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Birding, and More! News from Watsonville Wetlands Watch
January 2010
Contents
Intro to Birding Class
Reptiles and Amphibians Talk
Watch Awarded New Trails Contract with City
2010 Docent Training Program
Last Mile of Watsonville Slough
Grazing at DFG Property
Teachers Trained to Monitor Wetlands
Restoration Pays
You Can Help
Quick Links
Join Our Mailing List
Intro to Birding Class Starts This Month
 

American Kestrel
Birding Basics: The Birds of the Pajaro Valley
is a fascinating class which will introduce you to the amazing birds here in our own community. Using digital slides and bird song recordings, you will learn the basics of birding in a supportive environment. You will begin building your basic field skills, learning how to use your field guide and optics and employing useful identification techniques.

Photo Vince Maidens, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. Source.

Snakes, Frogs, and Such

California kingsnake (Lampropeltis getulus californiae)

Join us at the WERC on Wednesday, Jan. 27th, 6:30-8:30 pm, to hear US Bureau of Land Management Ecologist Mike Westphal discuss the reptiles and amphibians, some of them rare or endangered, that live on the uplands and coastal terraces of our area. Admission is free.   Reserve a seat by contacting Kathy Fieberling at 831-345-1226 or kathyfieb@yahoo.com.

Photo: Squamata55. Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. Source.

Watch Awarded New Trails Contract with City
 
Watsonville SloughToward the end of 2009, the Watch began a new contract for the City of Watsonville's wetlands and trail system, to maintain trails and do native habitat restoration on the six miles of trails. The work includes setting up a demonstration restoration area behind the Ramsey Park Nature Center and recruiting and working with volunteers on the sloughs and uplands adjacent to the trails. This contract reflects our successful partnership with the City and our recognized expertise in restoration. Click here to learn about our new staff person for this contract.
2010 Docent Training Program  
 
Docent Lab Training
The 2010 Docent Training Program begins on Feb. 24. Docent trainees will be treated to an inside look at the Pajaro Valley and its wide network of wetlands. Local experts will share the ecology, history and restoration of the wetlands during this 7-week program, which includes Wednesday evening presentations and Saturday morning field trips.
Last Mile of Watsonville Slough
 
Last Mile of Watsonville Sloughs at confluence with Pajaro River. Arial photo.
In October our staff and volunteers completed removal of iceplant in our salt marsh restoration and enhancement project. This year we removed about 100 cubic yards of iceplant, which covered about a third of an acre on an area known as the Last Mile. We are also talking with the nearby homeowners association about doing some contract work as a part of their landscaping. Read about the Last Mile project.

The "Last Mile" is the final section of the Watsonville Slough, behind the Pajaro Dunes, at its confluence with the Pajaro River.
Grazing at DFG Property
 
Two sheep graze on DFG landThe projects on the Dept. of Fish and Game property are focused on grassland restoration with grazing animals and installation of native plants in the coastal prairie and slough edges. We are working on laying the foundation for a rotational grazing program in the coming spring, including writing grant proposals. Read more....
Teachers Trained to Monitor Wetlands
 
Teachers working near slough
Some happy middle school teachers learned how to sample for aquatic invertebrates in November. They are enthusiastic about having their students participate in Project Tierra and uploading their data to our future database.
Restoration Pays
 
California Conservation Corps workers in field
The Watch was delighted to be the beneficiary of a donation of $6,575 from the Wildlife Society. This was calculated as a $5 carbon offset fee from each of 1315 attendees at their annual conference, held in Monterey last September. Above we see the California Conservation Corps installing native coastal prairie plants on the Watsonville Sloughs Ecological Reserve. The Watch does well by doing good!
You Can Help!
 
Elementary school children working in WWW greenhouse
Your contribution to the Watch supports our work to protect, restore, and foster appreciation of the wetlands. Please support us when you receive our appeal in the mail, or contribute online by going to our website, www.watsonvillewetlandswatch.org. Your contribution is tax-deductible in accordance with IRS rules for non-profit organizations and is very much appreciated.
Watsonville Wetlands Watch advocates for wetland issues, educates elementary, middle, and high school students, restores degraded habitats, preserves what remains whole, and teaches appreciation for the unique beauty and life of the Pajaro Valley wetlands. In cooperation with numerous other agencies, we support studies of and planning for these sites.