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View Diary: Dawn Chorus: w00t! Winter's almost here! (67 comments)

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  •  We watch for the highest winter high tides to head (9+ / 0-)

    for the bay marshes and watch for rails. There are usually only one or two days a month when it really works. Get to the marsh (China Camp, Corte Madera, Arrowhead, PA Baylands among others) an hour or two before high tide for that location - check the tide tables, because it can be an hour after high tide at the gate.  As the tide rises, rails leave the vegetation where they normally hide as it gets inundated. This will allow you a fleeting glimpse of them, though it also allows predators to see them.  Black Rails don't do well at extreme high tides. :-(

    Back to the coast and continuing south, I think I'll finish with Elkhorn Slough. We went there with our mini-Kossack outing in July when its at its lowest point of activity for the year. We saw some cool stuff, but now that its winter there are tens of thousands more birds. Lots of waterfowl and shorebirds, and this is another place where rare birds tend to show up. If you're a kayaker, you probably already know about this place but novices can rent kayaks as well and see the place up close. Sea otters hang out in the slough, and the surrounding hillsides burst with abundant bird life. On the south side if the slough, Moonglow Dairy offers access to the shore - very nice for a private landowner. Their trail puts you at the spot where the slough narrows on its way to the bay, so it can be quite lively during the changing of the tides.

    Lead your life - don't let your life lead you.

    by lineatus on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 07:40:00 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

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