Shorebirds of San Diego County tours highlight Pacific Flyway visitors
Published - 12/23/18 - 08:05 AM | 2214 views | 0 0 comments | 35 35 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Semi-palmated plovers. / Photo by Chris Mayne
Semi-palmated plovers. / Photo by Chris Mayne
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Winter is an excellent time to go birding when the total number of birds, as well as diversity, are at their peak. San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy presents a three-part series to introduce participants to some of the most densely populated and diverse shorebird sites in San Diego County — from Imperial Beach to Encinitas.

Shorebirds and waterfowl travel the Pacific Flyway migration route between wintering and breeding areas along North America’s western coastline. 

Saturday, Jan. 12: Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve, Imperial Beach.

This is a designated wetland of International Importance and a birders' paradise. As much as 70 percent of the Tijuana Estuary National Estuarine Research Reserve is wetland holding a variety of unique habitats, including dune, salt panne, salt marsh, mudflat, brackish pond, riparian, coastal sage scrub and vernal pool.

Saturday, Feb. 23: Smiley Lagoon, Ocean Beach.

At the east end of Dog Beach is Smiley Lagoon. Common birds observed in the estuary include wintering shorebirds and ducks, Osprey, Snowy Egrets, Cormorants and Great Blue Herons. Native plants include pickleweed, evening primrose and alkali-heath.

Saturday, March 9: Cardiff State Beach, Encinitas.

A gently sloping and protected sandy beach is popular with walkers, surfers and campers. At extreme low tides, the reef reveals tide pools, where plants and sea creatures are seen up-close. Wintering Willets, Whimbrels, sandpipers and more frequent this coast, named 2018 Best Restored Beach on the West Coast.

Conservancy Members $20 per tour | Public $30 per tour.

Tours are from 8 to 10 a.m.

 Registration: SanElijo.org/ShorebirdsTours.

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