2011 Northern California … Part 11

I finally wrapped up my day at Patrick’s Point SP around 3:30pm and seeing that it was still early, I decided to drive 20 miles North and visit a small section of the Redwoods National Park.

Redwoods National Park

Redwoods National Park

Pictures just can’t do much justice to really show how magnificent these trees are.  I used every technique I could think of to show some scale but nothing short of having someone with me to stand next to a tree seemed to work so you’ll have to trust me when I tell you that it is quite awe-inspiring.  When you think that most of these trees have been around for many hundreds of years it gives you hope for our planets ability to sustain itself.

I only spent an hour or so walking around in the trees.  There were not many birds around and I knew I would be driving through another large section of Redwoods as I made my way South.  As I was heading out of the park I noticed a large number of cars pulled over to the side of the road and shortly saw what had drawn everyone’s attention.

Red Elk ... There were 20-30 of these magnificent Elk between the highway and the ocean.

Red Elk … There were 20-30 of these magnificent Elk between the highway and the ocean.

What an amazing sight and they didn’t seem to notice that a dozen people were trying to take their pictures.  The beach here also was nice and had a couple of nice flocks of Gulls some Brown Pelicans, 3-4 Red-throated Loons and a couple more Western Grebes.

Fog Bank

Fog Bank

I’m not sure how well this picture shows the fog bank in the distance but let me assure you that when they say it can be nice one minute and fogged in 10 minutes later they are telling the truth.  Not long after this shot you couldn’t see 1/2 mile and being that it was still fairly early I decided to spend my first night of the trip in a hotel in Arcata.  I did a little laundry, had a wonderful shower and a good nights sleep.  Most people have a Hotel preference and mine has always been Holiday Inn Expresses and the one near the Arcata airport was exceptional and after a fantastic breakfast around 5:00am I hit the road for the long drive South I had planned for the day.

Amazing ... This cross section of tree shows 839 years of life.  If you click on the image you can read the tags.

Amazing … This cross-section of tree shows 839 years of life. If you click on the image and then click again to enlarge you can read the tags that really bring home just how old this tree is.

I didn’t make many stops heading South but did take a portion of the Ave of the Giants in the Humboldt Redwoods State Parks.  In my opinion this was much better section of forest than what I saw yesterday.  The road cuts right through this tremendous grove of trees and it something everyone should experience once in their lifetimes … definitely a place for a return trip for me.

My stops today were mainly at rest areas when the fog dissipated slightly.  I did not see as much of the coast as I would have liked due to the fog but what I did get to see was amazing!

Lincoln's Sparrow

Lincoln’s Sparrow

White-crowned Sparrow

White-crowned Sparrow

Savannah Sparrow

Savannah Sparrow

Song Sparrow

Song Sparrow

Unidentified Sparrow ... Anyone have an ID I love to hear it!!

Unidentified Sparrow … Anyone have an ID I love to hear it!!

At one of my rest stops I ran into a very nice group of birds including a couple of varieties of Sparrows.  There were a lot of ripe Blackberries at most of the stops and I joined the birds in enjoying these treats.  I had pretty purple hands by the time I was done munching!!

My drive was long and tough today and the only other stop was at Port Arena looking for the famous Laysan Albatross “Al”.  Unfortunately, the fog was in and it was blowing pretty hard so I did not stay long.  I found a campground rather late and don’t remember much other than crawling in back and falling right to sleep!!




About sheriffsmith

I have worked for the Broward County Sheriff's Office the last 13 years and spend most of my free time birdwatching / naturewatching and photographing the birds and nature that I encounter. I believe God has blessed us with a world that is so absolutely fascinating and wonderful and I'm doing my best to discover and show others all that he has provided us with in nature.
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