Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 30, 2015

Pt. Reyes Wildflowers, Birds & Photos

I spent the last three days at Pt. Reyes at what is often the height of wildflower season. The best wildflowers for diversity and interest were at Chimney Rock and Abbott’s Lagoon. See earlier post Chimney Rock, Pt. Reyes Wildflowers & Birds 3/27/15 for what I saw there.

There is also a nice display of California Poppies with Tidy Tip, Fiddleneck and alien Mustard at the end of the Kehoe Beach Trail above the beach. It seems throughout Pt. Reyes there are many areas where the California Poppies and Douglas Iris are doing well. There also are good numbers of the popular Pussy-ears Star-tulip at Chimney Rock and in other headland areas. Poison Oak is also plentiful so keep an eye out for it.

If you go out towards the abandoned ranch at the north end of the Park your chances of seeing Tule Elk are very good. We also saw a coyote and pocket gopher in that area as well. You can also walk down to McClure’s Beach for a scenic sand and rocky beach that is relatively uncrowded.

Abbott’s Lagoon is my favorite hike at Pt. Reyes as there is always something of interest happening there. The diversity of habitat results in many species being present. It includes Coastal Bluff with dominant the dominant shrubs of Coyote Bush and Yellow Bush Lupine, Grassy Headland, Lagoon, Sandy Beach and Dunes. We walked four miles including parking lot to bridge at end of trial, headlands south of bridge and beach and sand dunes north of the bridge. Poison Oak is plentiful next to trail and at headland.

The dominant birds Abbott’s Lagoon were White-crowned Sparrows with frequent appearances by Song Sparrows. Both were often singing. Ravens and Turkey Vultures were often seen flying overhead. Least Sandpipers and  American Robins were seen and  Lesser Goldfinch heard, all of which were listed either infrequent or not at all on ebird lists. Waterbirds were mostly absent. A few waterbirds were seen in the distance but the only ones that could be identified with binoculars were Bufflehead and Ruddy Duck. We identified 21 different birds today and also had a good view of a Brush Rabbit.

Many species of wildflowers were in bloom. Most plentiful along the trail were California Poppies and most abundant at the Beach was Yellow Sand Verbena. Pussy-ears Star-tulip could be found on the headland, but beware the Poison Oak.

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Click read more to see the Abbott’s Lagoon Plant and Bird List.

Abbott’s Lagoon Bird List  19 species (+2 other taxa)

Bufflehead  1

Ruddy Duck  3

California Quail

Double-crested Cormorant

Turkey Vulture

Northern Harrier  1

Least Sandpiper  7

gull sp.

Black Phoebe

American Crow

Common Raven

swallow sp.

Marsh Wren  1

Wrentit  heard only

American Robin  2

Common Yellowthroat

Spotted Towhee

Song Sparrow

White-crowned Sparrow

Red-winged Blackbird

Lesser Goldfinch       heard only

View this checklist online at

Abbott’s Lagoon Wildflower List

Carpopbortus edulis Ice Plant A

Toxicodendron diversilobum Poison Oak (Not in flower)

Lomatium utriculatum Spring Gold

Sanicula arctopoides Footsteps-of-spring

Achillea millefolium Yarrow

Agoseris apargiodes Seaside Dandelion

Grindelia stricta var. platyphylla Dune Gumplant

Lathenia californica Gold Fields

Layia carnosa Beach Layia

Amsinckia spectabilis var. spectabilis Coast Fiddleneck

Cryptantha leiocarpa Dune Cryptantha

Cakile marítima Sea Rocket A

Erysimum meziesii ssp. concinnum White Dune and Bluff Wallflower

Cardionema ramossimum Spiny Sandmat

Cerastiuim virde Field Chickweed

Stellaria meddia Common chickweed

Calystegia soldanella Beach Morning Glory

Marah fabaceus Green-flowered Manroot

Laythyrus littoralis Beach Pea

Lotus sp. Yellow Lotus

Lupius arboreus Yellow Bush Lupine

Lupinus chamissonis Fragrant Dune Lupine

Lupine sp.

Erodium sp. Filaree

Iris douglasiana Douglas Iris

Sisyrinchium bellum Blue-eyed Grass

Calochortus tolmiei Pussy-ears Star Tulip

Abronia latifolia Yellow Sand-verbena

Camissonia cheiranthifolia Beach Sunup

Eschscholzia californica California Poppy, coastal yellow

Plantago lanceolata Ribwort Plantain A

Armeria maritima Sea Pink, Thrift

Claytonia perfoliata Miners’s Lettice

Claytonia sibirica Candy Flower

Anagallis arvensis Scarlet Pimpernel             A

Ranunculus californicus California Buttercup

Ranunculus orthohynchus Large Marsh Buttercup

var. orthohynchus

Fragaria chiloensis Beach Strawberry

Rubus spectabilis Salmon Berry

Rubus ursinus California Blackberry

Triphysaria eriantha var. Rosea Rosy Butter-and-eggs

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