Local Egret Colony Thriving on Bay Farm

In the spring of 2011, Bay Farm residents enjoyed the return of an egret colony, with both snowy and great egrets nesting in a pine tree on the main lagoon, according to resident Reyla Grager. This has been the pattern over the past four years, she says, adding that the snowy egret is the official bird of Alameda.

The great egret is considered a federally threatened species, according to Grager, while the smaller snowy egret is listed as endangered – though it’s thriving in Alameda. (She explained issues affecting egrets in the area in the most recent issue of “The Gull’s Call,” a Harbor Bay publication.)

A count in the Bay Area recently found 29 egret nests, including the Bay Farm colony.

Residents who find injured baby or other birds, should contact members of the Bay Farm Nature Connection, including Graber, who can be reached at 510-865-6645.

The Bay Farm birding group is hosting its first bird-watching walk on October 15. Participants will meet at 9 a.m. at Coffee & Tea Traders in the Harbor Bay Landing shopping area.


San Bruno Fire Visible from Bay Farm, Crown Beach

The massive fire, apparently caused by a broken natural-gas pipeline in San Bruno at about 6 p.m. Thursday, September 9, was completely visible across the San Francisco Bay in Bay Farm Island and western areas of Alameda in the early evening.

About a dozen Bay Farm residents discussed the cause of the blaze at 6:30 p.m., when there was still suspicion that a plane had crashed in the Peninsula.

Within the first hour of the blaze, a large cloud of smoke had formed, but it was being pushed south by the wind.

Planes could be seen departing out of San Francisco International Airport, as well as from the Oakland International Airport, and the Harbor Bay Ferry was operating.

One San Bruno resident posted a photo on the Bay Area News Group website, and local TV stations are carrying live photage of the fire.

Flames from the fire reportedly been as high as 50-60 feet high, and several homes and cars have been destroyed in the residential area of San Bruno where the inferno is situated.

Firefighters from Alameda County are helping to put out the blaze.