Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 13, 2012

Point Reyes: Spring Wildflower and Bird Report

Spring birding and wildflower report for Pt. Reyes

I spent this past Sunday and Monday at Pt. Reyes National Seashore.  The goal was to see early spring wildflowers.  They are out and starting to bloom, but not in large numbers yet.  The birds stole the show. Highlights included seeing two Osprey in their nest near Inverness, two Northern Harriers doing courtship behavior at Abbott’s Lagoon, many ducks on Tomales Bay near Inverness, and a great birding morning at in the area behind Pt. Reyes Seashore Lodge where in less than a half hour there were many birds.  At the Lodge we identified 23 species, were unable to ID a few more, saw two Wood Ducks,  A Green Heron and Eurasian Collared Doves.

Spring Wildflowers are out. Abbott’s Lagoon has many species showing. Most numerous were Beach Strawberry and Sand Verbena.  At Abbott’s Lagoon be sure to go out to the dunes and up to the headland south of the bridge as those areas had many of the best flowers. As it was very windy on Monday we didn’t go to Chimney Rock, although I am confident flowers are starting to bloom there from the reports of others.  We did go out to the hills by the lighthouse parking lot (behind the rest rooms) and found this the most flowery spot that we saw.

With the Sunday morning rain and Monday winds, I didn’t do a lot of photography, but here are a few photos from the trip.

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Click Read More to see detailed Plant and Bird Lists

Flowers Seen Driving Along Lucas Valley Road
(from Highway 101 towards Point Reyes)

Bay Trees


Hog Fennel


Pt. Reyes National Seashore Mar 11, 2012

driving from Hwy. one to Abbott’s Lagoon stopping several places along way; 7 species

Turkey Vulture  3
Anna’s Hummingbird  2
American Crow  3
Marsh Wren  3
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  1
Song Sparrow  3
Red-winged Blackbird  1

Tomales Bay March 11

( from town of Inverness behind stores); 13 species (+3 other taxa) There were many more ducks that were on the bay and could not be identified without a scope.

American Wigeon  100
Mallard  10
Northern Shoveler 2
Northern Pintail  2
Western/Clark’s Grebe 1
Double-crested Cormorant  1
Great Blue Heron  2
Great Egret  1
Snowy Egret  2
Turkey Vulture  1
Osprey  2     (saw nest north of town)
Marbled Godwit  2
Short-billed/Long-billed Dowitcher  20
gull sp.  many
American Crow  3

Abbott’s Lagoon Plant List 3/11/12
(Trail, Dunes and Headlands South of the Bridge)

Baby Blue-eyes

Beach Dandelion

Beach Dandelion

Beach Evening Primrose

Beach Strawberry

Big Marsh Buttercup

Brass Buttons

California Blackberry

California Buttercup

California Poppy

Candy Stripe

Coast Fiddleneck (barely starting)

Cow Parsnip (just starting)

Footsteps-of-Spring (on headland)

Goldfields (on trail to on headland)

Gumplant (just starting)

Hedge Nettle (just starting)

Hog Fennel

Lupine, blue (on path up to headlands



Sea Rocket

Sea Thrift

Seaside Daisy

Silverleaf Lupine ( a few starting on the dunes)


Wild Cucumber

Yellow Bush Lupine (just starting)

Yellow Sand Verbena

Also seen alien Mustard, Radish, and Ice Plant

Birdlist for Abbotts Lagoon, Pt. Reyes Mar 11, 2012

    Trail and Dunes Area; estimates conservative; 23 species (+1 other taxa)

Gadwall  2
Mallard  10
Cinnamon Teal  1
Bufflehead  80
California Quail  7
Red-throated Loon  2
Pied-billed Grebe  1
Turkey Vulture  5
Northern Harrier  2     doing courting behavior
Red-tailed Hawk  1
American Coot  2
Western Gull  20
gull sp.  X
Northern Flicker  1
Black Phoebe  1
Western Scrub-Jay  1
American Crow  5
Common Raven  5
Marsh Wren  3
American Pipit  2
Spotted Towhee  1
Song Sparrow  5
White-crowned Sparrow  20
Western Meadowlark  1

Point Reyes Seashore Lodge, Marin, US-CA Mar 12, 2012

In back of Lodge in about half an hours , conservative estimates, 23 species identified , other birds present but not identified

Wood Duck  2
Green Heron  1
Band-tailed Pigeon  2
Eurasian Collared-Dove  2
Mourning Dove  3
Anna’s Hummingbird  1
Allen’s Hummingbird  1
Downy Woodpecker  2
Northern Flicker  3
Western Scrub-Jay  1
American Crow  3
Tree Swallow  2
Chestnut-backed Chickadee  2
Western Bluebird  1
American Robin  1
Spotted Towhee  1
California Towhee  2
Song Sparrow  2
White-crowned Sparrow  10
Dark-eyed Junco  3
House Finch  2
Lesser Goldfinch  5
House Sparrow  10

Flowers along side Main Road from Highway One to Light House March 12, 2012
(not complete just what noticed driving by and with occasional stops)

Buttercups (Ranunculus californica)

California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica)

Checker Mallow (Sidalcea sp.)

Douglas Iris (Iris douglasiana)

Field Chickweed (Cerastium arvense)

Footsteps of Spring (Sanicula arctopoides)

Lupines( lupines sp.)

Suncups (Camissonia ovata)

Wild Cucumber (Marah fabaceus)

Yellow Monkeyflower (Mimulus guttatus)

Wildflowers on Hills Next to Lighthouse Parking Lots  3/12/12
(behind rest rooms)

Baby Blue Eyes (Nemophila menziesii)

Beach Lasthenia (Lasthenia macrantha)

Buttercups (Ranunculus californica)

California Blackberry (Rubus ursinus)

California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica)

Checker Lily (Fritillary affinis)

Douglas Iris (Iris douglasiana)

Dudleya (not yet in flower, very red foliage)

Fiddleneck (Amsinckia spectabilis)

Field Chickweed (Cerastium arvense)

Footsteps of Spring (Sanicula arctopoides)

Goldfields (Lastenia  californica

Larkspur (Delphinium decorum)

Lupine (Lupinus nanus)

Miner’s Lettuce (Claytonia perfoliata)

Paintbrush-red (Castelleja franciscana)

Phacelia-California (Phacelia californica)

Seaside Daisy (Erigeron glauca)

Wallflowers-white and pink (Erysimum concinnum& Erysimum spp.)

Wild Cucumber (Marah fabaceus)

an interesting foliose orange lichen


  1. […] Point Reyes: Spring Wildflower and Bird Report ( 0.000000 0.000000 To Share Click on:AddthisLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. […]


  2. Wood ducks and a green heron behind the lodge? I’ll have to check that out. Thanks Sandy.


  3. Hi Sandy, Great report! I’m taking my elderly parents to Pt. Reyes March 24 – 26. My mom’s avid about wildflowers (I’m a complete novice) Thanks for all the details, it will certainly help me with planning.


  4. […] Point Reyes: Spring Wildflower and Bird Report ( 0.000000 0.000000 To Share Click on:AddthisLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. […]


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