Saturday, October 24, 2009

Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve


Black-bellied Plover

Semi-palmated Plover

Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve is a 300 acre wetlands - a 'little pocket' of nature between the Pacific Coast Highway and the houses of Huntington Beach. During the Spanish occupation of the area it was ranchlands, home to wandering cattle and their watching vaqueros. In 1895 a Gun Club bought Bolsa Chica. The land was then leased to oil companies for drilling, with artillery mounts and bunkers being built during WW2. In 1976 Amigos de Bolsa Chica was formed to save wetlands from development, and the State of California purchased the land, which by then was pockmarked with oil rigs and wells, contaminated with oil, heavy metals, PCBs and mercury and blocked off from the sea.

Restoration work was undertaken between 2000 and 2006 and includes a new ocean channel, tidal basins, island habitats and pedestrian bridges that connect the wetlands to the beach via Pacific Coast Highway. Today it is a paradise for birds and birdwatchers. Nearly half of the birds found in the U.S. have been seen in Huntington Beach - and it is a prime staging post for migrating shorebirds.
Bird list:
Common Loon
Pied-billed Grebe
Eared Grebe
Brown Pelican
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Reddish Egret
Northern Pintail
Blue-winged Teal
Cinnamon Teal
Northern Shoveler
American Kestrel
Red-tailed Hawk
American Coot
Black-bellied Plover
Semipalmated Plover
Black-necked Stilt
American Avocet
Long-billed Curlew
Marbled Godwit
Ruddy Turnstone
Western Sandpiper
Short-billed Dowitcher
Long-billed Dowitcher
Ring-billed Gull
California Gull
Western Gull
Elegant Tern
Forster's Tern
Rock Dove
Mourning Dove
Anna's Hummingbird
Black Phoebe
Say's Phoebe
American Crow
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Savannah Sparrow
Song Sparrow
House Finch
House Sparrow

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