Beachy Birds

7 May

On our trip to San Simeon State Park, I had one early morning walk with Ruby.  I walked around the campground, past the Campground Hosts and their extensive wood sales, and down the road that goes up to the upper campground.  I went by a field that is returning to meadow, across a bridge over a river (creek), and then down a trail that turned into a boardwalk down to the beach.  The path to the beach goes under Hwy 101.  The bridge over the river was home to hundreds of Cliff Swallows.

Cliff Swallows

Cliff Swallows hanging on San Simeon bridge

I was so pleased to catch some of the swallows just hanging on the bridge.  So sweet with their little white foreheads.Swallow w/ Snowy Plover fencing

I couldn’t walk out on the beach because I had Ruby with me.  No dogs on the beach.

Why?  After all, dogs love beaches.  Well, see the fencing there? That is to keep people away from the nesting sites of the Snowy Plovers.  I’d have loved to get closer and take a look to see if there were any plovers around but since I had Ruby with me, I couldn’t.

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9 Responses to “Beachy Birds”

  1. Mary 7 May, 2009 at 1:48 am #

    I get the nice beachy feeling from your photos – only missing the sound of gulls. Have you found a beach that allows dogs, perhaps off-season at least? Ruby would love it!

    • Liza Lee Miller 7 May, 2009 at 4:55 am #

      Oh yea, Ruby has been on the beach. Last year, we went up to Northern California and camped at a private campground with beach access. It was GREAT. She did love it. Not the water . . . she wants nothing to do with the water but the sand, smells, and climbing huge rocks! It’s interesting watching the changes at this particular beach. When we first camped there 20 years ago, they allowed dogs on the beach on leash. Now, they don’t allow them at all and they fenced off the plover nesting area. Progress!

  2. MaineBirder 7 May, 2009 at 3:31 am #

    That’s a lot of Swallows! I hope you can get some photos of the Snowy Plovers when the time is right.

    We have beach portions fenced off for the endangered Piping Plovers here in Maine.

    • Liza Lee Miller 7 May, 2009 at 4:57 am #

      The swallows were amazing! So many of them. I would have gone back out to look some more but I got sick that day and didn’t really do much more than lay around and read all the rest of the weekend. We get down there pretty regularly though so I’m sure we’ll get another chance to see the Plovers!

  3. Mary Carlson 7 May, 2009 at 6:14 am #

    Liza, that seems so special to see so many swallows “lined up” on the ledge that way. I get thrilled watching the swallows flying in and out of their nests when I visit Palo Alto Baylands. But I’ve never seen them perched – and so many at one time. That would have been so cool to see some snowy plovers, too. Oh well, possibly next time.

    • Liza Lee Miller 7 May, 2009 at 8:36 pm #

      I know! We have wonderful Cliff Swallows at my school and I see them ALL the time. Never hanging out that way though. Love it.

  4. Wren 7 May, 2009 at 3:25 pm #

    I like the pretty swallows all in a row as well. I feel for Ruby in her banishment from the beach, but it’s in a good cause.

    • Liza Lee Miller 7 May, 2009 at 8:37 pm #

      I agree. We’d have had fun on the beach but . . . it wouldn’t have been good for the Snowys.

  5. Crafty Green Poet 7 May, 2009 at 10:39 pm #

    they’re such pretty swallows! Hope the Snowy Plovers have a good breeding season…

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