Goleta Pier Log
Finally - the long awaited moment! At 3pm today the Slough
will be officially breached. The above picture shows the two berms
which will be removed allowing the impounded water to reach the ocean and
the waiting seabirds and hungry fish.
2006 (total): 103 days, 169 hours
2007 (to date): 227 days, 400.25 hours
Finally finished the 'deep' cleaning this
morning and the pier is back the way it was when I was sidetracked in September
by things medical ... now I will be able to breeze through the daily cleaning
in 2 hours or less. Spoke with the head ranger yesterday and maybe the
deck will get power washed this weekend.
predicted high tides and a bar across the mouth of the Slough for the past
month make for exciting possibilities this weekend ... the annual breaching.
For several weeks now the shore birds and
pelicans have been massing on the adjacent beach in anticipation of the
sudden bounty which will be theirs when the impounded water is finally
The best possibility for natural breaching occurs on Sunday with
the 5.74 foot tide at 8:18am.
the Slough, which has been accumulating more and more baitfish with each
incoming high tide, is being visited daily by several Ospreys to the delight
of the many bird watchers in the area.
After spending the previous two afternoons
totally enthralled with their hunting successes I decided yesterday to
stalk them with my camera. However the wind came up riffling the surface
of the water and obscuring the baitfish.
Four hours of patient observation produced
just one photo. Maybe today they will be back.
I have been concerned about the recent
increase in rowdiness on the pier and vicinity so it was heartening to
learn that the Sheriffs detained 5-6 young men in the east parking lot
last night for setting off fireworks.
Kudos to our local police for their immediate
response ... hopefully by staying on top of such rowdiness the pier and
adjacent parking lots will be a bit safer and more people will be encouraged
to visit the pier after dark.
a poorly attended opening ... somebody forgot to tell the birds :)
This couple however had been told by the dozer operator to return
from farther down the beach before 3pm and chose to ignore the warning
effectively stranding themselves.
Fortunately for them some bystanders took pity and advised them
of a path up the slope where they could then hoof it all the way across
More Mesa back to Patterson Avenue.
Over the past several years I have seen a number of people similarly
stranded resulting in a call for help and the dispatch of rescue crews.
I always wondered why they weren't simply told to walk out on the path.
Perhaps the path should be more clearly marked including appropriate signage.
The earthquake yesterday was received with
typical Santa Barbara indifference since so many of the natives (myself
included) are almost non-reactive to any quake that measures less than
a magnitude of 5.
However a little
research using the coordinates published at the Latest
Earthquake site revealed that it was centered on the historical Mesa-Rincon
Creek fault zone... a fault implicated in the disastrous June
29th, 1925 quake that literally brought down the town.
The two quake sites are shown above.
That nineteen miles long fault is a reverse
slip fault meaning, in this case, that the ocean side uplifts and overrides
the shore side. In the process it created the bluff above the Mesa and
extends past Carpinteria to Sheperd Mesa.
Looking on the bright side a larger quake
on that fault could produce enough uplift to solve or at least delay the
effects of the inevitable rise in sea level attributable to global warning
:) Small consolation though for the amount of damage that would ensue.
This morning before I started cleaning the pier I stopped by the
restaurant's dumpsters because I noticed a large flock of seagulls clustered
there. The lids to the dumpsters had been left open exposing the trash
to the birds.
Looking closer I was confronted with this horrible scene ...
somehow one of the birds had become trapped in the fence and was left hanging
by one leg.
I didn't want to jump to conclusions but I failed to see how
the bird could have become wedged so deeply down between the fence slats
without some help. To be fair I checked with June Taylor from the Wildlife
Care Network and was told that since the bird seemed otherwise healthy
it was unlikely that it had been captured and deliberately hung from the
Still given that the park has experienced animal torture
and mutilation previously I am concerned. The bird was released and
flew away before I could determined the amount of damage, if any, to its
For more information on the Wildlife Care Network or to report
injured birds call the WCN Hotline at (805) 966-9005. The
Network has posted an excellent page on the proper
response to wildlife emergencies. Injured seals,
dolphins, or whales should be reported to the Marine
Mammal Center at (805) 687-3255.
is one of the swans that have been visiting the area for the past week.
Three were first seen in the UCSB
lagoon and more recently at Rancho Mobile Home Park lake.
Question is ... what type of swan is it?
There are three species that are commonly found in this area
(Trumpeter, Tundra and Mute) but only the Mute
Swan (Cygnus olar) has a light colored (orange) bill and an 'S' curved
neck pointing downwards.
A local photographer, Jim Greaves, has posted
pictures of all three found within the past four years in the Goleta
Now that I am no longer actively fishing I have begun to take
an interest in local birds and wildfowl. The Goleta Slough is an excellent
location to observe large numbers of different species. It will be interesting
to explore it in the coming months.