Friday, March 20, 2009

Gliding Into Spring At San Elijo Lagoon

The shallow water estuary that forms our town's southern border is called San Elijo Lagoon. A coastal ecological reserve protected by the California Department of Fish and Game, it covers 1,000 acres and includes 700 species of plants and animals.

The area was named San Elijo in 1769 by Spanish explorer Gaspar de Portola. He was credited with having founded San Diego and was later the first governor of both Alta & Baja California.

These days, the reserve is crossed by 8 lanes of interstate freeway, four lanes of Highway 101 and train trestles. The thousands of birds who make their home in the lagoon don't seem to mind a bit. Many stop off by to rest on their migrations north and south as the seasons change, but others find the food supply so to their liking that they set up permanent residence.

Thanks to wildlife photographer Chris Mayne for sharing the picture he took at San Elijo.


High Desert Diva said...

8 lanes of interstate freeway, four lanes of Highway 101 and train trestles....

I know I would mind if my home were covered with all that....glad the birds seem to be doing well.

Ann said...

Reminds me of the marine reserve I just visited with my students. Your friend who takes the photos for you would love to "park" himself here and take photos of the Terns and Oyster catchers.