Friday, September 22, 2017
Friday, September 15, 2017
The breeding pair of Bald eagles returned to the watershed to nest and reproduce again this year—though this time it was an only chick.
It was the fifth year in a row that the pair had nested here--after a more than 100-year absence of the species from San Mateo County.
Though the young eaglet won’t be returning to the nest, it will continue to hunt in and near the watershed for another few months. It will keep its uniform brownish mottled color before acquiring the distinctive white head at full maturity in four years.
Bald eagles mate for life, and—because they can live up to 30 years in the wild—chances are that one or more of our pair's progeny will return to the watershed too, when ready to nest and reproduce.
Update: Last week's San Francisco rare bird alert reported “a juvenile Bald eagle soaring with Peregrine Falcon and Red-shouldered Hawk” above Lake Merced. Could it have been ours, checking out the neighboring terrain?
Friday, September 8, 2017
The approximately 80 non-native, invasive trees are being removed to restore a stretch of natural wetland that over time will again nurture and sustain water- and shoreline-dwelling wildlife. We’ll also bring back several acres of adjacent native grassland.
Starting next week, you’ll also be able to see another tree-clearing project from Highway 280 near Trousdale. We’ll be removing mostly eucalyptus trees, and replacing them with historic native grasses and Coastal oak woodland.
|Threatened California red-legged frog.|
The 23,000-acre Peninsula Watershed is home to a diversity of native California plants, insects, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and animals, including the highest concentration of rare, threatened or endangered species in the nine-county Bay Area. The watershed is also designated a State Fish and Game Refuge.
Posted by WSIP at 11:30 AM
Friday, September 1, 2017
The Jepson Laurel, known to be at least 600 years old, marks the Sawyer Camp Trail midpoint. At 55 feet in height, and some 22 feet around, it’s the largest laurel in California.
It stands just north of where one Leander Sawyer kept an inn called Sawyer Camp in the 1850s and ‘60s. The establishment provided lodging for horsemen and wagons, as well as food for daytime picnickers. Old-timers said that Sawyer and his wife Sophia lived nearby in an adobe cottage close to a natural spring. Sawyer also grazed cattle in the area to control the brush and maintain access for incoming wagons. Today nothing remains of either the camp or the Sawyer dwelling.
The Jepson Laurel stays on, monitored and safeguarded by our natural resources staff. It is named after distinguished UC Berkeley early botanist Willis Linn Jepson.
Friday, August 18, 2017
For this Photo Friday, we thought we’d highlight one of our lesser known dams in the Peninsula Crystal Springs Watershed – Stone Dam.
This small dam was built in 1871 approximately two miles away from Pilarcitos Dam (which was constructed in 1866).
Spring Valley Water Company constructed Stone Dam to take advantage of the lower Pilarcitos Creek Watershed. Water impounded at Stone Dam on San Mateo Creek impounds about 5 million gallons of water (in contrast to nearby Pilarcitos Reservoir which can store 1 billion gallons of water).
Friday, August 11, 2017
Two Double-crested cormorants sun their spread wings to dry during a late summer afternoon on the San Andreas Reservoir. The pastime can be a common site around the watershed.
Since the black seabirds are at home in both salt water and fresh, the watershed reservoirs provide ample small fish for food. During the spring breeding season, they’ll display the tufted crests they’re named for.
Posted by WSIP at 3:15 PM
Friday, August 4, 2017
The bobcat cubbing season is over. But the juveniles will be around for another several months, doing their part to sustain watershed health.
When the cubs reach 8 to 11 months of age, the mother will evict them from her territory. The medium-size feline is distinguishable by its short bobbed tail. The Peninsula Watershed with its expanse of diverse vegetation is ideal habitat for these
Since they’re so high on the food chain, bobcats sustain a robust habitat by keeping the ecosystem balanced. They weed out species lower on the food chain, which otherwise would increase and overrun the food resource. Then, while some starve, the rest of the population weakens and the gene pool declines.