Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Sunnyvale loop - Aug. 22, 2011

Walking Distance: 4.5 + miles
Walking Time: 2 hrs., 41 min.
Start and End Point: Public Parking Area, at the end of Carl Rd., Sunnyvale, CA

Tonight we walked the Sunnyvale loop trail in the Sunnyvale baylands -- that starts near the Sunnyvale Water Pollution Control Plant. This packed, dirt 4.5 mile loop trail ran along areas of marsh grasses with large duck and black-necked stilt populations.

This area was a bit greener than surrounding bayland areas given the time of year -- late summer, when dried brown (OK golden) grasses and hills are the norm. If I had to guess why, I'd say it might be due to treated effluent water with residual nutrients.

Regardless, it made for a pleasant walk, and lots of bird activity. If the birds seemed extra wary of people walking by, it might be due to the fact that hunting season is due to open in less than two months, and some of these birds may remember being fired upon in past years. I can hardly blame them.


The trailhead area, at the end of Carl Road, branches out into at least four different trails, and it can be confusing. You might want to look at an aerial map before you go here, so you can verify you're on the correct trail. With baylands trails like this with grasses being fairly flat, it can be difficult to see out ahead of you.

Thank you to Ken who joined me for this loop trail walk.

Wildlife Sightings:

10 willets (or maybe godwits); 26 red-winged blackbirds; 8 doves;
2 pelicans; 8 white butterflies; 2 orange and black/brown butterflies; 2 lizards; 6 little brown jobs (LBJs); 16 swallows; 4 terns; 145 ducks; 55 black-necked stilts; 32 sea gulls; 40 cute little guys (like baby stilts, but not) swimming in small circles; 16 coots; 8 cormorants; 1 turkey vulture; 1 great egret, 5 snowy egrets; 2 jackrabbits; 1 hawk; 1 starling; 1 dragonfly

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