As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Tanker spill causes concern for bird sanctuary, ocean as crews continue clean up

8:50 PM, May 16, 2016

Crews will be back Tuesday for day five of the clean up of thousands of gallons of diesel that spilled into the San Diego River.

"This is bad news,” said Jim Peugh of the San Diego Audobon Society.

At first sight, Peugh doesn't like what he sees as he surveys the damage along the San Diego River.

"Oh God. There's diesel coming up off the bottom or some kind of oil coming off the bottom,” he said.

Thousands of gallons of diesel came from a tanker that overturned Friday on the Morena Boulevard off-ramp and landed on its side.

Peugh worries for the wildlife that take refuge in this part of the river which runs through the Mission Valley Preserve.

"There's a lot of ducks that like this fresh water kind of environment. One good news is this isn't the time of year that huge number of ducks are in San Diego,” said Peugh.

But he's concerned about a nearby bird sanctuary, home to two endangered birds. The California Least Tern is just moving into San Diego for nesting season.

"They actually dive in the water and catch really small fish,” said Peugh.

The Ridgway Rail is also endangered. Peugh says at this point, it appears the diesel isn't reaching its habitat in the salt marsh part of the river which is closer to I-5.

"You can see up the river, they've blocked it off, so the diesel doesn't get passed that point. You see there are two white lines across the river,” added Peugh.

Peugh said that's a good sign. Those two white booms are keeping the diesel from spreading down into the ocean. 

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