Place: Hayward Regional Shoreline, Hayward, California
Last spring I posted my recommendation of the Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center (HSIC) as a great place for family hikes and class field trips. Last week my younger chika's class went on a field trip there, which I was happy to chaperone. It was then that I found out it was king tide time for the pacific coast. The water level was low enough for the children to observe mud critters, but water was rushing speedily in and by the time we left the entire area was flooded.
We left HSIC about half an hour before the tidal peak. As soon as I got home and checked the online tidal chart and saw that the last day of the king tide was going to be on Saturday, Dec, 14.
|HSIC building is an island|
Papa Quail had taken the little chika to a birthday party so I took the older one with me to the Hayward Shoreline. My older chika is very fascinated with royalty, and was excited to go and see the 'king'. We arrived at 1:00 pm and immediately went on the trail.
It was hard to recognize the landscape from what I've seen last spring. We arrived there just before the tidal peak and everything was already flooded. Ponds, slough and vegetation fields alike.
|Mallards feeding on tidal floatsome|
|A group of Northern Shoveler ducks enjoying the wide swim area.|
|Ruddy Duck, adult male, nonbreeding.|
|A work of art|
Just like last time, we made it to where the slough enters from the bay. The pond, so calm and rich in birds last spring, was full to the brim with turbulent grey water.
|Remains of swallow's nests. Abandoned eggs in bottom right corner.|
There were plenty of willets huddling together by the slough. They appeared sleepy and uninterested in anything.
|What the tide had deposited on the trail|
Rain or shine - the Hayward Shoreline is always a great place to discover bay wildlife. It is an excellent place to feel the pulse of the bay area nature.