Welcome to the Friends of Pajaro Dunes website!

Our website is active again so please visit regularly for the latest information on sightings, events, and related stories of interest to Pajaro Dunes homeowners and guests. Additionally, we are thrilled that Pelican homeowner Mike Broadsky has agreed to be our official photographer. Prepare to be awed by Mike’s stunning images that we will share with you on a regular basis.

This image of a Great Horned Owl was taken at the 4th of July Bird Walk.

The bird, perched in the eucalyptus trees by the Roost at Pelican, was well camouflaged, but not sufficiently to evade the alert eyes of our budding birders.

FoPD now has a Facebook page!

We welcome visitors and new friends. We’d love to have you contribute sightings, photos and stories on this page. Visit our Facebook page.

Bird Walks

Jim and Sue Liskovec once again volunteered their time to lead a most successful 4th of July walk. July 4th is early for the fall migration but one never knows what exciting sightings Pajaro Dunes will provide and participants, 22 in all, were not disappointed. The highlights were a great horned owl (see above) and an osprey over the estuary fishing for his lunch. In addition participants learned lots from Jim and Sue about the birds more commonly seen at Pajaro Dunes. Jim is especially skilled in identifying birds by their song and call. We hope to entice Jim and Sue to share their knowledge with us again later this year.

Osprey with fish

American Goldfinch

In May, Gary Page from PRBO led a Snowy Plover tour with approximately 15 participants. Gary is a leading expert on the Snowy Plovers and he shared his scientific insights concerning their feeding, courtship, breeding, nesting and young care. Gary mimicked the “broken wing walk” typically displayed by the male to distract predators from his precious chicks.

The 8th Annual Monterey Bay Birding Festival is September 13 to 16, 2012

There will be 52 Field Trips including visits to the habitats of Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Elkhorn Slough, and Pinnacles National Monument and pelagic trips. There are lectures, workshops, talks, family days, and a vendors’ faire. It is possible to see over 200 bird species.

Check out their website for the schedule and to register.

2012 Contributions

FOPD continues to support our friends and partners at WERC.

The Wetlands Education Resource Center (WERC) is located at Pajaro Valley High School. FOPD has focused its fund-raising efforts on this program for six years and in the past have provided much needed technology and IT assistance. This year’s grant was unrestricted.

Read more about the WERC and its amazing programs here.

$500 Donation to PRBO.

This is quite a story! You are familiar with some of the work of PRBO as you see their devoted research staff monitoring the nesting Western Snowy Plovers.

Last Christmas we received a $57 donation from two ten year old girls who did a school project on the threatened Snowy Plovers. They were so moved by the plight of the bird that they raised $57 through bake sales and other endeavors. Their research on organizations that support the bird led them to the FoPD website and then their selection of FoPD as the beneficiary. FoPD in turn made a much more substantial donation on their behalf to PRBO.

Read more about PRBO under the Community tab, Links to Learning Resources

Read our latest newsletters

As part of our annual fund-raising campaign this December, we have created a two page, full color newsletter. This newsletter was mailed to all Pajaro Dunes homeowners during the first week of December. Included with the newsletter was a contribution form. Please complete the form and make your tax-deductible donation today!

Here are the last three newsletters that you can read online. Enjoy!

FoPD 2012-13 Newsletter
FoPD 2011-12 Newsletter
FoPD 2010-11 Newsletter

FoPD Projects

Restoring the Last Mile (RLM)

President Ron Duke is working with Pajaro Dunes North Association manager and WERC on a plan for removal of invasive non-native species. We anticipate this will be a two to three year project involving hundreds of person hours. Fortunately our costs will be reduced if, as anticipated, WERC recruits significant numbers of school volunteers to help with ice plant removal. The students benefit as they accrue time toward their community service requirement and get to enjoy some associated beach time. Additionally, association staff have committed to dispose of the offending plants.

Dunes Restoration Project

This is another substantial project and will require that we develop a planting guide. Sounds simple, however, the different dune zones or bands require different approaches and conditions for harvesting and germination. With this in mind it became apparent that this work would be needed prior to building the greenhouse since arranging the greenhouse planting layout would vary by type of plant. So for now the greenhouse has been tabled. Meantime we are hoping to recruit a UCSC intern to work on the planting guide.