Mallards Go Dark

At the southeast corner of the North Basin (the water between the park and the freeway) sits the culvert that forms the outlet of Schoolhouse Creek. Like other Berkeley creeks, this used to flow freely on the surface, a long time ago. You can catch up on the history in this excellent article. Now it forms a deep dark tunnel at low tide. Much to my surprise, a pair of local Mallards casually paddled into this darkness and completely disappeared from view. I had misjudged these birds as rather timid and lacking in adventurous spirit. But there they went, like Tom Sawyer into the coal-dark cave. I don’t know what they found, if anything, but I had my camera ready for them when they emerged again. I don’t know, if I had a kayak, that I would venture into this pipe beyond my nose. Hats off to this Mallard pair for fearlessly following their curiosity.

Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) emerging from Schoolhouse Creek outfall

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