Week 4 of my 52 New Things Project takes me to the Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge, just south of Imperial Beach near the border with Mexico. Ellen and I were out driving on a Sunday and trying to find a beach or stretch of coast that we hadn't visited before. On this day, we made our way to IB and the southwest corner of San Diego County. From the parking lot where Seacoast Drive ends, you can walk either along the beach or along a large dune that looks as though it runs all the way to Tijuana! This presents amazing vistas in all directions, with San Diego to the north, the mountains to the east, and Tijuana less than a mile or two to the south.
"Tijuana Slough Refuge is located in the most southwestern corner of the contiguous United States. It is one of southern California's largest remaining salt marshes without a road or railroad trestle running through it. Within this international bioregion, the refuge maintains essential habitats for many migrating shorebirds and waterfowl along the Pacific Flyway. Tijuana Slough provides critical habitat for the Federally-listed endangered California least tern, light-footed clapper rail, least Bell's vireo, and salt marsh bird's-beak, an endangered plant species. Designated as a Globally Important Bird Area by the American Bird Conservancy, over 370 species of birds have been sighted on the refuge."