Dates: December 2 and 3, 2017
Place: Hayward Regional Shoreline, Hayward, California
Address: 3010 W. Winton Ave, Hayward, California
Length: 3.2 miles
The Hayward Shoreline had been a regular hangout for us Quails when we lived nearby and I still miss going there on a regular basis. Last week I solidified a tentative plan I had to take my family hiking group there on Sunday and since it has been a few months since my last visit, I decided to go there on the Saturday before.
On Saturday morning as I was getting ready Pappa Quail and the younger chika said they'll join me.
Surprisingly, the elder chika decided to stay behind.
The sight that welcomed us at the parking lot was very similar to what we saw when I was there for the 4-H hike a couple of years ago - a puddle of rain water on the road and a gaggle of geese using it as a water hole.
|Our hike as captured by Pappa Quail's GPS on Dec. 2.|
|Coyote Brush, Dec. 2|
|Gumweed, Dec. 2|
|Great Egret, Dec. 2|
Mallard drake, Dec. 2
|View of San Francisco and Mount Tamalpeis, Dec. 3|
|Curlew, Dec. 2|
|Anna's Hummingbird feeding on Nicotiana glauca, Dec. 3|
The wetland is being taken over by an aggressive non-native cordgrass that chokes the native pickleweed. There is much concern about this but I'm not sure what will be or can be done about it.
|Cordgrass, Dec. 3|
At the time of our family hike there in Saturday the tide was low. Very, very low. The little cove that opened up when the levee was breached was a wide mudflat with just a trickle of water on its side. The mudflat was covered with shorebirds of different species. They were all busy feeding - poking the mud for the mollusks and crustaceans that leave there.
The smaller sandpipers foraged more and kept moving around, poking the mud here and there, then moving on to a different spot to poke some more.
|American Avocet, Dec. 2|
|Curlew eating fish, Dec. 2|
|Willet eating crab, Dec. 2|
king tide, when the water rise particularly high due to the combined gravitational pull of moon and sun. The sight of the multitude of birds were not there of course but we were duly impressed by the beauty of the flooded salt marshes and coves.
There are very few spots along the trail where it is convenient to just sit and relax. One such point is at the edge of the former levee past the long bridge over pass where there are makeshift (and nor very stable) benches and a very nice view of the bay. When I was there with my hiking group the wind was blowing strong and cold so we didn't stay there for too long.
I hiked a couple of years back with the Redwood 4-H Hiking Project. Now we were continuing on south to the Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center.
There too on Saturday the birds filled the low tide -exposed mudflats. The mud shone and flickered in the sun that was already setting at the time.
|Between the Salt Water and the Sea Strand, Dec. 2|
The tide was already coming in when Pappa Quail, younger chika and I made it around the curve and over the little bridge across the slough. It was cloudy, and getting near twilight time.
On the following day the tide was receding when me and my hiking group arrived to the same place.
Yellow-rumped Warbler, Dec. 2
I think it is a very cool looking building but the inside is also very rewarding as it has a shoreline nature exhibit room, an art display, and an elevated observation deck.
The center is managed by the naturalists of the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District (HARD) who run wonderful educational programs there for kids and for adults.
|The Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center|
Tides come and go twice every 24 hours. Each tide is different and a shoreline area looks different each day and each hour. The tide cycle is crucial to the ecological health of our bay shores. It is important to keep it coming.