03 August 2014

Exploring San Elijo Lagoon

July 2013

On San Diego North County, at the city of Encinitas, there's a preserve area called San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve. It's namely a lagoon or a kind of salt marsh, which provides peaceful living conditions of variety of animals, mostly for various species of birds (some information told there's 300 different species of birds in there ...).

It's a pretty good place for human beings, too. There's a Nature Center, some self-guided trails, and especially over 5 miles of trails on the edge of the lagoon (trail map here). It seems to be popular for trail runners (no wonder it's quite flat and there aren't many flat sections near by).

Been few times there, at Nature Center and on its guided paths, but mainly on trails at lagoon itself. Going back and forth, one gets easily 15-20km at one go (plus two memory cards full of photos if one stays too long).

The east side trailhead is shadowed by massive eucalyptus trees. Trees and bushes there offer good shelter for various species of birds. Soon terrain changes and one start to see pine trees, very similar to ones at Torrey Pines.

The trail goes slightly higher than the lagoon, giving good sights across of it. Fairly easy to spot white Snowy Egrets or Great Blue Herons on grassland.

For birdwatching it's almost a paradise. As long as you've got patience staying calm and wait, you'll usually be awarded. From Hummingbirds to Ospreys, all sizes between them, various tones from almost screaming like, Woodpecker's monotonic knocking to beautiful singing.

There seems to live other species as well, signs at trailheads warn about Mountain Lions and Rattlesnakes. Former haven't met yet on live, though latter ones on multiple occasion.  A Raccoon being the latest mammal on the met-once-list.

Though thousands of cars, which roar on Interstate 5 by crossing the lagoon, bring huge noise, one doesn't notice noise once you start to observe nature there. That's an unscientific fact.

All in all, it's a pretty good place to relax, get in better shape, charge your batteries or observe nature (or do all of them). Worth visiting (every now and then). And hey, gorgeous beaches on Solana Beach and Encinitas are just a couple of minutes away.

Some random photos

More snapshots here.


Self-guided trail at Nature Center

2x bzzzzz

Opened up

Singing lessons

Twisted neck

Cormorant drying wings

Lunch captured!

Building a nest


And you think all mammals can read this? 

Police, Police,  egg's stolen!


A demo of Trail Running

Mourning Cloak

Anna's Hummingbird

Cooper's Hawk


Forced time-out

Approaching landing

Great Blue Heron

Finch in pair

Lunch in mind






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