J’accuse

I was wrongly accused. Jeered. In short order a mob of 15 or so individuals had formed, seemingly from nowhere. They gathered in groups around me. The more aggressive of them would wait for my back to be turned and then rush at me, only to retreat as I turned toward them.

Now, wrongly marked, I’m yelled at whenever I’m seen in the neighborhood.

Yep, all true, and it started a few days ago in Kimber Park.

It began shortly after I noticed a pair of wrens chasing away a fox squirrel on the Kimber Park open space. They were definitely defending their space. Quick, small, frenetic, they were tough to photograph. Here they are (click on any photo to enlarge it):

Bewick’s Wren on the Kimber Park Open Space

Another hungry Kimber Park Bewick’s Wren

This was a new bird for me to find on the open space, a Bewick’s Wren. These two were ravenous, grabbing bug after bug. Odds are very good that they have a nest nearby — I hope to locate it soon.

After finding the wrens I went to check on the White-Tailed Kite nest in Kimber Park. The kites have built a nest near the Mission Hills Tennis Club entrance. This is the second kite nest here in about 6 months, with the new nest a short distance from their previous nest. I’ve seen the kites sitting on the nest and wanted to check on their progress.

Once I was nearby, though, I heard another Bewick’s Wren, this one calling from the top of a tall Redwood. As I walked near the base of the Redwood, a pair of American Crows stealthily flew into the Redwood. They were at first interested in the singing wren, but then they noticed me.

That’s when things went wrong. A hidden Western Scrub Jay suddenly appeared among the Redwood branches behind the lower crow and fiercely jabbed it in the back with its beak.

Crafty Western Scrub Jay keeps a wary eye out.

The crow gave out a squawk, but apparently thought I had somehow hurt it from a distance. Guilt by association! Here he is, glaring at me.

Leering Crow

The crow began making alert calls over and over.

Kimber Park crow calls for back up.

Within a few minutes a murder of crows had formed.

A Murder of Crows

The injured crow began repeated dive-bombing me.

Dive bombing crow.

Yikes! I noticed that one of the White-Tailed Kites was now airborne, apparently concerned about the many crows, a natural enemy of the kites.

Kimber Park White-Tailed Kite soars over heckling crows

I now became worried that the many crows formed a danger to the nearby nesting kites. ūüė¶

It was time to go. I was going to have to check the kite nest another time. Unfortunately, I seem to have been falsely accused and now remain a marked man among the local crow populance. If you know anything about crow intelligence, it could be some time before that is changed around. Check out this NY Times article discussing how crows can identify and remember individual people:  Friend or Foe?

Another day, another wildlife adventure in Kimber Park.

Are you a Fremont resident and registered voter? If so, you can help preserve Fremont’s open spaces for future generations by signing the Protect Fremont Open Space petition. Stop by one of the fixed signature collecting sites, found at Where to Sign. Hurry, time is short!

Take a bike ride through the public easement traversing the Kimber Park Open Space

I thought it would be good to remind everyone of the beauty of the Mission Hills Tennis Club, which is part of the Kimber Park Open Space property.

Here’s a video of a bike ride through the park:

The huge Monterrey Pines shown at the beginning of the video were used by the white-tailed kites to raise their young this year at Kimber Park.

In the background you can hear the cyclone fence being put up. This fence blocks access to the public easement which had been in use by the neighborhood for 35 or more years.

Who remembers…

Who remembers when:

  1. There was a baby pool by court 7
  2. Court 7 was a sand court
  3. There was a lake back where the outer courts are
  4. There was a fireplace in where the exercise machines now stand
  5. The kitchen had an oven
  6. We had club pros such as Barry Gilbert, Kevin Pope, and Ken DeHart
  7. We had social team tennis in the spring AND in the fall with Kimber Park sweatshirts
  8. Jackie Dias cooked for the ladies luncheon every December after the tennis round robin
  9. The land was a chicken farm
  10. The Betsy Gravett tournament was a huge fundraising success

If you can remember most of the above‚Ķthen¬†you’ve¬†been around a long, long time!¬† Back then, there was so much going on and the club was thriving.¬† Young couples could play tennis because there was a babysitter on the premises.¬† The club pros taught groups of newbies so the number of USTA teams grew every year.¬† People were encouraged to ‚Äútry out‚ÄĚ the club facilities so hopefully they would join the club.¬† We had social events and tennis tournaments.¬† Friendships were established.

Now, who can remember when:

  1. The tennis courts¬†weren’t¬†cracked
  2. The hot tub worked
  3. There WAS a babysitter
  4. The exercise equipment all worked
  5. The roof¬†didn’t¬†leak
  6. You received an invoice and a newsletter in the mail
  7. The deck had boards that were even
  8. The club provided cups on the courts for water
  9. The club sold t-shirts and sweatshirts with the club logo
  10. It was hard to find parking on a Tuesday night

If you can remember even some of the items from this list, then you really have noticed the deterioration of the club in the last several years. ¬†¬†The club CAN be restored and made to thrive once again, but it will take time and a unified effort. ¬†If you¬†aren’t¬†already a member of the Save Kimber Park group, it‚Äôs not too late to join.

Plan to attend the City Council meeting on Tuesday, December 6 at 7:00 at 3300 Capitol Ave. Building A.   Help us save the open space of Kimber Park from developers.

Lois