In October, the dike at Sears Point was breached to the waters of the San Pablo Bay. On December 5, Sonoma Land Trust had another “open house” to see how the wetland restoration was going.
We crossed the track (general opening to the public is waiting a proper railroad crossing) and climbed the dike.
This gave us a view of the new tidal wetland area, views around the bay and access to the Bay Trail. To the left is new 2.5 mile trail connecting to Bay Trail across from the racetrack and to the right it connects to the trail near the Marina. We wanted to go out towards the bay.
We could see downtown San Francisco – right through the opening in the outer dike.
This is the same walk we did on the previous “open house” but the trail has been regraded. And the water was now higher and saltier. Mt Diablo still loomed. Most birds kept their distance. Volunteers shared telescopes so we could almost see the pintails and ruddy ducks.
This flooded area is 1000 acres and was farmland for 100 years. We were given dried mud swirls with pickleweed seeds. Each person who showed up was given the chance to help in the restoration.
This is about where I threw mine. The water would help it settle in.
We walked to the end – only about 3/4 of a mile – but the best partial mile we’ve walked. A woman was painting, a fine way to study and appreciate the area.
On a close island, we finally saw one Great Egret fly in and land for a little grooming. Over 500 island were created to increase sedimentation and future channels. The ridges will help provide high tide refuge for wildlife.
And this Willet was looking for something to eat.
To the west on the previously restored wetland many happy birds were having no problem feeding.
This avocet was soon joined by some stilts.
Sonoma Land Trust is planning another “open house” in February. I’m interested in seeing if the new wetland can begin to look like this one. Well, not by February, but I’m glad it has begun.
Looking back to Hwy 37 – and appreciating the wildness that can be so close to craziness. I’m so happy to have paid another visit to this special place.
Click for our January visit on the last “open house.” Next walk is Sunday, February 21st.
See you on the trail!
Words and square pictures by Lynn Millar – other pictures my Mike Millar. Available upon request.