On Saturday the 31st I was able to tag along on a bird walk in Seaside, CA. I heard about the bird walk from last year’s Monterey intern, Hugo Ceja. The person who led the walk, Celia Bosworth, is going to be volunteering with Hugo doing some Black Oystercatcher monitoring in the Pacific Grove/Monterey area.
We all met at the Seaside County Library at 10 AM. There I was able to meet Celia and some of her other volunteers including a Spanish/English interpreter and a leader from the Boys & Girls Club.
I was pleasantly surprised at how many kids and their families showed up to the event! It was a really good turnout. There were about 25-30 people in total. The majority of the children and families that participated were Latino so I was able to speak in Spanish to mostly everybody!
Before walking to Laguna Grande Regional Park, Celia gave some quick pointers in both English and Spanish on how to use binoculars and then we handed them out to the children and their parents. After handing out the binoculars we headed off to the park which was virtually across the street.
Once we got to the park we were able to see some ducks and geese almost immediately. There were a lot of Canada Geese present as well as some Mallards. We lucky enough to see a mom Mallard and her little ducklings! That was exciting for me because it was the first time that I saw ducklings!
There were also Barn Swallows flying over the pond which was pretty neat because they have an iridescent blue hue to them that is always nice to observe. The kids were very interested in learning the names of the birds, and Celia was also very knowledgeable of the birds’ names in Spanish so she was able to share the Spanish names with us too.
Aside from the geese and Mallards we also saw a couple of blackbirds, some crows, and we were also able to get a really nice close-up view of a Double-Crested Cormorant. While we were all observing the cormorant a Great Blue Heron landed right next to it! That was probably the highlight of the bird walk, having the Great Blue Heron making a surprise appearance was really neat!
Some challenges that I encountered during the bird walk included some of the kids chasing the Canada Geese. I didn’t really know how to tell them not to do it without sounding like an old grouch but I just tried explaining that they were probably scaring them and stressing them out. Some of the kids were picking up bird feathers. I explained that they probably had a lot of germs and that birds often carry diseases so it might be better to just leave the feathers.
Overall it was a really great event. I was able to meet a lot of new people. The best part was seeing how interested some of the kids were. I hope that this event was able to spark an interest for the outdoors and maybe even for birds!
It was great that Celia organized with event. At first I was under the impression that Celia was a teacher but soon learned that she works in healthcare and she was partaking in this event because of her love for the outdoors. She also explained that the Spanish version of the Kaufman bird guide inspired her to start doing these bilingual birds walks. Celia is truly an inspiring person and I hope she continues to organize more events like this because it brought a lot of happiness to everyone who participated!