Black Terns and Skimmers Continue at Hayward Shoreline

Judith Dunham

I spent a couple hours out at the shoreline, from around 11 a.m. to just before 1 p.m. I arrived at the Interpretive Center in time for the fierce wind and succession of rain squalls. In many ways, the dramatic skies and weather were beautiful and enjoyable.

As I walked down the trail toward the best viewing spot for seeing the tern islands, I ran into Noah Arthur from Oakland, who was leaving and pointed out the presence of two BLACK SKIMMERS. From time to time, the dozens of Forster's Terns lifted off the islands and circled about. Finally, after being buffeted relentlessly by the wind, I spotted two BLACK TERNS. The birds flew about and then landed on an island apart from those occupied by the Forster's.

In the easternmost pond, dozens of Red-necked Phalaropes were bobbing in the roiling water. Among the other birds in the area were many American Avocets, Black-necked Stilts, and Gadwalls. Flocks of Marbled Godwits, Dunlins, Willets, and small peeps wheeled about in the wind.

I recently outfitted my scope with a backpack attachment, especially practical for long hikes. Today, I found another handy application. Using the waist strap, I lashed the tripod to one leg. This seemed the best way to keep both me and the scope upright.

Judith Dunham
Berkeley, CA

For directions to the Black Tern location, see Bob Richmond's 5/8 posting of the first sighting of the skimmers and terns.