Today we were able to do a bit of Naturing while staying in Briones for the weekend. Yesterday rained out our plans to explore Briones Regional Park. But today we visited a newtous place, Martinez Regional Shoreline, before meeting up with friends at Bull Valley Roadhouse for dinner.
We were able to do the Martinez Duck Pond Trail Loop and most of the Killdeer, Pickleweed, and Grangers Wharf Trail Loop. Both trails were appropriately named!
We saw many a duck at the Duck Pond. First spotted a number of American Coots (are they ducks?) then Buffleheads then Canvasbacks then Mallards then Gadwalls then one duck I couldn’t ID until I got home that turned out to be a Lesser Scaup. Plus a ton of Gulls.
I haven’t seen Canvasbacks often enough to immediately know what they were. But, DANG, they are SO GORGEOUS.
Walking around the Duck Pond, we also saw a Snowy Egret on the Strait side and a Snow Goose casually hanging with a group of Canada Geese. Like ya do.
Pickleweed was EVERYWHERE. And I love seeing it. While the likelihood of seeing Ridgway’s Rails and Salt Marsh Harvest Mice somewhere buried in there is crazy slim, I like to imagine they might be there. Oh, and the VARIETY OF COLORS of the Pickleweed was a dang delight.
We stopped to enjoy the black sand at the edge of the Carquinez Strait, the incredible post-storm clouds above, the large group of Common Goldeneyes in the strait, and an abandoned ship just eversoslowly disintegrating.
We reached the end and started the rest of the loop back, and I saw Bushtits moving through. And a couple Black Phoebes chasing each other. And even a Red-shouldered Hawk that swooped into our view and stood tall and proud at the top of a bare tree. Surveying its kingdom. And not giving a damn I was taking photos of it as I walked underneath it.
All in all, a lovely way to spend the day after a rainy day and see a bit of Martinez’s resident and wintering birds. Who knew!