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A few weeks ago, I stayed at a motel on Bay Farm Island.  It faced towards San Francisco, across the Bay, so close and with a view so clear, you wanted to reach out and touch the City. However my attention drifted to the ugly mud flat right below my window. It was the kind of mud flat, that when you were a kid, you tried to walk out on it, sank in, had visions of dying in quicksand, and pulled out so fast that you lost a shoe, which your long-suffering mother had to replace from a dwindling kid-clothes budget.

This mud flat was right under the Oakland Airport runway, with massive jets thundering overhead every couple of minutes. Nonetheless, our feathered friends found the area irresistable.

A tall fence, topped with barbed wire, kept terrorists from approaching the airport. I'd think that would have made the birds feel secure behind it, but they were still skittish.  Beyond the mud flats was a shallow lake, with seating for thousands, and whenever I spooked a bird, it flew a half-mile away to the other side of the lake, to punish me.

But I was patient, and after a fashion, the egret tolerated our presence long enough for Ms. 6 to steal an image.

There was a flock of plover-like water birds less majestic than the egret,  yet still enhancing.  They formed their own picket line in the inch-deep water, and moved through it together, herding their tiny prey in front of them.
Another long-beaked, pretty white bird worked the waters by itself.  Its picture is also on the "Safe SF Bay" group's web logo, but I couldn't find what type it is.  
I'll try to id these birds better. I'm pretty sure they aren't killdeer. But when midnight PDT approaches, I'll post half a Bucket before I'll let an empty Bucket stand.

These, I think, are cormorants, showing off their wing muscles.

I am mightily impressed at these shorebirds reclaiming turf along heavily urbanized San Francisco Bay, right under a major airport's flight patterns.  It gives me some hope, that with half a chance, critters great and small can flourish in this demanding world.


"Green Diary Rescue" is Back!

After a hiatus of over 1 1/2 years, Meteor Blades has revived his excellent series.  As MB explained, this weekly diary is a "round-up with excerpts and links... of the hard work so many Kossacks put into bringing matters of environmental concern to the community... I'll be starting out with some commentary of my own on an issue related to the environment, a word I take in its broadest meaning."

"Green Diary Rescue" will be posted every Saturday at 1:00 pm Pacific Time on the Daily Kos front page.  Be sure to recommend and comment in the diary.

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