Posted by: atowhee | May 1, 2011


This morning’s weather on the Pt. Reyes Peninsula was perfect.  Clear skies.  Just enough breeze to let you smell the ocean.  Mild temp, around 60.  And that coastal clarity of light that makes everything crisp, like a cinematic close-up.

This guy was just a few yards from my car.  He literally did not want to give up his post.  He was worried that I would have vole envy?

Alcids aplenty.  How many Common Murre on this large rock just below the Pt. Reyes Lighthouse?  Thousands?  And in the water were dozens of their cousins, Pigeon Guillemot.  On land the guillemot is not visible as it nests in cliff-face cavities.  The murres will nest on the flatter parts of offshore rocks, in the open.  Ravens and gulls are a constant threat to eggs and then the hatchlings, of course.

I only saw two shorebird species on the Peninsula this morning.  Some Black Oystercatchers screaming around the rocks far below the cliff top where I was.  And this fellow in a tiny roadside pond around G Ranch.

At the Lighthouse there was a handful of Brown Pelicans who apparently did NOT migrate south for the breeding season which is right now.  Here they are with some Pelagic Cormorants.

At Bear Valley Visitors Center: singing Wilson’s Warbler, Black-headed Grosbeak and Warbling Vireo were tuning up for my Dawn Chorus field trip there tomorrow morning.  In Giacomini Marsh at the south end of Tomales Bay: White Pelican, four Willets, 2 Short-billed Dowitchers and a lone Bonaparte’s Gull.  And many dozens of late migrating dabblers: from Shovelers to Green-winged Teal.

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