Monday, July 18, 2011

Coyote Hills - Shoreline S. - July 17, '11

Walking Distance: 8.89 miles total (5.44 miles of new Bay Trail)
Walking Time: 3 hrs., 25 min. (4:12 - 7:37 p.m.)
Start and End Point: Coyote Hills Regional Park parking lot, Fremont, CA

Today was a game of beat the clock -- I arrived late to Coyote Hills Regional Park, with high hopes of hiking the southern part of the Shoreline Trail (solid red line on Bay Trail map), and maybe if I had time, part of another trail.

The reality: I was walking against fairly strong headwinds for at least half the way -- while walking out (west on) No Name Trail (solid red line on map) and the southern part of the Shoreline Trail (that extends down to the Dumbarton Bridge/Marshlands Road).

I hustled, not stopping to take too many pictures, and made it out of the park by closing time (8 p.m. this summer). No time to walk any other trail. Coyote Hills on the Bay side, is a very scenic place to be during the golden hour(s) before sunset; so skipping the photo-taking was a challenge. I didn't see another soul (except for a few sea gulls who hovered above me and appeared to be looking for food) on this long trail while I was out today -- perhaps because I was walking it late in the day.

There were lots of white pelicans, terns, egrets and other bird life. Other than ground squirrels, I didn't see any other animals, or reptiles. The ground squirrels made their homes (burrows) in the farthest
 reaches of both No Name and Shoreline trails -- in the tufted, dried mud lining both trails -- surrounded by water and/or old salt ponds on both sides. The landscape of plants consisted mainly of little clumps of green and red salt-loving plants (with tiny salt crystals on their "branches,") some grasses, and algae.

5 ground squirrels; 29 sea gulls; 1 hawk/kestrel/falcon; 14 ducks; 12 swallows; 8 snowy egrets, 2 great egrets; 19 terns; 12 white pelicans; 40 small unidentified brownish shorebirds (UBB)s; 4 cormorants; 6 little brown jobs (LBJs); 1 unidentified flying bug; 2 plovers/killdeer; 1 white butterfly, 1 small blue butterfly, 4 small/tiny whiteish ones; 1 small black beetle; 3 American Avocets

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