS …

Upriver 2 CASPIAN TERNS were walking around amongst a big group of gulls, dodging the mischievous teenage gulls, when fireworks detonated on the levee, causing the river birds to explode in every direction into the air. They flew off as far and as fast as possible, ending my bird watching morning! I waited a while to see if they come back, but then the silence and the bird empty scenery made me misty and I left, feeling sorry for the birds that have to pay the price for people’s amusement. I am keeping my fingers crossed that the fireworks turn out be all duds, which would a great treat for all critters. Sending you all peaceful Nature wishes, jane

CLIFF SWALLOW musings & critter feet…

Good Morning Barbara and River Lovers,

critter gloved hands…

I was sorting through my mystifying CLIFF SWALLOW observations when I sensed that I was being watched. I looked around expecting to see a human in the vicinity, but there was nobody. Then I caught a movement out of the corner of my eye in the bush next to me. Our eyes met and I would be lying if I said it was love at first sight, because this is an old love story that began with setting sight on the WESTERN FENCE LIZARD ‘hands’. Their feet seem to have got hold of some fancy knight gloves and they are refusing to take them off. We stared at each other for a while. It stopped opening and closing its mouth when I proved to be a bad LIZARD conversation partner. Finally the little critter got to watch me walk backwards so I wouldn’t disturb its sun-bathing.

CLIFF SWALLOW nests under Crescent bridge…

And I returned to my CLIFF SWALLOW musings at the Crescent bridge. As I mentioned in a prior post, the CLIFF SWALLOW had been busier then ever building their nest there, but after the rains they disappeared. After 2 days waiting the air was still empty of the zoomers and the time for further investigation had arrived. I was happy to see Alan’s City maintenance truck by the bridge, because I felt safer in his company to take a closer nest look underneath the bridge. The 2 of us walked the length of structure and only saw a few finished nests, which seemed odd considering the prior CLIFF SWALLOW nest building frenzy in that location. There were quite a few broken nests and in some areas only the rim of nests was visible. Alan and I wonder what to think of our findings and I feared that somebody had knocked the nests down. Then it crossed my mind that the nests might have been compromised because of the mud quality that was more sandy this year. I was curious if the CLIFF SWALLOW numbers were going to go up again, which they didn’t. I had seen a few of them fly underneath the bridge and on Sunday I went underneath to check for active nests. There were about 15 to 20 that were smaller than the usual size. In the early morning hour 6 nests had parents flying in and out. Later in the day I might have located more active nests, because their food source, flying insects, would be available. It seems like there is more CLIFF SWALLOW musings on my horizon….

081-eucalyptus-tortoise-beetle-paropsis-sp-rr-713- googled

A few months ago Leslie Keedy, the City’s tree arborist, and I were talking at the Trestle bridge when this cute bug visited us. It wore quaint, yellow footwear and its back featured a intricate pattern. My bug delight was short lived when Leslie identified it as an Australian Tortoise Beetle, who enjoys re-designing the leaf edges of the Trestle Eucalyptus trees. I had forgotten about the ‘cute bug’ until I figured out that I wasn’t celebrating Ladybug larvae on the Trestle railing but facing Australian Tortoise Beetle larvae. Needlessly to say I am not excited to discover who they are.

YIKES! larvae of the Eucalyptus leaf re-designer on the move…

Here are some other river tidbits:
The City biologists were seining on Friday and Monday. It will be interesting to hear about the results.
The MALLARD Mama’s are still showing off their new brood arrivals.

MALLARD MAMA’s pride & joy…

The HOODED ORIOLE keeps bringing the teenage offspring to the river. The parent is getting to the stage of ‘ feed yourself’ as it tries to escape the demanding teenage food pursuit.
The RED-necked LOONS can be found foraging in the water when they are not resting on the shore bank.
A few CASPIAN TERNS fly over the river as they scan for fish, but I don’t see them dive for their meal. Then again the water is shallow and they need more depth for their plunges.
On the other beak the COMMON MERGANSERS are enjoying the shallow water level, because it makes for highly successful foraging. Every time they go down they come up with a fish in their beak.

bad feather day…

The heavy fog drizzle confronted the Red-shouldered Hawk with a bad feather day, which it endured with downcast patience.

 

 

good news for the birds…

Good Morning Barbara & all you Nature Friends,

Mama MERGANSER snoozing with her offspring…

I greet all of you with some good news for the San Lorenzo River birds: The City of Santa Cruz Parks & Recreation Department hired a qualified Biologist for their 6 weeks annual mowing time to survey the San Lorenzo River levee for nesting birds. Without a doubt this is a most welcome approach, because no mowing will take place around active nests that can be located on the ground, in crevices, low bushes and dead trees depending on the bird species. The Park & Rec. staff’s willingness to adjust to that mowing strategy is a win-win solution for the Feb. 1st to August 15 bird nesting season and the necessary maintenance work. The Park & Rec. staff is showing commendable stewardship with this much celebrated bird-friendly practice. It will be exciting to see the areas that will be mowed later, because currently they are safely sheltering nesting bird parents.
And yes! this announcement was submitted to the Sentinel, which I hope gets published, so that the good news spreads out.

KILLDEER on a nest in the Seabright Beach dunes…

I figured out where the KILLDEER have taken up residence. They are nesting over at the Seabright Beach in restored dune area. Over time I have noticed a steady bird population increase at this site. So when Jeb Bishop, the extraordinaire project lead, told me that his volunteer group had sighted a KILLDEER and an egg in the dunes, it was an excellent excuse to take a walk with him! It’s always a pleasure to get a chance to have him introduce me to his natives plant friends, who are happily thriving under his group’s care. As we walked towards the river mouth, I spotted a KILLDEER, who tried to lure us away from the nest to which she returned quickly. Then we saw an other adult, which thrilled us. As we walked on we sighted an other KILLDEER hunkered down, causing us to celebrate with whispered hoots. We went into overjoy when a KILLDEER chick walked out of the dune grass towards its Mama, who got up to release an other chick. It surprised us to see 2 KILLDEER couples breeding in such close vicinity plus that they made it safely through the busy Memorial Day week end. Obviously Jeb’s hard work is offering native plants and birds a welcoming home.

we delight in how well our Blue Star is spreading…

Our restoration projects are not that far apart and yet they greatly differ from each other. The main contrast is that the river jurisdiction is shared by an amazing amount of Federal, State, County and City agencies, who have specific guidelines. One of them is the 1999 San Lorenzo River Levee Project Plan, which specifies what native plants can be planted where. Also our soils are world’s apart: his is sandy, the Estuary Project has mostly clay soil with patches of dumped soil, testifying of the long ago levee construction. This soil condition makes it challenging to find just the right plant for each spot, which has taught me to navigate between high hopes, realistic expectations and celebrating each native plant’s survival. Understandably I am mushy proud of what my volunteer group has achieved. I just have to give you to this link, because Christine and Elana from the County Volunteer Center did a wonderful job highlighting the positive aspects of the San Lorenzo River.
Ahh~ja~the ground squirrels, the mighty bane of the U.S. Army Corps of (levee)Engineers…According to my river observation there is a correlation between increased ground squirrel, CROW population, declined raptor, owl, falcons presence and trash. I see an abundance of Ground squirrels and CROWS where easy access to plenty of trash is available such as the Mike Fox Skate Park, Boardwalk parking lot, houseless camps, levee events, because they view trash as a fast food store. The raptor, falcons and owls did their best to keep the ground squirrel population in check, but then the CROWS spread their trash craws to each other, resulting in a hefty CROW increase. This was bad news for the raptors, falcons and owls, because CROWS love to make their hunting impossible by spending their time on bomb dive them. The ground squirrels celebrate the CROW behavior by lust-ly multiplying their tribes.

CROW bomb diving PEREGRINE…

My German friend and I were standing on the San Lorenzo Park bridge, watching a small, whitish bird foraging in the shallow water next to a GREEN HERON. The unknown bird was far away and in constant motion, making it hard to id it. Finally thanks to my lousy pic. and the bird book we realized that it was a migratory RED-necked PHALAROPE. I was pretty jazzed to see my first GREEN HERON of this year sharing the river with a rare bird.

RED-necked PHALAROPE…googled:rnph_letoile_081008

Sending you all river sparkle greetings, jane

when passion calls…

Good Morning Barbara and Fellow Nature Passion-eers,

KILLDEER watching me…

Was that the beginning of a roof top romance? Will the romance result be a nest? Could it be that I was watching a tradition in the making? As you know, I have been hoping for the return of the KILLDEER couple. They have nested for the last 3 years by the Riverside Ave. bridge. 2 years in a row in the Fruit Orchard, which puts Andy in a bind, because it makes work there impossible and he enjoys being the feather-puff godfather. Wistfully I would listen to reports of nesting KILLDEERS upstream, missing that sight downstream. So when I heard that unique KILLDEER call, I froze in place and scanned the grounds all around me. Then the call came again from higher up. Lifting my eyes to the roof top across the street, I saw the KILLDEER watching me, matching my frozen stance. It made me laugh to catch the 2 of us behaving the same way. Just then the other KILLDEER appeared over the roof top, walking by the frozen one with a swashbuckling attitude, who snapped into action, following the promising tail swagger around the corner. Their lively roof top activity looked nest promising.

MALLARD couple crossing the Trestle bridge…

Before I tell you about these next situations a brief nutshell explanation is in order: my love for Nature is a passion, which is a willingness and a free choice to surrender to the emotions that my passion creates, which often amounts to translating Nature’s communication language to fellow human beings. Therefore I am no longer mortified to find myself yelling down the river point cliff at a young woman and a State Ranger on top of my lungs. Both were lingering over a drift wood pile, sending a KILLDEER into high panic. The agitated bird tried to lure the humans away from the nest: repeatedly running a short distance with dragging wing while vocalizing, stopping, collapsing into the sand with wide out spread wings. Neither human picked up on the KILLDEER’s request for needed space. When the young woman understood my translation of the bird’s communication she waived and left. The Ranger communicated that he would leave after carefully removing a big log on which a MEADOW LARK was perched, who waited until the tractor gripped the log before it flew off. 4 fledglings peeled out of a close by bush and followed the parent up the cliff. When things finally settled back down, the MEADOW LARK family and KILLDEER returned to pursue their lives. My next encounter was with 2 young men, who were in the search of a board that one of them had thrown into Jeb’s wonderful restoration project. I know the hard work that went into creating that luscious native vegetation and so had to ask them to please not step on the plants. One of them was really understanding, apologized and got his friend to stop breaking the bushes and they left.

camping mistake…

Next was the man in the tent at the bottom of the river bank. His mistake was camping next to the bush where I had seen the SONG SPARROW disappear with food in its beak. This bird is an ever elusive ground, low bush nester. Now it was flying agitated back and forth. This called for pointing out that camping was inappropriate next to a SONG SPARROW nest. That news didn’t go over great and we had a heated discussion, which was well worth it, because he packed up & left. Later I saw the SONG SPARROW dash into the bush with food in its beak.

Trestle path is open…

Well, the new Trestle path is open and people are using it. It is wider, which seems to create the Goldfish bowel effect: Goldfish rapidly grow to take up the extra bowl space. Single filing is a thing of the past~now people enjoy walking, biking next to each other, taking up the extra space, resulting in the prior dilemma: passing is difficult. Life has a curious sense of humor: the men were dismantling the safety structure, which was installed to prevent construction materials from falling into the river. One beam decided that the precaution didn’t apply to safety material, got loose and plunged into the river…I welcome the return of the PEREGRINE FALCON, the OSPREY, SPOTTED SANDPIPER, WARBLERS, SONG SPARROW to the Trestle tree area.
Passion greetings to you all, jane

SONG SPARROW announcing its territory…

this is different…

Good Morning Barbara and all you Nature Enjoyers,

Pat Farley taking Mickey for a walk…

I was taking photos of the Trestle path when my neighbor and river point compadre, Pat Farley, walked up with his dog in a wagon. Mickey is getting old and walking is becoming an ordeal for the big Belgium shepherd dog. That day was their second outing with the new set-up, which is proving to be very satisfactory for both. Pat and Mickey have a harmonized relationship, where they just sync up with each other as they move through life. We talked about the path progress, which is coming along rapidly now that the weather improved. Pat and I used to feel sorry for the workers, who were getting hammered by the rain, cold and wind. Mickey gave the restless sign, so they moved and I took photos of the tree that the Public Work Department saved thanks to adjusting the path design. It’s wonderful that the big tree was allowed to stay so that it can shade the water, the path and be a home, food source for birds, bees and butterflies.

path design saved Trestle tree…

Finally the cute, tiny feather balls arrived on the water. In the last week I saw 2 MALLARD Mamas showing off their newly hatched joy bundles. One batch of ducklings had a Dad in tow, which in recent years has become a rare sight. This year the air isn’t filled with female quakes as the male MALLARDS pursue them in the sky. I am happy to report that the Mamas are not being harassed by the males. Honestly that is a refreshing relief, because in the last 2 years the aggressive male behavior had escalated and was hard to watch.

finally! the cute feather balls are here…

There is still a big flock of CLIFF SWALLOWS busily building nests under the Crescent bridge, which is across from Jessie St. Marsh. As I mentioned that is a new location for them. I think the reason for their presence at that bridge is the abundance of mud: highly treasured by the CLIFF SWALLOWS, because it’s a necessity for their nest building. Hanging over the railing, I entertained myself watching them dig their beaks into the mud, resurfacing with a bill load, flying off and returning for more. They do that approx. 500 times to complete a comfy nest.

CLIFF SWALLOW w/mud load in beak…

Across the river a juvenile Gull was looking around for something to do. It stood by the waterline, contemplating mischief, pondering how to achieve that task and then went into action after surveying the scene in both directions. The Gull focused on the near-by sleeping MALLARDS, slowly walked close to them, stopped, stretched its neck and pecked one sleeper’s back, who exploded to his feet, looking with surprise at the Gull. The other MALLARD got up slowly up to find out if it should be worried about the Gull’s next move. The Gull clearly wanted a more dramatic MALLARD reaction and started chasing its first victim up the bank.

juv. Gull chasing m. MALLARDS up the bank…

The other MALLARD was no fool, used its own common sense and cleared off the shore. After that accomplishment the Gull looked around, saw an other MALLARD group, walked over and chased them off the sandbar. The next group saw the approaching Gull and delivered a dramatic burst into the air, avoiding the chasing fiend. Satisfied the mischievous chaser preened its feathers. When that was done, it took a leisurely walk up and down the empty shoreline. It was unexpected to watch the Gull’s behavior, because Gulls and MALLARDS usually coexist very nicely together. Then again~ maybe feathered teenagers are not that different from human teenagers, whose middle name is mischief…Well, the big equipment arrived again at the river mouth. Huge amounts of sand were shoved to shape a berm along the Boardwalk and the Main Beach. This berm will prevent the river from getting any wrong meander ideas, i.e. wandering into the Boardwalk Beach area. It will be interesting to see if the Boardwalk will clean the tourist litter that is left behind on the other side of the new berm, which the kids welcome as their new fun slide.

new berm and beach litter…

If you are able to join us for the next Estuary Project day on Saturday, May 18th from 9am-11am you’ll experience the wonderful side-effect of restoration work: Feeling happy that you are helping to improve the San Lorenzo River wildlife habitat.
River morning greetings to you from jane