Beachwatch: Point Reyes

Photograph of sea kelp at the Great Beach in Point Reyes Beach with sea kelp

Our walk from North Beach to Abbott’s Lagoon on Sunday was a quiet day, with no complaints about the mix of sun, wind and beach action, though we were a bit slow on the birding. Were are the birds? was our main question. The Snowy Plovers starting to nest; some Dunlins with black bellies, which made us believe they were Black-bellied Plovers at first glance. Sanderlings in their breeding plumage and a handful of other birds. Nothing flying out at sea. No whale spouts. Few Ravens and Turkey Vultures. So quiet. Migration’s finale perhaps.

The day began at around 10am with the discovery of a freshly dead large sea lion. Clearly a male from the large sagittal crest on his head. He was a large male (96 inches in length from nose to tail), and seemingly healthy. No clear cause of death (such as gun shot wounds in his face). We called the Academy of Sciences hot line and dispatch at Point Reyes. They’ll send someone out to check on him and try to figure out how he died. Here are some shots from the day, hoping the images of a dead sea lion don’t unnerve you.

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