Waterbird Regional Preserve

Friday, April 20, 2012

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I was invited by Pat and Chris to join them on a birding/walking excursion around McNabney Marsh. It’s located at the Waterbird Regional Preserve between I-680 and the outskirts of the refineries in Martinez.

It’s an odd picture to see the restored marshlands with the towering steam pipes of the refineries spewing in the background. Regardless, the marsh is a welcome habitat for migratory birds, waterfowl and shorebirds.

I was warned by Pat that it was already late in the season and we may not see a whole lot of birds. That didn’t matter much to me, I was just grateful to be out and about with friends on a gorgeous sunny and warm day!

Pat brought her scope and lent me a small pair of binoculars for single handed use. Chris was the scope pack mule and hauled it around for our little walk.

We got onto the short 1+ mile Meadowlark Ridge Loop from the parking lot and walked up along the trail. From the top of the ridge, you get fabulous views of Mt Diablo and of the marsh. Spring is here-the rolling green hills are dotted with pretty blue and purple flowers, vibrant yellow flowers lining the edge of marsh and grazing cattle.

We saw numerous birds: red-winged blackbirds, white pelicans, white egrets, blue herons, Canada geese, black-necked stilts, mallards, pintails and killdeers.

The return along the top of the ridge brought us to what looked like an old driveway lined with Pepperwood, Palm and Eucalyptus trees that use to lead to a house/ranch.

Thanks to Pat and Chris for the pleasurable walk around the Preserve! The swarms of mosquitoes along the marsh were unexpected for me-I got bitten numerous times despite Pat spraying me with mosquito repellent. Oh well, I’ll know better next time!

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Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.
~Marcel Proust

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