Winter Run - December 17th

Sky and clouds reflected on glassy water of the north pond

The past four days finally delivered some much needed rain. A cold front out of the north dropped temps and about an inch to an inch and a half of rain. The storm also washed the atmosphere clean presenting one of those ultra-clear-day-after-a-rain skies. With the exception of the colder temp, you wouldn't have suspected a major winter storm hit less than 24 hours ago. Like much of California, this coastal area has seem only a little over half of it's November average rainfall. Looking at the ground below me, it's dry for mid December.

With that, it came as no real surprise to see the creek still backed up behind the sandbar. The surrounding marsh to the north and east looked more swollen since last visit. No big deal to the migrants. The cinnanmom teals, the buffle heads, and the american coots seemed sparse across their growing universe of water.

Walking out toward the north marsh I talked to Mark. With his spotting-scope slung over his left shoulder, he mentioned avocets and the cinnamom teals in the system with a tone of excitement. Not that these guys are rare, but they are found more often along inland marshes and waters and not as common in a coastal marsh. I asked him for his take. "As they migrate south, the large surface area of the marsh looks enticing." Makes sense to me.

A bufflehead takes wing across the water

The Expanding Marsh Continued