The San Luis Rey River begins near Palomar Mountain in Eastern San Diego and ends fifty five miles west in the city of Oceanside. The river drains a watershed of 360,000 acres, the largest watershed within San Diego county. Up until two years ago the mouth of the river was cut off from flowing to the sea with a small section of land. The land was also fenced off in order to protect the Western Snowy Plover’s habitat, a federally threatened bird. The strip of sand and a portion of the Snowy Plover fencing was brought down with a storm, and the rest of the fencing was completely taken down over time (although the Snowy Plover signs remain). I keep waiting for the Snowy Plover Protection Police to get wind of the lack of fencing and construct something new and improved overnight, but so far, nothing.
The mouth of the San Luis Rey River has become a more popular hangout with tourists since the removal of the fencing, but I have never partaken out of concern for the Snowy Plover (and being caught red handed by the Snowy Plover Protection Police). Since their breeding season is March through September, we decided now was a good time to go ahead and explore the mouth of the river, which entailed throwing rocks, chasing birds, and being caught in some rain. (It pretty much checked every box on a toddler checklist.)