Clark Bird Refuge to Santa Barbara Zoo

Besides the beautiful setting of Santa Barbara, I came to love that there was so much to do and all so close.

Andree Clark Bird Refuge

Clark Bird RefugeNear the east end of the beach, is the Andree Clark Bird Refuge. This 42 acre park with a large lake – made to function as a estuary – shows recent plant restoration projects. Looking in the ‘right’ directions I could imagine a more wild place but the convenience of the place meant the trains went by and the Hwy 101 roared.

Flowers and train at ClarkLooking towards the ocean, I could see the stretch of the lake and attempted to make out the islands. Oh, and spot the birds as well. Coots were the only ones social enough to reward the casual birdwatcher.

Clark Bird Refuge LakeThe path doesn’t completely circle the lake. A soft footpath goes on the north side of the lake

Bird refuge paththere are several platforms over the lake.

wildlife photographerPlants are lush and intriguing in areas.

gardened wildPlanta at ClarkWe started noticing that the trees planted along the road were planted in someone’s honor, complete with plaques. It helped with the ID – but if you asked me today to recognize the different palms – I’d be stuck for an answer. This path connects to the one we discovered at Shoreline Park on the other side of town.

path near ClarkLink to Andree Clark Bird Refuge.

Sidebar: Andree Clark was the daughter of William Clark, a politician and rich guy (thanks to copper in Montana). She died at 17 in 1919. Her sister, Huguette Clark died in 2011 at 104. Across the street from this bird refuge and behind the cemetery is the family mansion. Huguette supported the mansion for sixty years without ever visiting. According to a volunteer gardener, we met at the Alice Keck Garden, there is much discussion of opening the mansion to the public.

Santa Barbara Zoo

The zoo in Santa Barbara is small, which suited us as visitors trying to see lots of things in a few days.

This swan greeted us at the entrance. Then we wandered around looking at exhibits outdoors and in of mammal, reptile and avian.

Swan at zoo entranceThe flamingos were busy

SB flamingosBut the main reason for visiting was to see the California Condors. I counted five. A couple were digging and nibbling in the grass. The most regal were on perches. They overlooked the lake at the Clark Bird Refuge.

CA condorYou can see what a spectacular day this was and what a beautiful area. Link to Santa Barbara Zoo.

Santa Barbara ViewYesterdays post Santa Barbara Waterfront – and tomorrow Alice Keck and downtown Santa Barbara.

Words by Lynn Millar, pictures by Lynn and Mike Millar, available upon request.

Lynn at Clark

 

 

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