Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Sanctuary...Not the Refuge

by Steve Reiss (Dalmdad Landscape Photography - and

A lot is made about how unique the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary is (why do I have such a hard time remembering how to spell "Joaquin?").  Yes, it is 300 acres of constructed wetland in the city of Irvine, California.  Yeah, its in the city of Irvine, within site of some office buildings, but its not quite downtown!  

Irvine in the Background
At the sanctuary, if you look hard and long enough, you may see hawks, swallows, roadrunners, hummingbirds, herons, egrets, pelicans,  sandpipers, ducks, geese, and kingfishers...Oh, and there are cool lizards hiding out in the brush (see future post).

Yeah, hawks and road-runners can be cool if you actually see them.  To me, however, the Sanctuary has only one group of occupants of consequence.  That is its Puma Concolors, more commonly known as: mountain lion, cougar, panther, or puma.  Yes, technically there are mountain lions roaming around this free space inside Irvine.  The mountain lions are there...I have read about them and my father-in-law saw one.

However my snarkiness arises from the fact that I have not seen them.  Indeed, its been more than 2.5 years since I got a glimpse of a bobcat's butt.

If you want to see around the sanctuary, this is the best I can do for you so far...I will probably go back some day and just sit and wait and hope...

By the way - Don't confuse the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary with the San Joaquin River National Wildlife Refuge in California's central valley.

American Avocet

Great Blue Heron Sitting Up in Tree

Left: American Black Duck / Right: Cinnamon Teal Duck

Tree Swallow

Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron
Detail: Great Blue Heron

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