On an overcast afternoon, recently, I went down to Moonglow Dairy with a friend to take a look at the nesting area. I’d heard a lot about how the Dairy had become a popular birding area, possibly because of its tendency to attract rare species.
The entrance from Dolan Rd. is innocuous. It’s best to drive slowly down the road, so as not to disturb cows, workers, and residents.
And frankly, the smell from the cow manure in the feedlot is enough to put off anyone who is not a dedicated birder. A worker pointed us towards the eucalyptus grove.
We parked near the grove and walked down the trail through it. I was surprised to see abundance of New Zealand Spinach–enough to make a wild food forager jump for joy (New Zealand Spinach, also known as “Bush Tucker,” are some of the best greens I’ve ever tasted); however, it was spotted everywhere with bird poop–so much for that.
The light was not so good on this day, so, binoculars were really necessary to see the birds — herons, egrets, cormorants, and many more. But the nests were obvious, and the tree branches were covered with them, perhaps hundreds of nests.
The birds were noisy, but their raucous calls competed with the engine drone of a large pump on the levee nearby. We wondered how the birds could put up with the sound. On the other hand, maybe they are like the inhabitants of any city neighborhood; the sound of familiar noises signals home territory.
This post is part of the thread: Elkhorn birds – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.