Sunnyvale Salt Pond Map #1

North is at the top. Stevens Creek is the left boundary and Guadalupe Slough is the boundary on the upper portion of the right side. The boundary on the lower right is the large pond at the Sunnyvale Water Pollution Control Plant. These ponds are nominally in Sunnyvale, but legally the western parts of AB1 and A2E are in Mountain View and A3N and part of A3W are in San Jose. Ownership and access cause interesting problems. The western one third of Crittenden Marsh belongs to Midpeninsula Open Space, the eastern two thirds belong to Moffett Field Federal Airfield. Salt Pond AB2 belongs to the San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge. I am not aware of any public easement beyond the edge of Crittenden Marsh, thus any birding out here requires permission from Cargill Salt.

Two times a year Cargill gives us permission for the Christmas and Summer bird counts. When access is available some of these levees are drivable by normal vehicles, some by bicycle, and all by foot. Note, however, that levee maintenance requires the transport of bay mud onto the levee surface and this mud is allowed to settle for a year or two before a new road is constructed. During these periods the levee is only traversable on foot.

Salt Pond B2, by the way, has lots of islands and these are very attractive to nesting birds. In the late 1980s these were used primarily by Forster's Terns, but now there are probably more California Gulls than terns. (By the way, it is 3 miles from the point on the far right of the map to the end of B2 or 5 miles from the Sunnyvale parking lot.) The pond marked "?" just at the end of the Moffett runway is an abandoned salt pond and the water level depends upon rainfall, but it is normally dry by summer's end. [WGB, 2 Jan 94]