Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Berkeley Marina - Apr. 19, '11

Walking Distance: 7 miles (estimate)
Walking Time: 3 hrs., 52 min. (11:22 a.m. - 3:14 p.m.)
Start and End Point: public parking lot, near Cesar Chavez Park, Berkeley, CA

I've generally been walking around the Bay in a clock-wise direction. However, today I skipped (temporarily) a few segments in Richmond to walk in the Berkeley Marina area. Thank you to Ashish for joining me today.  Due to spring rains, there were still large areas of green grass, with patches of wildflowers, making for enjoyable scenery, even if it was a bit cool and breezy.

We first walked west and then north along the north side of Cesar Chavez Park (red line loop trail on map). Judging from the small puddles of birdseed on the trail, and birds and ground squirrels that were tame enough to pose for pictures, I'm guessing the wildlife are well fed here (by people at least).

We also walked an unpaved segment of trail (white line on map) before walking through a gated, (no dogs allowed) wildlife restoration area, then continued south along Marina (gold line on map) to University Ave. We took a lunch break at Seabreeze - a combination market and deli that stocked fresh fruit, seafood, sandwiches and smoothie-type drinks. There was a partially covered counter here, but most seating was in the form of wooden picnic tables outside.

After lunch we continued west and south, past Adventure Playground (closed, so we couldn't investigate). In the Shorebird Park/south side of this peninsula, we passed two more restaurants (Hs Lordships and Skates On the Bay), and then walked out to the end of the long fishing pier and back. Ashish pointed out this pier used to be more than 3 miles long (extending from the original, pre-bay fill shoreline), and was one of several piers that once existed, before the automobile and semi, transport truck became the more dominant modes of transportation.

Walking through the remaining marina area, we had the momentary opportunity to feel jealous of those living on nice houseboats there. If you're a landlubber, living on a boat sounds delightfully appealing when you don't have to think about all the maintenance, haul-out costs and other details.

We passed Hana Japan restaurant and the Doubletree hotel with restaurant on our way back as well. So, there are plenty of places to find food and beverages in this area.

Wildlife Sightings:
19 ground squirrels; 33 little brown jobs (LBJs - includ. 2 finches and 2 blackbirds); 21 sea gulls; 14 cormorants; 14 red-winged blackbirds; 13 Western grebes; 2 terns; 3 crows; 60 ducks; 2 butterflies; 30 small unidentified brownish shorebirds; 1 American avocet; 1 killdeer; 1 rusty screw; 2 black-necked stilts; 1 ball; 3 rabbits/hares; 12 Canada geese; 1 loon; 1 UFO grebe/diver; 2 fabric kites.

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