I hope you all enjoyed your weekend! It has been a rainy past two weeks, and I have been unable to go out to visit my shorebird survey sites to practice before I get started. Finally, on Friday, everything fell into perfect place and there was a break in rain! I was able to meet with an experienced birder and past Environment for the Americas intern. We both met at Elkhorn Slough where I have three survey sites and we hiked about 3.5 miles around the slough identifying shorebirds and practicing bird counts.
Elkhorn Slough is seven miles long and consists of tidal salt marsh and estuary, which make it an ideal place for wildlife due to having the largest tract of salt marsh in California. It houses resident and migratory birds, and the American Bird Conservancy has identified this place as a Globally Important Bird Area. If you are in the Monterey County area and are looking for a birding place this is a great place to visit, as over 340 bird species have been identified inside the slough as well as around it.
The highlight of the day was that we got to see a Bald Eagle briefly fly over us. We were told this Bald Eagle has been hanging out in the area for some time now, and I am looking forward to seeing it while conducting my surveys. It was a fun day to be out in the sun doing what I enjoy the most (which is hiking and looking at nature and wildlife), and I am excited to start my surveys today.