Magical Evening

It was one of those magical evenings at the park when the sun is setting in the west and the moon is rising in the east.  If you look from side to side you can feel the earth turning and you can almost lose your balance. It’s like riding on Space Car Earth with the top down. Even better, just before sunset/moonrise we had quite a low tide.  We haven’t had a low tide during daylight hours for some time.  Low tide, of course, attracts the birds that don’t dive.  I saw at least three dozen Marbled Godwits stitching away at the mud.  A flock of eight Mallards all had their heads down dabbling in the shallow water.  A Great Egret was on hand, along with at least two Snowy Egrets at different spots.  And two flocks of some kind of Sandpipers flew in thick clouds this way and that.  They settled and pecked the mud for a few seconds, then took off again, south and north, until settling again, and off again, endlessly.  I can’t say exactly what kind of Sandpiper they were; there may have been two or more different kinds:  Least, or Western, or Semipalmated — I don’t have time as I write this to try to nail it down.    In any event, they were beautiful. And at least three Brown Pelicans skimmed low over the water until they saw things to make them plunge. Sunset, full moon, low tide, birds pecking, birds flying, a gentle breeze — it doesn’t get much better than this.  Come out, enjoy Cesar Chavez Park!

Full moon rising, low tide, pelican skimming inches from surface
Mallards with their heads down
Marbled Godwit stretching a cramped leg
Marbled Godwit in reflected moonlight
Sandpipers in Flight
Sandpipers briefly landing
Great Egret

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