Saturday, September 3, 2011

Alviso Slough Trail - Sept. 3, '11

Walking Distance: 9 miles
Walking Time: 3 hrs., 35 min. (2:20 - 5:55 p.m.)
Start and End Point: Alviso Slough Trail, Alviso, CA

Today was "walking the big loop" day -- and, the loop in question was the 9-mile Alviso Slough Trail, near the Alviso historic district. The trailhead was located adjacent to the public parking lot of Alviso Marina County Park. I encountered a few runners, at least a half dozen bicycle riders, and one other walker.

This is one of a few trails where you get out into the Bay itself and, at its apex, you are out far away from everything. Well, almost. The distant, thumping base beat from a concert in Shoreline Park wafted out over the Alviso Slough, from several miles away. There were a few trains and boats that passed by. And there was the intermittent, annoyed squawks of a few departing great egrets and great blue herons who I had disturbed by walking by them on the trail; and the squawkings of terns who were diving swiftly down into the surface of the Bay. It was very peaceful.

Today was a warm, dry day with a bit of a breeze, and a layer of haze (smog) in the valley. The salt ponds were starting to dry up a bit, and the earth was dried and cracking in spots. But, there was still patches of green and thickets of marsh grass. There were hundreds of sea gulls spread out along the way, and also some white pelicans, egrets, and other birds.

Wildlife Sightings:
1 pretty brown and green snake; 3 small clouds ankle gnats; 16 ducks; 1 "gnat" moth; 4 UFO grebes/divers; 251 sea gulls; 3 dragonflies; 16 tiny unidentified brownish shorebirds (UBBs) + 97 UBBs; 11 little brown jobs (LBJs); 10 swallows; 5 cormorants; 32 white pelicans, 2 brown pelicans; 15 white butterflies; 2 willets; 17 great egrets, 14 snowy egrets; 41 terns (including 27 black eyed terns); 2 great blue herons; 5 crows/ravens; 1 hawk/kestrel; 2 ground squirrels.

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