On Sunday D. and I visited the wildlife refuge's Coyote Creek Lagoon Trail, which touts itself as "one of the best trails on the Alameda County portion of the refuge for viewing, photographing, and studying water birds," claiming up to 35 species of birds can be seen. So let's see how many we actually saw!
A view of the marsh near the trailhead.
Our first bird! A yellowlegs, all by its lonesome in a shallow pond. Not exactly off to a rip-roaring start.
Near a flood control gate, a little clump of mushrooms catches the mild winter afternoon sun.
As we round a turn in the trail, more birds come into view: a gull and some black-necked stilts.
Eventually more and more birds are visible. Northern shovelers are plentiful.
Another look at the marsh.
A western gull stands its ground on the trail, allowing us to get quite close before deciding to fly off.
A northern harrier swoops gracefully over the marsh.
One last look before we head home.
So how many bird species did we wind up seeing? In addition to the yellowlegs, gulls, black-necked stilts, northern shovelers, American wigeon, green-winged teal and northern harrier, we also saw sparrows, crows, egrets, mallards, coots, turkey vultures and black phoebes. Quite a few!