Birds flock along the sand in Coronado.

Today I enjoyed a short walk in Coronado. I strolled along the edge of San Diego Bay, from the Coronado Ferry Landing to Tidelands Park, then turned around and made my way back. The overcast winter day was chilly and even a few raindrops fell.

I was in the mood to walk slowly, while gazing across the gray water.

As I began south, a flock of seagulls stood preening on a strip of wet sand below the rocks near the Coronado Island Marriott Resort. From time to time gulls stretched their wings. Some would suddenly launch into the sky. I paused to watch and take photos.

When I reached Tidelands Park, I spotted a great blue heron and a few shorebirds that I believe were marbled godwits.

I took a few random photos of this scenic stretch of the Bayshore Bikeway as I made my way back to catch the ferry. San Diego’s skyline beckoned in the distance.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

A short, easy walk along Paradise Creek Trail.

Paradise Trail marker PT10 rises near the National City Depot museum.
Paradise Trail marker PT10 rises near the National City Depot museum.

This morning I enjoyed an easy walk down a segment of the Paradise Creek Trail in National City.

I believe this urban trail is brand new. I find almost nothing about it on the internet. Several people I spoke to who work right next to the trail never heard of it. I had never seen the Paradise Trail markers during walks in past years.

The trail, from what I can gather, roughly follows Paradise Creek. My walk started just west of Interstate 5, on Bay Marina Drive, where I spotted markers for the Paradise Trail by the National City Depot museum and the National City Historic Railcar Plaza. I saw more markers as I walked south down Marina Way, just west of Paradise Marsh.

Paradise Creek eventually empties into the Sweetwater River. I believe the sidewalk trail ends at Pepper Park, but I spotted no markers after I passed the Pier 32 Marina and the nearby entrance to the Bayshore Bikeway. Perhaps I wasn’t looking carefully enough.

Want to see more? Years ago I visited an overlook of Paradise Marsh and photographed some informative signs. I also got a little closer to nature by walking down a short dirt trail. You can revisit that old blog post by clicking here.

In the past I also blogged about the National City Depot museum and its cool old streetcars here, the National City Historic Railcar Plaza here, and the Le Bateau Ivre sculpture here.

After I crossed Bay Marina Drive, I spotted an iconic El Camino Real bell near the National City Historic Railcar Plaza.
After I crossed Bay Marina Drive, I spotted an iconic El Camino Real bell near the National City Historic Railcar Plaza.
I'm now walking south down Marina Way, looking back at the National City Historic Railcar Plaza.
I’m now walking south down Marina Way, looking back at the National City Historic Railcar Plaza.
Old railroad tracks run along the west edge of Paradise Marsh.
Old railroad tracks run along the west edge of Paradise Marsh.
Sunlight illuminates some natural beauty beside the sidewalk trail.
Sunlight illuminates some natural beauty beside the sidewalk trail.
Looking back north along the Paradise Creek Trail, between Paradise Marsh and the National City Cement Terminal.
Looking back north along the Paradise Creek Trail, between Paradise Marsh and the National City Cement Terminal.
Here's another marker for the Paradise Trail, which I spotted as I headed down Marina Way.
Here’s another marker for the Paradise Trail, which I spotted as I headed down Marina Way.
A banner on a street lamp says that in National City, Together We Can!
A banner on a street lamp says that in National City, Together We Can!
As I turned onto West 32nd Street, a big group of bicyclists rode onto the Bayshore Bikeway.
As I turned onto West 32nd Street, a big group of bicyclists rode onto the Bayshore Bikeway.
Le Bateau Ivre, by artist Alber De Matteis, at the Pier 32 Marina in National City.
Le Bateau Ivre, by artist Alber De Matteis, at the Pier 32 Marina in National City.
I spotted this high osprey nesting platform as I walked down Goesno Place, approaching Pepper Park. The National City Marine Terminal has many such platforms.
I spotted this high osprey nesting platform as I walked down Goesno Place, approaching Pepper Park.

Immediately to the west, right on San Diego Bay, the enormous imported car parking lot at the National City Marine Terminal has many of these platforms. I learned during a Port of San Diego harbor tour that ospreys provide effective pigeon control!

A sign describe ospreys, which can often be seen around San Diego Bay and our coastal estuaries.
A sign describes ospreys, which can often be seen flying above San Diego Bay and our coastal estuaries.
Looks like an osprey has collected all sort of odd materials for its nest!
Looks like an osprey has collected all sort of odd materials for its huge nest!

And now I’ve turned around, and I’m heading back north along the trail on Marina Way, just west of the marsh… Guess what I saw?

An osprey flies high above Paradise Marsh on a beautiful late December day.
An osprey flies high above Paradise Marsh on a beautiful late December day.
Looking past prickly pear at Paradise Marsh from the Paradise Creek Trail in National City.
Looking past prickly pear at Paradise Marsh from the Paradise Creek Trail in National City.

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Student art at Mission Trails: Wilderness Views.

Moth Study 2018, Evelyn DuVall, watercolor and ink. IDEA Center High School.
Moth Study 2018, Evelyn DuVall, watercolor and ink. IDEA Center High School.

Before I began my walk yesterday at Mission Trails Regional Park, I ventured into the Visitor Center and was pleased to see walls full of art created by students from the Grossmont Union High School District.

Many of the Wilderness Views are really good. Creativity thrives in San Diego’s East County! I took quick photos of some pieces that I happened to like.

Most of the artwork is for sale. If you’d like to support local high school students and their artistic endeavors, head over to the Mission Trails Visitor Center before the exhibition ends on January 4, 2019.

Untitled, Ashton McDowell, acrylic paint and spray paint. West Hills High School.
Untitled, Ashton McDowell, acrylic paint and spray paint. West Hills High School.
Caught, Rachel Silvis, digital photography collage. Grossmont High School.
Caught, Rachel Silvis, digital photography collage. Grossmont High School.
Improvised Explosive Device (I.E.D.), Siena Quinn, acrylic. Grossmont High School.
Improvised Explosive Device (I.E.D.), Siena Quinn, acrylic. Grossmont High School.
Reflective Sunset, Cherish Clarkson, digital photography. Grossmont High School.
Reflective Sunset, Cherish Clarkson, digital photography. Grossmont High School.
The Tears of Nature, Travis McCrae, watercolor. Grossmont High School.
The Tears of Nature, Travis McCrae, watercolor. Grossmont High School.
Quoth the Raven, Amalia Browning, suminagashi ink, acrylic paint. Monte Vista High School.
Quoth the Raven, Amalia Browning, suminagashi ink, acrylic paint. Monte Vista High School.
Malcolm, Siena Quinn, colored pencil. Grossmont High School.
Malcolm, Siena Quinn, colored pencil. Grossmont High School.
El Tigre, Ryan Zubik, watercolor. Grossmont High School.
El Tigre, Ryan Zubik, watercolor. Grossmont High School.
Dangerous Spots, Maryam Ablahad, scratchboard. Valhalla High School.
Dangerous Spots, Maryam Ablahad, scratchboard. Valhalla High School.
Bambino, Joshua Meriwether, scratchboard. IDEA Center High School.
Bambino, Joshua Meriwether, scratchboard. IDEA Center High School.
In the Leopard's Gaze, Armida Angulo, colored pencil. Grossmont High School.
In the Leopard’s Gaze, Armida Angulo, colored pencil. Grossmont High School.
Untitled, Kirsten Fraga, charcoal and colored pencil. West Hills High School.
Untitled, Kirsten Fraga, charcoal and colored pencil. West Hills High School.
Dripping Lily, Evelyn DuVall, watercolor and ink. IDEA Center High School.
Dripping Lily, Evelyn DuVall, watercolor and ink. IDEA Center High School.
Moonrise, Brooke Moran, linoleum print. Steele Canyon High School.
Moonrise, Brooke Moran, linoleum print. Steele Canyon High School.
Smooth Waves, Britney Guerrero, acrylic. Steele Canyon High School.
Smooth Waves, Britney Guerrero, acrylic. Steele Canyon High School.
Lobos, Natalie Burke, acrylic. Steele Canyon High School.
Lobos, Natalie Burke, acrylic. Steele Canyon High School.
Ocean Eyes, Rand Akim, tempera. Valhalla High School.
Ocean Eyes, Rand Akim, tempera. Valhalla High School.
It's Pretty Wild, Savy, acrylic. Valhalla High School.
It’s Pretty Wild, Savy, acrylic. Valhalla High School.
Landscapes, Andy Orosco, watercolor. Steele Canyon High School.
Landscapes, Andy Orosco, watercolor. Steele Canyon High School.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Beauty along the San Diego River Estuary.

I enjoyed a good walk today, which included a long stretch of the San Diego River Estuary.

Nature’s beauty was everywhere. All I had to do was frame it.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

A small bird, and humor’s saving grace.

This morning I published another short story. This one is titled The Station Sparrow.

The humorous little tale was inspired by my own life experience.

I often see birds inside the enormous passenger waiting room of Santa Fe Depot, the train station in downtown San Diego. Feathered infiltrators come through the wide open doors and walk about the floor pecking at crumbs.

That got me to thinking. And imagining. And laughing.

The Station Sparrow is mostly about life, and humor’s saving grace. Click the link to read it.

I hope it makes you laugh, too.

A beautiful walk along Batiquitos Lagoon Trail.

Walking along Batiquitos Lagoon Trail one beautiful morning.
Walking along Batiquitos Lagoon Trail one fine morning.

Today I headed up the coast to Carlsbad. I wanted to walk along a trail that I heard was very beautiful.

I often drive along Interstate 5 over Batiquitos Lagoon, just north of the La Costa exit, but I never get more than a brief glimpse of the shining water and green margins. So this morning I ditched the car, tightened the laces of my walking shoes, and walked for a bit along the lagoon’s main trail.

Beautiful, indeed.

The two mile trail along the north edge of the tidal wetland and the Nature Center are both maintained by the Batiquitos Lagoon Foundation.
The two mile trail along the north edge of the tidal wetland and the Nature Center are both maintained by the Batiquitos Lagoon Foundation.
A hiker approaches the Batiquitos Lagoon Nature Center from the Gabbiano Lane trailhead.
A hiker approaches the Batiquitos Lagoon Nature Center from the Gabbiano Lane trailhead.
Curious visitors come and go, keeping friendly volunteers at the Nature Center busy.
Curious visitors come and go, keeping friendly volunteers at the Nature Center busy.
People can purchase a personalized brick to help support the Batiquitos Lagoon Foundation.
People can purchase a personalized brick to help support the Batiquitos Lagoon Foundation.
The Nature Center might be modest, but it is welcoming and full of interesting exhibits.
The Nature Center might be modest, but it is welcoming and full of interesting exhibits.
Before entering I saw the Batiquitos free lagoon lovers library.
Before entering I saw the Batiquitos Free Lagoon Lovers Library.
The very cool Batiquitos Lagoon Nature Center is like a one room jam-packed museum.
The very cool Batiquitos Lagoon Nature Center is like a one room jam-packed museum.
I see a snowy egret and a Cooper's hawk.
I see a snowy egret and a Cooper’s hawk.
The many different birds that live at the lagoon can be identified by their distinctive eggs.
The many different birds that live at the lagoon can be identified by their distinctive eggs.
Visitors can closely examine lagoon insects and other creeping, crawling creatures.
Visitors can closely examine lagoon insects and other creeping, crawling creatures.
Various human artifacts on display include Native American Kumeyaay clay pots, weapons and tools.
Various human artifacts on display include Native American Kumeyaay clay pots and tools.
A poster shows Carlsbad's watershed, including the area where fresh water (including San Marcos Creek and Encinitas Creek) flows into Batiquitos Lagoon.
A poster shows Carlsbad’s watershed, including the area where fresh water (including San Marcos Creek and Encinitas Creek) flows into Batiquitos Lagoon.
As I left the Nature Center, I lingered for a moment on the shady front porch and gazed out at the nearby lagoon.
As I left the Nature Center, I lingered for a moment on the shady front porch and gazed out toward the nearby lagoon.
Next to some picnic benches by the Nature Center, you'll find a very strange creature lurking. It's The Creature From Batiquitos Lagoon, by artist Paul Weber, 2003.
Next to some picnic benches by the Nature Center, you’ll find a very strange creature lurking. It’s The Creature From Batiquitos Lagoon, by artist Paul Weber, 2003.
To the west, Interstate 5 runs over part of the lagoon's Pacific Ocean tidal inlet. Many drive past this beautiful place without stopping to enjoy it.
To the west, Interstate 5 runs over part of the lagoon’s Pacific Ocean tidal inlet. Many drive past this beautiful place without ever stopping to enjoy it.
Now we are heading east along the north edge of smooth, blue Batiquitos Lagoon.
Now we are heading east along the north edge of smooth, blue Batiquitos Lagoon.
Several small concrete seats were decorated with colored stone mosaics. This one features a mallard duck.
Several small concrete seats were decorated with colored stone mosaics. This one features a mallard duck.
Bright September sunshine on green.
The bright September sunshine on green.
Part of the Lagoon Trail follows tan sandstone cliffs.
The west part of the Lagoon Trail follows tan sandstone cliffs.
The cliffs along this stretch belong to the Scripps Formation. The sandstone was deposited in a shallow ocean about 45 million years ago.
The cliffs along this stretch belong to the Scripps Formation. The sandstone was deposited in a shallow ocean about 45 million years ago.
Approaching a more wooded area at the border of the lagoon.
Approaching a more wooded area at the border of the lagoon.
Several short trails head north from the main trail into nearby Carlsbad neighborhoods.
Several short trails head north from the main trail into nearby Carlsbad neighborhoods.
I see a mosaic turtle!
I see a mosaic turtle!
Many informative signs can be found along the trail. This one lists salt marsh niches, including floating plants, diving birds, wading birds, bottom fish, mud worms and more. It also talks about the environment and human responsibility.
Many informative signs can be found along the trail. This one lists salt marsh niches, including floating plants, diving birds, wading birds, bottom fish, mud worms and more. It also talks about caring for the environment and human responsibility.
A large mudflat shines in the morning sunlight.
A large mudflat shines like silver in the morning sunlight.
This enormous tree stands alone near the edge of the water. It has probably lived there for a very long time.
This enormous tree stands alone near the edge of the water. It has probably lived there for a very long time.
Now I see a heron!
Now I see a wading heron!
Walking near the lush edge of the tidal marsh. Along here there is a lot of Coyote Brush, and non-native Yellow Mustard.
Walking near the lush edge of the tidal marsh. Along here grows a lot of Coyote Brush, and non-native Yellow Mustard.
The trail passes over a tiny bridge and a thin stream of water.
The trail passes over a tiny bridge and a thin stream of water.
Bending over I was able to take a photograph of a wood rat den made of twigs and branches.
Bending over I was able to take a photograph of a wood rat den made of twigs and branches.
Nearby sign explains the wood rat's den. Also called pack rats, they build complex houses with various chambers.
A nearby sign explains the wood rat’s den. Also called pack rats, they build complex houses with various chambers.
White fluffy heads of non-native pampas grass shine near the trail.
The white fluffy heads of some non-native pampas grass seem to shimmer in the breeze.
Now we are walking right beside the tidal lagoon.
Now we are walking right beside the tidal lagoon.
Coastal Goldenbush blooms about to open.
Coastal Goldenbush blooms about to open.
More beautiful leaves in sunlight.
More beautiful leaves in sunlight.
It appears a tall tree fell and was cleared from the path.
It appears a tall tree fell and was cleared from the path.
Walking along a beautiful trail in coastal San Diego County.
Walking along a very beautiful trail in coastal San Diego County.
Plaque on one bench by the trail. From the high mountains of Colorado to the shores of Batiquitos Lagoon, serenity and peace can be found.
Plaque on one bench by the trail. From the high mountains of Colorado to the shores of Batiquitos Lagoon, serenity and peace can be found.
More beauty.
More natural beauty.
We are nearing the end of our two mile walk.
We are near the end of our two mile walk.
More beauty.
More late summer beauty.
Now we are approaching the eastern end of Batiquitos Lagoon, beyond which runs El Camino Real. Light shines upon life-giving water.
Now we are approaching the eastern end of Batiquitos Lagoon, beyond which runs El Camino Real. Light shines upon life-giving water.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

San Diego Audubon Society’s fun Bird Festival!

People enjoying the annual Bird Festival at Marina Village have walked to the San Diego River Estuary where many aquatic birds congregate.
People enjoying the annual Bird Festival at Marina Village have walked to the San Diego River Estuary where many aquatic birds congregate.

Today during my walk I encountered of group of enthusiastic birders at the San Diego River Estuary. These folks were all participating in the San Diego Audubon Society’s annual Bird Festival, which takes place this weekend at the nearby Marina Village Conference Center.

Later during my walk I visited the Bird Festival’s registration room, where anyone can purchase dozens of different birdwatching and reference books, plus other gifts. A friendly lady informed me that the San Diego Audubon Society has about three thousand members! During the Bird Festival and throughout the year, members can go on all sorts of field trips around San Diego County, and take every sort of bird-related class imaginable.

Members and volunteers are also involved in working to restore critical bird habitat in Mission Bay! I blogged about that a couple years ago here!

Do you make your home in San Diego? Do you love birds? Then you probably should join the Audubon Society! Here the local chapter’s website, where you can also learn more about the very cool Bird Festival, which continues through tomorrow!

The San Diego Audubon Society offers many birdwatching opportunities. The organization also has a conservation program.
The San Diego Audubon Society offers many birdwatching opportunities. The organization also has a vital conservation program.
If I joined the Audubon Society, maybe I'd learn what sort of behavior these birds are displaying!
If I joined the Audubon Society, maybe I’d learn what sort of behavior these birds are displaying!
Poster at the Bird Festival shows how the San Diego Audubon Society is helping to restore the nesting habitat of the endangered California Least Tern in Mission Bay.
Poster at the Bird Festival shows how the San Diego Audubon Society is helping to restore the nesting habitat of the endangered California Least Tern in Mission Bay.
I believe this little guy on the bank of the San Diego River is a snowy egret.
I believe this little guy on the bank of the San Diego River is a snowy egret.
Members of the San Diego Audubon Society enjoy a perfect sunny day and identify lots of birds!
Members of the San Diego Audubon Society enjoy a perfect sunny day and identify lots of birds!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!