With every visit I make to the Tijuana River Mouth I’m rewarded with a sense of renewal. Fresh air blown over the waves of the Pacific Ocean, sun and sand all around … Just thinking about it now, I’m uplifted by the memories. This particular Saturday was no exception.
As with many of my trips to enjoy the birds in this region, my first stop was at 7th Street in Chula Vista where Gull-Billed Terns captured my attention. Gull-Billed Terns raise babies in the Saltworks to the south and share the nesting areas with Black Skimmers, Snowy Plovers, Least Terns, Elegant Terns, Royal Terns, Forster’s Terns, Black-Necked Stilts, Avocets, Killdeer and other species. There are mixed reactions about Gull-Billed Terns from the biologists charged with monitoring the nesting of this location. There is joy this threatened species is nesting in the area, and frustration due to the terrestrial feeding this bird specializes in. When these terns forage on mole crabs along the sandy beaches, everyone is happy, but when their appetites turn to the endangered Least Tern and Snowy Plover chicks, there is angst and conflict. I don’t believe there has been any agreeable strategy how to deal with the problem.
The birds I met this day were Gull-Billed Tern, Brown Pelican, Black-Bellied Plover, Willet, Sanderling. The birds I most enjoyed this morning were the Sanderlings