Blogs

Four otters seen on island

I had a great time scoping at Bird Island this morning.  I have previously seen otters hauled out here and there at Point Lobos before, but was amazed this morning to see FOUR otters hauled out together on a rock just north of Bird Island.  There were two moms and their pups!  They were on the rock for quite a while before a pesky Western Gull pestered them past their tolerance level, and they headed into the water.  The white faces of the moms are clearly evident in the photo.

Precious moment at Point Lobos

A memorable experience happened when a six year old Japanese boy shyly walked up the trail where I had a scope set up during an Easy Access Adventure. With the scope adjusted to its lowest height, I got down on one knee to get face to face with this young man. I told him this scope is set up just for people his size, and then asked him if he could say harbor seal. The child looked up at his Dad and his father said go ahead. "Harbor seal" he said with a smile on his face, his parents gleaming.

Precious moment at Point Lobos

A memorable experience happened when a six year old Japanese boy shyly walked up the trail where had a scope set up during an Easy Access adventure. With the scope adjusted to its lowest height, I got down on one knee to get face to face with this young man. I told him this scope is set up just for people his size, and then asked him if he could say harbor seal, the child looked up at his Dad and his father said go ahead. "Harbor seal" he said with a smile on his face, his parents gleaming.

Rafts of otters and mating cormorants

"Yesterday (Sunday, Feb 23) I took the scope to the Pelican Island lookout because a photographer with a long lens camera reported there were 20+ otters in the kelp beds just south of the lookout.  No, I didn't get an accurate count!  They kept rolling and changing places, but there were two large rafts of at least 20 otters.  Visitors enjoyed viewing the otters and the cormorants on the rock in the foreground who totally ignored our talking and exclamations and kept very focused on thier mating rituals.

Fewer Pelicans

The numbers of Brown Pelicans at Bird Island and nearby rock islands seem to be going down, although there are still humpback whales being seen offshore. Today the numbers were small enough that I could make a rough count, which was under 400 (on the mainland sides of the islands only.) Seeing so many fewer birds helped to put the greater (uncountable) number of birds last week and before in perspective, and there were way more than 1000 last week.

Pelicans, pelicans, pelicans

There have been hundreds of Brown Pelicans on and around Bird Island for well over a week -- probably attracted by the same plentiful fish supply that has brought us several weeks of humpback whale sightings.  Meanwhile, birders along the Monterey Bay coastline have been reporting Blue-footed Boobies for a few weeks.  These birds are simply never seen this far north, and they too may be attracted by the small fish. Some local sightings have been in assocation with pelicas.   I scanned the groupings of pelicans carefully but did not see a booby

2014 Point Lobos Foundation Annual Meeting

photo of Merrill Hall at Asilomar

Foundation Members and Point Lobos Docents are invited to join us Saturday, January 11 at Asilomar's Merrill Hall for the Point Lobos Foundation's Annual Meeting.

A social hour will take place between 9:00 and 9:30am, with coffee and refreshments. Our keynote speaker will be State Park Commissioner Ernest Chung, Chair of the California State Parks and Recreation Commission.

Commissioner Chung was managing director at KPMG Consulting and BearingPoint Inc. from 2001 to 2009. He held multiple positions at the Chevron Corporation from 1979 to 2001, including principal consultant, general manager, business development manager, area business development manager and technology research and development manager.

Scribbles from Bird Island: A journey

An osprey now beacons, beside a worn path
A trail often traveled, not often seen
Swaying so slightly in the rustling breeze
 
A canvas lays empty
While the Painter unmoving
An eye deep inside

A pine forest whispers, its glories laid bare
A trail filled with sorrows, often unheard
Clear cut and hurting in the hard rushing rain

Scribbles from North Shore Trail: Billowy blustery secrets

Heard something the other day I don't recall hearing before.  The day was pretty windy along North Shore Trail and some hikers were finding it a little too cold and blustery for their tastes.  I did a double take ... negative "waves" along the crystal clear "environs" of Point Lobos?  Almost lost my hat with that move.  But it allowed me to  share a couple secrets another docent, Paul Reps, had just shared at Whalers Cove: the rough seas had led many of our ocean friends to the calm of the Cove, and big waves make for some awe inspiring moments.  All of which were on dramatic display barely a few yards away; without even using the scope Paul had to hand for even closer views!