long-tailed duck Sweetwater River 6-16-20


Robert Patton
 

A long-tailed duck in exceedingly worn plumage was seen this afternoon (6-16-20) along the south shore of the Sweetwater River channel approx 350 yds SW of Pepper Park and the Pepper Park fishing pier (approx GPS location 32.646988 -117.114443) by myself, Lea Squires, Thomas Myers, and Jennifer Jackson from 12:20 off and on through 2:20 pm.  The closest land is closed to the public as the D St Fill Calif least tern nesting site managed by the Port of San Diego and Sweetwater Marsh NWR, but at least at times, it appeared that the bird should be visible from Pepper Park or the pier.  As it moved eastward foraging along a marsh channel that forks off the main river channel, it likely moved out of view from the park behind saltmarsh vegetation.  Landmarks near the where the bird was & likely visible when scoping from the pier include a large burl of driftwood at the waterline, a clump of Mexican spiny rush on the adjacent slope (from a distance appearing like a large dark green inverted cone), and an area closed/endangered species sign a bit higher & to the SW on the slope.
Robert Patton
San Diego, CA

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