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Request for information - best tides for East Bay shorebird spots?


Don Simonson
 

I have been birding 55 years, I just retired here from Maryland,  and am very grateful for all the shorebird reports.  I have a scope and made initial visits to the renowned East Bay shorebird sites (below) but lack an understanding of the relation of high tide to your wonderful shorebird viewing spots and roosts. 

I will be grateful if anyone can reply offline to suggest the optimum time, relative to High Tide, to visit:
Franks Dump in Hayward
Middle Harbor in Oakland
Arrowhead Marsh in Oakland 
Elsie Roemer in Alameda
Albany Bulb Mudflats in Albany. 

Thanks in advance and good birding!
Don Simonson, Berkeley
240-277-2579


Maureen Lahiff
 

Welcome to the wonders of migrating and wintering shorebirds on San Francisco Bay!
(Venturing south to Jetty  Road at Moss Landing is another not-to-be-missed location.)


One distinction is sites for feeding on newly exposed mudflats v. high tide roost sites.
For feeding sites, I go about an hour after the tide has started to go out.

Frank's Dump is a high tide roost, with protected islands as the tide is coming in (unless it it very high, when they are submerged).

Middle Harbor and Elsie Roemer are more impressive as feeding sites.
(Not very many birds roost there.)

Timing for rails at Arrowhead Marsh is the best with the really high tides around new moon and full moon in December and January.
Close by in MLK Regional Shoreline is the Garretson Point parking area, which has good shorebirding along the Slough.

I usually search online for NOAA Tide Predictions and the site name (Middle Harbor, Alameda for Elsie Roemer, east end of the San Mateo Bridge for Frank's Dump)
look at their lovely graphs of the tides.




-----Original Message-----
From: Don Simonson <don.r.simonson@...>
To: EBB-Sightings <EBB-Sightings@groups.io>
Sent: Sun, Aug 9, 2020 8:44 am
Subject: [EBB-Sightings] Request for information - best tides for East Bay shorebird spots?

I have been birding 55 years, I just retired here from Maryland,  and am very grateful for all the shorebird reports.  I have a scope and made initial visits to the renowned East Bay shorebird sites (below) but lack an understanding of the relation of high tide to your wonderful shorebird viewing spots and roosts. 

I will be grateful if anyone can reply offline to suggest the optimum time, relative to High Tide, to visit:
Franks Dump in Hayward
Middle Harbor in Oakland
Arrowhead Marsh in Oakland 
Elsie Roemer in Alameda
Albany Bulb Mudflats in Albany. 

Thanks in advance and good birding!
Don Simonson, Berkeley
240-277-2579


Fred Werner
 

Seconding everything Maureen said, especially about the Ridgway's Rails at Arrowhead Marsh.  At high tide last week, there were at least 7 calling around the boardwalk, and we had fantastic, close views of one.

There are lots of good apps for tracking/forecasting tides.  Tides Near Me has handy maps and info on currents.  Note also the height of the tide.  The lower high tide of the day might not completely flood a given mudflat, while the higher high tide that same day might keep it underwater for more than two hours before and after high-tide

Albany Mudflats is a feeding site, so the best time is often ~ an hour after high tide (with the above caveat), when shorebirds flock in to feast on the newly exposed, freshly re-stocked buffet.  The "Point Isabel" location for NOAA tide reports is the far side of that same cove.   The far southeast corner, where Codornices Creek enters the Bay, tucked in by the highway off-ramp, is the last part to flood and first to be exposed but it's hard to get good looks. 

Also, note that birding the feeding sites before high tide can be productive, too.  At Oakland Middle Harbor in particular, the shorebirds often get pushed towards you as the tide rolls in, before they finally give up on it.

Good luck, and let us all know what insights you gain on tide-birding!

- Fred


On Sun, Aug 9, 2020 at 10:56 AM Maureen Lahiff via groups.io <MLahiff=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
Welcome to the wonders of migrating and wintering shorebirds on San Francisco Bay!
(Venturing south to Jetty  Road at Moss Landing is another not-to-be-missed location.)


One distinction is sites for feeding on newly exposed mudflats v. high tide roost sites.
For feeding sites, I go about an hour after the tide has started to go out.

Frank's Dump is a high tide roost, with protected islands as the tide is coming in (unless it it very high, when they are submerged).

Middle Harbor and Elsie Roemer are more impressive as feeding sites.
(Not very many birds roost there.)

Timing for rails at Arrowhead Marsh is the best with the really high tides around new moon and full moon in December and January.
Close by in MLK Regional Shoreline is the Garretson Point parking area, which has good shorebirding along the Slough.

I usually search online for NOAA Tide Predictions and the site name (Middle Harbor, Alameda for Elsie Roemer, east end of the San Mateo Bridge for Frank's Dump)
look at their lovely graphs of the tides.




-----Original Message-----
From: Don Simonson <don.r.simonson@...>
To: EBB-Sightings <EBB-Sightings@groups.io>
Sent: Sun, Aug 9, 2020 8:44 am
Subject: [EBB-Sightings] Request for information - best tides for East Bay shorebird spots?

I have been birding 55 years, I just retired here from Maryland,  and am very grateful for all the shorebird reports.  I have a scope and made initial visits to the renowned East Bay shorebird sites (below) but lack an understanding of the relation of high tide to your wonderful shorebird viewing spots and roosts. 

I will be grateful if anyone can reply offline to suggest the optimum time, relative to High Tide, to visit:
Franks Dump in Hayward
Middle Harbor in Oakland
Arrowhead Marsh in Oakland 
Elsie Roemer in Alameda
Albany Bulb Mudflats in Albany. 

Thanks in advance and good birding!
Don Simonson, Berkeley
240-277-2579



Hilary Powers
 

On 8/9/2020 11:50 AM, Fred Werner wrote:
Seconding everything Maureen said, especially about the Ridgway's Rails at Arrowhead Marsh.  At high tide last week, there were at least 7 calling around the boardwalk, and we had fantastic, close views of one.

Yes - high tide is good for seeing a lot of rails at Arrowhead Marsh. But mid-low tide is good for seeing a lot of happy rails there. Not quite as many, but strolling around like chickens and generally enjoying themselves, rather than huddling miserably on one of the few scraps of above-tide ground....


-- ~ Hilary Powers - Hilary@... - Oakland CA ~ ~ www.salamanderfeltworks.com; www.Etsy.com/shop/SalamanderFeltworks ~ ~ Needle Felted Sculpture - Real and Fantasy Creatures ~


Joe Morlan
 

On Sun, 9 Aug 2020 19:24:47 -0700, "Hilary Powers"
<hilary@salamanderfeltworks.com> wrote:

Seconding everything Maureen said, especially about the Ridgway's Rails at Arrowhead Marsh. At high tide last week, there were at least 7 calling around the boardwalk, and we had fantastic, close views of one.
Unfortunately Arrowhead Marsh is slated for "restoration" with removal of
the existing hybrid Spartina phased in with replacement by native Spartina.
However if what they did to Colma Marsh is any indication (over 60
Ridgway's Rails gone), they may turn it into a mudflat. For more
information see the "Invasive Spartina Project" at...

https://spartina.org/
--
Joseph Morlan, Pacifica, CA