Birds of the Bay 2017
2017 was the year that I started building my portfolio of wild bird photography. This is a slight shift in direction for me, and there is still a lot to learn, but I am having a lot of fun with it. My main interest right now is in documenting the natural areas in and around the Bay Area, California, where I live. I am fascinated by the interaction of the natural and the urban.
Lake Merritt is always a fun place to go for birding. In most public parks you might expect to see ducks and geese, maybe a swan, and plenty of pigeons. You can find all of those at Lake Merritt, along with black crowned night herons, coots, great egrets, snowy egrets, cormorants, canvasbacks, buffleheads, ruddy ducks, pelicans, and more, all with people picnicking and children playing right near by. This is the most incredible place that I know of to see wildlife in an urban setting.
San Pablo Bay
San Pablo Bay is the body of water tucked in between East Oakland, Alameda, and Bay Farm Island, where the Oakland Airport is. There is a bike trail along the Oakland side, just across the freeway from the Coliseum. The neighborhood nearby is rough, and most people going to see an A's or Warriors game have no idea that so much natural beauty is nearby.
Berkeley and Emeryville Marinas
There is always a good chance of seeing wildlife at your local marina. At Berkeley Marina, there are public parks all around, with good views of the mudflats that attract thousands of birds at low tide. Everyville Marina also has nearby mudflats with a great view of the Port of Oakland, The Bay Bridge and the San Francisco skyline. It's a good place for a walk at sunset.
Although Alcatraz Island is mostly seen as a tourist destination, it is actually a great place to see wildlife. The gardens are beautiful, and it is nesting ground for sea gulls and black crowned night herons, among others. The day that I was there I mostly just saw a lot of sea gulls, but I intend to go back.
More to come...