Birding at Eden Landing Ecological Reserve, San Francisco

Birding at Eden Landing Ecological Reserve, San Francisco

When:  August 2018                      Weather hot at noon:  20C

Nikon P900

Staying in Foster City just south of San Francisco airport which I arrived at 1030am, I only managed to get out just before noon to try and get some birding in….it was very sunny and I got slightly sunburnt despite taking some protection…so slap on the sunblock!  There are a number of potentially good spots but I decided to go across the loooong San Mateo bridge to the Eden Landing Eco Reserve.  An uber dropped me at the Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Centre but this only opens at weekends….


The Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Centre…bordering the ponds and trails of the Eden Landing Eco Reserve



As you can see, it’s very open country with NO trees to provide any shade



A savannah sparrow was the first bird of the morning



whilst many raptors soared overhead



the most common raptor all morning was the turkey buzzard with its red curved beak



The House finches were active



having healthy seed for brunch



as it was nearly noon and hot, there weren’t many birds around so I even had to shoot some sparrows

Wanting to get over to the Eden Landing area on the other side of the 92 highway, I took the nearby pedestrian overhead bridge which led to the ponds and creeks…..


many of the ponds were pretty dry a snowy egret



folliwng the trail next to the ponds, a black phoebe greeted me



another houe finch



this was the Eden Landing ER…not the most scenic birding location it has to be said.



In the distance, a large American White pelican came in to land….less common than the brown pelican



black necked stilt



American Avocet with upturned bill



Here the difference between the stilts in fore and background and the avocets in the middle is clear



An egret posed



a colourful raptor then zipped by…and landed on a pylon



my favourite american raptor, the distinctive American Kestrel



American Kestrel



Greater yellowlegs observing a gull…



and then this large bird stuck its head out



a long billed curlew



Long billed curlew



Least sandpiper

redshouldered hawk

last raptor of the morning, the beautiful red shouldered hawk


red shouldered hawk


I had planned my walk just along the north side of the all the ponds along the Bay trail as there was an interesting cafe which was about a mile along…after having been in the blazing sun for a couple of hours, it was a relief to get there…


From the trail next to the ponds, I could see the welcome sight of the Pot Pie Paradise Cafe…only problem was there wasn’t an access path from the trail to the shops! I didn’t really want to trek back another mile to get to the metalled road access….thankfully I found a little opening under the separating fence and managed to slip under it to get there…the pie was great!



Having half an hour of daylight left the night of my departure, I took a short walk from the Crowne Plaza Foster City to the Bay Trail nearby where there was an excellent view of the San Mateo bridge…


San mateo bridge at sunset with many planes flying into the nearby SF international airport



a black phoebe was active…



and in the sky, this little raptor circled and then hovered whilst seeking prey



A juvenile white tailed hawk



in the dull setting sunlight….



Sunset over San Francisco viewed from the Bay Trail next to San Mateo Bridge


So, 36 hours in Silicon Valley, one day’s work and a couple of bird outings yielded several raptors and a number of other interesting birds.  Noon time birding is challenging so try and go early morning or evening.   It’s not very scenic and very open.

Acknowledgement: Thanks to Bob K for help in identifying birds.

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