Shadow Cliffs Regional Recreation Area (11/2/2022)

Today I visited somewhere completely different! I had my second and final rehearsal for the staged reading I’m doing in Livermore this weekend. And I figured I may as well take the opportunity to find out what Naturing is like over there!

I was looking for something near Livermore on AllTrails and came upon this place with the really cool name. Started out with the Shadow Cliffs Loop then did the Shadow Cliffs West End Pond Trail.

It’s pretty late, as I had rehearsal way out there tonight, so this will be brief. I swear. Well. My kinda brief.

Overall, a lot of Valley Oaks (I think) and Northern California Black Walnut (I think) trees. And the Walnut trees are doing wonderful Fall colors right now. The lakes and pond weren’t very full of birds, but I did see Gadwalls (I think)! There was a group, and they were far and in silhouette, but I noticed this white patch on the side that made me think I wasn’t familiar with this duck. Wish I’d have been in a better spot to observe them, but as I haven’t seen many Gadwalls in my life, this was exciting! And amazing the one close-up shot I got was in focus.

Also saw Yellow-rumped Warblers and a Black Phoebe and some Hermit Thrushes and a Ruby-crowned Kinglet (with bright red ruby crown, finally!) and Chestnut-backed Chickadees and Western Bluebirds and a Red-tailed Hawk soaring overhead and a Northern Mockingbird and some Mourning Doves and a Northern Flicker and Acorn Woodpeckers and a Great Egret. And others I’m forgetting.

Oak Galls FOR DAYS right now. Fox Squirrels run the place, with California Ground Squirrels running around here and there. Saw newtome Fremont Cottonwood (I think) and maybe Great Valley Gumweed and Canadian Waterweed?

The water bits were pretty dried up, as was expected. Would be interesting to see the place in late Winter…

The West End Pond Trail seemed to have far more bird activity, and it was way prettier as you get to walk through trees on that trail.

But I soon realized, seeing the kinds of trails they mainly have and the signs for fishing, that this place is a recreation place. Wayyy more than a Naturing place. So, not so much my cup of tea. And that the bathrooms were all locked up near the parking lot totally pissed me off! Contacting the East Bay Regional Park District tomorrow about THAT.

On the plus side, they’ve got solar panels AND car charging stations.

Nice to see some different kinds of flora there and a decent amount of birds, but yeah. I maybe need to pay more attention to the full title of places I’m looking into visiting in the future?

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