Memories of North Mission Bay

Black Skimmer - Rynchops nigerThere is a marshy wetland at the north end of Mission Bay that is a remnant of how the whole bay was before it was dredged and drained. Just another story in the saga of how we’ve decimated most of the coastal wetlands in Southern California.

Sometimes called the Kendall-Frost Marsh, there are lookouts established on the northern perimeter of this wetland, but the views from the north rarely provide satisfying observations of the marsh’s avian inhabitants. My favorite place to view birds here is bayside at the southwestern edge of the marsh, against a chain-link fence that runs along the western boundary from the street and into the bay. The beach inside the marsh often hosts flocks of loafing shorebirds. Black Skimmers haunt the sandy strip when they are not roaming the shallow waters along the coast. The loafing birds sometimes take flight enmasse, performing murmuration sorties over the bay that can be very entertaining.

Other locations nearby like Crown Point, De Anza Cove and the Rose Canyon Inlet can be worth exploring as well.

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