I took to the lagoon for a maiden voyage in my solo canoe last Saturday. It was wonderful. Glass calm water and a four foot tide meant I could explore far and wide. And as I suspected… I was being followed. A few seals broke off from the pack and quietly shadowed me for most of the next hour.
She gave a stretch and took off, flying a wide arc over the marsh before climbing and setting off toward the same flock of shorebirds. It was a wonderful and unexpected encounter on a grey, still, and lovely day. I can’t wait to get out there again.
An Osprey on final approach at the Palace of Fine Arts Lagoon.
A friend and I kayaked to the ocean at Estero Americano a few weeks ago. The round trip is about 11-12 miles and it can be rough if the wind picks up. We were lucky to be exploring this wonderful estuary for the first time under fairly ideal conditions. On several occasions the shimmering water turned into a flock of White Pelicans that would slowly rise and pass overhead, wings hissing in the wind.
The beach was spectacular and completely empty on a Saturday. The lack of access by anything other than boats means we got the beach to ourselves.
We came across this Osprey with its attending vulture and gull. They were waiting for scraps but it seems the Osprey ate every last bit.
It was a really striking bird. It may have been the light but this bird looked really sharp. Check out that bulging crop.
It eventually relocated and then did something surprising.
It started washing its feet on the wing then it dipped its head to clean its bill as it flew.
Sorry to end on a strange semi-grisly note but I thought this young pelican feeding on the carcass of a sea lion or seal was both gruesome and fascinating. I hear their diet switches primarily to fish once the become adults but as kids they tend to eat whatever they can find.
An Osprey takes flight at Bolinas Lagoon.