Nestled between a Silicon Valley tech giant and Moffett Airfield there’s a pool party where feathers are flying! At 55 acres, Stevens Creek Shoreline Nature Study Area has a recent addition: the Moffett Field Bay Trail. To get to the preserve, take the gravel path at the Kite Flying Parking Area, and make your way across the grassy field. The path becomes a paved road leading to a small building where you turn sharply left to enter the park. From here, its a 1-mile (round-trip) jaunt along the Bay Trail.
Cross two foot bridges, and as you make your way towards the bay, you’ll quickly discover you’ve entered a birder’s paradise. The park is known for a mix of shorebirds and waterfowl that make this environment their home, including white pelicans, teals, cormorants, and grebes. Spy the species as you meander along the Bay Trail’s levee-style paths flanking Stevens Creek and passing through tidal waterways bolstered by pickleweed. When you reach a T-intersection, take a right on the newly established Moffett Field section of the Bay Trail, which continues through the tidal zones of the preserve. This new section of trail is part of the awesome Bay Trail initiative towards a continuous 500-mile network of bicycling and hiking trails encircling San Francisco Bay, San Pablo Bay, and the Carquinez Strait. Take the trail until you reach the shoreline again.
Bring some binoculars, and try your luck at spotting the endangered clapper rails … or its more common cousin, the ridgeway rail.
TIP: On a recent outing, birds at Stevens Creek included green winged teals, northern shoveler, double crested cormorant, black phoebe, northern harrier, great egret, snowy egret, mallard, ruddy duck, eared grebes, mix of sparrows, marsh wren.
The Kite Flying Parking Area is located at the Shoreline Amphitheater parking lot, Section E, off North Shoreline Blvd. No dogs. Photos by WS Lead Contributor, Brad Hyland.