Saturday, December 17, 2011

Shoreline Kickoff, Walk #2 - Dec. 17, '11

Walking Distance: 4 miles (estimate)
Walking Time: 2 hrs., 5 min. (10:07 a.m. - 12:12 p.m.)
Start and End Point: Public parking lot, Shoreline Park, Mountain View, CA

Today I embarked on my second walk around San Francisco Bay. It was a beautiful, sunny day, a few days away from the start of winter.

I started my walk at the Lakeside Cafe, in Shoreline Park. Thank you

to Javier Rojo for fixing me a decaf cappuccino at the cafe. After that, it was time to grab the camera, break open the logbook and get going.

I walked past the boathouse/dock area on the lake, within view of paddleboats, windsurfing boards, small sailboats, and kayaks: all stacked up and ready to go. And from there I made my way along the paved (asphalt) walk (heading roughly east) to the Bay Trail.

In the distance, to the south were the large hangars at Moffett Field in Sunnyvale and a blimp in the same area.

I stopped to talk with a photographer, Ming W., who showed me a fantastic shot of a harrier she had taken. Part of the fun of walking the trail is to meet other people along the way.

I walked north on the Bay Trail (red line on the Bay Trail map), and crossed my first city boundary -- from Mountain View into the Palo Alto baylands,
passing through the Charleston Slough area.

Due to a prior engagement this afternoon, I had to turn around at the "Interrelationships" interpretive sign/plaque on the packed dirt portion of the trail, in between Shoreline Park in Mountain View and the Lucy Evans Baylands Nature Interpretive Center in Palo Alto.

On the way back, when I crossed back over into Shoreline Park, I walked along the lake, back to the Lakeside Cafe, and the adjacent lot where my car was parked.

It was a great day to see lots of different kinds of birds, including
several species of ducks. Given that it was hunting season, and that I could hear the faint sound of guns being fired a few miles off during the walk this morning, I'd say these ducks had picked the right spot
to hang out.

My favorite bird was the sea gull who was trying to carry an overly large shellfish in its beak. A bird after my own heart.

Wildlife Sightings:
38 cormorants; 7 snowy egrets, 5 great egrets; 26 Canada geese; 40 sea gulls; 15 coots; 2 kite birds; 156 ducks; 2 brown pelicans; 5 little brown jobs (LBJs); 2 hummingbirds; 1 cute grebe/diver; 2 crows; 5 pigeons; 1 hawk/kestrel/falcon; 88 American avocets; 8 black-necked stilts; 67 unidentified brownish shorebirds (UBBs); 1 great blue heron; 2 jackrabbits

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