|Hotel on Tamale Bay|
Right outside our window there were a few bird feeders that were frequented by Western Scrub Jays and House Finches.
Far bellow us tiny dots where constantly flying around, when I finally got a scope set up I could see cormorant, guillemots, and gulls all flying to and from the cliffs. For every bird I managed to identify at such a great windy, misty distance there were 20 or so that I could hardy see. The cormorants I was completely lost on. Every time I saw one I thought I could ID it would move slightly and turn into a another species. I decided I'd wait to see cormorants at a different location (and the patience paid off).
|Pt Reyes Light house|
|View from the lighthouse|
Day two at Point Reyes was an interesting one. We'd planned on going to the banding station there but the one we found was closed because of the wind. While deciding where to go next I spotted Chestnut-backed Chickadees, Anna's Hummingbirds, Band-tailed Pigeons, and a Bewick's Wren! All while I was standing in the parking lot. While standing around one of the interns informed us of another banding station in the park that we should try. They said it was a better station and had more birds. We piled in the car and headed on over.
So far all my experience with banding stations has been through Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory. They take more of an educational stance with banding. The Pt. Reyes Station was almost strictly for scientific study. They had no table, three banders and no excited children standing around. They banded, measured, weighed and let the birds go. Fast and efficient. They had twenty to thirty birds on their hooks which is often more than we catch in a day at Audubon. It was here I saw my first Wrentits of the trip! So far I'd only heard them mocking us from the bushes. Seeing them in the hand was very exciting.
|Wrentit in the net|
We passed a Great Blue Heron sitting in a tree and moved onto the sandy bank where we found a strange mystery bird sitting on the shore panting. Its feet sat way on the back of its body, it was slender and had a long slightly upturned bill. I new it had to be a loon of some sort but living in Colorado I have not had the chance to get a good look at many loons. Upon returning I posted the photos to facebook (of course) and immediately it was IDed as a Red-throated Loon based on its light plumage, and upturned bill. Loons don't usually sit on the shoreline nor do they breed in California so I'm not sure what was goin on with this guy.
Thanks for reading! -Megan