Friday, January 6, 2012

Bayfront Park - Dec. 31, '11

Walking Distance: 3.91 mi.
Walking Time: 2 hrs., 9 min. (9:06 - 11:15 a.m.)
Start and End Point: Public parking area (unpaved) in Bayfront Park, Menlo Park, CA

What a great sunny, crisp morning for a walk on this last day of 2011. And thank you to Laura for joining me on this walk and for providing some great conversation. We walked around the perimeter of Bayfront Park and stopped to talk for a bit, and also walked up the small hill toward the center of the park area.

A few years ago, when I ambled around here (on my first walk around SF Bay), I remember seeing a large number of ground squirrels in Bayfront Park. I also remember reading that these squirrels had been exterminated shortly after that (in a somewhat controversial move). And, consistent with that news -- I saw not one this time. The only small creature that was similar was one small brown mouse who darted out onto the packed dirt trail, briefly in front of us, to look for some food, and then disappeared back into the grass. Good thing for the mouse that there were no birds of prey flying overhead.

After we finished our walk in the park, I continued my walk on a paved (asphalt) bicycle/pedestrian path along Bayfront Expressway/Highway 84 heading east toward the Dumbarton Bridge, and shown as a solid red line on the Bay Trail map. Along the way, I enjoyed seeing the strange, bright colors that accompany areas of accumulated salts -- purples and oranges along with the whites and the blues.

I walked as far as the relatively new Facebook corporate headquarters (old Sun Microsystems campus) at the end of Willow Road and Bayfront Expressway/Highway 84, before turning around and heading back to Bayfront Park where I'd left the car.

Lots of interesting ducks and other birds out this time of year (winter). A few ducks even found good perching spots in the water (on submerged tires).

Wildlife Sightings:
2 killdeer; 1 kite (bird); 51 little brown jobs (LBJs); 24 coots; 15 American avocets; 12 black-necked stilts; 1 mouse; 1 whiffle ball; 1 blackbird; 18 unidentified brownish shorebirds (UBBs); 2 great egrets, 3 snowy egrets; 40 sea gulls; 50 ducks; 6 Canada geese; 2 UFO grebes/divers; 17 pigeons; 7 crows; 1 small cloud of eye-level gnats.