Monday, April 4, 2011

Point Isabel, Richmond - April 3, '11

Walking Distance: 4.4 mi. (estimate)
Walking Time: 1 hr., 50 min. (2:41 - 4:31 p.m.)
Start and End Point: Isabel Street, near entrance of East Bay Municipal Utility District Wet Weather Treatment Plant, Richmond, CA

It was a beautiful sunny, Sunday afternoon with a slight breeze. Perfect day for a walk at Point Isabel and the companionship of lots of happy, happy dogs and their owners.

So far, Point Isabel Regional Shoreline Park wins the award for the largest off-leash dogpark area, and most dog-friendly place to walk a dog along San Francisco Bay. Due to time constraints, I wasn't able to stop at the "Sit and Stay Cafe" and Mudpuppys Tub and Scrub dogwash area next to the trail (#1 Isabel St.), out toward the end of the Point Isabel. (I hope to visit this area again later this month to take photos.) And, despite a large crowd today, I saw no dog poop on the trail -- just one or two forlorn looking tennis balls. Dog owners seemed to be obeying nearby signs and were picking up after their dogs and keeping them out of  habitat-protected areas, a comfort to shorebird and wildlife fans.

After walking both sides of the Pt. Isabel peninsula (which is divided roughly in the middle by a water channel), I continued north along the asphalt-paved bikepath/trail toward Eastshore State Park.

On a clear day, walkers, runners and cyclists on this walk may look across the Bay and see the San Francisco skyline, the Golden Gate Bridge, Brooks Island and Mt. Tamalpais.

I walked as far as Meeker Marsh, and a fork in the trail near a residential area, before turning around and walking back on this same paved trail to Central. I turned right on Central and walked back to Isabel Street.

Wildlife Sightings:
2 doves; 7 crows; 57 sea gulls; 42 unidentified brownish shorebirds (including 3 long bills); 43 small unidentified brownish shorebirds; 1 plover/killdeer; 7 willets; 1 black and yellow butterfly; 30 ducks; 2 snails; 1 hawk or turkey vulture; 3 snowy egrets; 7 Canada geese; 2 ground squirrels; 3 pigeons; 1 tennis ball; 7 Western grebes; 1 plover/killdeer; 5 coots

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