Posted by: Sandy Steinman | December 10, 2012

Pt. Reyes: Birds, Elk, Lichens And Flowers

I just came back from two days at Pt. Reyes looking at birds, elk, flowers and lichens. Here is a location by location report and some photos.

Abbotts Lagoon: Birds, Deer and Flowers

On Sunday December 9, we did a five-mile hike in the Abbotts Lagoon area of Pt. Reyes. It included the main trail, hiking through the dunes, around the lagoon and along the beach. We were able to identify 31 bird species and saw at least a few more. The bird of the day was an American Bittern in the reeds across the lagoon just before getting to the bridge at the one mile point. Other highlights were seeing a Pacific Loon, American Kestrel and Northern Harrier. The most common birds were White-crowned Sparrows, Pied-billed Grebes, American Coots, Gulls, Ravens, Black Phoebes, and Turkey Vultures. Also seen were a number of Black-tailed Deer. There are even a few native wildflowers in bloom including Beach Evening Primrose, Beach Dandelion, Gumplant, Sea Rocket, a one yellow Bush Lupine. To see the full bird list for the day go to: Abbotts Lagoon Birdlist

Pt. Reyes Seashore Lodge: Birds

We spent the night at Pt. Reyes Seashore Lodge which has grounds that include a stream, woodlands, shrubs and lawn creating an excellent birding habitat. Last time I was here I saw Wood Ducks and a Green Heron (no such luck today). Additionally our room had a bay window that turned the room into an excellent birding blind. The day started with a Great Blue Heron flying by. In all we identified seventeen species including seeing collared doves which we don’t get to see at home. We did walk the grounds as well as birding from the window.  I also may have seen a pygmy nuthatch and heard bushtits but left them off the list as I wasn’t confident with my I.D.’s Here is the full birdlist:  Pt. Reyes Seashore Lodge birdlist

Pt. Reyes Visitor Center: Birds

Next we stopped at the visitor center to see what new information they had. We saw Acorn Woodpeckers and California Quail and eleven other bird species around the visitor’s center and in the picnic area across the road. I heard a number of bird calls that I was unable to ID here as well as at the lodge this AM.  Added incentive for taking another birding by ear class which I am doing in January.   Pt. Reyes Visitor Center birdlist

Tomales Point: Tule Elk, Birds, and Lichens

Finally, we drove towards Tomales Point to see the Tule Elk. Fortunately, the elk were cooperative today and good looks were plentiful. We also spent some time around the abandoned ranch doing close-up and macro photos of lichens.  Nine species of birds were also seen. Tomales Pt. area birdlist

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  1. Sandy: Love your posts and your images, but I find the little white “stars” that drift across your writings and your images distracting.



    • Its a winter snowflake thing that wordpress has. Some people like it. Others don’t. I’ll leave it on unless I get more complaints until Jan. Thanks for the comments and looking at Natural History Wanderings


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