Monday, 30 March 2015

California 15th February 2015

I started the day in the Golden Gate Park where a Rustic Bunting had been wintering for much of the winter. I managed to find the right spot and was joined by half a dozen other birders later on. There were plenty of sparrows and juncos feeding in the bunting spot but despite waiting for an hour and a half it was a no show during that whole time. I would have seen it had I stuck it out but I really didn't have enough time to be wasting on a single species even if they are very rare in the States. Lots of other birds and places to see.

I headed north from here, thankfully the traffic wasn't too bad as I was leaving San Francisco. It was a bit surreal driving over the Golden Gate bridge having seen so many pictures of it and seeing it in numerous films. Point Reyes National Seashore was my next destination. This is a huge area encompassing a large range of different habitats. I had a short walk around the visitor centre. It was very busy here which wasn't surprising considering it was a Sunday. Parking was a bit of an issue which wasn't helped by a few snarky folk with horse boxes. "Horsey" people only just come second to golfers in my distain league! I had my two ticks of the day here - Pacific Wren and California Quail.

I then headed out towards the headland of Point Reyes but had to get hop onto a big shuttle bus out to the Chimney Rock. I didn't bother with the Lighthouse on the way along the way as most on the tourists hopped off here. There was a Northern Elephant Seal colony viewpoint near the Lifeboat Station which gave good but distant views of about two hundred seals on the pebble beach included several dead pups which may have been accidently crushed by the enormous battling bulls. A few of the "beachmasters" looked like they had been branded with identifying marker numbers. I had four Brown Boobies out on Chimney Rock itself in with a few cormorants and gulls. There was also a Great Horned Owl calling from the Lifeboat Station but I didn't have time to look for it as the last bus of the day was due to leave around the same time. On the way back to the car park a few calving Friesian cows seemed to be a big novelty for most on the bus. Probably not a common sight in suburban California in fairness!

Two Brown Boobies

Four Brown Boobies

Female California Quail

Male California Quail

American Robin

Black Phoebe,

Black Phoebe

Fox Sparrow (Slate-coloured?)

Golden-crowned Sparrow

Golden-crowned Sparrow

Hermit Thrush

Pacific Wren

Savannah Sparrow

Male Townsend's Warbler

Male Western Bluebird
White-tailed Deer

White-tailed Deer

White-tailed Deer

White-tailed Deer

Tule Elk

Bull Northern Elephant Seal

Mother and pup Northern Elephant Seal

Northern Elephant Seals
 

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