2011 Northern California … Part 12

Yesterday was primarily a driving day so today I planned on stopping a little more as I had covered a pretty good chunk of the distance I needed to go.  I need to be in the Monterey Bay area by Friday for the first of three Pelagic trips I have planned.

I still have a few more pictures from yesterday afternoon that I’d like to share.  These were taken at various places along the Pacific Coast Highway.

Black Oystercatcher

Black Oystercatcher

Willow Flycatcher

Willow Flycatcher

Song Sparrow

Song Sparrow … This guy was a real poser!!

Lark Sparrow ... I almost missed this guy as he really blended in with the path that led down to the beach.

Lark Sparrow … I almost missed this guy as he really blended in with the path that led down to the beach.

Brandt's Cormorant

Brandt’s Cormorant

California Quail

California Quail

Ok, so I’m finally on a new day.  I guess for a driving day I had a pretty good picture-taking day too!  Today I stopped at Bodega Bay.  I spent the very early morning making my way out to the point stopping along the harbor.  It was very foggy so I wasn’t rushed as I hoped it might burn off quickly this morning.

Black Turnstone

Black Turnstone

There were a few birds around the harbor including Black Turnstone (L), Willet and a Common Loon.  The fog did start to diminish as I made my way out to the point and while it wasn’t perfect weather for taking landscape shots I did manage this one.

Bodega Bay ... You can see the fog was just barely off the point!!

Bodega Bay … You can see the fog was just barely off the point!!

One of the biggest surprises I had, at least bird wise, was seeing this Whimbrel up on top of a cliff picking through the flowers.  It allowed me to get dozens of pictures from a relatively close distance.

Whimbrel

Whimbrel

I left the Bogeta Bay area and headed over to Point Reyes National Seashore.  I had read quite a bit about the birding here and was a little disappointed with what I ended up seeing.  One problem was the fog that kept coming in and out and the other was that this place is enormous.  To really appreciate the park you would need a local guide to show you the hot spots.  I ended only spending about 4 hours before heading out and going to my campsite for the night.  I did get one cute picture of a Black-tailed Deer doing his best Michael Jordon impression!

Black-tailed Deer

Black-tailed Deer

So far of the 10 days or so of this trip I’ve only stayed in one Hotel.  I’ve camped in Yosemite and Lassen National Parks, I’ve spent a couple of nights in rest stops, a couple of late night stops at campgrounds that I never saw in the light of day but today I ended up in the nicest spot of the entire trip.

Samuel P. Taylor State Park campground was amazing.  Every spot was secluded in the woods with huge trees all around.  As disappointing of day I had at Point Reyes the wildlife in the campground more than made up for it.  Right in my campsite there were Spotted Towhee’s, Stellar Jays, Dark-eyed Juncos, Acorn Woodpeckers a couple of kinds of Sparrows, Squirrels and Chipmonks.  It was already getting dark and I know there were many more surprises if I had had more time to search.

Stellar's Jay

Stellar’s Jay

Spotted Towhee

Spotted Towhee

I spent a couple of hours searching in the morning and then it was off to Monterey.  I went over the Golden Gate Bridge and on down the coast … which will have to wait for tomorrow!!!

 

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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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