Throughout the pandemic, the benefits of the great outdoors have taken center stage. We’ve all heard that vitamin D can boost your mood, but during the pandemic being outdoors is the perfect way to stretch your limbs, dust off the cabin fever, and stay socially distanced. Since the beginning of time, people have suspected that nature has healing powers. The fresh air, sun, and trees can have an unexplained calming effect on your body and mind. Combining nature with exercise can go even further when the endorphins start flowing. In the age of quarantine, there has never been a better time for the benefits of getting outside. Beyond the psychological benefits, nature has been rumored to help lower blood pressure, improve focus, and mitigate the negative side effects of aging. Taking a walk can relieve the body of cortisol and adrenaline and improve mobility. In Carlsbad, the outdoors are woven deep into the fabric of our city. With year-round sun, it doesn’t matter what time of year it is. Golfing, surfing, and lounging in the sand are easy to come by. But Carlsbad also has a ton of unique outdoor activities that anyone can enjoy. If you’re looking to get outside and try something new, grab some binoculars and go birdwatching at the Batiquitos Lagoon.
Bird watching is a hobby that, no pun intended, has flown under the radar for quite some time. Bird watching aficionados are well aware of the benefits of their pastime. But for many, birdwatching is just as foreign as taking time to stop and smell the roses. During the hustle and bustle of life it’s easy to forget to look up every once in a while. However, if you have the time, you might pick up on things you’d never known were there. At the Batiquitos Lagoon, there are hundreds of different native species of birds gracing the ground and soaring through the sky.
When you’re birding, location is key. At the Batiquitos Lagoon, you’ll need to navigate the terrain to find the right spot to cast your gaze. Walking along the trail to find your lookout will get your blood pumping and trigger those outdoor endorphins. Once you’ve found a post, the search for wildlife can peak the senses. Like fishing, bird watching takes patience. Honing your skills can reduce stress and relieve anxiety. When a bird flies overhead, quick reflexes are a must.
The Batiquitos Lagoon has over 500 acres of coastal salt marsh. It is one of the few remaining tidal wetlands on the coast and is protected by local game sanctuaries and bird estuaries. It is home to over 180 different species of birds at any given time, and the tidal mudflats make it a popular spot for outdoor enthusiasts. A full list of the types of birds found at the Lagoon can be found here. From shorebirds to wading birds, waterfowl, to raptors and land birds – the Lagoon is full of wildlife to keep you entertained as you explore the walking paths. The nature trail on the north side of the Lagoon is open to the public and is approximately 2 miles long. There are five different parking lots sprinkled along the trail, and the Nature Center provides guided walking tours. Since the Lagoon is an ecological reserve, the plants, animals, and habitats within the Lagoon are protected.
For a wintertime activity that will get your heart pumping and heighten your senses, take your binoculars to the Lagoon and grab a trail guide to get insider info on points of interest along the way. Wintertime is the perfect time to see a quick-moving Killdeer running along the mudflats. Enjoy the sun, breathe in the fresh air, and take a few minutes to ‘look up’ at the Batiquitos Lagoon – you won’t regret it!