Thursday, February 6, 2014

Point Reyes - Feb 6, 2014

It's a good thing we brought gloves and lots of layers since the temp at 7am when we left our cottage on day 2 was 29 degrees! It was perfectly clear which made for some great early morning light as we headed into the park and drove to Pierce Point Ranch:

Dawn at Point Reyes

Abbotts Lagoon

Pierce Point Trees

In fact, the morning was so nice that we weren't the only ones enjoying the sights:

We ended up seeing another bobcat and two coyotes on that drive in but none posed for decent pictures.

Next up was a trip to the lighthouse.  It's closed mid week which is a great time to look for the weasels which used to be seen there.  However, some Peregrine Falcons moved in there a few years back and the weasel sightings bottomed out.  We keep looking just in case but we struck out with both.  The scenery was still nice:

Point Reyes

Black-tailed Deer

The colony of Common Murres at the lighthouse was packed this year:

Common Murre Colony

Speaking of packed, the Elephant Seals were out in force with pups.  They were as loud and ornery as expected.

Elephant Seal Beach

Elephant Seals with Babies

I usually don't take cow photos but this little one we nicknamed "legs" was too cute to pass up:

Newborn Calf

In fact, we were so enamored by "legs" that we almost missed the coyote in the pasture not 20 yards behind it.  Looks like the coyote was checking out "legs" as well:


The trip to the lighthouse and back yielded two coyotes total and our first Black-tailed Jackrabbit sighting. After lunch we hiked around the visitor center a bit and then headed back to our old standby...PP Road.

There was a Striped Skunk sauntering along through the fields right before Abbott's Lagoon.  Which is where we stopped next to look for weasels yet again.  About halfway down the trail, some folks coming the other way stopped us and said that they saw a possible Mountain Lion off the trail.  They knew what bobcats looked like and this one was "different".  We followed their directions to where they saw the cat but found nothing so I continued on.  Luckily, my wife doesn't give up easily and she stayed to scan the area.  Eventually, she found the cat and it turned out to be another bobcat.  So, that's the 4th sighting in two days and our first on foot. Not to shabby...

After the hike, we headed toward PP Ranch and spotted two coyotes right after the last dairy.  As we pulled into the PP Ranch parking lot some movement caught my eye.  Another bobcat was walking slowly up the hill away from the ranch.   There's some sort of building at the top of the hill and a trail to get there so I decided to head up to see if I could get a better glimpse of the bobcat.  The cat ended up turning around and laying down near one of the buildings.  We were able to sneak into the building and get great views of the cat for about 1/2 hour before it got up again and wandered off:

Resting Bobcat

Hunting Bobcat

That evening, we pretty much struck out on our night drive after only seeing a jackrabbit near the visitor center.  But, we will take a three bobcat day anytime!

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