Posted by Eileen McLaughlin, a resident of another community, on Jun 26, 2012 at 11:05 am
It is a little difficult to be certain from the story's site description but I believe acreage referenced is owned by the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge. The Refuge adjoins the SF PUC easement for the Hetch Hetchy pipeline. If so, I'd describe the site as being the last former salt pond on the right on eastward approach to the Dumbarton Expressway.
This site and all other retired salt ponds on the Menlo Park shoreline are all part of the Refuge and of the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project. That project's plan, finalized in early 2010, has always included provision of habitat for snowy plovers. It's first phase of restoration restored the University Avenue end of this pond as snowy plover habitat. Throughout the 15,000+ acres of this restoration project, snowy plover habitat is a consideration wherever suited. When snowy plovers lost their preferred coastal beach habitats, they adopted the broad expanses of Bay salt ponds.
Locally in winter, these birds are often seen in mixed shorebird groups rather than in flocks of their own species. On our coastal beaches the little birds that are commonly running swiftly in little flocks are sanderlings.