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Baylands: Flooded World - Pahavit's Universe

pahavit
Date: 12-15-2012 12:32 AM
Subject: Baylands: Flooded World
Security: Public
Tags:baylands, bird, clapper rail, field trip, great egret, marsh, palo alto, power lines, snowy egret
Baylands: Flooded World

Yesterday D. and I went to the Baylands Nature Preserve to see what the salt marsh looked like during a "king tide," an extreme high tide (9.6' in this case) during winter.  Here are some pics I took.


Power lines in the flooded marsh.







Sandbags line the trail leading to the preserve's interpretive center.  The water is lapping at their sides.





The vast calm water is a reflecting pool for the power lines striding through the marsh.









The boardwalk from the interpretive center leading out into the marsh is barely above water.





Those wet spots are not puddles, they are sea water coming up onto low, saggy sections of the boardwalk.





Ahead on the boardwalk we see a group of people staring into the marsh with binoculars and cameras.  They have found an endangered California clapper rail (Rallus longirostris obsoletus) nervously fidgeting in a clump of submerged pickleweed near the boardwalk.  Clapper rails were once abundant in the marshes and estuaries of San Francisco Bay, but habitat destruction has reduced their numbers alarmingly.  It is a very lucky opportunity for us to see this bird.  I may never see one again in my lifetime.









There are other birds in the marsh too.









The flotsam stirred up by the rising water is so thick that this least sandpiper can practically walk on the surface without sinking.





The flooded world.





Clouds threaten but rain holds off.





More power lines (because it isn't an official field trip without power line pics).





A coot swims through an area usually dry during normal tides.





Another look at the flooded marsh before heading back.




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