Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 5, 2012

Birding and Botanizing Pt. Reyes

A Two Bittern Day

We made our first trip of the year to Point Reyes and spend most of the day at Abbott’s Lagoon but there were also some interesting things along the way.  It’s mainly a birding time of the year but some flowers are out.

The highlight of the day was seeing two American Bitterns in the small pond on the south side of the trail on the way back. This was my first two bittern day. Most of the birds were in the Lagoon area.  There were many White-crowned sparrows and Yellow-rumped Warblers along the trail. There were also a more American Robins and Black Phoebes than I have seen on previous trips. There was a white morph of a Red-tail Hawk on a roadside fence post that was possibly the same one I saw and photographed the end of last year in the same area west of Nicasio. Also Wild Turkeys along Sir Francis Drake.

There were few flowers along the trail except for a Blackberry.  The flowers were in the sandy area after the bridge and up in the dunes. The most prevalent flowers today were many pretty Beach Strawberries.  Along Pierce Pt. Road there was one  large very flowery specimen of Wild Currant.

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Click read more for bird and plant lists.

Pt. Reyes–Abbotts Lagoon, Marin, US-CA Feb 5, 2012

Bird List 23 species (+2 other taxa)

Gadwall  X
Northern Shoveler  X
Bufflehead  X
Ruddy Duck  X
Pied-billed Grebe  X
Eared Grebe  X
Western/Clark’s Grebe  X
Brown Pelican  X
American Bittern  2
Turkey Vulture  X
Northern Harrier  X
American Coot  X
Sanderling  X
gull sp.  X
Black Phoebe  X
Western Scrub-Jay  X
Common Raven  X
Marsh Wren  X
Western Bluebird  X
American Robin  X
Yellow-rumped Warbler  X
Song Sparrow  X
White-crowned Sparrow  X
Golden-crowned Sparrow  X
Red-winged Blackbird  X

Also seen:

Pierce Pt. Road: California Quail
Nicasio Valley Road southeast of Nicasio: Red-tail Hawk (light morph)
Lucas Valley Road: Wild Turkey

Plant List

Sea Rocket
Beach Suncup
Sea Rocket
Sand Verbena
Wall Flower
and lots of Beach Strawberry

Pierce Pt. Road: a large very flowery specimen of Wild Currant


  1. How wonderful. You have inspired me to make a long overdue visit to one of my favorite spots! Hope I get to see those Bitterns:)


    • Good Luck. In the past I have found that Bitterns sometimes hang around for a while at Abbotts Lagoon, which is also one of my favorite spots.


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