Friday, January 29, 2010

Between a rock and a hard place



Our fine feathered (Federally protected) friend, the snowy plover, perched atop some old rip rap below the north lot at Sloat during the morning high tide (and 20s period swell) on Jan 29. The lower photo comes from a historical plaque. In the sandy San Francisco of the 19th century, there was little distinction between the "beach" and "inland."


2 comments:

  1. I am out at Ocean Beach every day. There is absolutely no Western Snowy Plover presence whatsoever due to the brutal tides, erosion, etc. Even under the most favorable conditions, there is a minimal presence of the WSP. Clearly, this small, fragile bird is interested in surviving and therefore has no interest in drowning in the polluted OB water or getting slammed into the rocks by the steep high tides. The WSP habitat has always been dry, sandy dunes which are non existent at OB at this time. Additionally, many people are confusing non endangered, non Federally protected sanderlings with the WSP. I think that is the case here.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dog;

    One of the purposes of this blog is to highlight the interests that are not immediately seen, or necessarily even obvious upon casual observation. Things like migrating birds and underground sewerpipes may not be visible much of the time, but that does not mean they are not important interests.

    As you suggest, the steep rocks are not at all the perferred habitat (not for nesting) which is why the preservation of dunes is important to the western snowy plover.

    Personally, I don't think I can identify a plover. I was taking pictures of birds and rip rap when I saw one that matched what the NPS identified as a western snowy plover. I apologize to both the plover and the bird who may have been misidentified. Remember, dogs and snowy plovers do not mix; please observe federal law and keep your dogs leashed between the Sloat and stairwell #21. New signage by NPS should help you remember.

    Need more background on plovers, including those specifically plovers at OB:
    http://www.westernsnowyplover.org/about_plovers.html
    http://www.westernsnowyplover.org/pdfs/draft_recovery_plan.pdf

    The NPS count of plovers at Ocean Beach:
    http://science.nature.nps.gov/im/units/sfan/vital_signs/snowy_plover/docs/GOGA_Plover%20Monitoring%20Brief.pdf

    ReplyDelete