Every month Elkhorn Slough Reserve volunteers have the opportunity to go kayaking with an experienced docent. So for the first time ever I went kayaking!
It took me a while to get used to the paddling and learning how to steer the kayak. I even accidentally drifted to shore at the beginning and a nice fisherman was kind enough to give me a push back into the water.
Kayaking in the slough was a very special experience. It was a completely different experience than just hiking on the reserve trails. This allowed for us to get on an eye-to-eye level with wildlife that inhabits the Elkhorn Slough.
For some reason, the birds don’t get as easily spooked when you are at their height level. They basically ignore you unless you are making a huge ruckus splashing in the water.
Seeing all the birds hanging out in the crevices of the mudflats made me think about how many birds go unseen and unrecorded. It made me think about how many rare and vagrant species must pass through here but go unseen. Although there are different organizations constantly surveying, I am sure there are a lot of gaps in between surveys where plenty of birds go unseen. Realistically speaking, however, it would be impossible to record every single bird that migrates through this area.
Kayaking in the slough was such an awesome experience. And although it was a bit challenging for me, it was very relaxing.
Kayaking in this area has become a very popular recreational activity within the last few years. And while it is great that people are interacting with the outdoors and using natural spaces, this also increases the encounters and disturbances of wildlife. So while it may be fun to go kayaking, it is important to respect the spaces and habitats of all the wildlife that inhabit these areas.