at the bay

We made another trip to the Alviso Marina (once San Jose’s port and water connection to San Francisco — see “Birds in the Bay” from April 2015) but it was a hazy day, not particularly good for landscape photos.  So, of course we concentrated on the birds foraging along the shore of the salt ponds there.

american avocets at alviso marina, San Jose CA

A pair of American Avocets foraged along the shore for microscopic crustaceans floating in the water.

american avocets foraging at alviso marina, San Jose CA

american avocet foraging at alviso marina, San Jose CA

You can just barely see the tiny little invertebrate creature the avocet is picking up in the shallows along the shore.  They seem to spot something swimming ahead of them, and then dash up and grab it with the tip of that upturned bill.  

american avocet

oops, missed it…must be challenge finding anything in this murky water

Common Yellowthroat at Alviso Marina, San Jose CA

Common Yellowthroats were singing vigorously in the cattails and low shrubs. Every now and then one would pop up to check us out.

Marsh Wren singing at Alviso Marina, San Jose CA

We found male Marsh Wrens singing in the cattails about every 100 yards along the levy of the salt ponds. They were extremely shy and would only give me about a 1 second look before vanishing into the low vegetation.

alviso marina-San Jose CA

There are several large salt ponds at Alviso Marina, left over from the salt mining operation that closed here years ago. The passageway to San Francisco Bay filled in long ago, leaving just these ponds whose levels go up and down with the tides. This is a favored stop-over for migratory shorebirds, but they left a month or two ago.

gull at Alviso Marina, San Jose CA

Of course, you can always find Laughing Gulls here, but I doubt they are finding any fish in these very salty waters.


4 thoughts on “at the bay

  1. Wonderful shots, Sue. You really highlight the strange looking bill of the avocet in your super sharp shots of them fishing. I am equally drawn to the seascape shot and especially to the gull and reflection. Gulls are so ordinary, but you captured one in an extraordinary, almost abstract way. Who says the eyes need to be visible to have a great bird photo?

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