The Western Snowy Plover- A Closer Look

Today I would like to take a closer look at the Western snowy plover (Charadrius nivosus nivosus). I became inspired to learn more about this elusive bird by a very close interaction that I had with two plovers up North on the Central Coast over at Surf Beach, Lompoc (see down below for more information)

The Western snowy plover is a wader and one of the smallest shorebirds in Southern California, as it is onlyTheize of a sparrow. In fact, the chicks are so tiny that they can easily be mistaken for cotton balls!

Bird Species of Special Conservation Concern in California

scientific classification snowy plover

Due to low population and habitat loss, the Western snowy plover was listed by the federal government as threatened on March 5, 1993. They prefer to nest on beaches, estuaries, peninsulas, bays, salt pans, and rivers in Oregon and California.

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The San Diego Bird Festival 2022

san diego bird festival featured image

I apologize for getting this information out so late, but here it is! Starting this week, the San Diego Bird Festival will be happening over at the Marina Village Conference Center in Quivira Basin, Mission Bay.

If you love birds, this conference is especially for you!

Let’s take a look at everything that the Festival has to offer- from fantastic field trips, thought-provoking lectures, as well as a prominent vendor Exhibit Hall which has everything you didn’t know that you needed!

Officially it will begin online today.

When?– February 16- February 19Marina Village Conference Center

How Much? There is a 30 dollar registration fee, and each event, unless designated as free, will have individual prices.

I looked at the registration page and came up with these prices.

Again, you will see the right price once you register.

General Fees-

  • $30- registration fee
  • $150- most bus trips
  • $50- most meet you there trips
  • $65- Birding by Bike
  • $80- Kayaking
  • $10- most lectures
  • $25- keynote talks

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Walking Shoreline Park at Shelter Island

shoreline park featured image

As my girls and I walked around Famosa Slough on a clear November day, we realized that we still had a couple of hours before picking my husband up from work. So we decided to go to Shoreline Park on Shelter Island at San Diego Bay. We have been coming here for years!

I love to watch the boats in San Diego Bay. But there are so many other things to pay attention to over here, for instance, observing the jets take off and land over on Naval Air Station North Island/ Coronado or shorebird’s dive-bombing into the bay. On a clear day, you can see the Coronado Islands of Mexico (Islas Coronado.)

And how about the smells? There is nothing better than the crisp smell of saltwater, is there? I find it so refreshing!

The sounds here on Shetler Island are just as unmistakable: sea lions barking, the wind blowing through the trees, and the water lapping on the rocks after a large ship goes by. You might even hear the chattering of green parrots. Did you know that a flock of green parrots live here on Shelter Island? More on these lively parrots later.

Let’s now look at what we saw and offered here at Shoreline Park/ Shelter Island.

#Click on any small photo to see a larger version.

Exploring Shoreline Park in November

shoreline park shelter island google map

button map shelter island shoreline park

Shoreline Park is a narrow band that stretches for one mile on the bayside of Shelter Island. Dogs are welcome here but must be on a leash.

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A Few Plants at Famosa Slough

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Last month, on November 23rd, my girls went to Famosa Slough because I wanted to check out and see how the plants were doing. I knew that the toyon and buckwheat were in bloom, but what other surprises were we in for? I can tell you upfront that I saw my first California boxthorn bush! Have you ever seen one in the wild?

So today, I wish to keep things casual, seeing that I have written more in-depth about almost all of these plants.

Please see the links down below if you would like more information.

A Few Famosa Slough Facts

Famosa slough map google maps

button-map-Famosa-Slough-Google-Maps

First and foremost, the Famosa Slough is a living wetland preserve and a Marine Protected Area, meaning nothing is to be touched or taken. It survives as a wetland by the tidal flow from the culvert pipes that connect it to the San Diego River Channel.

It consists of two sections: the Northern Channel, 12 acres, and the southern portion, 25 acres of mixed wetlands. The more south you go, the less saline the water.

I have been here four times and have written about Famosa Slough before, only concentrating on the southern section. Well, today, we explored both.

North Channel of Famosa Slough

famosa slough pano san diego saltmarsh

The North section connects to the San Diego River Channel north, with the southern portion just across the street.

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First Day Hikes 2022

First Day Hikes 2022 Featured Image

Wow! I am so happy to write up this post in record time! You see, yesterday, I realized that the California State Parks uniquely celebrate the New Year. How is that, you may ask?
California State Park staff members, docents, and volunteers will show off the beauty and wonders of our gorgeous State Park system by leading the general public in First Day Hikes! Below is valuable information on each San Diego/ California State Park featured, plus a brief explanation of where and what is offered.
I will start north up at San Onofre State Beach and go south towards the California/Mexican Border.
It is supposed to be chilly on the coast today, with the high only 62 degrees, so please consider that!


First Day Hikes at San Onofre State Beach

Trestles November sand dunes water surfers

Where – Trestles Beach Trailhead on Cristianitos Road/ El Camino Real

Time- 2 pm

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Fiesta Island- A Closer Look

Fiesta Island entrance mission bay san diego

On June 15, 2021, one of my best friends and I took her two dogs to Fiesta Island at Mission Bay Park. Though I have been visiting Fiesta Island for over 30 years, today was the first time I entered the infamous leash-free dog park; this place is magical! Ironically, the next day, the California Coastal Commission formally decided that Fiesta Island Dog Park would stay the same way it had been for years- rustic and undeveloped. I had no idea this was up for a vote.

A bit more commentary on this subject later.

So as I said before, I have been coming here for years, but in 2018, I did a photoshoot of the island. I was surprised at how special it is over here. Would you care to see what I saw?

Let’s also take a closer look at all of the things you can do and enjoy over at Fiesta Island. As a bonus, I will be including phone numbers and links to relevant websites about this area!

A Few Mission Bay and Fiesta Island Facts

mission bay map fiesta island san diego

button map fiesta island mission bay san diego

Phone Number– (619) 235-1169

Hours– 4:00 am to 10:00 pm

Click on the map below for a better idea.

—>Fiesta Island Map<—

#– Fiesta Island Dog Park is open 24 hours, seven days a week, but the island is closed to cars after 10:00 pm. You may enter, but you must park off the island and walk.

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Oceanside Harbor Boat Launch-A Closer Look

Oceanside Harbor Featured image boat trailer car

Southern California has been experiencing a terrible heatwave for the past week, so I decided to go to the coast for much-needed relief from the heat! My girls and I decided to head over to Oceanside Harbor Beach. While heading to the restroom, I looked at the Oceanside Harbor boat launch. Below, I will showcase some of the highlights of San Diego’s North County-only Ocean boat launch ramp.

First, I have a complete informational post that lists all of the San Diego Launch Ramps. (Click on the link for more information)

Oceanside Harbor Map

Oceanside Harbor Map display

Oceanside Harbor is 38 miles north of Downtown San Diego and  27 miles south of Orange County’s Dana Point Harbor Boat Launch Ramp. So the question is if you live in San Diego, is the  Oceanside launch ramp worth the trip or not? If you live in North County, San Diego, then, of course, it is, yes?

But is it?

Below, I will showcase the west side of Oceanside Harbor, where the boat launch is situated. I love this ramp because everything is close to each other. But if you think about it, this feature could be a negative attribute if it is busy.

Here is a PDF file of the Harbor map. I encourage you to print it out, as it is a great reference to use the next time you are in the area!

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Walking Around Guajome Lake and Regional Park

Guajome Regional Park featured image water birds cattails

In mid-January, I took my daughters and Mother-in-Law to experience Guajome Lake and Regional Park in Oceanside for a couple of hours. We constantly pass the front entrance whenever we take Highway 76 to the coast.

I have always been intrigued by what Guajome Lake looked like, so today was the day to find out!

Guajome Regional Park Map

A Bit of Guajome Regional Park History

Guajome regional park grassy picnic area

First off, here are a few statistics regarding Guajome Regional Park. The park spans 394 acres and is 8 miles inland from the coast.

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San Diego Beach Buzz- March Events 2020

San Diego Beach Buzz March Events

Welcome back! Lord have mercy this year has been shooting by! Are you planning on visiting San Diego in March? Here is a bunch of things happening in this beautiful city. Take a look and figure out which events interest you! Down below, I have compiled for you a bunch of different things that you can do while on the coast of San Diego. Most events are free to the public. So let’s take a look at San Diego Events for March 2020

The Carlsbad Flower Fields Open in March!

Carlsbad Flower Fields San Diego March Events
Photo Credit- Kellinahandbasket @ Flickr

Starting March 1, the Carlsbad Flower Fields is open to the public for only six to eight weeks!

Now is the time to visit this 50 acres of Giant Tecolote Ranunculus flowers.

“Today, the fields are a direct result of over 85 years of floral cultivation that began when Luther Gage, an early settler, and grower, settled in the area in the early 1920s.

Mr. Gage introduced Ranunculus seeds and began growing them in his fields next to Frank Frazee’s small vegetable farm in South Oceanside. This started a business called “Luther Gage Giant Tecolote Ranunculus bulbs.” The name “Tecolote” came from the owls that nested on his property.”
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Desperately Seeking Torrey Pine Trees

Desperately seeking torrey pine tree featured image

I would have a bit of fun with this post today. With all the exploring I have been doing in San Diego County, I have noticed the elusive Torrey pine trees while on my adventures.

I am so intrigued that the Torrey pine tree is endangered and is the rarest pine tree in North America. The Torrey pine tree only grows naturally on a tiny strip of land on Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve (TPSNR). Because of this, I keep noticing them wherever I go around San Diego County!

I have tried to find any information on who planted these trees, but I was ecstatic every time I saw a Torrey pine tree. So I did a little research, and let me tell you, it was not easy. There is plenty of necessary information, but other than that, not so much.

Torrey Pine Tree Information

torrey pine tree scientific information

First and foremost, the Torrey pine tree only grows naturally in Del Mar and Santa Rosa Island, off the coast of Santa Barbara, which is 175 miles away.

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San Diego Beach Buzz- February Events 2020

San Diego Beach Buzz February featured image

Welcome back! Can you believe how fast the month of January has gone by? Wow! Down below are some fabulous events that are happening on the coast of San Diego in February. Now, I am sure most in the country can not even imagine that here in February, the average high temperature in San Diego is 65 F (18 C). Pretty nice, yes? While most of the country is dealing with snow,  here in San Diego we are wondering if we need sunscreen. Let’s now take a look at what is happening this month, shall we?

San Diego February Marathons

February San Diego Marathons february events

There seems to be a wide variety of San Diego marathons to choose from in February! I was pleasantly surprised at the variety that is offered.

11th Annual Warrior Spirit 5k Run/Walk Family Festival

warrior run carlsbad marathon

Website

Time: Registration-8:30 am and Opening Ceremonies-9:15 am

Sponsored by the Mitchell Thorp Foundation, on Saturday, the 1st starting over at Poinsettia Park in Carlsbad, join others to race to support those with life-threatening childhood diseases and their families.

“Funds raised from the event will go toward MTF’s Families Team Pages where their bills will be paid from. MTF’s Programs; Medical & Home Assistance, Healing & Rehabilitation, and Wheelchair Conversion Vans Programs.”

There will be live music, food and health vendors, Kids Fun Zone Area, mini-therapy ponies, a dance contest, and even a costume contest. Registration is $45. Click on the above link for more information.

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2019 Year In Review Photo Gallery

2019 Year in Review Large featured image

Anytime I am on the coast, I am happy! How about you? Down below are a few of my San Diego beach highlights. Will you join me as I go over my 2019 year in review? I sure had fun remembering all the great places I visited, and I have plenty of photos to share!

I have previously written about many of these beaches, so click on any link for additional information.

Ready? Let’s Go!


January San Diego Beach Adventures in 2019

observation deck Buena Vista Lagoon 2019 Year in Review

 Buena Vista Lagoon-Buccaneer Beach-Oceanside Harbor

My oldest daughter Maya and I investigated the Buena Vista Lagoon western section in Oceanside on January 15. It was a gloomy day, but any day on the coast is a good day, in my book!

First, we were able to take a quick walk around the nature trail.

We also popped into the nature center to look around for a bit. Later, we crossed the street to see the lagoon section behind the Saint Malo Beach community I had never seen before.

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Coast to Crest Trail-San Dieguito Lagoon

San Dieguito River Del Mar

A couple of months ago, I went down to the San Dieguito Lagoon in Del Mar to walk on the Coast to Crest Trail. Did you know that San Diego County has six coastal lagoons? The San Dieguito Lagoon is the largest of them all.

This past year, I have been having a blast visiting all of the San Diego Lagoons and Nature Centers, and this was the last lagoon to see on my list.

Coast to Crest trail sign Del Mar

Walking the Coast to Crest Trail at the San Dieguito Lagoon

The San Dieguito Lagoon is located in North County, San Diego, 21 miles north of Downtown San Diego. The lagoon is part of the San Dieguito River Park, which spans over 92,000 acres!

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Best San Diego Birding Hotspots

Loma Alta Creek San Diego Birding

Here I  present a comprehensive list of the best San Diego birding hotspots. I will be including all of San Diego County, starting first to the north and making my way south. Each site will have a link to an address and habitat type, amenities,  tour information (if available), and any notable birds of Interest.

Did you know that many free San Diego birding tours are offered all over San Diego County? I will also include any insider information in my research, such as prime locations within each site.

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Touring The Living Coast Discovery Center

Living Coast Discovery Center featured image san diego bay

At the beginning of Summer, I took my two daughters to go and check out the Living Coast Discovery Center, located in the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge. I had not been there for over 30 years, so needless to say, I was super excited to go back!

Where is the Living Coast Discovery Center?

First, The Living Coast Discovery Center is in South Bay, San Diego-Chula Vista, 12.4 miles from Downtown San Diego.

San Diego South Bay consists of everything south of Downtown San Diego to the Mexican Border, including National City, Chula Vista, Coronado, and Imperial Beach.

San-Diego-Bay-Map-Living-Coast-Discovery-Center

1000 Gunpowder Point Dr, Chula Vista, CA 91910

(619) 409-5900

http://www.thelivingcoast.org

Hours- 10 am-5 pm daily

Adults (13+)            $16
Children (3-12)        $11
Children (0-2)          Free

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