Saturday 31 March 2012

Tai Po Kau, Hong Kong, March 2012

Today’s visit to Tai Po Kau could also be described as ‘A Day in the Life of a Coral Tree’. Ostensibly this was a visit to a wonderful hill forest in the former New Territories, but all the action took place either in the lay by at the entrance, or in the alien Coral Trees.
I arrived shortly after daybreak and found birds as soon as I stepped from the minibus at Google Earth Ref; 22 25 58N 114 11 14E. Blue-winged Minla and Chinese Bulbul were seen in the bushes and an accipiter, probably the Crested Goshawk, circled overhead before I even had my binoculars out.

Across the road, the lay by was alive with bird song. Red-crested Bulbuls, Japanese White-eyes and Oriental Magpie Robin were all proclaiming their presence and a short trip up the slope to the right brought Silver-eared Mesia and a Great Tit (P m commixtus). In fact of the 20 birds seen today, 16 were seen before I ventured up the slope to the forest.
The slope to the left of the lay by provides access to the forest on the slopes above. It is not too arduous and shortly brings you to a couple of small holdings that have been completely cleared. At the top of the road is a fitness area and the marked walking routes start from here. I usually follow the easiest Red Route, but this morning, I wanted to take a quick look at the coral trees at the Outdoor Study Centre.

The Coral Tree, Erythrina speciosa, is a native of South America and flowers in March with beautiful red flowers like clusters of tiny, red, elephant tusks. These attract birds from all over the forest to feed from the flowers and Fork-tailed Sunbirds especially love them.
Fork-tailed Sunbird female
One stand of trees in particular is a draw for photographers and this Saturday morning, they were out in force. The coral trees are by the road which climbs a slope here and puts the camera and flowers on the same level. Bathed in the early morning sun, it was irresistible to birds and bird watchers alike.

Fork-tailed Sunbird male
The male Fork-tailed Sunbird’s head is iridescent green and causes havoc on my colour receptors. Too much light can be a bad thing. I had to stop down a little to avoid flare. The female however is dull green and didn’t present any exposure problems.

Japanese white-eyes have varied tastes, but appear to relish the sweet nectar from the coral tree flowers.

At the top of the slope by the fitness park, I had already seen an Orange-bellied Leaf-bird, but it was silhouetted at the top of a tall cotton tree, another alien species. Although the pair visited the shaded trees, when they came to the Outdoor Study Centre, they allowed me a much better look. The male has the bright orange belly with dark blue primaries and throat with contrasting lighter blue sub-moustachial streaks. The female is much duller. Her belly is still orange, but she lacks the contrast in the wings and throat.

The Crested Goshawk flew over again performing its shivering display and showing the fluffy uppertail coverts clearly, like a little ballet tutu around the base of the tail. At last I struck out into the forest and met a couple of other birders who were trying to coax a Pygmy Wren Babbler from the undergrowth near the picnic site. The wren babbler responded to the playback and I heard the bird, but it did not come out to be seen. It was unfortunate that the coaxers continued to try to tempt it out with playback from a smartphone wrapped in a large leaf. This was too sustained for me and I gave them my reasons for leaving and moved on.
Chestnut and Mountain Bulbuls made plenty of noise in the forest and another bird kept me looking for ages, but I was unable to locate it. It was very close and singing loudly. I tried to imitate it, but it wouldn’t be fooled into showing itself. Grey-cheeked Minivet were fairly common and there may have been a female Scarlet Minivet too, but it was too quick.

Tai Po Birds seen; 20
Grey Heron 1, Great Egret 1, Cattle Egret 15, Black-eared Kite 5, Crested Goshawk 2, Spotted Dove 15, Barn Swallow 6, Grey-chinned Minivet 15, Red-whiskered Bulbul 35, Light-vented Bulbul 15, Mountain Bulbul 3, Chestnut Bulbul 4, Orange-bellied Leafbird 4, Oriental Magpie Robin 2, Silver-eared Mesia 5, Blue-winged Minla 2, Great Tit 1, Yellow-cheeked Tit 1, Fork-tailed Sunbird 15, Japanese White-eye 12.

Take a cross-tunnel bus (N118 is good from Cannon Road just beyond the World Trade Centre in Causeway Bay) to get across the harbour to Hung Hom Station on the East Rail Line. Take the East Rail Line to Tai Po Market Station. There is a minibus station by the rail station. Take 28K to Tai Po Kau lay by Google Earth Ref 22 25 58N 114 11 10E. If you prefer a taxi, it is only a five minute ride.

For an earlier post from Tai Po Kau follow the link below;

Visit the dedicated Asia Page for more posts from Hong Kong, Including Aberdeen, Tai Mo Shan and Long Valley
Tai Po Kau, Hong Kong,

Thursday 29 March 2012

Mai Po, Hong Kong, March 2012

I had not applied in time for the required permit to make a visit to Mai Po during this visit. Even so, I was within a 10 minute bus ride and the approach road is often very productive. Bus 76K runs past Yin Kong, where I had spent the morning at Long Valley and it dropped me at the end of the road.

Chinese Bulbuls and Red-whiskered Bulbuls were the first birds seen, followed very closely by Barn Swallows and Eurasian Tree Sparrows. A Common Kingfisher flashed past and the edges of the fish ponds held Common and Wood Sandpiper.

The tall grasses, reeds and bushes along the road held Plain and Yellow-bellied Prinias, singing constantly.

At the reception car park a Spotted Dove was collecting material for a nest that was under construction in the tree that shades the notice board. A flock of Azure-winged Magpies can usually be found along the road or close to the office. There were about 15 of them today.

I decided to ask if it would be possible to get a permit for immediate entry. It was, but only because the limited amount of permits had not been allocated. Passport and membership of an internationally recognised bird watching society are needed as forms of identification and HK$120 entrance fee is payable.

View across gei wai 8, the Tower Hide.
The tide would be falling by now and it would not have been worth the trek out to the mangrove boardwalk hides, so I just took a gentle stroll out towards the popular gei-wai 16/17 AT Google Earth ref;  22°29'16"N 114° 2'19"E.

Here Great and Little Egrets mingled with Black-faced Spoonbills. Mai Po is a hugely important site for the spoonbills and on my first visit here, I saw 50 out of the estimated world population (at the time) of around 300 birds. Today, I felt that I might be witnessing significant numbers when 3 counts went over 140. My final and highest count put the number of Black-faced Spoonbills in Gei wai 16/17 at 163. The intervening years had obviously been good to them and enquiries back at the office revealed that other populations had been found and that sustained conservation efforts had brought the estimated world population to over 3,000 birds.

Note the black tips to the primaries on the young bird and the yellow crest and breast band of the adult. The adult also shows more black on the face and has a darker bill.

I had been seeing a few dragonflies today despite a cool wind coming in across the water. It is not often that I have to use the flash on an ode. I believe this one to be a Pale-spotted Emperor, Anax guttatus.

Mai Po Birds seen; 51

Little Grebe 10, Great Cormorant 25, Grey Heron 15, Great Egret 35, Little Egret 200, Cattle Egret 60, Chinese Pond Heron 20, Yellow Bittern 1, Black-faced Spoonbill 163, Garganey 2, Northern Shoveler 20, Black-eared Kite 4, Marsh Harrier 1, White-breasted Waterhen 6, Common Moorhen 15Black-winged Stilt 15, Pied Avocet 300, Grey Plover 4, Little Plover 2, Black-tailed Godwit 1, Common Redshank 1, Common Greenshank 15, Wood Sandpiper 4, Common Sandpiper 3, Red-collared Dove 1, Spotted Dove 15, Asian Koel 2, Greater Coucal 2, House Swift 30, Common Kingfisher 1, White-throated Kingfisher 1, Barn Swallow 200, Olive-backed Pipit 2, White Wagtail 1, Yellow Wagtail 1, Grey Wagtail 1, Red-whiskered Bulbul 8, Light-vented Bulbul 60, Oriental Magpie Robin 8, Yellow-bellied Prinia 25, Plain Prinia 8, Masked Laughing Thrush 6, Great Tit 1, Japanese White-eye 4, Long-tailed Shrike 2, Azure-winged Magpie 15, Large-billed Crow 1, Collared Crow 2, Crested Myna 20, Black-collared Starling 10, White-shouldered Starling 2.
Directions for Mai Po are very similar to those for Long Valley and it was easy to visit both reserves today. It depends of course on how much time you wish to devote to each and when the high tide is due.
Black-necked Starling

Using the bus through the cross harbour tunnel saves at least 30 minutes on the journey into the New Territories and enabled me the luxury of a lie-in until 05.30 this morning. Today, the N118 (HK$13.40) was the bus of choice, caught from the stop at Cannon Road outside the World Trade Centre in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong. The bus dropped me at Hung Hom, the first station on the East Rail Line heading towards the Chinese border. Continue to Sheung Shui (HK$8) and cross the road to the bus stop under the footbridge.

Take Bus no. 76K (you will pass Yin Kong, Long Valley, on the way). The road stops at a T-junction at San Tin. It turns right before doubling back on itself at a bus terminus. From the terminus it is approx 2.6 kms to Tam Kon Chau Road. The reserve is approx 1.5kms along this road.
For other posts from Mai Po, follow the links below;
Visit the dedicated Asia Page for other posts from Hong Kong, including Tai Mo Shan, Tai Po Kau and Hong Kong Wetland Park
 Black-faced Spoonbill, Hong Kong, Mai Po

Tuesday 27 March 2012

Long Valley, Hong Kong, March 2012

Dawn broke as I waited for a bus at Sheung Shui Station, revealing a misty and murky morning. I had come early in the hope of catching some rails and crakes at Long Valley agricultural area and headed straight to the overgrown ponds at Google Earth Ref; 22 30 27N 114 06 45E. Common Moorhens and a White-breasted Waterhen got my hopes up a couple of times before I caught sight of a flicky tail creeping through the long grass at the top of one of the raised walkways that separate the shallow ponds.

Considering what might have been on offer in a rail infested, weed-choked pond in Hong Kong, it was a slight disappointment to see a Water Rail which I can commonly find within a mile of my home in the UK. It was however a good clear look as it paraded along the bund in full view.

GL, vigilant as ever, has brought to my attention that Rallus aquaticus has been split from R. indicus leaving the above as a life bird, so wipe the disappointment and get out the red pen. Both Species are still known as Water Rail on my software. The options of European Rail and Indian, Eastern or Brown-cheeked Rail are available for use in conversation or blogging, but the official list still has Water Rail for both.

Chinese Pond Herons were seen in good numbers and I was able to compare them with the very similar Indian Pond Herons from Mumbai last week. I had wanted to show how they change from a drab grounded bird to a bright white bird in flight and then blend into the background again as soon as their wings fold. I had better luck with a landing photo this week.

I was heading to where the snipe are in the north east part of the area. Another birder primed me to be on the lookout for Chinese Penduline Tit and but for his advice, I might have missed them.

Plenty of small seed eating Nutmeg Munias had been feeding from the grasses this morning and I nearly didn’t bother to train my Bushnells on the little birds hanging from the flowers on a small island in the pond at Google Earth ref; 22°30'32.74"N 114° 6'56.41"E.

The shallow ponds here have not been planted with crops. Wood Sandpipers shared them with Black-winged Stilts. I had come prepared to find snipe and to be able to differentiate between the three potential species that might occur here, but I am sure that all the birds I saw today were Common Snipe.

In the taller grasses, Plain and Yellow-bellied Prinias called constantly, vying with the hysterical Asian Koels for supremacy. A dark shrike at the top of a mango tree evaded the camera, but it would have made a good example of the “dusky” form of the Long-tailed (Red-backed) Shrike.

All around the area, electricity and phone lines are held above the ground by slender poles and the Light-vented Bulbul like to use them as vantage points.
Birds seen; 35

Little Egret 6, Cattle Egret 15, Chinese Pond Heron 25, Water Rail 1, White-breasted Waterhen 6, Common Moorhen 12, Black-winged Stilt 14, Common Snipe 40, Wood Sandpiper 60, Spotted Dove 20, Asian Koel 6, House Swift 150, Barn Swallow 60, Red-throated Pipit 15, Grey Wagtail 15, Red-whiskered Bulbul 8, Light-vented Bulbul 35, Oriental Magpie Robin 6, Common Stonechat 6, Zitting Cisticola 1, Yellow-bellied Prinia 12, Plain Prinia 10, Common Tailorbird 1, Dusky Warbler 8, Masked Laughing Thrush 3, Great Tit 1, Chinese Penduline Tit 6, Japanese White-eye 5, Long-tailed Shrike 10, Eurasian Magpie 1, Collared Crow 2, Crested Myna 20, Black-collared Starling 15, Eurasian Tree Sparrow 12, Nutmeg Mannikin 25.
Apple Snail eggs

Using the bus through the cross harbour tunnel saves at least 30 minutes on the journey into the New Territories and enabled me the luxury of a lie-in until 05.30 this morning. Today, the N118 (HK$13.40) was the bus of choice, caught from the stop at Cannon Road outside the World Trade Centre in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong. The bus dropped me at Hung Hom, the first station on the East Rail Line heading towards the Chinese border. Continue to Sheung Shui (HK$8) and cross the road to the bus stop under the footbridge.
Take the 76k and ask the driver for Yin Kong. The agricultural fields will be found to the right off Castle Peak Road, just after the golf club. The bus stop is 500m beyond the motorway bridge at Google Earth Ref;  22°30'10.25"N 114° 6'39.19"E

The workers in the fields here are very tolerant of birders tramping around. Please respect their crops and use the raised walkways.
Long Valley, Hong Kong,

Friday 23 March 2012

Mumbai Hotel, March 2012

London will host the Olympics in 2012 and a rudderless England football team will play in the European Finals. Beyond these minor sporting sideshows there is the matter of the 10,000 Birds year lists. It is not, I repeat NOT a competition. There will be neither prize nor accolade, no winner, no garland. But…….

Rose-ringed Parakeet

We all have our own self-imposed restrictions. Greg, for example, is only counting Corvids and Clare K will only include birds that contain a capital ‘R’. My list will be restricted to birds found by public transport or my own energies. Since the flights are considered a necessary part of my employment, these will be disregarded and the game starts from the hotel. Luckily our hotel had a small garden and I was able to manage a quick minute before pick up and find a few qualifying birds as seen below.

It was such a quick flit that I missed a warbler and a sunbird, but got a good look at the Coppersmith Barbet.

Birds seen; 8
Black Kite 1, Alexandrine Parakeet 6, Rose-ringed Parakeet 2, Coppersmith Barbet 7, Red-vented Barbet 1, Oriental Magpie-robin 4, House Crow 80, Common Myna 2,

Vist the dedicated India page for posts from New Delhi, Bangalore and more posts from Mumbai, including Powai Lake and Sanjay Gandhi National Park.

Wednesday 21 March 2012

Mugger at Powai Lake, Mumbai, March 2012

If ever anyone travels with me in a taxi, anywhere in the world, they quickly get a sense that my attitude to cab drivers (may they all burn in Hell) is, at best, antagonistic; at worst, it is downright rude and distrustful. I know that taxi drivers will try to rip me off and I hail them in anticipation of a confrontation, so I was pleased to meet Surendra (may he be feted at God’s table), who charged the going rate first time.

A fringe of Water Hyacinth clung to the shore at Powai Lake. It had never occurred to me before to wonder what sustains a Purple Swamphen, but if they like Water Hyacinth, they are in the right place. After a quick check, I find that they do indeed like vegetative matter and the act of holding the food item while eating it is common.

Indian Pond Herons show a lot of white in flight, but as soon as they settle, the brown coverts allow them to disappear very quickly.

On previous visits to Powai Lake I have watched fishermen wading through the shallows or floating in an inner tube through the deeper parts, but today I noticed, for the first time, signs warning of crocodiles.

I had been trying to get a scenic picture of a single palm on a tiny island when I noticed a strange corrugated pattern at water level. Closer inspection revealed it to be a Mugger Crocodile. A biggun.

It remained absolutely still and I began to wonder if it was a dummy. A dredger working along the shoreline, pulling out the choking weeds, approached very close to the island before it eventually slipped into the water.

House Crows and Black Kites were of course plentiful, chasing each other around as soon as one found a morsel of food.

A small island out in the lake held Black-winged Stilt, Lesser Whistling Duck, and a Grey Heron. Great Egrets and Little Egrets stalked through the water hyacinth with the density of the weeds holding their weight provided that they kept moving. A Cattle Egret prefereed a more reliable perch considering what may be lurking beneath.

Birds seen; 14
Grey Heron 1, Great Egret 3, Little Egret 6, Cattle Egret 40, Indian Pond Heron 20, Black Kite 25, Lesser Whistling Duck 5, Purple Swamphen 10, Bronze-winged Jacana 5, Black-winged Stilt 8, Asian Palm Swift 4, House Crow 500, Common Myna 8, Asian Pied Starling 2

There are more posts from Powai Lake at the links below;

Visit the dedicated India page for posts from Bangalore, New Delhi and more from Mumbai, including Sanjay Gandhi National Park.
Powai Lake, Mumbai, Bombay, Mugger Crocodile,

Sunday 18 March 2012

Maharashtra Nature Centre, Mumbai, March 2012

If you should ever, like me, explore the world through the wonders of Google Earth and like me, your eye comes to rest around Google Earth ref; 19 03 08N 72 51 46E where you find a small green oasis in the middle of Mumbai called the Maharashtra Nature Centre, don’t, like me, leave your visit until the afternoon because you may find it shut. One gate was padlocked and 3 guards at another refused me entry. It was 15.30 and a big sign on the gate clearly stated that 15.30 was closing time. Various websites give differing opening times with 18.00 being a popular closing time. Is there another gate somewhere that I missed? The websites such as this one give a good write up so I am still keen to visit one day. If anyone can give me the definitive opening times, I would be grateful.

The Powai River runs past the nature centre and through the mangroves into Mahim Bay. The return taxi ride took us over the bridge and we stopped for a few moments to walk along the bank at Google Earth ref 19 03 08N 72 50 50E. Upstream from here is Asia’s largest slum and the river is best described as ‘organic’.

I was surprised to see an Osprey fly over. Black-headed Gulls flew close to the mangroves on the far side and Gull-billed Terns mixed with them looking for floating matter on the river. There are a couple of small ponds here that held Indian Pond Heron, Common Sandpiper and Wood Sandpiper.

Towards downtown Bombay, beyond the mangroves, large soaring birds could be seen. I am sure that they were vultures, but the atmosphere along the riverbank was not conducive to lingering and I could not get an adequate ID for them after the event. Four men came to watch what I was doing. Indians are seldom intimidating, but they find unusual behaviour fascinating and their close scrutiny was off-putting. House Crows and Black Kites were, of course, easy to find. Perhaps Powai Lake would have more to offer. With just a little afternoon light left, I headed there.

Birds seen; 8
Indian Pond Heron 5, Osprey 1, Black Kite 12, Wood Sandpiper 3 Common Sandpiper 5, Black-headed Gull 15, House Crow 400, Common Myna 8.
Visit the dedicated India page for more sites in Mumbai, including, Powai Lake and Sanjay Gandhi National Park.
Powai River, Maharashtra Nature Centre, Bombay, Mumbai, BOM

Tuesday 13 March 2012

Golden Gate Park, San Francisco,

The day dawned bright and warm in the city of San Francisco, but by the time I stepped from the bus at Golden Gate Park, the fog had rolled in and it was cold. My colleagues tell me that it had been fine all day in the city so I am assuming that the mist must burn off as it moves inland. It left me with very cold hands and reminded me to be prepared for fluctuations in weather and temperature here.

The Cedar Waxwings were almost lost to the fog and I had to clean my binoculars a couple of times as the condensation dropped from the trees. The Botanical Gardens are gated and were not yet open so I passed on towards Stow Lake. On the right, I found a hot spot at the entrance to Music Concourse Drive (Google Earth ref; 37 46 10N 122 28 05W).

A small traffic island here played host to Townsend’s Warblers, Chestnut-backed Chickadees and Pygmy Nuthatches. An American Robin sat at the top of a severely pruned tree.
On a cold, misty, March Monday morning, people were still keen to get their exercise and a couple of sporty girls called me over to point out a Red-shouldered Hawk in a low tree.

There was a huge assortment of bird feeders, varying in sex, race, creed and level of sanity. One rolled tiny bits of bread in his fingers and targeted individual birds, another sprinkled monkey nuts over her shoulder as she walked. The nuts fell, she knew not where, nor did she seem to care, but a California Quail was quick to take advantage when a jogger crushed one as he passed by.

Sparrows seemed to be the main beneficiaries of this largesse and were well represented with Golden-crowned and White-crowned Sparrows easily seen.

Song Sparrows were in good voice even on such a drab morning with the fog damping the sound. Bold individuals perched high and proud singing for the world to hear.

At Stow Lake the most obvious birds were the gulls with the Western Gull standing out as the most numerous. American Coots were also seen along with Pied-billed Grebes and Mallards .

My mission today was to find some Great Horned Owls that Walter had told me about opposite the Bison Paddock. I was about halfway there and had to pass under Crossover Drive and continue west along John F Kennedy Drive.

Very soon after, I came to Lloyd Lake which held a surprising amount of waterfowl. Ring-necked Ducks were the most numerous, but more spectacular were the Wood Ducks and the Hooded Mergansers.

A female merganser had to fight for a place on a log with a Mallard. Getting out of the water onto the log was difficult enough for her without the duck making it even harder.
It was almost midday and at last the fog was beginning to lift by the time I reached the Bison Paddock and began the search for the Great Horned Owls’ nest. It was said to be in the crook of a tree immediately across the road, but it wasn’t immediately apparent. I walked back and forth a couple of times and decided that the likely looking mess in an evergreen was probably what I was seeking. Nothing could be seen in the nest from any angle, but I was sure that I was looking in the right place. Eventually a chap came by on a bicycle and stopped to look up into the tree. He told me that the chicks had left the nest at the weekend, but that they should still be in the same tree as they were not yet able to fly. Well I scoured it from every viewpoint, but could not see anything in the tree. A Red-tailed Hawk flew over a couple of times and even settled in the tree at one point. I am sure that if there were any owls close by either the hawk would have reacted to their presence or the parent owls would have had something to say to the hawk.

While I waited to see if anything would happen, Dark-eyed Juncos, Chestnut-backed Chickadees, Pygmy Nuthatches and Townsend’s Warblers kept me company. And so I had to start back. The Red-tailed Hawk made a low pass across the Bison Paddock and flushed a Killdeer. I suspect he was after gophers of which there was plenty of evidence.

An Anna’s Hummingbird sat tight as I passed and I stopped to see if he would stay for a picture. He proved to be a very willing subject and I almost lost track of time.
Passing Stow Lake on the return journey, I decided to take one last look for some owls. They are often seen at the top of Strawberry Hill, an island in the middle of Stow Lake. But here again, I failed to find them. The normal Townsend’s Warblers and Yellow-rumped Warblers were there, but there was also a noticeably different one. It was a very brief glimpse and I put it down as a Hermit Warbler. It occurred to me that this may be a significant sighting so I tried to get a better view. She wasn’t very cooperative, but then I wondered if they would be called Hermits if they were gregarious party goers. Eventually, I got another peek and confirmed the yellow head, but I was not entirely confident. I contacted the collator of the park sightings who suggested that a first-year over-wintering Hermit Warbler would not be shocking, but made no mention of other sightings. I am holding back on the Hermit Warbler, waiting for some confirmation. Articles on Townsend's/Hermit hybrids show a bird which fits very closely with what I saw, so I am hoping that the park's collator will nip out, have a looky see and confirm.

Western Gulls

Birds seen; 43
Pied-billed Grebe 15, Canada Goose 6, Wood Duck 2, American Wigeon 3, Mallard 40, Ring-necked Duck 30, Hooded Merganser 4, Turkey Vulture 1, Cooper’s Hawk 1, Red-shouldered Hawk 3, Red-tailed Hawk 5, California Quail 1, American Coot 150, Killdeer 1, Short-billed Gull 35, California Gull 15, Western Gull 200, Herring Gull 2, Mourning Dove 2, Anna’s Hummingbird 3, Allen’s Hummingbird 1, Downy Woodpecker 3, Black Phoebe 5, Tree Swallow 2, Cedar Waxwing 10, American Robin 35, Ruby-crowned Kinglet 4, Bushtit 3, Chestnut Chickadee 8, Pygmy Nuthatch 9, Steller’s Jay 12, Western Scrub Jay 2, American Crow 10, Common Raven 40, Lesser Goldfinch 1, Yellow-rumped Warbler 15, Townsend’s Warbler 8,  California Towhee 6, Song Sparrow 25, White-crowned Sparrow 25, Golden-crowned Sparrow 12, Dark-eyed Junco 15, Brewer’s Blackbird

Bus no 71 runs from Downtown San Francisco along Market Street before cutting up onto Haight St. It is only 15 minutes to the park at Stanyan St, but a number of vagrants made me feel slightly uneasy here and I may continue on to the Botanical Gardens/Stybing Arboretum at 9th St. for my next visit.

Visit the USA dedicated page for more sites in North America, California and around SanFrancisco, including, Palo Alto Baylands and Pillar Point at Half Moon Bay.