Alameda Point supports a thriving colony of Great Blue Herons. Their roosting and nesting site is on the Runway Wetland on federal property adjacent to the city’s future De-Pave Park.
Much of the herons’ days are spent standing still in the wetland and preening their feathers. During spring and early summer they can be seen nesting in two dead cypress trees in the wetland. When they leave the wetland in search of food, they do so individually and can often be seen standing motionless along the Alameda Point shoreline waiting to pluck a passing fish from the water.
Here are three fishing episodes from 2022.
Continue reading “Great Blue Herons fishing at Alameda Point: Photo essay”
Limited time opportunity! Catch a rare glimpse of nesting ospreys during a ride on the Seaplane ferry. The birds won’t be here much longer.
The adult ospreys have been bringing fish, the only food they eat, to their young for about a month. Their three fledglings are almost ready to start flying. Once the young birds start flying, they will hang around the nest for a week or two before they depart and have to quickly become adept at catching their own fish.
Ospreys nesting around San Francisco Bay is a relatively recent phenomenon, according to Tony Brake, a volunteer who has been monitoring ospreys around the Bay for over a decade. “There were no historical nesting records for ospreys until 1990,” said Brake.
Continue reading “Nesting ospreys a must-see on Seaplane ferry ride”
Political favoritism may have affected the decision.
The San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority has denied the city’s request for a planning grant for DePave Park at Alameda Point (City to Seek Funding for Wetland Park at Alameda Point, Sept. 24, 2020). This ecological wetland park is proposed for the western side of the Seaplane Lagoon. The rejection letter and the agency’s ranking of applicants raise questions of fairness in awarding grants.
The Alameda City Council did not help matters when it rejected calls to include funds for a DePave Park master plan in the recently-adopted two-year budget.
In the recent round of grant awards from the Restoration Authority, Alameda’s request for $1.165 million for DePave Park planning was denied, while the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) was awarded $500,000 for designing the Hayward Marsh Restoration Project. Whether or not a 2016 campaign contribution from EBRPD to the Restoration Authority’s ballot Measure AA gave them a bump in the rankings is unclear. But the optics are not good.
Continue reading “Bay Restoration Agency Denies Funding for DePave Park”
The brightly colored male and its grayer colored mate were spotted briefly landing on top of an old light pole, as if to show off their insect catch. More likely it was a precautionary stop to ensure that no predators were lurking nearby before springing into air and entering the nest cavity in the pole just below the top.
This was the only clue in early May 2020 that a pair of Western Bluebirds had a nest at the old campground at Alameda Point. The chicks were silent and unseen for weeks until they began peering out of the hole a few days before flying away.
Continue reading “Western Bluebird chicks raised on smorgasbord of bugs”
A harbor seal pup is being raised by its mom at Alameda Point. It is the fourth year in a row that a pup has been observed utilizing the harbor seal float. It is unknown where any of the pups were born.
Here is a gallery of photos from April showing the pup nursing, resting on the float, and riding on its mother’s back in the harbor. The pup can be identified when on the float as the one with the light gray coat. Continue reading “Harbor seal pup grows up at Alameda Point”
On December 23, the number of harbor seals on the float at Alameda Point reached 80, a new record for a single day. The number of seals on the float exceeded 70 on 10 days during December, a new record for the month.
Seals were packed so tightly that some were barely hanging onto the edge. The cramped conditions when the float reaches 70 seals in December and January can lead to bouts of slapping and shoving, as harbor seals prefer to have some space when resting. Continue reading “Harbor seals max out their float in December”
Bottlenose dolphins do not usually come to mind when thinking of wildlife at Alameda Point. In fact, only three have been observed there in recent years, and those sightings were from canoes and kayaks. But on July 24, two more dolphins were observed with two regulars meandering around next to Breakwater Island. The standalone rock wall, or breakwater, is visible from Pier 3 where the USS Hornet Museum is berthed.
The first-time visitors were from Monterey Bay and identified by researchers with Golden Gate Cetacean Research (GGCR). The group tracks the dolphins using a catalog of 91 dolphins showing individual markings, some with names. Continue reading “Bottlenose dolphins visit Breakwater at Alameda Point”