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We will be on this Ravenswood SF2 trail south of Dumbarton Bridge. Credit: Cris Benton
We will be on this Ravenswood SF2 trail south of Dumbarton Bridge. Credit: Cris Benton

Bird Watching

Hello – and welcome back for another saunter through Salty Dave’s labyrinth of thoughts. 

This time around, we’re going to start off with a few questions, invite you to a birthday party, and end with two poems (don’t skip to the end…).

First, the questions:

  • Are you able to tell the difference between a crow and a raven?
  • Can you rank the different species of terns in order of size?
  • Do “seagulls” exist?
  • What are those weirdly shaped piles of dirt in the water just south of the western landing of the Dumbarton Bridge?

Whether you know the answers to those or not,* I have a warm invitation and good news for you.

You may recall that in a recent blog post, I wrote about the 20th anniversary of the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project. To help celebrate that anniversary and acquaint more people to the project sites and the wildlife that use it, we’re planning a few super-fun events throughout the year. One of those events will take place later this month:

On Saturday, July 29, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Biologist Rachel Tertes will be leading a tour of the bird habitat islands and waters along the trail at Pond SF2 at Ravenswood! Details and registration from here.

As you might have guessed from the questions above, this trail is at the western edge of the Bay, just south of the Dumbarton Bridge. And if you join Rachel and me that morning, you will have an opportunity to not only discuss the rest of the above questions but also view and learn about the many bird species that use Pond SF2, the constructed habitat islands, how water in the pond is managed to best suit bird needs, and many other fun facts. 

This pond and its associated trail and viewing platform are among the earliest and more intricate parts of the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project. There is just a ton to see there, especially as the summer nesting birds are in full swing, and the earliest of the fall migratory birds are beginning to arrive. Rachel is a great biologist, an avid birder and a terrific teacher who loves explaining how we can tell one kind of bird apart from another. And me? Well, I’ll bring coffee and pastries.

So – regardless of your experience or ability as a birder – I hope you will join us for an engaging stroll on that Saturday morning. These walks draw a lot of knowledgeable “Friends of the Project” who are REALLY into birding, and I learn a ton from them every time I join them. We’ll have some extra binoculars to share, but if you have your own or a spotting scope, please bring that along too. 

And, finally, because I promised/threatened, here are two poems, one I found and one I wrote.

Sparrows and Hawks

In this world of ours, the
sparrow must live like a hawk
if he is to fly at all.
-Hayao Miyazaki

Wordle Haiku

Wordle start is ‘soare’
Young hawk – great word – wish I knew
How to pronounce it
-D. Halsing

I hope to see you on July 29th! (But if you can’t make it, I’ll include answers to the above questions in a future post…)

*And especially if you think one of them isn’t a valid question…

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