Posted by: Sandy Steinman | January 24, 2011

Winter at Abbotts Lagoon

Birds and Early Flowers at Abbotts Lagoon at Pt. Reyes

Driving to Pt. Reyes on Lucas Valley Road milkmaids are in bloom.   At Nicasio Reservoir there were White Pelicans.  At  a 9am arrival at Abbotts Lagoon there was only one other vehicle in the parking lot. (a truck whose horn alarm decided to go off though no one was near it).  It was quite peaceful (after the horn stopped) with very few people the first hour or so.

Abbotts Lagoon is more about birds than flowers this time of year, but there were still a few flowers to be seen.  Birds were California Quail, White-tailed Kite, Black Phoebe, Turkey Vulture, Raven, Crow, White- Crowned Sparrow, and  Scrub Jay along the trail.  At the lagoon, I identified American Coot, Ruddy Duck, Eared Grebe, Buffleheads, Red-breasted Merganser, Sanderling, and Least Sandpiper.  Also seen was a Cottontail Rabbit.  Flowers in bloom included Gum Plant, Sea Rocket, Beach Strawberry, Beach Suncup, California Blackberry, Cow Parsnip, Brass Buttons and Marsh Buttercup.  Most were just a few early specimens.

There were many footprints on the beach.  Not knowing anything about animal footprints, I was wondering if the large animal footprint might have been a mountain lion and the large bird prints a raven, heron or egret.

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  1. I would guess a dog left those tracks. It’s moving at a fair clip, more of a lope than a walk. In soft sand, and with a bit of wind, the claw marks of a dog could disappear. If I thought I might have a mountain lion trail I’d have checked for nearby human tracks of about the same age, and made a careful examination for claw marks, then followed the trail awhile to see if it eventually gave away its dog-ness.


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