Saturday, January 25, 2014

Bolinas Lagoon

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After checking out the emptying reservoirs on the eastern side of Fairfax-Bolinas Road last week, it was interesting to head over to the other side of the mountain to find Bolinas Lagoon at high tide, filled to the brim.

I was lucky to arrive just before a showy sunrise.

Lucky because I'd lingered in bed once again, unsure whether I wanted to drive the long and winding road up and over Mt. Tam. A glance out the bedroom window told me it was already windy, yet another Spare the Air day, and here I was, planning to burn a few gallons of gas in the Jeep. I figured if I was going to smog the air, I at least didn't want to waste a trip.

I'd been looking forward to getting out of the city all week, though, so rather than philosophize all morning I decided to just get going.

Stinson Beach was just waking up as I drove north through town. Skirting the lagoon along Highway 1, I was a little disappointed to see so few waterfowl. Despite its importance for birds along the Pacific Flyway, I've only been out there a couple of times when there were lots of birds. The distant, breathy whistling of wigeons was the dominant sound as the sun came up.

I'd picked a good spot to view the sunrise, a place I'd been to once before, just a pull-out along Olema-Bolinas Road where there's lots of broken glass along the shore.

Even here along the shore of an 1100-acre body of water, the salt grass looked dried out.

It still feels like fall. Like the rainy season is just around the bend.

Heading out the Bob Stewart Trail I was taken by the interesting stripes of yellow lichen on the bark of some very nice alder trees.

The trail led out along Pine Gulch Creek which had coho salmon once upon a time.

I didn't see the leg band when I photographed this golden-crowned sparrow. It's kind of funny to realize this bird was once caught in a net and held in someone's hands. I suspect these guys are the culprits.

Although it had been windy up high, there was just a mild breeze at sea level, and this turkey vulture was content to bask in the morning sun until either the wind picked up or it caught the scent of some of Mother Nature's home cookin'.

Like I said, there weren't many waterfowl in sight, but I felt it was my duty after making the trip to Bolinas Lagoon to take at least one picture of some birds, like these ruddy ducks, on the lagoon.

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