Field Trip: Tubbs Island, San Pablo Baylands

Date: Saturday September 18, 2010

Time: 8:30 AM

Trip report added 9/18/2010 (NSAS Event)


Leader: David Takeuchi

Trip Report: by David Takeuchi
Twelve participants (including budding birder, and NSASís future, 9 year old Bryce and his parents, Jodi and Adrian Ogden) joined leader David Takeuchi for a morning of shorebird watching. Tubbs Island comes under the jurisdiction of the US Department of Fish and Wildlife and is open to the public; however, there is a 2.5 mile walk to Lower Tubbs Island. We were fortunate to be able to drive in to Lower Tubbs Island, and our thanks to Don Brubaker, Refuge Manager. Although a chance of rain was forecast, except for a sprinkle tease and heavy overcast skies during the entire walk, the weather held up. The morning began with Mickey Riva sharing her pumpkin bread with us. The incoming tide was perfect; however, the anticipated tens of thousands of shorebirds did not materialize. A Peregrine Falcon swooped again and again, harassing shorebirds, transforming them into fleeing wispy dark clouds. In addition to birds, an unexpected surprise was three (sting) rays. The lateral fins would break the surface in unison, resembling flapping wing tips in slow motion. The field trip ended with lunch and Carol Boykinís zucchini bread. Thank you ladies for your most welcome delicious baked goodies.

Bird List (30 species)

Dbl Crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Black-crowned Night Heron
Turkey Vulture
Canada Goose
Lesser Scaup
Ruddy Duck
White-tailed Kite
Northern Harrier
Peregrine Falcon
Ring-necked Pheasant
Virginia Rail
Blk Bellied Plover
American Avocet
Greater Yellowlegs
Long-billed Curlew
Marbled Godwit
Western Sandpiper
Least Sandpiper
Ring-billed Gull
Caspian Tern
Vauxís Swift
Sayís Phoebe
Common Raven
Violet-green Swallow
Marsh Wren
Savannah Sparrow
Song Sparrow

Pre-trip Description: You will be provided a hands on visual experience of marsh and shore birds, and plants supported by marsh land and the salt waters of the bay. We anticipate seeing hundreds of migrating ducks and thousands of shorebirds. Tubbs has a healthy population of the endangered California clapper rail. We will have lunch in-the-field and the trip will conclude by 2:00 PM.

Bring a lunch, snacks and plenty of liquids, and be prepared to carry it with your hands free. Itís always a good idea to wear a hat and bring sun screen. Dress in layers. Donít forget your binoculars.

Directions: Going west on Hwy 37, make a u-turn at the Hwy 121 traffic light and double back going east on Hwy 37. Drive east about 1/4 mile to the parking lot on the right. We'll begin here at the gate at 8:30 AM. Please be on time. The gate keeps out automobile traffic, however, for this event, it will be opened to let us drive in. We will go in and leave as a group. We will drive 2.5 miles in and walk around the ponds and scope the shoreline.

submitted on August 19, 2010, at 02:47 PM PST

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