MCAS Field Trip Report - AUG 5th - Exploring the Wild Riches of the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve


Exploring the Wild Riches of the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve - August 5th

With the cool breeze and fog/gray skies overhead, we met at the southern Fiscalini Bluff trailhead. We were fortunate to have a number of Fiscalini docents, plus Mark Mushkat and Mike Mulroy, sharing their expertise on the ranch's history, bird ID & behavior, while also IDing a number of birds such as the Red-winged Blackbird, Brewer's Blackbird, and cormorants drying off on offshore rocky outcroppings.

We proceeded north along the bluff trail keeping an eye out for shorebirds whose colors provide an excellent camouflage. I believe Mark's sighting of a Wandering Tattler might have been the rare find of the day. We also observed California Towhee, Brown Pelican, Black Turnstone, Spotted Sandpiper, California Scrub-Jay, and a juvenile European Starling. Some extra treats were spotting deer and sea otters.

Spotted Sandpiper
Black Turnstone

As we moved on, the wind blew away the overcast, which afforded excellent views up and down the coast. One ranch docent mentioned that Fiscalini Ranch bluff trail is ADA approved for the first .8 mile with plans to expand further north along the bluff. Many thanks to Mark, Mike, and the Ranch docents for providing such an interesting educational experience.

Field Trip Reporter and Photographer: Steve Acheff