On Saturday May 10, 2014 Carlos and I participated in a bird walk being hosted by the Watsonville Wetlands Watch program, an organization that advocates for wetland issues.
We started the day by meeting up at the Fitz Wetlands Educational Resource Center, a neat center with lots of educational resources. At the Fitz Wetlands Educational Resource Center we were able to meet all other people who were going on the bird walk, including the event organizer Debbie Diersch. Before carpooling out to the different locations we discussed the different places we would be going to and talked about which birds we might see at the different locations.
Soon after we headed out to our first destination, Harkins Slough. As we walked down to the slough we were able to see a lot of Red-Winged Blackbirds in the nearby strawberry fields. We also saw a couple of different sparrows. Fortunately, a tiny shorebird also made an appearance! We spotted a killdeer next to the strawberry fields just hanging out on the ground; it seemed to stay there for a really long time so we began to wonder whether it had a nest there. As we got closer to the slough we saw some majestic white pelicans flying overhead. The highlight of Harkins Slough was seeing an osprey nest! I was able to see a head poking out of the nest but I wasn’t sure if it was one of the parents or if there was already a chick present.
The next location we went to was on Lee Road, a road that was also adjacent to strawberry fields. From this road we were also able to see more American White Pelicans and Great Egrets. From this location we were also able to see a Bald Eagle! Across the slough they are nesting on some tall trees, maybe Eucalyptus, so we were able to set some spotting scopes. It was my first time seeing Bald Eagles in the wild so that was pretty exciting!
The last location we went to was also really neat. We were able to see a lot of different ducks. We also (barely) saw some Marsh Wrens. We also saw a Black-Crowned Night-Heron!
The bird was overall really fun! I think it’s always fun to go out with people who share a common interest and with people who all bring different levels and types of knowledge. I really enjoy being around birders because I feel like I learn a lot from them, so it is always a rewarding experience.
I hope to learn more about the Watsonville Wetlands Watch program and maybe get involved with some of their projects!