Saturday, May 1, 2010

Port of Sonoma Marine Center walk - April 30, 2010

Walking Distance: 2.1 miles (estimate)
Walking Time: 1 hr., 36 min. (5:43 - 7:19 p.m.)
Start and End Point: Public Shore parking space, entrance to Port of Sonoma, CA (far right area of double yellow lines on map)

This meandering marina trail (shown as red line plus a short double yellow line stretch), was marked open to the public during daylight hours. (An entrance gate was closed at dusk.)

Today was a nice spring day, and this trail was a great place to watch birds defending their young. Red-winged blackbirds and other birds were dive-bombing crows, kites, and other birds of prey in the air, probably trying to keep them away from nests.

There were lots of rabbits: sitting in the shadows together, sitting in the sun, and bounding across the trail. The sun also brought out a few lizards (one shown at right). And, there was some kind of large swan boat? on the south side of the Petaluma River.

Within minutes of starting to walk, two killdeer appeared and were dashing around frantically and making loud cries. I realized they may have been protecting newborn chicks. Sure enough, I stopped on the trail and looked more carefully, and saw two little killdeer fuzzballs (maybe 4 inches tall) running around reacting to their parents panic (pictured - although they're not 100% clear after zooming in so much). 

Wildlife Sightings:
10 killdeer (including two chicks); 33 swallows; 22 little brown jobs (LBJs); 9 rabbits; 1 falcon or smaller hawk; 11 ducks; 2 lizards; 7 red-winged blackbirds; 4 blackbirds; 1 dove; 36 unidentified brownish shorebirds; 2 sea gulls; 1 spot of bird poop on my shirt (another first); 2 Clarks Grebes; 1 turkey vulture; 1 willet; 5 black-necked stilts; 2 little yellow finches; 3 unidentified flying bugs (UFBs); and 1 crow.

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