Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Viewing Morro Rock from Sweet Springs Nature Preserve in Los Osos

Sweet Springs Nature Preserve of Los Osos in San Luis Obispo County, California, is located at the southern end of Morro Bay, from where you can view the Sand Split and Morro Rock. You do not need to look that far if you are just interested in watching birds. A boardwalk brings you to an observation deck next to the bay shore. Presence of shorebirds and waterfowl depends on the tide.

Birds that live in or visit the estuary include the Long-billed Curlew, Bryant's Savannah Sparrow, California Black Rail and Swainson's Thrush. A bird watching board featuring many other species is located next to the observation deck.

As the name of the preserve indicates, natural freshwater springs occur here, found in upland areas. A small but stable population of Southwestern Pond Turtles lives in the this aquatic habitat. Other rare or endangered species, whose range is now mostly limited to sand dune and scrub areas in the
Montaña de Oro State Park, also live in the Sweet Springs Preserve.

Getting there

From Highway 1, take the South Bay Boulevard exit and go south to Los Osos. Pass Pismo Avenue and turn right on Ramona Avenue, pass 4th Street and find parking on Ramona Street, when you arrive at the preserve, which is to your right. There are different entry points. One trail begins at the “A Morro Coast Audubon Society Sanctuary” marker with the illustration of a belted kingfisher on it.

[1] Sweet Springs Nature Preserve.
[2] Sweet Springs Nature Preserve in Additional Audubon Facilities in California.

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