The Presidio (11/10/2021)

Today I didn’t go to GGPark! I’ve been meaning to mix it up for some time, but anywhere that involves driving is more of a time commitment… So.
I’ve been wanting to check on my Coyote Brush babies that I planted with the Presidio Trust a couple weeks ago.

On my walk to Quartermaster Reach Marsh, I heard A FROG right off the trail. Now, every time I hear a frog, I get a step or two closer to the sound, and the sound JUST STOPS. This time was no different.
: /

Back to my recent plantings… We were supposed to put them into a well of sorts so when the rains come, the water would collect and go straight down. And, mine look pretty great post-rains! I’m quite proud of them. Will be so fun to check on them from time to time.

Got to see a bunch of Killdeer and sandpipers (too far away to ID) while there, which was nice. The Killdeer were hanging out on the small ridge or in holes closer to the waterline. Fun to see them just standing there, enjoying the sunshine.

Headed to Crissy Lagoon and looked around the East end. Some mushrooms, some Coast Paintbrush, a handful of Yellow-rumped Warblers, a group of Starlings, and a Yellow-faced Bumblebee were out and about. In the lagoon were a ton of gulls, including a Short-billed Gull or two, a Great Egret, a Snowy Egret, and a Long-billed Curlew.

Saw a group of Buffleheads and American Coots as I walked West to do the loop. When I got to the West end, I eversobriefly saw a male Common Yellowthroat! I’ve only seen them a couple times, and I think this might be only the second time I’ve seen an adult male. Gah, I wish I got to see him for more than 3 seconds!!

Coming around the West end, I noticed all the pickleweed in the marshy parts on that side. I now recognize it! And, I know so much about tidal marshes now! All from my SF Bay Ecology class. It’s pretty awesome to know more about it, I must say.

Heading East, I saw a couple birds I didn’t recognize. They were all kind of far, so it was tough to get good looks on them. First, there were three Grebe-looking birds. But, they had reddish-orange coloring on their necks. Turns out they were Red-breasted Mergansers! LIFE BIRD! While getting crap pictures of them, three Canada Geese flew in and landed right next to them. But, one wasn’t a Canada Goose. It was a goose, but I’d never seen it before. Got a crap picture of it, and it turns out it was a Greater White-fronted Goose! LIFE BIRD! Really wish the sun hadn’t already gone down so I could’ve seen them better, but it’s been a while since I’ve had new life birds. So, a treat indeed!

I got near the East end, and a handful of Snowy Egrets, a Great Egret, a Great Blue Heron, and that same Long-billed Curlew were all getting their dinner on. And, I must say that I was quite enamored of the curlew. I ended up taking a bunch of photos of it and love them all. It’s such a bizarre bird. Like an experiment of Nature. Love it.

Took one final look at the lagoon from the East end and spotted a couple more mushrooms hiding very well and one bit of blooming Chamisso Bush Lupine. It was a lovely end to my Naturing time.

But, heading back to my car, I was a couple feet from it when I saw a raptor swoop from the tree in front of me, over my head, and into a palm tree behind me. It was in silhouette, so I couldn’t ID it as I had to head home. Wishing I could’ve stayed to get closer looks at it, I reluctantly started my drive home.

BUT! As I was about to turn left onto Halleck, a Red-tailed Hawk swooped onto a streetlight on my left. Yay! BUT, THEN! Right after it did that, a sleeker grayer raptor flew right toward it and kind of dive-bombed it. I was turning left so didn’t get the best view, but the smaller raptor flew alongside me over the bridge. Couldn’t see it well, but a RAPTOR FIGHT was about to go down!!

Just an average end to a Naturing outing, when I so wish I could’ve stayed out longer!

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